Swindon teenager, Tom Hughes is a runner-up in a national film competition, winning £130 worth of kit and £4,000 of professional training.
The competition, run by ScreenSpace, in partnership with the MetFilm School and the University of West London attracted hundreds of entries with films shortlisted and then put to a public vote.
Tom, 18, said: “I was ecstatic when I heard, I had no idea the viewers would connect with the film in the way that they have. I’ve just finished studying both Production and Digital Interactive Media & Games Design at Cirencester College, and now I’m starting off as a freelance filmmaker. I’m currently working on a few projects including a music video for a friend.”
As part of Tom’s prize he won £4000 worth of vouchers to be used with MetFim School based at Ealing studios.
Tom said: “I’m signing up for a professional course on cinematography, I want to improve my shots and learn how to get more motion into my work. Longer term I want to work on large-scale productions and maybe direct”.
“I decided to enter the competition because I wanted to let people see the film and to get professional feedback; the only way to connect with people is to share what you’re doing.
“The video, a Story of Happiness is quite personal, it’s about mental health. The brief of the competition was ‘Change our Minds’, so, for this film I thought about someone who was unhappy, a man who was doing the same thing every day of their life until one day, he caught himself in the mirror, and he looked at himself properly and decided to make changes.
“I chose the mental health theme because it’s such a widespread problem amongst young people - it’s an issue that’s increasing but we don’t talk about it enough.”
Dr Lisette Johnston, Head of School at ScreenSpace said: “I think mental health throughout the competition was a big subject, and not just for those thinking about going to university. It doesn't surprise me that most of the films that got high votes touched on these topics as they resonate with a lot of young people today."
Tom's winning video can be found by clicking this link.