As a high school student I figured the most sensible thing for me to do was to study something vocational at University – I chose Law. I had no real interest in the Law, other than by and large obeying it, but it seemed like a good idea. I took academic subjects at A level and aimed high, getting rejected from every university I applied for. It was sort of a blessing in disguise.
Coming from a small town (population 2,000 people…although we do have a great cinema) my parents always encouraged me to live life in widescreen. Immediately university ceased being vocational training and instead became a chance for me to decide what I liked and didn’t like, meet like minded people, explore a new city, do something I loved doing, even if it made me entirely unemployable.
So I decided to go to London, and I decided to study Film & American Studies, with the intention of doing a year abroad in America, reading lots of Southern Gothic literature, watching lots of films and writing lots of songs. I adored my degree, and I fell in love with London. I use my degree every time I watch a film and read a book. From my degree I have met filmmakers, illustrators, photographers, fantastic writers, musicians, all of whom become part of a brilliant mutually beneficial community that makes you want to be better and more pro-active in whatever creative endeavour you are undertaking – simply put, by surrounding myself with creative people it has made me not only more creative, but more driven, more focused.
Amazingly I now find myself employed by a wonderful charity that encourage a love of cinema from an early age, and so I can say that I have gained employment from an arts degree, but that really isn’t the point. I could still be working in cafes and I would never regret studying Film for three years, if only because I now know all the reasons why Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is probably the greatest film ever made.