Several years ago I watched as my younger brother Alec began his long journey to becoming a documentary filmmaker. I saw him making all the same mistakes I did, and other mistakes that were new to his generation. And as he went through the inevitable graft of making a film, I’m glad I was there to give him the advice he needed, when he wanted it.
So when in August 2016 he died on a shoot at the age of 20, trying as many young filmmakers do to learn by doing, I felt the unavoidable sense that his efforts were left incomplete. And that he had struggled through, and that he needn't have.
That’s why WonderVisions exists. To give young filmmakers like Alec the gift of experience, so hopefully they can avoid some of the pitfalls and get on with making great films. Starting out in film shouldn’t feel like staring down the barrel at an eternity of failing hard. Especially these days, with so much content being produced, and so much competition, that it can feel like an overwhelming slog to the top.
A truth I wish I’d been told about filmmaking early on is that it gets much, much easier. If you’ve never made a film before, the process can seem daunting. But with every new experience you learn better where not to step. VICE Film School should help you skip the queue somewhat, and maybe even inspire you to pick up a camera and run headlong into something foreign and exciting.
Adam Bracegirdle, Creative Director, VICE UK and Director, WonderVisions: The Alec Bracegirdle Memorial Film Fund