Chengxuan Li graduated from Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen in 2019, and is now studying BA (Hons) Film Practice at London College of Communication.
How did Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen (Cert HE) prepare you for your current course?
Cert HE was a great experience and allowed me to develop my creativity, academic and professional ability in design, media, and screen. During the different units, I got to try a variety of workshops, which allowed me to blend traditional and digital printing processes. The most important thing was that I realised that moving image is not the only way to tell stories. We can mix various mediums together, which helps me be an interdisciplinary thinker.
I have acquired more professional knowledge through the experimentation in practical works and now know what I am looking to achieve. This also helped me decide what I wanted to study for my undergraduate degree, which was film.
What was the most interesting project you worked on during Cert HE?
The most interesting project I worked on was the ‘zine making’ unit. The purpose of this project is to personify an object, which related to us, and interview it. During the process of making my zine, I enjoyed trying different methods to illustrate the relationship between myself and the object.
Did the course provide opportunities to engage with industry?
Yes, we had a handful of speakers attend. I was most interested in those who were currently working in the film industry.
Did you complete any work placements / internships whilst being on the course?
During the Cert HE, I joined Youth on the Roof, as an assistant photographer. It was the first time that I worked with a professional crew. Learning from them and being encouraged by these impressive filmmakers has given me an in-depth understanding of the film industry process, mastered professional skills and have gained more confidence towards my future as a director of photography.
What important piece of advice would you give to students thinking of studying Cert HE?
Attend your classes, ask questions to your tutors, try more different workshops and find a pathway you really enjoy!
Work hard, play hard.
What was the highlight of your time as a student on Cert HE?
Screening my own film in the graduate exhibition, along with getting the offer for BA (Hons) Film Practice.
What was the most important thing you learnt from the course?
Compared to my high school life, I have acquired more professional knowledge through the experimentation in practical units and clearly know what I am looking to achieve. The course provided a variety of workshops and lectures to explore and allow me to decide the area I’m most interested in, which helped me prepare for the first year of my undergraduate degree.
What have you been up to since finishing Cert HE?
Alongside being a student on BA (Hons) Film Practice, I have worked on a wide range of projects to strengthen my networks in the film and commercial industries. I became a freelance camera operator who can work with virtually any filming device. In 2020, I produced and shot the documentary The True Story Of Soy Sauce and received third prize in The Golden Lenses Awards.
View the Certificate of Higher Education: Preparation for Design, Media and Screen course page.
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