LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION; INSIDE THE IRISH FILM INDUSTRY; the Irish Film Industry Is a Densely Packed Pool of Raw Talent and Determined Ambition. Several Universities and Colleges Nationwide Offer Courses, Specifically Designed and Tailor-Made for Those Looking to Pursue a Career in the Film Business

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Byline: Stephen Milton reports

Donald Taylor Black Head of Department of Film and Media, IADT and Creative Director of the National Film School In order to succeed, you have to stand out from the crowd and that's exactly the motto employed at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design with several unique courses on offer. Donald Taylor Black, Head of the Film and Media department explains why this makes IADT the perfect first step into the industry. "Of our six film courses, four are exclusive to IADT and the demand is increasing every year," he says. "We get record numbers of applicants, particularly for animation, which is the only degree course of its kind in Ireland.

Also offered is design for stage and screen which has proven unbelievably popular while model making, design and digital effects has become an honours degree course for the first time this year, and naturally applicants for that have gone through the roof. There's also our film and TV production degree course, which is the one we're best known for, producing many successful graduates."

Nurturing the creative spirit is key at IADT but they also understand that to succeed in the film industry, you need a head for business. "Work is thin on the ground as regard RTE commissions and incoming feature films and obviously the Irish Film Board's budget has been cut and they're funding less," Taylor Black explains. "So we endeavour to prepare our students for these tough conditions. We regularly invite key industry people to give lecture and master classes on the reality of the business.

And our programmes have an element of business and entrepreneurship, they're not just learning editing, or directing, or screenwriting.

They're learning how to set up a company and organise their VAT returns, how to apply to the Film Board for funding. It's not just the creative side, they need to know how to do business."

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Patrick Kinsella Head of the School of Communications, Dublin City University Following graduation, many aspiring young film-makers struggle with the structured self-discipline and motivation required to succeed in the film industry. That's why DCU encourages its students to take the initiative and maximise the many opportunities which exist, literally, on their doorstep.

Patrick Kinsella, Head of DCU's School of Communications, highlights the vital role participation in university clubs and societies plays in future career success.

'At DCU, we demand high standards from our students, providing the learning and support structures to enable them to achieve their full potential. The university is extremely proud of the longstanding traditions of creativity and ingenuity showcased by our students outside the lecture halls. The Office of Student Life boasts active clubs and societies including the Media Production Society which runs not only an online radio station but also an online TV station, DCU FM and DCU TV. Meanwhile the Journalism Society produces a host of newspapers and magazines. Getting involved encourages self-motivation which is key to success in the industry after graduation."

Courses offered at DCU, which include an undergraduate degree in communications and a postgraduate in film and TV studies, have produced a wealth of success stories for the University.

Patrick says,'We're incredibly proud of our graduates and some are doing immensely well in their field. Eimear O'Kane, a graduate from our MA in Film and TV Studies, has just had her film 'Pentecost' nominated for both an IFTA and an Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action) and, last year, we had another Academy Award nomination for our Communications Studies graduate, Kathleen O'Rourke, writer and performer of Granny O'Grimm, Best Animated Short category.

Patrick adds that employers in the film industry have come to expect and welcome the very high calibre of graduate from Dublin City University. …