It was great to catch up recently with one of our Excellence Scholarship winners, Josh Dwyer who graduated with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Film and TV Production in 2016. Here Josh reflects on his achievements and how his interest in film and photography developed.
“I’m an ambitious film director, photographer and graphic designer. I remember the moment I knew my life would revolve around Creative Arts. I was 11 years old and I was taking part acting in a college short. It was only an hour or so with student filmmakers but nothing had ever gripped my attention as much as the process of film-making. I began directing in college and in my down time, I practiced photography and design, these evolved rapidly from hobbies to passions and I would spend most of my nights trying to develop skills in these areas. Before my DSLR camera, I used my phone for photography with no idea how to compose a shot, but it didn’t stop me from trying. I had some great tutors in college to thank for teaching me the foundations of composition. After buying my first DSLR at 18 years old, my life was channeled through my camera.
Once I purchased a new PC, graphic design took the front seat for a long while. I was addicted to experimenting with new skills and abstract ideas. Getting in contact with a London record label through Twitter, I found myself creating artwork covers for their latest tracks, I was even asked to rebrand their logo, which was such an honour. This, for me, was my biggest achievement to date. I was proud of myself.
After a few years working with ‘A LifeLong Recording’, I was asked to put together a lyrical video for their latest track ‘Andy Murray, Love Britain’. I didn’t want to throw together a simple video so I studied a technique called kinetic typography, something that was completely new to me at the time. After a week I had a lyrical video ready that I received a surprising amount of praise for. The video was published on SB.TV and shared by people like Gary Lineker, Judy Murray and Jamal Edwards. It felt other worldly!
A friend had suggested I apply for an Excellence Scholarship which after thinking about it made perfect sense. I wanted to push my skills further, with more advanced animation and 3D building techniques but my PC couldn’t keep up with me. I was awarded the scholarship as a result of the work I did with ‘A LifeLong Recording’. With the money I was able to update my hardware which has allowed me to progress onto much larger projects with Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects.
It will sound like a cliché, but the money was a small factor when I was awarded the scholarship. I may have received a lot of compliments and thanks for the work and projects that I have completed in the past but it’s easy to feel detached from praise through messages and social networking. Being awarded an Excellence Scholarship from Edge Hill made me feel truly acknowledged and validated. A dedicated evening to celebrate, a round of applause from an audience, a strong handshake and congratulations from the Chancellor really did make all the difference. I will never forget it, and I will always be grateful for it.”