Will Stanley interview

This week, The State of the Arts met student film maker Will Stanley to discuss his award-winning short film.

TSOTA: How did you first get into film making?

Stanley: I’d always been interested in photography, and came to Uni with the intention of learning more about the film side of things. It was only this year however that I really got started on my own projects. For example, I filmed and edited a promotional video for this year’s Riley Awards. I’ve also done some work for societies and their plays, such as ‘The Infant’ and ‘And Then There Was Ella.’

TSOTA: Who would you describe as your main influence?

Stanley: Wes Anderson. I admire the way he uses symmetry and natural lighting.

TSOTA: Is there any aspect of the process that you particularly enjoy?

Stanley: I guess camera work has always been my main passion. That and editing; seeing the whole process come together as a whole. Then there’s the colour grading at the end. That’s always fun. (Laughs)

TSOTA: You’ve recently won the ‘Best Student Video’ award for one of your short films. Could you tell us a bit about that?

Stanley: Yeah, basically me and my friend Alice had this idea for ‘a day in the life of Leeds students’ sort of thing. I suppose it’s kind of a promotion. The idea was that just as students devote their time to the university, the university devotes its time to them – Leeds time belongs to them. This is what led to all the motion graphics in the film; at times, only parts of the screen and the people in them are moving, with the others frozen in place.

We tried to cover several aspects of the university lifestyle; there are people in the library, people taking part in societies, and so on. While they’re doing what they’re doing, time stands still around them.

I mean, all this was done pretty last minute, we put the whole thing together in a couple of days. We really didn’t expect to win, so of course when we found out we were thrilled.

TSOTA: Are you working on any projects at the minute?

Stanley: Yeah, there’s a film called ‘Hearing Signs’ that’s been written and directed by a Master’s student that I’m editing and producing. It’s currently in the editing phase. It’s quite a long film, so it’s been a lot of work.

TSOTA: Finally, what are your plans for the future? Is film making your intended career path?

Stanley: I’d like to go into film. Specifically, I’m planning on setting up my own production company to make promotional videos. Maybe journalism as well, you know, newspapers and TV. Feature films would be great too, but it’s a hard industry to get into.

Adam Button


Filed under: Film, TV & Tech