was delighted to welcome back to College one of their former students, Tim Bevan, co-founder of Working Title Films, one of the world’s
leading film production companies.
Working Title Films have made over 100 films including the following:
Les Misérables, Anna Karenina, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Love
Actually, Atonement, Notting Hill, Elizabeth (both films), Bridget Jones’ Diary
(both films), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Billy Elliott, Nanny McPhee (both
films), Mr Bean (both films), Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, About a Boy, The
Borrowers and Johnny English (both films) to name a few.
They have won 10 Academy Awards: Les Misérables, Anna
Karenina, Dead Man Walking, Fargo, Elizabeth and Elizabeth The Golden Age and
Atonement, and have picked up 36 BAFTAs
and numerous prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin film festivals.
During his day back at College Tim
Bevan led a number of workshops. Pupils worked in small groups with each group
pitching their film ideas. Ideas ranged from suspense thrillers to romantic
comedies. Pupils discussed plot twists, who they would cast and estimated production
costs. Tim gave fantastic feedback and everyone soon learned that producing a
film was a very expensive business that often takes years to complete, from the
initial idea to your film making it into the cinema.
The afternoon was followed by Q&A
sessions with a group of 6th Form students keen to work in film and media. Tim shared
his experiences, from leaving College to making his first film and stressed how
three things were really key in getting him started. Firstly, the breaking up
of Unions during the 1980s which meant the film industry stopped being such a
closed shop, secondly the arrival of music videos (which is how he started) and
thirdly, the arrival of Channel 4 with an emphasis on supporting fresh and
independent film-making. Students received plenty of practical advice including
specific degree courses to look into and how to get experience in the film industry,
as well as sharing some great anecdotes from many of the film stars Tim has
worked with in a long and successful career.
The day concluded with a dinner for parents and OCs. Guests
were treated to a fascinating talk about Tim’s career so far and had the opportunity
to ask questions.