Institute for Screen Industries Research

Welcome to the ISIR

We are the first ideas incubator and innovation generator for the film and TV industry based at a leading UK University, and have a vast experience of industry partnerships in a confidential data-secured environment.

ISIR offers unmatched resources for talent development and audience testing located within a global University and provides a sources of upskilling and professional development programmes of bespoke professional courses designed to provide both students and professionals with the toolkit to master today's industry landscape.

ISIR partners with studios, film and TV makers, Business and Computer Science to generate effective ways to address challenges and opportunities for the industry. 

Behind the Screens: Bringing leading screen industry figures to the University of Nottingham

From directors to screenwriters, cinematographers to sound designers, creative managers to strategic planners, Behind the Screens gives you the chance to find out what's really involved in making memorable screen content. See our recent Behind the Screens guests below:


Details of previous guests

Randy Thom - Sound designer, editor and engineer
Randy Thom is one of Hollywood's leading professionals and has been at the core of most of the key developments in the industry for over 30 years.
Randy Thom

A two-time Oscars winner, his illusrious career spans over 100 films and has seen him work on all kinds of movies, production contexts and genre, ranging from huge blockbusters (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Forrest Gump, Harry Potter, War of the Worlds), animation (Shrek, The Polar Express, The Incredibles, the Simpsons Movie, Bolt). He has also worked on less commercial projects, including documentary filmmaking, international production (China, Hong Kong and Japan amongst others) and prestigious award winning productions such as Apocalypse Now, Wild at Heart, The Thin Blue Line and Contact.

For his work on sound he has recieved over 20 main awards nominations, including 14 Academy Awards (Oscar) and several amongst BAFTAS and Emmys. He has won 2 Oscars as well as numerous other awards.

Tom Walsh - Production designer
Walsh is a graduate of Hollywood High School and recieved his bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre design from California Institute of the Arts. Defying all odds, he has freely migrated among the many different narrative design disciplines of feature films, Imax, mini and episodic serials, documentaries, Broadwar dramas, musicals, and regional Theatre.

Having been nominated many times, Walsh is the winner of a primetime Emmy Award for his designs for CBS-TV's critically accalimed series, "Buddy Faro". He is a winner of the ADG Excellence in Production Design Award for the ABC-TV series, "Desperate Housewives". His work on "In Search of Dr. Seuss" garnered another Emmy Award nomination as well as a Cable Ace Award. He designed the much-acclaimed documentary series "MGM: When the Lion Roars" which won an Emmy Award for best informational special. A leader in desgining for IMAX, one of his films, "THe Living Sea," was honoured with an Academy Award nomination. Walsh was nominated for a Cable Ace Award for "Kingfish, A Story of Huey P. Long". He is the originating production designer on ABC_TV's hit series, Desperate Housewives, for which he designed the pilot and 84 episodes. Currently he is the designer for the popular USA/Universal cable series, "In Plain Sight"

On Broadwar, Walsh designed the Tony Award winning production of "Children of a Lesser God" and the critically acclaimed producton of "Zoot Suit". He was associated with three other Tony Award wins for best production of "I'm Not Rappaport", "The Real Thing", and "My One and Only"; all realised during his service and apprecticeship to the famed stage and film designer, Tom Walton. This summer Walsh will return to off-Broadway designing a new American jazz musical, "Play it Cool", which explores the world of the west-coast jazz scene in Hollywood during the era.

Bill Creber - Production designer

Bill Creber is a famed production designer and a veritable Hollywood legend.

He was responsible for the look and design of some of Hollywood's biggest productions of the 1960s and 1970s, including films like Cleopatra, the original Planet of the Apes series, The Poseiden Adventure and The Towering Inferno.


He has recieved countless awards and recognitions, including 3 Academy Awards (Oscars) nominations and 3 Emmy Awards (the Oscars for TV) nominations.

As well as his film and TV work, Bill has also designed the backlot strees for the Disney-MGM studio in Orlando and for the Hollywood Backlot attraction at Disneyland's California Adventure.

Francine Marchetti - VFX producer
Ms. Marchetti one of the most experienced VFX Producers in Hollywood. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Visual Effects Society and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences of America.
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She has worked in all screen media and has extensive experience in film, teleivison and digital media production, including scripted and non-scripted content creation, production and post-production management, and production pipelines in visual effects, animation and stereoscopic 3D for global entertainment. Ms. Marchetti has managed complex production and client portfolios with experience doing so for more than 40 fortune 500 companies within the entertainment and broadcast industries including Disney Feature Films & Animation, DreamWorks Feature Films & Animation, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal Pictures, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Industrial Light & Magic (Lucasfilm), and many more.

Gary Rydstrom - Sound designer and editor
Gary Rydstrom is one of the most successful filmmakers of his generation. He has worked with all major directors and films of the past 30 years, including Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, John Lassiter, Robert Redford and many beyond.

At Lucasfilm's Skywalker Sound, Gary Rydstrom has sound designed and mixed many films, including "Terminator 2", "Jurassic Park", "A River Runs Through It", "Toy Story", "Quiz Show", "Titanic", "Saving Private Ryan", "Punch-Drunk Love", "Finding Nemo", and "War Horse".

At Lucasfilm's Skywalker Sound and Sound Editing (Making him the fourth most successful filmmaker in Hollywood's history), and Career Achievement Awards from both the Cinema Audio Society and Motion Picture Sound Editors. For Pixar Animation Studios, he directed two shorts, the Oscar-nominated "Lifted", and "Toy Story Toons: Hawiian Vacation". For Studio Ghibli, he directed the English dub for "Tales from Earthsea", "The Secret World of Arrietty", and "From Up on Poppy Hill".


Walter Murch - Film and sound editor
Walter Murch is one of the screen industries most successful professionals and a legendary figure in the film industry.
walter Murch

As well as being the winner of Oscars for both film editing and film sound (the only filmmaker to do so in the history of the Academy Awards), he is one of the three-strongh group of friends (the other two being George Lucas and Fort Coppola) who chose to leave LA for San Francisco and start what would become Zoetrope Studios and Lucasfilm in the 1970s and in so doing help changing the film industry forever. His work include films like The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, American Graffiti, The English Patient and many more. He is the author of several books and the subject of many more (including one written on him by Michael Ondaatje, the award winning authro of The English Patient, aptly titled The Conversation. 

Andy Bryant - Managing Director, Red Bee Media
Andy Bryant is managing director of Redd Bee, a London based, internationally accalimed creative agency specialising in marketing and design for entertainment and media companies.
andy bryant

Since joining Red Bee in 2002, Andy has established in the agency's reputation as a leader in TV brand identity and promotion and as a pioneer in content marketing on moving screens. Andy has led many high-profile tansformational projects for clients including the ITV Network, the BBC, UKTV and CCTV (China's state broadcaster). Has has also pioneered the development of Red Bee's business in new areas including digital marketing across multiple platforms and user experience design for televisual brands. 

He is a frequent speaker at leading industry conferences including the Media Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival, European Broadcasting Union and Promax, and is the co-author, with Charlie Mawer, of The TV Brand Builders (Kogan Page, 2016). 

Andy is an Honorary Professor of Film & TV Studies at the University of Nottingham and also an Independent Member of the Governing Council of the University of Sussex.

Peter Rice, Chairman and CEO for the Fox Networks Group and Nottingham alumnus
For almost 30 years, Peter Rice (American Studies student, 1989) has been at the heart of producing some of the most critically acclaimed films in recent years, generating almost 100 Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations.

Starting his career at Twentieth Century Fox, Peter worked as a creative executive on films such as Independence DayX-Men and Moulin Rouge before becoming President of Fox Searchlight Pictures. Under his leadership, the company released some of the studios highest-grossing films, including Slumdog Millionaire, Juno, The Last King of Scotland and Bend It Like Beckham.

Following his success in the film industry, Peter transitioned to the television arena. As Chairman of Entertainment for the Fox Broadcasting Company, he drove the network to three seasons as number one and extended FOX’s streak to eight seasons as the top-rated broadcaster. In 2012, Peter was appointed to his current role as Chairman and CEO for the Fox Network Group, responsible for all aspects of the Fox Television Group, FX Networks, Fox Sports Media Group and National Geographic Partners.

Aynne Kokas, Assistant Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia
Aynne Kokas is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Kokas’ research examines Sino-US media and technology relations. She is a 2017-2018 fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the National Committee on United States-China Relations’ Public Intellectuals Program. 

Her book, Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017), argues that Chinese investment and regulations have transformed the US commercial media industry, most prominently in the case of media conglomerates leveraging global commercial brands. Her new project, Border Control on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States and the Global Battle for Data Securit, examines the cybersecurity policy implications of the data trade in the Sino-US relationship. Her writing and commentary appears regularly in media outlets including the BBC, CNBC,NPR’s Marketplace, The Washington Post, and Wired.

Mabel Cheung is a leading director, producer and screenwriter with over 30 years of industry experience. One of the most internationally recognised filmmakers of the New Hong Kong Cinema, she is the recipient of numerous major accolades including Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards.
Mabel Cheung

 Her films include The Illegal Immigrants (1984), An Autumn's Tale (1987), The Soong Sisters (1997), City of Glass (1998), Beijing Rocks (2001), Traces of a Dragon: Jackie Chan and His Lost Family (2003), A Tale of Three Cities (2015).

Alex Law is a Hong Kong director, producer and award-wining screenwriter who has worked in partnership with Mabel Cheung for over 30 years.
Alex Law

His scriptwriting credits include An Autumn's Tale (1987), Eight Taels of Gold (1989), The Soong Sisters (1997), Echoes of the Rainbow (Best Screenplay, Hong Kong Film Awards, 2010). He won Best Director at the Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards for Painted Faces (1989).

Fan Popo is a queer filmmaker, writer and activist. He is an alumnus of the Beijing Film Academy and the author of Happy Together: A Complete Record of a Hundred Queer Films (Beifang Wenyi Press, 2007). 
Fan Popo 2

His documentary works include: New Beijing, New Marriage (2009),  Mama Rainbow (2012) and  The VaChina Monologues (2013). He has participated in film festivals across the globe, such as Taipei, Copenhagen, Los Angeles and Mumbai. In 2012 he received the Prism Prize of the 22nd Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. He is presently a committee member of the  Beijing Queer Film Festival and a board member of the Beijing LGBT Centre.

Gina Marchetti teaches courses in film, gender and sexuality, critical theory and cultural studies. Her books include Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction (University of California, 1993), Andrew Lau and Alan Mak’s INFERNAL AFFAIRS—The Trilogy (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2007), From Tian’anmen to Times Square: Transnational China and the Chinese Diaspora on Global Screens (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), and The Chinese Diaspora on American Screens: Race, Sex, and Cinema (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2012).

She has co-edited several anthologies, including Hong Kong Film, Hollywood and the New Global Cinema, with Tan See-Kam (London: Routledge, 2007), Chinese Connections: Critical Perspectives on Film, Identity and Diaspora, with Peter X Feng and Tan See-Kam (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2009), and, most recently, Hong Kong Screenscapes: From the New Wave to the Digital Frontier, with Esther M. K. Cheung and Tan See-Kam (HKUP, 2011). Her current research interests include women filmmakers in the HKSAR, China and world cinema, and contemporary trends in Asian and Asian American film culture.

Find out more about Gina Marchetti



Institute for Screen Industries Research

The University of Nottingham
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