Entrepreneur Blair Stent on his experience film-making at Pinewood

Blair Stent, a DigitalCity Fellow at Teesside University, worked on Ex Machina which is currently in production

David Jeffries, head of DCI, right and Blair Stent outside Teesside University’s Phoenix Building
David Jeffries, head of DCI, right and Blair Stent outside Teesside University’s Phoenix Building

A skydiving entrepreneur has returned from the world-famous Pinewood Studios where he was recruited to work on a new multimillion-pound film project.

Blair Stent, a DigitalCity Fellow at Teesside University and founder of film production company The Office Above, worked on Ex Machina which is currently in production.

He was enlisted on to the movie – directed by Alex Garland, the writer of The Beach novel and scriptwriter for films 28 Days Later, Sunshine and Dredd – through David Jeffries, head of the University’s DigitalCity Innovation (DCI) initiative, who was asking to track down someone with expertise to operate remote-control cameras in a live studio environment.

On the film, Blair had to remotely operate several cameras at once and be able to make them move precisely both together and individually – a skill he honed as a professional skydiver for more than 10 years.

Blair said: “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.

“There’s a similar pressure working on a feature film.

“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”

David Jeffries added: “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.”

 

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