Film Production at the University of Roehampton

Izadora Dau Start Date: Apr 24, 2017 - End Date: Aug 23, 2017
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Study/Degree Abroad
  • London, United Kingdom

My Travel Story

by: Izadora Dau Start Date: Apr 24, 2017 - End Date: Aug 23, 2017
  • Educational/Research Trip
  • Professional Development
  • Study/Degree Abroad
When I was a child my family could not afford to buy VHS tapes often so I cherished the ones that were given to me. Films such as The Sound of Music, Annie, and Babe helped me daydream of lands I could never go to and allow me to escape into a different life. Through those daydreams, I wrote stories about fantastical creatures and the people who influenced my life. As I grew older those stories became real through the camera lenses given to me by my high school. A teacher who murders students, a geeky girl who won prom queen, and a cartoon about a dog trying to find his bone, all came to life through those lenses. Knowing that I was able to bring my daydreams to life and that I created this all on my own gave me new found confidence in myself in a time where I suffered from bullying from my peers, anxiety, and depression due to my parent’s divorce. I would grab my journal and jot down new script ideas while watching my favorite movie to distract me from the horrible thoughts that roamed my head during my anxiety attacks. That is when my love of film began and to study it in a place outside of America will allow me to flourish not only with my films, but mentally too.


I chose to spend the fall semester at the University of Roehampton for it’s incredible film program, which fits my major requirements, its proximity to central london, and the impact British films have on me. When I first saw the campus online, I fell in love with the greenery and the lake in the middle of the campus. It got me thinking that it would be a great area to film a short love story! Upon further research, I found out that the University of Roehampton was not only ranked the number one university in London for film production, but also an estimate of 91% of their students either find work in the field of film within 6 months of graduating or go on to graduate school for film.


Compared to Lehman College, my current university, I will be offered a lot more opportunities to actually get out and film rather than staying in a classroom learning about film. Roehampton offers a producing class in which they provide workshops and discussions hosted by professionals working in the field right now and a class on how to adapt our screenplays into film and the process of approaching studio executives. What I am most excited for is the cinematography class where students learn all about lighting design, camera work, and set design, a class that is also not offered at Lehman. On top of that, Roehampton has a film society which screens films every Wednesday and hosts trips to the British Film Institute, a prominent charitable film organization that produces films, and the Prince Charles Cinema, one of the most famous cinemas in the world. I will be working and being taught one on one with working professionals from the industry such as Michael Uwemedimo, whose film The Act of Killing won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award.


From how I construct my film’s narrative to the choices I make in the editing suite, studying in London will enhance my way of thinking and force me to step outside the American way of filmmaking. As a woman of color who wants to become a director, it is already hard to get noticed in the industry. In the film industry in America, there are biases towards people of color and women due to the fact that 94% of studio heads in America are still white and male. This prevents people of color and women from succeeding in the film industry. To put on my resume that I not only studied film in London but also got to film there will set me apart from the crowd as a black female director when I apply for internships back home.  With the help of donations, scholarships, and financial aid, while at the Roehampton Study Abroad Program through the City College of New York, I will be able to communicate and connect with other film professionals, professors, and students who live across the world who can potentially be my future employers, coworkers, and producers.
  • London, United Kingdom