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Finalists for Bill Vinten GTC University Awards announced

The Bill Vinten GTC University Awards will be presented at the University of York’s Heslington Studios on October 22nd 2014.  The competition focuses on the undergraduates’ use of camera skills to enhance the content of the films submitted and this year’s talented finalists have taken to boats, filmed underwater, shot in cinemascope, and worked into the night, with smoke, lights and mirrors to make it to the final shortlist.

The six graduates on the shortlist are as follows:

S.O.S. (for the artist Femme)

Vince Knight – Director of Photography
The Domestic Lives of Mollusks

Jacob Leese – Camera Operator

Thomas McKie – Director of Photography
The Last Fisherman

Daniel O’Flaherty – Director of Photography
Sunday Dinner at the Morgans

Thomas Reed – Director of Photography

The prizes they are battling for include a chance to work with the BBC’s ‘Doctors’ production team and Lion Television. They will also receive trophies and membership of the GTC.

In addition to identifying new talent and providing the top three cameramen with essential experience in broadcasting, the competition aims to encourage excellence in all genres of camerawork.

 ‘While dramas feature in the shortlist, many graduates will work in other fields like news and documentaries, so it’s important to emphasise the skills needed in these areas too,’ explains competition director, Alan Duxbury.

The competition has been fierce with entries from universities increasing by over a third this year; the institution with the highest scoring portfolio from the films submitted by their undergraduates will win the prestigious Bill Vinten GTC University Trophy.

The universities competing for the Bill Vinten GTC University Trophy are:

Bournemouth University
Buckinghamshire New University
Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University
Edge Hill University
Kingston University, Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing
Northern Film School, Leeds Metropolitan University
Southbank University
Staffordshire University, Media (Film) Production Course
University for the Creative Arts
University of Lincoln

Guests to the event will be able to view the entries on the night or you can click here to visit the GTC’s website and view the short-listed films.

Background to the Awards

With the proliferation of channels, instant news and competition from other media, there was an increasing perception within the industry of a lack of camera skills in certain areas. What was fairly clear was that the relevance of the picture content was becoming undervalued, with the result that the quality of pictures was becoming less and less important…

This situation prompted Stuart McKears to suggest in 2011, the idea of a GTC University trophy which would be awarded to the University that exhibited excellence both in content and in craft skills by submitting a single portfolio of film or video in three different genres. These films would be wholly produced, created and shot by current or recently graduated students who would also receive an award.

Bill Vinten OBE had also expressed his willingness to support a student award, so he and Stuart met and the format of the award was finalised, due to the generosity of Bill Vinten who agreed to fund paid work experience prizes for the leading students.

On May 11th 2012, the Bill Vinten GTC University Award was launched with prizes of a prestigious trophy for the leading University and paid work experience of worth £2500.00 to the leading student and two runners up prizes of paid work experience worth £750.00. The three winners would also receive one years membership of the GTC.

Funds to pay these awards come from “The Television And Video Camera Craft Educational Trust” which has been created to oversee Bill Vinten’s five year funding for the awards and to promote, maintain, improve and advance the education and training of the public in the arts, in particular through but not exclusively, camera craft and related media skills.

In the first year the Bill Vinten GTC University Award attracted entries from 8 Universities with 22 camera operators vying for the work experience prizes. In 2014, this has increased to 11 Universities and 33 camera operators.

Dick Hibberd, the GTC President, says “The breadth of the productions has been most heartening, and bodes well for the future of the industry. Whilst some entries have still some way to go, there have been others which have been truly excellent. It is most encouraging to see the skills that have been mastered by the graduates.”

About the Guild of Television Cameramen

The Guild of Television Cameramen is an independent non-profit-making international organisation that cares about television camerawork and the people who make it their craft. The GTC has over 1,000 members, in the UK, Europe, Australia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the USA.  Most members work in aspects of television ranging from production through documentary and drama, live events, news and current affairs, sports and light entertainment, to corporate video.

Run by a council of volunteer television professionals, the GTC is financed by subscription from its members as well as sponsorship from equipment manufacturers and suppliers. As a result, the GTC offers a channel for manufacturers to consult with working cameramen when designing new equipment. GTC membership is open to anyone employed in single or multi-camera television operations or in any associated occupation.

About Bill Vinten OBE

Bill Vinten OBE, now in his 90s, is the youngest son of the founder of camera support manufacturers, Vinten, whose innovative products have changed the world of broadcasting. Not only have the family and the company provided cameras and cameramen with 100 fantastic years of support, but Bill has also been a reliable and solid supporter of the GTC for over 40 years.

To find out more about the work of the GTC or the awards, please visit the GTC website.