This year’s finalists vying for the Bill Vinten GTC University Award have taken to boats, filmed underwater, shot in 21:9 widescreen, and worked into the night with smoke, lights and mirrors to get their work noticed.
The competition focusses on the undergraduates’ use of camera skills to enhance the content of the films.
The six on the shortlist are:
Adam Grasso, Director of Photography, ‘S.O.S. (for the artist Femme)’
Vince Knight, Director of Photography, ‘ The Domestic Lives of Mollusks’
Jacob Leese, Camera Operator, ‘Scarlet’
Thomas McKie, Director of Photography, ‘The Last Fisherman’
Daniel O’Flaherty, Director of Photography, ‘Sunday Dinner at the Morgans’
Thomas Reed, Director of Photography, ‘Flypaper’
The top three camera operators will work with the BBC’s ‘Doctors’ production team and Lion Television. They will also receive trophies and membership of the GTC.
As well as identifying new talent and giving the top three cameramen 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 is important to emphasise the skills needed in these areas too," explains competition director, Alan Duxbury.
Entries from universities increased by over a third this year and 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:
Birmingham City 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
Staffordshire University, Media (Film) Production Course
University for the Creative Arts
University of Lincoln
The Awards will be presented at the University of York’s Heslington Studios on October 22nd 2014.
Guests will be able to view the shortlisted entries on the night, or beforehand on the GTC website at
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 led to Stuart McKears suggesting, in 2011, the idea of a GTC University trophy which would be awarded to the university that exhibits excellence both in content and in craft skills by submitting a single portfolio of film or video in three different genres. These would have been wholly produced, created, shot by current or just 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 thanks 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 £2,500 to the leading student and two runners up prizes of paid work experience worth £750. The three winners would also receive one year’s 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 eight 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, comments: “The breadth of the productions has been most heartening and bodes well for the future of the industry. Whilst some entries still have some way to go, others have been truly excellent. It is most encouraging to see the skills that have been mastered by the graduates.”
The award is supported by The Television And Video Camera Craft Educational Trust. Reg Charity: 1152233