April 5, 2012
Graduates and staff from the University of Glamorgan have worked on the latest film featuring Welsh actor Michael Sheen.
Gospel of Us – The Passion of Port Talbot is a film adaptation of the National Theatre Wales/Wildworks production The Passion, which was performed by the actor in his parents’ home town last year.
The film is directed by film maker and comic book artist Dave McKean, and produced by Welsh company Rondo Media, who have links with the university’s Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries.
Jason Bevan, award leader of the BA (Hons)Visual Effects and Motion Graphics course at the faculty, explained how the collaboration came about: “One of my former students Kris Francies was involved in the production and contacted me to ask if our students would be able to help organise the hours and hours of footage for the film in preparation for the edit” said Jason.
Around 47 hours of footage was digitised with help from Glamorgan students and the university’s MediaLab facility during the editing process. But the collaboration didn’t stop there. Towards the end of the project this year, Glamorgan graduates Carys Banks and Perry Sollis were drafted in along with lecturers Chris and Tamsie Thomas to work on visual effects for a number of key shots in the film. Jason himself was also asked to edit some of the footage.
“This was a brilliant opportunity. I am a true believer that as academics we must remain at the forefront of the Industry that we teach” said Jason. “To be able to put my editing skills towards a project that I know will be seen by a mass audience was an opportunity I could not turn down.”
For fellow lecturer Chris Thomas, working on a film directed by Dave McKean was particularly exciting: “Working with him, however briefly, was a huge honour for me” said Chris. “I’ve been a fan of his since the late 1980’s when the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series were released, and it’s probably fair to say that inspiration taken from his work is one of the reasons why I’m doing what I am today.”
Graduate Perry Sollis, 23 from Ystrad Mynach, worked on the film as a visual effects compositor. “It was a unique experience and like nothing I’ve ever worked on before” said Perry. “It’s very exciting to work on a film that will be seen in cinemas across the country. I’m sure that the film will make people think and I’m very happy to be a part of that. I’m also pleased that there are projects as ambitious as this growing from Welsh soil.”
Perry believes that his time at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries has been a great help to his career so far: “The faculty acts as a great hatchery for young talent and proves that there are plenty of passionate and able VFX artists and filmmakers in Wales. The ATRiuM campus is a fantastic place to gain contacts and grow wings.”
The Gospel of Us premieres at the Apollo Cinema Port Talbot on Easter Sunday (8th April), and is released in cinemas nationwide on 13th April.