My name is Sonat and I'm a 23 y.o. aspiring filmmaker (with some experience as screenwriter, director, producer, score composer and editor) from Algarve, Portugal.

I'm about to start the "London Film Academy Filmmaking Foundation on location in Algarve" 2-week-long-intensive Summer course and the purpose of this blog is to keep a daily journal of my experiences in it.

Before I start I thought it would be good to give you some of my background:

I'm in the middle of a master's degree on physics engineering but I was always fascinated by the magic of cinema and in January of 2009 I convinced some friends to join me in making a horror movie in my grampa's empty house in the middle of the woods.

The film was made just for fun, with a budget of only 65€, but when we sent it to one of the major portuguese television broadcasters (SIC), we received an extremely enthusiastic response from their director (Pedro Boucherie Mendes) who really loved it and how it was conceived and wanted to promote it. We made a series of teaser-trailers which were broadcasted for a month on the cable channel Sic Radical and through its web page.

The film premiered on Sic Radical on the occasion of the channel's 8th birthday and had 3 re-runs. Despite the very low budget and a production based only upon improvisation it caught the attention of the press and we had articles published in several papers and magazines.
 Newspaper "Público" (25/04/09)

This success encouraged us to continue working on film projects and always try to take it to the next level. Even though none of us has any professional training on the area, for the past year we've learned a lot from our experience "on the field", from reading books about filmmaking, from watching tutorials on the Internet, et cetera. We became more organized, more efficient and more self-demanding.

In April 2010 we released a short film in which we put all of our effort on trying to maximize production value, to take the most out of the resources we had available, while being very rigorous with all the details so anything in our production would look amateurish.

It was still made only with friends but it demanded a fair amount of planning, coordination and good logistics. We had to ask an awful lot of favors to an awful lot of people to make it, but spending only 27,5€ we completed a film that was already chosen to the official selection of 3 portuguese film festivals, including Porto7 (www.porto7.com) and Shortcutz Lisboa, in which we were nominated for best short film (myspace.com/shortcutzlisboa).

Titled "Comando", the film is not available online for now, but here's the trailer:


For more information about all of what our team is up to (we call ourselves the "New Light Pictures") please refer to the site:


Finally, I was awarded with a "Best Original Screenplay" Prize in a national competition called "Até Breves".
All this leads us to now.

With this successive accomplishments I'm starting to consider, for the first time in my life, a career on filmmaking. I love the creative and collaborative aspects of this art and I'm dreaming on becoming a writer/director.

And this crash-course is the absolutely perfect deal if you want to acquire a global perspective on all aspects of filmmaking, from screenwriting to editing. A fast but comprehensive instruction in which you get to know a little bit of everything that's behind a professional production.

Most importantly, it has an outstandingly practical approach: you actually get to make your own film, directing professional actors, using professional equipment!

All of this in just 2 weeks. Isn't that amazing?

I can't wait to start! See you tomorrow!

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