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Skydiving entrepreneur recruited for movie
A SKYDIVING entrepreneur has been working on a new multi-million pound film project at the film studios which are home to James Bond and Harry Potter.
Blair Stent, a DigitalCity Fellow at Teesside University and founder of film production company The Office Above, worked on the film Ex Machina, directed by Alex Garland, the writer of bestselling novel The Beach and scriptwriter for films including 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd.
Mr Stent, 33, of Middlesbrough, was recruited to work on the film via David Jeffries, head of the University’s DigitalCity Innovation (DCI) initiative.
Mr Jeffires explained: “I was asked by a good friend in the film business if I knew anyone with the expertise to operate remote-control cameras in a live studio environment and I immediately thought of Blair.
“Blair’s technical abilities coupled with his professional attitude made him the ideal candidate for the job.
“The experience is exactly the kind of real-life hands on business learning we work to achieve at DigitalCity Innovation.”
On the film Mr Stent had to remotely operate several cameras at once and be able to make them move precisely both together and individually.
He honed his craft whilst working as a professional skydiver for 10 years. Filming people’s experiences on skydives, he said, was ideal preparation for working on the film.
He added: “When you film sky-diving there is absolutely no margin for error and there is only one opportunity to get the shot you need. Once the moment’s gone, it’s gone. I would have to take the film as people jumped from the aircraft and descended. Then I’d have to speed down to land ahead of them and make sure I could film their landing.
“There’s a similar pressure working on a feature film. There are hundreds of people all depending on you getting what you’re doing right at the given moment.
“If you mess it up it sets the film behind schedule and everyone has to start that scene over again from scratch.”
Mr Stent said that the experience was an extremely useful one from the point of view of his business. He added: “Pinewood is a legendary studio – it’s the centre for the British film industry and to have the professional experience of working there with David was something I couldn’t have realised on my own”
Mr Jeffries said: “The DigitalCity Fellowship programme is all about equipping entrepreneurs to achieve the best they can in their chosen field.
“Taking your passion and turning it into a business from scratch is an incredibly difficult thing to do.
“Our job at DigitalCity Innovation is to give fellows the edge over other competition and to help equip entrepreneurs with the experience, knowledge and skills that they need to succeed.”
DCI is accepting DigitalCity Fellowship applications for its September intake, to apply visit: www.digitalcityfellowships.org/apply
The deadline is 12.00pm, September 10.
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