Gemma Starkey

Gemma Starkey

I'm a producer and educator at the BFI specialising in working with our archive collections and cultural programmes. To date I’ve made over 60 short films which explore the UK's rich film heritage.

Location United Kingdom


  • Welcome Nashwa! I hope you will love the course and take away something positive from it.

  • Thanks for sharing this @MaríaQuintana

  • Not that I know of, sorry Anne. I'll do some investigations though and get back to you.

  • Hi @AnneJ - do you mean you can't watch the film of Dead London or the video above?

  • I commented in the Padlet but came up as anonymous, so repeating it here! I thought it was really great - loved the close-up image and angles you used.

  • @TomGleadell No problem, anything you can share is a bonus. Hope it works out for you.

  • Sorry to hear this @SushmithaDhamotharan - did you manage to get it to work in the end?

  • Hi @MaríaQuintana - yes, unfortunately it is only available in the UK. You can find more of our content (and archive materials if you do some searching) on the BFI YouTube channel, but it probably won't be exactly what you're looking for:

  • Hi @MaríaQuintana do you mean the BFI Player videos?

  • I'm really glad you found the links, helpful @MaríaQuintana - if I find any more I'll add them to the See Also section.

  • Hopefully it's working for you now, @JoshWoakes ?

  • Hi @StellaDarleyTetteh - we really hope this course helps enable you to take those important first steps into actual filmmaking.

  • We would love to know how the course impacts your teaching, @TiffanyFreke

  • Welcome to the course, Sofia! You will learn about the importance of the single shot this week - we hope you feel inspired to start making your own work.

  • I know the SSA well - it's a wonderful resource @ChristinaH

  • This sounds fabulous @YumikoHirata

  • Yes, I totally agree with you @RebeccaHollinger - the BFI DVD booklets are treasured sources of information (and images) in themselves. I often go back to read and use them for ideas for new courses.

  • Oh no, @RachelM ! The question is - how many separate shots are there in the film? But I guess, if you can't see the picture you won't be able to answer this. Are you having trouble with the other videos on the course too or is it just this one?

  • Good morning everyone from London town! Although I've worked at the BFI for over 16 years and have written and produced short films, I have never physically made a film myself. It's been really fascinating working on this course because it's helped me understand the practicalities and complexities filmmaking involves. But also, given current technologies...

  • Thanks for flagging, @KaylaMartins. I have now updated the link to let learners know this in advance of clicking on it.

  • @PeteB yes! Thanks for your interest. It's an Open University short course exploring British documentary from the Victorians to the present day. It launches in May next year. More info will be posted here nearer the time:

  • Thank you for sharing this @PeteB I've just been watching The Battle of the Somme for inclusion in another course and it really is fascinating.

  • Thank you for your positive comments, Siarra! I am a big fan of the magic lantern too. I also think that you're right about the frame painting - you might be interested in this article which I came across the other day, coincidentally:

  • Thank you so much @AnneT - I was delighted to read this review. I also love that you had such a valuable detour into the Music Hall. I think I must've done the same while writing the course which is no bad thing! I hope it keeps bringing you enjoyment.

  • @DeborahHunter great idea and thanks for sharing. Yes, researching into early women filmmakers in Britain (and the rest of the world) would be a fascinating line of enquiry. I will certainly be doing the same for the upcoming documentary course. Enjoy!

  • Thank you Deborah for your kind feedback. I'd love to create a course on women as you suggest, but sadly, and as far as I know, there aren't many women involved in British filmmaking until the early 1930s. There'd certainly be some scope to do something about women in front of the camera though.

    You might be interested to learn that the BFI is currently...

  • Hi Carolyn, as promised, Bryony tells me: "I'd say it was unlikely (although possible) as they would probably have sold black and white versions of the film as well as coloured prints. It's something we still do though in archival film duplication where we can adjust the gamma to allow for the take up of dyes in tinting and toning."

  • @CarolynPage I'm sorry to hear this - what a shame. I will pass your question on to Bryony now and hopefully get a reply back to you shortly. I'll also ask my colleagues at FutureLearn what might be done about your particular situation as I'm not sure if this course will 'runs' as such in the future as it becomes 'Unlimited'.

  • Thank you Alex for this thoughtful review. I have shared this link above but certainly worth repeating if you're interested in the wonder of the magic lantern:

  • That's lovely to hear @Louisesmith - I can't wait to get back to the cinema too and be completely immersed in the world of a film. I don't think the experience will ever lose it's magic!

  • Thank you very much for the feedback @VeraV I was only thinking the same other day - how amazing to be amidst a happy, raucous crowd of entertainment seekers at this time! It's not a Victorian film show as such, but the Magic Lantern Society is worth taking a look at as they do some great events:

  • Fascinating to hear about this, thanks for sharing @JuliaBeaman I agree with you about the power of film too!

  • I hope you enjoy the M&K DVD @AngelaBrown - it's a great series to own! More on the duo from our shop, including the Cruickshank set:

  • Even if you don't want to add your own film Lyn, you can still access the course Padlet and watch other learner's rides and film programmes. I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed the course nonetheless!

  • Thank you @JoanAtkinson - I had to chuckle at your reference to Phoenix Nights!

  • Looks like the first adaptation was in 1908 according to this website, but I'll check with Bryony if she can confirm if there were any earlier:

  • Oh yes! This would be excellent - I'm surprised they didn't use this extremely visual story for subject matter.

  • I've shown silent and trick films to my 4-year-old son @JoanAtkinson and he loved them! These are a perfect length for young children.

  • I look forward to watching your phantom ride, @FranziskaS :-)

  • Hi Franziska, if you're in the UK I'd recommend you following the See Also link to the BBC page above. You can also read a bit more about it here:

  • Interesting thoughts, Anne. Big stars were definitely an attraction in those days - you'll learn more about these in relation to the theatre in Week 3.

  • That's great Alex. Did you manage to share your film on Padlet? If so, I look forward to watching it.

  • Yes, that's right Joan. You can read more about it here: Unfortunately, the moving images on Screenonline are no longer viewable but I believe the film is available on DVD.