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Awards throw spotlight on student camera operators

Posted on 6 October 2014

The University of York is to host a national competition set up by the Guild of Television Cameramen (GTC) in association with Bill Vinten to encourage cinematographic excellence in undergraduate students.

Last year’s Bill Vinten GTC University Award winners: David Hickman (University Award), Ed Gammie (winner), Oliver Hadlow-Martin (runner-up) – all University of York - and Jack Harrison (runner-up), Bournemouth University. Credit: Stuart McKears.

The second Bill Vinten GTC University Award on 22 October will focus on students’ use of camera skills and looks for excellence in both content and craft skills. It is judged on a single portfolio of film or video in at least three different genres. These have to be wholly produced, created and shot by current or just-graduated students.

This year’s competition attracted 33 entrants from 11 universities, with the six finalists taking to boats, filming underwater, shooting in Cinemascope, and working into the night with smoke, lights and mirrors to get their work noticed.  

The top three camera operators will win prizes of work experience with the BBC’s Doctors production team and Lion Television, as well as trophies and membership of the GTC. The three work experience funds – first prize £2,500, runners up £750 each – are from the Television And Video Camera Craft Educational Trust.

In addition, the institution with the highest scoring portfolio from the films submitted by their undergraduates will win the Bill Vinten GTC University Trophy.

Last year, York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television was awarded the University Trophy, while York graduate Ed Gammie won the top University Award and fellow York graduate Oliver Hadlow-Martin was one of two runners up.

This year’s event, which will be attended by Bill Vinten - one of the GTC’s most long-standing supporters and sponsors - and his wife Elaine, will be hosted by Heslington Studios, the commercial arm of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television.

As well as identifying new talent and giving the top three camera operators essential experience in broadcasting, the competition aims to encourage excellence in all genres of camerawork.

Director of the Award, Alan Duxbury, said: “While dramas feature in the shortlist, many graduates will work in other fields like news and documentaries so it’s important to emphasise the skills needed in these areas too.”

Carole Dove, Commercial Manager at York’s Heslington Studios, said: “We are thrilled to host this year’s Bill Vinten Guild of Television Cameramen University Award following the success of our students at last year’s event.

“Not only will the award evening provide a fantastic networking opportunity for students and recent graduates from York and other institutions, but it will be a great opportunity to show off the fabulous facilities available at Heslington Studios. Our aim is to promote Yorkshire as a major film and TV broadcast production region with facilities to rank with the best.”

Further information:

  • The Guild of Television Cameramen (GTC) is an independent non-profit-making international organisation that cares about television camerawork and the people who make it their craft. The GTC has over 1,000 members, in the UK, Europe, Australia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the USA. The majority work in aspects of television ranging from production through documentary and drama, live events, news and current affairs, sports and light entertainment, to corporate video.
    Run by a council of volunteer television professionals, the GTC is financed by subscription from its members as well as sponsorship from equipment manufacturers and suppliers. As a result, the GTC offers a channel for manufacturers to consult with working cameramen when designing new equipment. GTC membership is open to anyone employed in single or multi-camera television operations or in any associated occupation. Visit
  • The Television And Video Camera Craft Educational Trust: For the public benefit to promote, maintain, improve and advance the     education and training of the public in the arts, in particular through but not exclusively, camera craft and related media skills in such educational ways as the charity trustees see fit. Chair: Stuart McKears.
  • Further information on the Bill Vinten Guild of Television Cameramen University Award at
  • For more information on the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television visit

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