by Jennifer Hilder (PhD Intern)
On Thursday, Knowledge Exchange supported a Showcase Event for Production Companies, which brought representatives from film and television companies together with academics from the College of Arts. The aim of the afternoon was to show the ways in which academics are involved in the study of TV production, to advertise a new Master’s programme, and to showcase a selection of other research from the college that could be disseminated to a broader audience through film, radio or television.
David Archibald started the afternoon off by describing his work on the Ken Loach film ‘The Angel’s Share’. David studied the production of the film, spending 20 days on set and interviewing cast and crew members, recording his experience on a Sony flipcam. Although he joked that the outcome would be “nothing but the historical record”, he showed that actually there is a lot to learn from his material about Ken Loach’s filmmaking style (“no fancy paraphernalia around a Loach film”) and about the wider process.
Karen Lury explained the new Master’s programme, which is designed to give students the skills to manage a “portfolio career”. Students will be given the opportunity to produce their own film from the treatment to the final project. Expert-led masterclasses will form an important part of the course and, they hope, will be led by people from the industry itself. Volunteers welcome.
As Lisa Kelly and Katherine Champion explained, a big project in the college at the moment is looking at the idea of talent – how it can be retain, how to ensure diversity, and how technology can influence the development of talent. Two workshops in March and May will explore these questions further with input from key stakeholders.
Cara Connolly and Martin Clark (of Connolly Clark Films) discussed their latest project with David Archibald and Stephen Driscoll, working on the history of Govan. To make a historical documentary that captures people’s imagination, they have decided to use children to tell the story.
After a break, seven shorter presentations followed to give a flavour of academics’ work in relation to Knowledge Exchange.
Zoe Strachan took us through her interests in ‘Sex, Death and Memory’ through opera libretti, creative writing, a PhD and work with the Glasgow Women’s Library. Wendy Anderson then showcased the ‘Mapping Metaphors’ project, which uses visualisations to show the connections between different categories of language, such as ‘reptiles’ and ‘behaviour’, and when these connections (metaphors) arose. Chris Dalglish explained his interest in creating communities and developing collaborations outside the university. Scott Spurlock answered the question ‘Why religion?’ by discussion the influence of religion on education policy, the political landscape and Scots law. Ramona Fontiade wants to combine her interests in French philosophy and cinema to create a documentary about the philosopher Lev Shestov. Saeko Yazaki discussed her work ‘Translating Traditions’ and her interest in a future project about how Sufism and Zen traditions are interpreted in the UK. Lynn Abrams passed round balls of wool and fleeces for the audience to feel, while talking about various projects in Gansey, Shetland and Dumfries & Galloway.
Finally, Mark Cousins gave a preview of his new film ‘6 Desires’, about D H Lawrence in Sardinia. After filming in Sardinia, Mark emailed Dr Vassiliki Kolocotroni to ask her for her comments and thoughts on the film. Although the two had not met at that time, the email exchange was incredibly productive and, for Mark, a great reassurance. Vassiliki pointed Mark to several useful articles and ideas that he would not otherwise have come across. For Vassiliki, this was a much appreciated opportunity to think about Lawrence from a different point of view and coincided with her current work on the visual. It allowed Mark, as he described it, to translate from the language of cinema to the language of academia. But, as Vassiliki added, he also animated that language and brought it to life, with his “sympathetic, but inquisitive” film. One to watch out for.