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Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Octopus TV returns to Bedfordshire to open industry door for students


The University of Bedfordshire has once again hosted award-winning Kung Fu Panda film director, John Stevenson, as part of a new strategic relationship between Octopus TV and the School of Media & Performance.

Launched during the University’s Clearing campaign, a promotional event was hosted by Television, Film, Media Production and Performance staff to celebrate the new strategic relationship and to help showcase the facilities to prospective students – giving them a taster of the type of invaluable industry insight and partnerships they can expect during their studies.

As well as prospective students, special guests were invited along to join the event. Including Professor Jan Domin, executive dean of the CATS Faculty (Creative Arts, Technologies & Science), local creatives and actor associates of the School of Media & Performance (MAP), as well as University lecturers, alumni and recent graduates.

The day began with a meet-and-greet buffet lunch in the University’s Campus Centre, followed with an interview by Andrew Eborn, president of Octopus TV, with Hollywood director, John Stevenson, which was live-streamed to the guest audience in Bedfordshire’s Judith Blake Theatre and crewed by MAP graduates.

Octopus TV & Beds partnership - guests & graduates Image supplied by University of Bedfordshire
Octopus TV & Beds partnership – guests & graduates Image supplied by University of Bedfordshire

During Andrew Eborn’s interview, the audience discovered the invaluable lessons learnt by John Stevenson over his 40+ year career in the film and TV industry.

Such as Hollywood’s approach to film-making, what it’s like working with celebrity actors such as Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie (and their character creations for an animated film), and what the Director’s vision was behind Kung Fu Panda, which grossed over $600million dollars worldwide.

Afterwards, attendees were treated to a Graduate Masterclass Q&A hosted by Andrew Eborn with John Stevenson.

There were also networking opportunities for the attendees with actor Nish Nathwani – known for Citizen Khan, Skins, Coronation Street and Holby City – and Benjamin Cyrus-Clark of Bute Street Film Festival, who was able to offer advice to graduates about how to submit their work into film festivals.

The idea behind the strategic initiative and successful event was spear-headed by industry veteran John Gough – TV Creator, Producer and Visiting Lecturer – to heighten the level of professional hands-on experience and production insight for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

About the initiative, John said:

“This new strategic relationship between Bedfordshire and Octopus TV gives us an opportunity to build an on-campus, open door to the media industry for our students.

“It will allow us to bring in key media practitioners on a regular basis to offer further support to the University’s emerging television, film and media talent that is vital for the creative industry’s future.”

John Stevenson will be returning to Bedfordshire again on 23 September 2021 during the University’s Welcome Week, where he’ll meet new MAP students via remote stream live from the LA studios where he will be based. He said:

“I had a great time being interviewed at the excellent studios at the University Of Bedfordshire. The facilities and crew at the University are first rate – it was a fun experience! I look forward to working with Andrew and the University again soon.”

For more information about studying with the School of Media Performance, visit the University’s website.

Spaces are still available for the 2021/22 academic year via Clearing. Call the Clearing Hotline to speak with an advisor on 0300 3300 073 or apply online 24/7.

John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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