From filming music videos for Scouting for Girls to break-dancing shoots in Tokyo and fashion shows in Paris, LMA tutor Ian Gamester has had one seriously impressive life behind the lens. Now he’s drawing on his experience to teach aspiring filmmakers at LMA what they need to know to hit the big time.

 

When did you know filmmaking was the career for you?

The first time I picked up a video camera. As soon as I got my hands on it, I knew I’d found my calling – I wanted to make films.

How did you get a foot in the door?

In my early 20s, I was doing terrible TV and I hated it! By 30, I was in Australia and was asked to shoot an impromptu music video for some friends. It all started from there…

Any “pinch me” moments that come to mind?

Filming that video in Australia! That was my Eureka moment. It was so much fun to film and edit, but we didn’t realise it was going to do as well as it did – it ended up being shown on MTV!

You’ve been somewhat of a jet setter in your career. Tell us a bit about your travels. 

Travelling the world filming is an incredible experience and helps open your eyes to a whole new world of culture and experiences. I’ve shot break-dancing in Tokyo, a Vivienne Westwood catwalk in Paris, as well as projects in New York, Lebanon and Bangkok.

How has technology and social media had an impact on the industry?

YouTube has had a major impact! You don’t have to join a production company making tea to get a break anymore. All you need is a mobile and you can film and edit some amazing content. There’s nothing stopping anyone making a film, distributing it online and becoming a superstar the next day. That is exciting.

What’s the key ingredients to creating a show-stopping music video?

There’s no formula, but a great music video is one you are enthralled by from beginning to end. In a film you have 90 minutes to take someone on a journey, but with music videos, you’ve got three minutes! If you can get someone hooked in that window and keep surprising them, it’s magical!

How would you describe LMA to potential film students?

LMA gives students the chance to get real hands-on experience. They’re out every day writing, filming, editing in the studio and learning new techniques. It’s a fantastic opportunity. Our students have access to the best equipment and can step up their work to a professional level straight away.

What do you love about teaching at LMA?

The students are brilliant- they’ve all got their own individuality, their own interests and stories they want to tell. I never get in the way of a student’s creativity – that is their main asset. My job is simply to instruct, guide and prod them occasionally!

What’s your top piece of advice for aspiring filmmakers?

I just try to lead by example, and try to pass on my positivity and enthusiasm for what I do – I’m not Yoda!

The best advice I can give though is that this industry is all about the doing! We learn by making mistakes. At LMA, we provide our students with a safe environment to make mistakes, learn from them and become better filmmakers as a result.