University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Creativity across Borders: Reflections on Contemporary Screen Industries

18 May 2013 (14:00-16:00)

About the talk

The presentation will focus on the benefits of bringing together academia and industry to work on research and education that is designed specifically to foster ideas generation and thought leadership. It will focus on the case study of a project that Gianluca Sergi (Director of the Institute for Screen Industries Research at Nottingham University) worked on in partnership with a number of leading studios around the world, including Fox, Pixar, WETA and Babelsberg. The outcome of the project was an industry white paper on the nature and future developments of studio production spaces that was aimed both at industry professionals and cinema scholars. Tom Walsh (award-winning production designer and former president of the Art Directors Guild of America) will respond to Sergi's introduction by providing an industry perspective on both the project and the wider benefits of academic/industry collaborations. Walsh invited Sergi to present the results of the project to industry professionals, filmmakers and technology developers at the Art Directors Guild's headquarters in Los Angeles in 2012 which resulted in a further developments and partnerships between the University and the Guild as well as between individual academics and industry professionals.


Tom Walsh has successfully migrated among the many different narrative design disciplines of feature films, IMAX, mini and episodic series, documentaries, Broadway dramas, musicals, and regional theatre. He is the winner of a primetime Emmy Award for his designs for CBS-TV’s critically acclaimed series Buddy Faro and received an Academy Award nomination for his designing for The Living Sea. He is the originating production designer on ABC-TV’s hit series Desperate Housewives, for which he designed the pilot and 84 episodes. Mr Walsh is also co-chair of the Art Directors Guild Film Society and a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 in New York. He served as President of the Art Directors Guild of America between 2003 and 2013.

Gianluca Sergi is the founder and current director of the University of Nottingham's Institute for Screen Industries Research. Following an early career in radio and other media he moved to the UK from his native Italy in 1991. After completing his university education he entered academia as a lecturer at Staffordshire University in 1995, later joining the University of Nottingham in 2003. He is the author of several monographs on filmmaking and studio practices in Hollywood, including The Dolby Era (2004), Making Films in Contemporary Hollywood (2005) and Cinema Entertainment (2009).