I joined the OTOXO one year programme the same year I graduated from university. Though I had studied film in my first year of university, I was unimpressed by the lack of practical tuition, so I swapped my course to History. This is why I chose OTOXO over taking a Masters, because I was assured I would learn everything about documentary filmmaking from start to finish. As well as this, they were happy to take on a complete beginner like myself and it meant moving to Barcelona!
During the programme, you are in a small group of twelve where you receive detailed training by two professionals in the industry, who each specialise in different areas.
With Tom you learn the practical side of things, how to use a camera and editing software, while with John you focus on planning and writing, thus teaching you to value that these two areas go hand in hand and that both are fundamental skills to have for documentary filmmaking.
I was expecting to feel overwhelmed by everything on the course and was worried that my lack of experience would be a disadvantage to me, however, both Tom and John are incredibly supportive and encouraging and they never let myself or anyone else feel daunted. As well as this, my peers all ranged in abilities and backgrounds and everyone was always happy to help each other out. Having said all this, The INto INdustry Programme requires a lot of self motivation and hard work, not only to put time and effort into developing your own skills, but also to ensure you are heavily contributing to co-directing your documentary.
Whatever your prior experience, if you are interested in pursuing filmmaking, I couldn't recommend this programme enough. You are taught, in theory and in practise, every aspect of the process, from research to post-production and finish with a plethora of skills that sets you on the right path to perpetuate your career in the industry.