Recognition for teaching in tv and film

The University of Portsmouth has just won a prestigious award for teaching cinematography and camera craft.

The ‘Bill Vinten Guild of Television Cameraman (GTC) University Award‘ celebrates excellence in the teaching of cinematography and camera craft to undergraduate students. It was developed to encourage high quality teaching across multiple genres and reward new talent emerging through that teaching. The trophy goes to the university with the highest scoring portfolio of films and the award is well-recognised within the film industry.

Ben Thomson (left) and Steve Whitford (right) receive the award from TVCET Chair, Stuart McKears

Ben Thomson (left) and Steve Whitford (right) receive the award from TVCET Chair, Stuart McKears

Lecturers on the BA (Hons) Film Production course submitted three student films from three different categories – drama, documentary and music video. The judges especially look for a breadth of skills across different genres and the quality across the Portsmouth submissions this year secured them first prize.

Principal Lecturer, Ben Thompson, Section Lead Film and Broadcasting, said that the quality of the submissions reflected the calibre of the teaching and the continued investment in industry-standard equipment.

“All of our staff come from the film or television industry and this is reflected in how they teach, with a strong focus on cinematography. The fact that our students can produce films of professional industry standard and demonstrate creativity and quality in camera craft impressed the judges. It’s also what makes our students highly employable in the industry.

“We recently invested heavily in professional ARRi ALEXA cameras, which are used on today’s top feature films. The superiority of these cameras is evident in the quality of the films and is another ingredient in the overall production values of our students’ work.”

Josh Davies, who is a 2016 graduate of the course, was also shortlisted for an individual award for his music video, EKKOES. The drama submission was by Danny Ellis for Paenitenia, the story of a son who returns home to reconcile his broken relationship with his father decades after being exiled, and the documentary was A Step Too Far by Jon Cook about a group of dedicated young gymnasts. All of the entries can be viewed here.

Ben Thompson attended the award ceremony with Course Leader, Steve Whitford, and Lecturer on the course, Dan Mulligan. Ben said they were thrilled to win and collect the main prize on the night.Bill Vinten Trophysmall

“Being recognised by industry peers is a real testimony of how we teach our students, specifically within the camera department, and it was a very happy and proud moment!”

As winners of the trophy, the University of Portsmouth will host next year’s awards ceremony providing a great opportunity for students to meet industry professionals and staff and students from other institutions.

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