The Bourne Legacy: sharing top tips for industry success


Media School alumni who have gone on to industry success came back to Bournemouth University to give advice and inspiration to current students.

Top directors, writers, radio producers and business owners were among those who returned to talk to third year Media School students as part of the Bourne Legacy event.

The speakers for the day-long event, which is now in its third year, included Richard Senior.

Since graduating from the BA (Hons) Television Production course in 2002, Richard has gone on to become the youngest ever Director of Doctor Who, Lead Director for children’s drama M.I. High and an award-winning promo producer, creating ad campaigns for BBC dramas.

He said that his advice to the current students was to: “Work hard, build good relationships and don’t be afraid of taking risks.”

He added: “I’m here because I wouldn’t have got where I am without Bournemouth University.

“I think some of the most useful sessions when I was here were when industry people came back to tell us about their experience. I wanted to be part of that and I hope that the advice I give is equally useful.”

Bob Fletcher, who graduated from BA (Hons) Scriptwriting in 2007, was also speaking at the event.

Bob is now working as an associate TV Producer, coming up with new comedy formats, as well as a comedy writer – creating sketches for the likes of Miranda Hart, Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield.

“Bournemouth University has a really good reputation in the TV industry,” he said.

“If you say you went to Bournemouth, people’s ears prick up.

“People who leave here have every advantage, you just need to make sure you sell yourself and make yourself employable.”

His advice included making yourself stand out by creating and sending short films of your work, rather than just scripts, and not being afraid to hound people.

“You just have to make sure everyone knows who you are,” he said.

“Be really enthusiastic and have ideas. You have got to get past feeling bad about being a nuisance.”

He added he wished he made more of the extra-curricular activities and equipment available to him while at BU.

“I wish when I was at university, I’d made more effort to do things outside the course and collaborated with students in other disciplines.

“I wish I could come back and make some more films and sketches and use all the equipment you have here for free.”

Other speakers at the event included MA Radio Production graduate Mog McIntyre, who is now working on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 programme, and Hollywood horror writer and BA Scriptwriting alumni Richard Hobley.

As well as talks, there was a question and answer panel sessions and the chance to network with the alumni.

Gavin Williams set up his own company, Fishrod, after completing the Interactive Media Production (now Digital Media Design) degree in 2010. The company, which develops web applications and interactive technology, now has clients including BskyB and WWE Wrestling.

Gavin said that he hoped his talk at the Bourne Legacy event would inspire current students.

“I hope it gives them inspiration and confidence to go out and do their own thing. They have the skills to do it,” he said.

“The most important thing is to seize opportunities. You do really tiny things and never know what it is going to snowball into.”

BU TV Production graduates up for prestigious industry awards


A number of recent graduates from BU’s BA (Hons) Television Production course have been shortlisted in the prestigious Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Awards.

Four BU 2013 graduates have been nominated in the Best Factual, Best Entertainment and Best Fictional categories for the RTS Southern awards, which take place at Winchester Guildhall on 21st February.

The Awards celebrate the best in emerging talent in the South, and highlights the quality of content produced by the region’s students.

Beth Lamont and Ben Witt have been shortlisted in the Best Entertainment Category – Beth for children’s cookery show Mini Munchies and Ben for music video, Letting You Go, which features two ‘flycycle’ enthusiasts, separated when one of their bikes breaks down.

Ben said: “The only way for them to be reunited is to hunt down the rare replacement light bulbs that power the bike. It’s quite a surreal, fun film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

“It feels great to be shortlisted for an RTS Award and it’s testament to the amazingly talented cast and crew that helped bring the project alive.”

Beth’s Mini Munchies programme is aimed at pre-school children and shows a mother and daughter cooking together.

“Similar to a parent hiding veggies in their kid’s mashed potatoes, I tried to sneak some basic cookery and nutritional education into a (hopefully) entertaining piece that encourages families to swap the Wii for a wok,” she said.

“It’s a real honour for Mini Munchies to have been recognised by such a well-regarded institution, especially as the film was such great fun to shoot and edit alongside the cast and crew. The shortlisting is a credit to all who worked so hard on it.”

Matt Cotton has been shortlisted in the Best Factual category, for his documentary Stitch by Stitch, which shows how women in rural Kenya have been empowered by working for a grass-roots business called Kenana Knitters.

Matt, who went out to Kenya to work on the film with fellow student Oliver Clubb, said: “I was motivated to make this film as I’m really passionate about social justice.

“My mother grew up in Kenya, and I have visited multiple times. This is how I knew about the Kenana Knitters, the grass roots business that the film is immersed in.

“It’s great to be nominated for the award, mainly due to the fact that people will get to watch the film.”

Another 2013 BATV graduate Gulliver Moore has been shortlisted in the Best Fiction category for film Walking Against the Wind, a surreal fantasy drama set and partially shot in Paris.

“The story follows a young boy’s struggle as his parents refuse to communicate with him in any way but mime,” said Gulliver.

“His rebellion against their lifestyle leads him on a journey to discover what is really important in life.”

Gulliver added that it was “wonderful” to be shortlisted for an RTS Student Award.

“That the film has been recognised by the RTS is a credit to the immensely talented and dedicated team of people involved in the project.”

Nick Bamford, Programme Leader of the BA (Hons) Television Production degree course at BU, said that the team were proud of all the graduates who have been shortlisted for this year’s awards.

“The staff who teach on BA TV Production are thrilled to see such a good representation of our graduates’ work in the RTS awards.

“It’s a fitting testament to the creativity and hard work of our students, and a shining example to those who follow them of what they can aspire to.”

“We offer all nominees our very best wishes and very much hope we will also be seeing some winners.”

BU students win all-expenses paid trip to Thailand to film documentary


Two teams of TV Production students from Bournemouth University will be flown out to Thailand to make documentaries, after reaching the finals of an international film competition.

Final year students Lydia Harrison and Callum Cooper and first years Mark Benjamin and Anastasia Stankovsky are all on the BA (Hons) Television Production course at BU and will be the only representatives from the UK in the Amazing Thailand Film Challenge.

Teams from around the world will be flown out to Thailand to make documentaries about different aspects of the country for the competition.

They will all be screened at a red carpet event during the Thailand International Destination Film Festival, and the team behind the winning documentary will receive the equivalent of around £23,000 in prize money.

Lydia, 21, said the experience of going to Thailand will be great, even if they don’t win.

“We feel so lucky to have this opportunity and to be going to represent Britain at all,” she said.

“It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m excited to meet people and find out more about Thailand. It will be a great chance to network with other filmmakers from around the world.”

More than 800 teams applied for the chance to take part in the competition, which was also open to professional filmmakers, but only 100 have got through to the finals in Thailand – with just five teams from Europe.

They will fly out to Thailand on March 30, and will have to film and edit their documentaries using their own equipment for the festival screening, which takes place just before they fly back on April 11.

The teams have been provided with flights, hotel accommodation in Bangkok and a budget of around £700 for their films, as well as a local assistant and production advice.

Callum, 23, said that the experience would be stressful, but they were determined to make the most of their time in Thailand.

“It’s our first time on a really professional shoot with a big budget,” he said.

“We have got control and have this large budget, so there is that pressure on us to get it in on time. We know we will be thrown into the deep end but we are not going to let it stop us having a great experience.

“Our first priority is getting the documentary done as professionally as we can, but there is going to be some time to enjoy being out there.”

Both of the teams from BU are filming near Chiang Mai, in Northern Thailand.

Lydia and Callum, who both live in Winton while studying, will be filming a self-sustaining hill tribe in the village of Ban Mae Sa Mai, and a project there which helps them rebuild the surrounding forest.

Mark and Anastasia, who are both in Halls of Residence in Poole, will be filming at the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, focusing on the work being done to prevent poaching and increase the number of tigers in the wild.

Mark, 22, said: “I’ve never really travelled before, so it’s going to be a completely new experience for me. I think it’s going to be life-changing and is really going to help us a lot with gaining placements and contacts.

“The Media School have been really supportive and everyone is really proud and happy for us.” Anastasia, 19, added: “I didn’t think we would have an experience like this in our first year of university.

“I was so shocked when I found out we’d got through out of all the hundreds of applications – and that the other UK team is from our course as well. It’s unbelievable.”

BU student wins prestigious Prince’s Trust Award


Nat Hawley won Education Achiever of the Year Award, and may now get to meet the Prince of Wales.

A Television Production student who overcame adversity to gain a place at Bournemouth University has been given a prestigious Prince’s Trust Award.

Nat Hawley won Educational Achiever of the Year for the South of England and London at the Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards.

The award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and developed new skills to improve their prospects through education.

Nat, 21, who is now in his second year of a BA (Hons) Television Production degree at BU, said: “It felt pretty fantastic as I wasn’t expecting to win.

“I felt quite honoured really, as there were a lot of other people in the running for the award who had really inspirational stories, so it was brilliant to win.

“I was the only person who had made it to university. At one point when I was going through trouble, I didn’t think I would be able to get through the next day – let alone end up studying something that I have always loved.”

Nat, who is autistic and dyslexic, became a full-time carer for his mother when he was 16 and studying for his GCSEs.

“It was a full-time job and it meant that I couldn’t really leave the house or do things that other kids my age do.”

But after Nat, who is from Eastleigh, began to struggle while at college, a teacher referred him to the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge Programme, a personal development scheme which offers one-to-one support and group activities.

“They helped me to live independently and build confidence, and I also learned about first aid – which has helped me to save my mum’s life a few times,” said Nat, who now lives in Talbot Woods.

“As well as learning skills like food hygiene, I did lots of other things like climbing and sailing that I wouldn’t get to do before.

“I also met other young people who had been through the same difficulties as me – it helped me to gain some perspective and hang out with similar people.”

Nat was presented with the award at St Mary’s Stadium, in Southampton, in December.

As well as receiving a trophy, Nat may now have the opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales himself, as well as attending a further event in London.

Winning the award has also helped Nat to make contacts which has helped him secure work placements in the industry.

“I am going to be moving to London, which is another great step. There are amazing possibilities and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the Prince’s Trust.”

The Bourne Legacy


Alumni who have done well in the creative industries come back to BU to give advice to Media School students.

Successful Media School alumni were back at Bournemouth University to share their stories and advice with final year students.

Among those speaking at The Bourne Legacy event were BU graduates who have gone on to edit The X-Factor, work on Tim Burton animated film Frankenweenie, and have gained positions at BBC Radio 1Xtra.

The event is now in its second year, and has been organised to inspire current final year students from across the Digital Media Design, TV and Radio Production courses, Scriptwriting and Global Media Practice degrees.

Mark Shufflebottom, Programme Co-ordinator BA (Hons) Digital Media Design, helped to organise the event.

He said: “It is a chance for [the students] to meet people from BU who have gone out into industry and are doing great things.

“It is about meeting these guys and them giving some really good idea of how to get into the industry.”

The first speaker of the day was Dan Mellow, an editor who has worked on TV shows including the X-Factor and Comic Relief, and is now editing comedy programmes.

Dan, who completed a Media Production degree at BU in 1995, said: “There were so many skills that I learnt at Bournemouth University that I have taken into the industry and that continue to be useful today.

He added: “I’ve hugely enjoyed the event. I hope it’s very useful for the current batch of students for alumni to come back and share their experiences and stories of how they got into the industry.”

Also speaking at the event was producer and director Céin McGillicuddy, who has worked on programmes like Made in Chelsea and MTV’s My Super Sweet World Class since completing a BA (Hons) in Scriptwriting for Film and TV then an MA (Hons) in TVProduction at BU, and fellow Scriptwriting for Film and TV graduate Danna Wills, who worked at Aardman Animations and Disney before moving into children’s magazines.

Following the talks, there was a Q&A panel session with the alumni and the opportunity for networking.

Anna Goodridge, who studied TV Production at BU from 2005 to 2008 was another of the speakers.

She is currently working as a Production Coordinator on BBC drama Holby City.

Anna said: “I started off as a runner and worked my way up the old-fashioned way, which is how you’re always going to have to do it.

“I want to let students know that your mum or dad doesn’t have to work in television – with hard work and a bit of research you can get in quite easily but you’ve got to be patient and one day, eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.”