Acclaimed Director Tom Browne and BAFTA LA CEO Chantal Rickards Visit FilmSoc

Last week, we were delighted to welcome two exciting industry professionals for guest workshops at UCLU Film & TV Society – acclaimed director of Radiator and actor Tom Browne; and UCL alumni Chantal Rickards, who is currently the CEO of BAFTA’s Los Angeles branch.

During his workshop on Monday, Browne talked primarily about working on his critically acclaimed directorial debut Radiator – a touching story based on Tom’s own experience with his father. He touched upon how the project got off the ground, and how the script by collaborators Daniel Cerqueira and Tom Fisher came together; as well as how this marked a career shift for Tom, who was primarily an actor at the time and previously only directed short films. In response to questions from society members present, Tom also talked about how the ‘James Bond family’ of producers Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, title designer Daniel Kleinman and actress Rachel Weisz came on board as executive producers; as well as the challenges presented by the current festival and distribution landscape for films like Radiator (crediting the film’s London Film Festival bow to Weisz). In a surprise, Tom also briefly mentioned his most recent work alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon on Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s The Current War, which is currently filming across London – and took over UCL’s Portico recently.

On Friday, Chantal hosted an incredibly charismatic and inspiring workshop, detailing her path through the industry – starting with how she went from a French degree at UCL to a job in marketing at Channel 4, to her work producing and directing episodes of Through The Keyhole (then hosted by the legendary David Frost), and further career moves to the BBC and other networks and agencies. She gave a crash course on the importance and value of branded content such as product placement, and the role it plays in getting a TV show or film off the ground, and also talked about the current distribution landscape in general. Lastly, she talked about coming on board BAFTA as their Los Angeles branch’s first CEO, and the events she organises, such as the annual Tea Party, as well as regular initiatives in less well-off schools in L.A..

A big thank you to both Tom and Chantal for joining us! Be on the lookout for more guest workshops starting from next week – with a FemFilm x PhotoSoc workshop next Tuesday with acclaimed documentary photographer and filmmaker Poulomi Basu.

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