Film graduate wins top industry accolade

"It feels amazing to get this recognition and support from professionals. It's going to be really helpful working a on big prime-time drama and being able to network and connect with people in the industry."

Matt Jopling, BA (Hons) Media (Film) Production graduate

A filmmaker from Staffordshire University has won a prestigious industry prize for his documentary about gun making.

Matt Jopling, 22 from Weardale in County Durham, made 'T.R White & Co Gunmakers' for his final year project on the BA (Hons) Media (Film) Production course before graduating this summer.

The documentary has been awarded first place in the Bill Vinten GTC University Awards, which recognises films produced by some of the most talented Film and Television students in the UK.

The film revolves around a family-run business which makes bespoke, handcrafted shotguns using traditional gun making methods.

Matt explained: “They put hours and hours into it and their skill level is incredible. The film is an appreciation of their craft but it also sheds a different light on guns and questions the issue of gun ownership.”

“The freedom on the course to make what you want was fantastic. With help from the lecturers and pushing my own ideas I managed to make films that I never thought I could.”

Hosted by the Guild of Television Camera Professionals, the awards celebrate the craft of camerawork and were judged by a panel of camera operators, filmmakers and Directors of Photography.

Matt's documentary was chosen out of 40 entries from 14 universities and his prize includes work experience on a new BBC drama, paid with expenses equivalent to £2,500, plus a year's associate membership of the GTC.

He said: “It feels amazing to get this recognition and support from professionals. It's going to be really helpful working a on big prime-time drama and being able to network and connect with people in the industry.”

Matt collected the award at a special ceremony held at Portsmouth University and was joined by Media (Film) Production Course Leader Colin Mottram.

“We're really proud of Matt - there was some incredible work in the competition. Not only is his film visually stunning but it digs a little deeper by questioning gun culture and got the gun makers to question how they feel about making deadly weapons.” Colin commented.

“I think it's important to encourage our students to enter festivals and competitions to get critical feedback. It also helps to build a professional profile and ultimately gives them a better chance of being employed when they graduate.”

Watch T.R White & Co Gunmakers on the Media (Film) Production Vimeo page here.

Discover more about Staffordshire University's range of film related courses at an Open Day – visit our website for dates and to book your place.

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