Akaash Meeda, BA (Hons) Film Practice, student film
Akaash's final year project went on to win the Audience Award at the United Film Festival London 2013 for Best Short Film.
Although he made it as part of his course, this was for him, about far more than just getting a good grade. He wanted to make a short documentary film, Stringed Roots, which would both entertain and educate the audience.
Initially the film was about vinyl record stores based in the London area of Soho. Akaash found engaging stories and individuals in his research that would make for a compelling documentary, especially with the digital versus analogue debate raging in the world of music.
However, Akaash and his team then had an unfortunate setback. "The crew were all set for our first day of filming, but that morning every shop that we had previously talked to about the film were not willing to lend their time. I don't know whether it was the presence of cameras and that more people were there but they had been put off. But whatever it was, we weren't getting anything we needed."
This unfortunate twist meant that Akaash and his team needed to change their idea quickly. One of the major advantages of being based in London, however, is there are plenty of creative settings around. One of them occurred to Akaash – the previous night he was walking down a road which had lots of glamorous guitars and he realised this could be a fine setting for his film.
"We ran over to Denmark Street, told the manager of one of the stores our woes of the morning and he replies "well there are some interesting stories about this place, did you know that The Rolling Stones recorded their first album here?" and that was that. The idea for the film was set, what a difference a day makes."
Nominated at film festivals
The film was undoubtedly a success. Winning the Audience Award at the United Film Festival London 2013 for best short film, it also went on to be nominated at Screentest 2013, the national student film festival for best documentary.
Akaash credits the team harmony as a major asset in making sure they made a film that met their objectives. "I believe that the team's adaptability and ability to think on our feet enabled us to achieve our target of making a film that we can all be proud of, especially being first time filmmakers who hadn't previously worked together before."