Here you will find some of the undergraduate work I made under the brilliant tutelage of Les Mills and Steve Gough at Newport Film School 1990 – 1992.
Whilst the work is experimental and of variable quality, I thought it might be of some interest and encouragement to students, and serve as reference material for my occasional talks and lectures. When you look at professional reels, it’s easy to be blinded by the big budgets involved. It can make storytelling and film making seem distant and intimidating. These days, when anyone can access the equipment to make a film, it’s even more important to recognize that no amount of money can make up for a lack of ideas. It’s in the spirit of openness and encouragement that I make these short, clumsy but personally significant films available here.
1991 / Surface Tension was shot on a clockwork 16mm Bolex. It was made for the Kodak Expo 90 competition, and took the British Arts Council Award for Best Short Film. Bizarrely, I made the film as an advert for pure tap water. During the course of the competition, someone removed the final shot “A CAMPAIGN FOR PURE TAP WATER” and it won an Arts Council Award. I have no idea who might have done this, or why.
1991 / Francis Farley
1991 / BEEP BEEP is a response to a class exercise. It was shot using stop frame live action animation on a clockwork 16mm Bolex. It was one of my first films, and played with the notion that three people at a bus stop experience the same bizarre daydream of inertia and hopelessness.
1992 / Dando’s Brilliantine was a project chosen to represent Newport Film School in the 1991 Fuji Scholarship awards. I had submitted another script idea for the Fuji competition, but, like many student projects, it simply mimicked the film makers I admired. I was shocked by how much my tutor Steve Gough hated my idea. He told me to go away and write something else. I decided to write something personal, and DANDO”S BRILLIANTINE was the result. It was a great wake up call. It won a script prize in the competition and five hundred pounds. I bought an Amstrad computer with the money.
No budget, but free film stock and all the resources of the film school.