#ECPrizeGiving – Rae Phillips-Smith

Eighteen-year-old Rae Phillips-Smith has loved having the opportunity to explore animation and create films as part of her course, and has now been awarded the Academic Excellence Award for Broadcast Media at this year’s Prize Giving in recognition of all her hard work.

We spoke to Rae to find out more about her College experience and plans for the future:

“I’m delighted that my efforts have been recognised at this year’s Prize Giving and I’m very surprised.

I decided to come to Edinburgh College because I wanted to continue living at home and take a ‘gap year’ to study a course related to filmmaking before going on to university. I had a look at the Edinburgh College website and saw that there was a course with a variety of things to try out that included filmmaking aspects.

Before College, I was at High School and wasn’t really ready to leave to go to university. I’d also recently figured out I wanted to go into film, so wanted to gain more experience at the practical side of things.

The best thing about studying this year has been having the opportunity to discover a lot of super interesting mediums, such as sound and animation – two things I am now using more in my films. I have also made some great friends here who share similar passions, one of whom I may spend the next year with making films.

The only challenge I faced during my time at College was having so much to do at the same time. I do a filmmaking course on Sundays and have a job that I do twice a week. I always aim to try my best, but sometimes it became hard to do my best work all the time in a creative way. I knew I could get it done, but how well was the challenge. This meant that I had to prioritise and work efficiently. What I also had to learn was how to take breaks and not push myself too hard, which I’m still working on. I also now plan out what I’m going to do when, with some room for variables.

If I could give one piece of advice to anyone starting College now, it would be take advantage of opportunities that are available to you.  You’re not really just there to pass a course – these projects (in the arts at least) are something you can use to learn and have in a portfolio of creative projects. I think if you make the most out of it, you’ll be more satisfied.

After the summer I’ll either spend a year making films with my fellow classmate for more experience, while attending some very short courses, or I’ll go to university to study English Literature and Film. I’m still deciding. My end goal is to be a film writer and director.”