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Award-winning film graduate heads to Pinewood studios

A short psychological thriller shot at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has earned a Film Studies graduate recognition at three international film festivals.

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Lights, camera, action: Jordan on set directing his cast

Jordan Dean’s final-year seven-minute short won August’s Direct Monthly Online Film Festival (DMOFF) best director of photography award and was screened at the Los Angeles CineFest and Move Me Productions Film Festival in Antwerp.

Behind the Lens was an ambitious project made on a £200 budget with a 26-strong cast and crew. Inspired by Nicolas Winding Refn’s controversial film The Neon Demon, it is a dark look into the psyche of voyeuristic fashion photographer called Eric.

The 25-year-old from Hull said: “For this project I revisited one of my favourite films and found a side character to develop. Eric is based on a photographer that appears in just one scene of The Neon Demon, but who has a disturbing impact on the viewer. 

“I really didn’t expect to win an award, but it feels amazing knowing that people have watched my film on a big screen. 

“It’s also rewarding getting external recognition for my work, as well as being awarded a first for my degree.”

The film is shot in DMU’s landmark Vijay Patel Building, utilising the professional photography studios and showcasing the work of Fashion Design students. 

Thanks to the Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarships, offering postgraduate tuition fee discounts of up to 50 per cent, Jordan is now embarking on DMU’s International Film Production MA.

The course gives students the opportunity to develop a portfolio of production related-skills by studying both at DMU and at Creative Media Skills (CMS), an independent training provider based at Pinewood Studios.

Jordan said: “I had previously completely ruled out doing an MA due to cost, but the scholarship made it financially more viable and the course is an opportunity I couldn’t really turn down. 

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“Being part-taught at Pinewood Studios will be hugely valuable and it’s not an opportunity many people get. We’ll even get to pitch our work to a panel including Iain Smith, the producer of Mad Max. 

“I just can’t wait to get started now." 

As well as being allocated a mentor from the industry and attending expert masterclasses, Jordan is looking forward to using the Blackmagic cinema cameras DMU has recently invested in.

He said: “Having access to professional equipment like this is a big step up. DMU also has really good editing suites and a new video production studio with huge green and black screens.”

Jordan, who took some time out to travel and work after college, was encouraged by a friend to explore what DMU has to offer. Attending an Open Day convinced him it was the right place for him. 

“I chose Film Studies at DMU because the course offers both theoretical and practical modules, a balance which really appealed to the film nerd in me,” he said.

“Also, DMU’s Cinema and Television History Centre is the best in the country. You are literally taught by experts like Ian Hunter who has authored publications that students study around the world.”

Posted on: Monday 25 September 2017

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