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Bill Vinten GTC University Awards winners

In late October it was announced that the University for the Creative Arts had won this year’s prestigious Bill Vinten Guild of Television Cameramen (GTC) University Award Trophy, hosted by the University of York, at their Heslington Studios.

Bill Vinten OBE presented the award to the Vice-Chancellor of the University for the Creative Arts, Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr who said, ‘It’s a great honour and a great prize. I’m proud of the staff team from the School of Film and Media who’ve made winning this award possible for our students.’

Bill-Vinten-GTC-University-Awards-Winners-2014

Course leader at UCA, Claire Barwell, who was at the event with lecturers Noski Deville and Chris Pinnock said,

‘I had not prepared a speech, so I missed the opportunity to say how close the values of the GTC are to what we try to teach our students – that the technical proficiency of the camera department must serve the story above all! I also particularly welcome the Bill Vinten GTC University Awards for recognising the importance of the craft skills in our teaching. Too often the reward and recognition goes to the directors and the films rather than the crew, so this award is especially important to us.’

Vince Knight from Bournemouth University won the individual prize for his work on ‘The Domestic Life of Mollusks’. The judges said it was a ‘beautifully filmed drama with a variety of camera skills used to enhance the storyline’ with ‘a style and pace that was hypnotic.’ They said the results were ‘absolutely astonishing’. Vince said,’ Thank you for a great event, and what an honour it is to win the award!’ He’ll be taking work experience with the production team and crew on the BBC daytime drama ‘Doctors’.

Bill Vinten GTC University Award winners ,from left to right, Dan O’Flaherty (Runner up UCA),Tom Read (Runner up UCA) Vince Knight (Winner Bournemouth University), Chris Pinnock (Lecturer UCA) , Vice-Chancellor Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr UCA and UCA lecturer Noski Deville

Bill Vinten GTC University Award winners ,from left to right, Dan O’Flaherty (Runner up UCA),Tom Read (Runner up UCA) Vince Knight (Winner Bournemouth University), Chris Pinnock (Lecturer UCA) , Vice-Chancellor Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr UCA and UCA lecturer Noski Deville

Three of UCA’s student films were in the shortlisted six scoring more points collectively for the camerawork than the other universities that entered. The runners up, Daniel O’Flaherty and Thomas Read, are both from the University for the Creative Arts. Dan’s film, ‘Sunday Dinner with the Morgans’, mixed ‘a range of different movements in to this one film seamlessly as each element fitted the storyline’. One judge said ‘ I can’t find anything to drag this film down’. Tom’s work on ‘Flypaper’ was ‘very mature and confident’ with some ‘great hand held work’ with some ‘fantastic underwater photography’. Dan will also be gaining experience on the set of ‘Doctors’ while Tom will work with Lion Television in the New Year.

GTC Chairman Keith Massey

GTC Chairman Keith Massey

GTC Chairman Keith Massey, hosted the award ceremony attended by GTC members, sponsors and representatives of the eleven competing universities. Presenting the individual awards were judges GTC President Dick Hibberd, Karen Hall and Graham Reed. Judge Anna Carrington said ‘The quality of student work this year was fantastic, all of those who entered should feel very proud of their work and what they have achieved.’

Producer/ Director Gerry Troyna delivering the keynote speech

Producer/ Director Gerry Troyna delivering the keynote speech

Producer/director Gerry Troyna gave the keynote speech about starting in television as a sound recordist with Keith Massey, before progressing to a variety of jobs, learning the skills required for a career in broadcasting. Gerry directed Panorama and wildlife programmes and spoke with admiration about the different qualities cameramen bring to a team and the different genres.

He was asked to make a pilot for a series that became ‘Great Railway Journey’s of the World’. Given the choice of his next film in the series, Gerry chose to go to India and this started a love affair with the country. He spoke of his passion for documentaries and has returned to India many times to film the people with series such as ‘Monsoon Railway’, ‘Indian Hill Railways’, and most recently ‘Border Lines’ that he’s completing this autumn.

Stuart Mckears, who created the GTC University Awards, also shared a few thoughts about the perceived decline in ‘creating pictures that are part of story telling’. Stuart’s concerns included the priority given to drama at university, when more employment opportunities are in factual programming.

Students and staff from the University of York recorded the event and helped with the screening and organisation led by lecturer Patrick Titley. ‘It was a really useful exercise for the students to be involved in,’ said Patrick, ‘A great opportunity to work on a live event with all the pressure that involves.’

The Bill Vinten GTC University Awards were filmed by students from the University of York

The Bill Vinten GTC University Awards were filmed by students from the University of York

The other shortlisted cameramen can be proud of their work too: Just three points separated third, fourth and fifth place.

Tom McKie (The Last Fisherman, University of Lincoln) , Jacob Leese (Scarlet, Staffordshire University) and Adam Grasso (SOS – for the artist Femme), UCA) missed out on the prizes but did excellent work on a trawler, experimenting with ‘film noir’ and a music video making great use of smoke, slow motion and colourful images.

All the shortlisted films can still be viewed on the GTC website.

All photos supplied courtesy of the GTC.

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