|'It's a Wonderful Life' says Huw Penallt-Jones
Production Executive on Cold Mountain
From filming on disintegrating ice flows, to being police escorted to meet the Romanian President, to re-enacting the American Civil War, Huw Penallt-Jones has done some bizarre things in his working life.
In a talk on Friday 17th March he used these stories to excite the ambition of students through Bournemouth University's Screen Academy.
Huw's experiences are the result of working on numerous films, in numerous roles. He is currently a producer and Head of Production at Capital Films and has extensive experience working in the industry. He has worked with Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Guy Ritchie and one of his more recent projects was the adaptation of the epic, Oscar winning 'Cold Mountain', which was filmed in Romania. "The amazing thing about films is you can do things anywhere; you can do the American Civil War in Romania!"
Huw's years in the business mean he had plenty of peculiar stories and practical advice for Bournemouth's budding directors, producers, scriptwriters - in fact, anyone who has set their sights on the film industry.
"I have travelled all over the world, I have lived in the North Pole for 9 weeks. I have driven a Tank down a street in West Germany with Joaquin Phoenix having a competition to see who can get it round the corner in one piece." But he warns: "You have to really enjoy [your work], if you don't it will be hell."
He urged students to ring round producers for help and advice: "I'm only here because people helped me so I'm happy to help other people. Some people won't take on first time directors, I think that's stupid, there's no future without first time directors".
Huw will be supporting the Screen Academy over the next year, he says: "Universities should be pouring money into the students, making sure there's loads of equipment and teaching new techniques." And his final bit of advice is: "The best experience is to get out there, make your films and push the limits".
Story by Stevie-Ella Keen
BA (Hons) Multi-Media Journalism - 1st Year Student