Leading Hollywood production designer comes to Nottingham

22 Jun 2011 09:41:34.417
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An award-winning US film and TV production designer arrives in Nottingham this week to offer Hollywood hopefuls an insight into breaking in to Tinseltown.

Tom Walsh is being hosted by the Department of Culture, Film and Media at The University of Nottingham, as part of its moves to strengthen links with leading television and film studios in the States. His visit to the city marks the first of a highly prestigious series of Centre for Advanced Studies Industrial Fellowships at The University of Nottingham.

And Nottingham film buffs will have the chance to hear Tom speak at a special film screening and panel discussion being held at the Broadway Cinema on Friday July 1. It is the first time that an Art Directors’ Guild event of this kind has been held outside Hollywood and offers unique access to some of the industry’s leaders in narrative design.
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 Dr Gianluca Sergi, associate professor of film studies at the University, said: “We are immensely excited about Tom’s impending visit to Nottingham. As an Emmy award-winning production designer who has had an extensive and varied career in film, television and theatre, the experience and advice he can offer our students will be invaluable.

“We have worked hard over recent years to build a strong relationship with film and television leaders in Hollywood and are keen to put Nottingham on the industry map by creating a centre of excellence, particularly in film research and business development.”

Tom Walsh, current president of the Art Directors’ Guild (ADG) in Los Angeles, holds a primetime Emmy Award for his designs on the critically-acclaimed CBS series Buddy Faro and his work on the smash hit US show Desperate Housewives has earned him the ADG Excellence in Production Design Award. His feature film credits include art direction for the 2001 period drama The Majestic, starring Jim Carrey, and the 1996 thriller Hush with Gwyneth Paltrow.

A leader in designing for Imax films, one of his films, The Living Sea, was nominated for an Academy Award. In theatre, Tom designed the Tony Award-winning production of Children of a Lesser God and the critically acclaimed Zoot Suit.

Kicking off Tom’s programme of events will be a masterclass for University staff and students in the School of Modern Language and Culture on Friday June 24 when he will speak on Designing a Production: the Art and Craft of Production Design.

Other highlights of his week-long visit will include:

• A session with students from The University of Nottingham’s Creative Students Network, from the New Theatre group and other student-run media organisations on getting started in the industry.
• A look at the culture behind the powerful professional guilds in Hollywood at an event collaboratively organised with The University of Nottingham Institute of Enterprise and Innovation (UNIEI) Enterprise and Innovation Seminar Series.
• A day-long ‘sandpit’ event looking at developing collaboration between academia and industry with academics from across the University including the Schools of Education, Business School, Computer Science, the Horizon Digital Economy Research, as well as external participant from East Midlands Media and Nottingham Trent University amongst others.
• A joint workshop with East Midlands Media for a panel discussion on the State of the Industry and Future Trends: Education, Training and Practices.

For the screening and panel discussion event at the Broadway at 6pm on Friday July 1, Tom will be joined by leading UK production designer Eve Stewart — twice nominated for an Oscar, and whose most recent works have included Vera Drake and this year’s film sensation The King’s Speech, winner of four Oscars including Best Picture, which will be the featured film on the evening.

The visit is the latest collaboration to arise from the University’s Department of Culture, Film and Media’s work to develop strong links with film and television industry leaders. It follows on from the very successful programme of internships it established with Fox Studios in 2009, where three talented students are given the opportunity to spend two months picking up experience of working in different areas of the film industry.

Students heading stateside this summer will also benefit from a brand new partnership with another Hollywood studio. In addition to spending three days at Fox Studios in LA, they will take off to Santa Monica to see out the remainder of their working week at Lionsgate, the studio famous for its independent production slate which includes films such as Dogma, American Psycho, Hotel Rwanda, Fahrenheit 9/11 and Precious, one of this year's Oscar winners.

Tickets for the event are £5 full/£3.50 concessions and members and further details are available from the Broadway on 0115 952 6611.

— Ends — 

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Gianluca Sergi, on +44 (0) 115 846 7466, gianluca.sergi@nottingham.ac.uk

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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