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Screenwriter swaps Hollywood Hills for graduation gown

17 July 2013

Georgia Smith

UCLan graduate produces film in Los Angeles before heading home to collect Student of the Year award  

Pic: Alan Livesey, graduate in Combined Honours Film Production and Screenwriting at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).  

A screenwriter who worked in Hollywood as part of his degree course has celebrated his graduation from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Alan Livesey took to the stage in Preston’s Guild Hall last week to receive his Combined Honours in Film Production and Screenwriting degree and was also surprised to receive the Student of the Year award for Screenwriting.

In June, the Kendal resident went up against 60 other entrants to get the opportunity to make a film in Los Angeles, and his pitch was one of five selected to be produced.

The Five Thousand Miles project saw students starting production on their films in Preston, before completing their filming in Los Angeles. While there they were introduced to directors, writers and producers with vast experience in the industry and were also taken to the LA Film Festival to network with major players in the industry.

He said: “It was very full on – a crazy week but really good.”

 

“Being able to write and create my own films was great. I need creative freedom. I’m far more interested in the creative side and the tutors at UCLan really encouraged me.”

The course appealed to the 26-year-old because of the combination of practical and theoretical aspects.

Alan said: “Being able to write and create my own films was great. I need creative freedom. When I was first looking at universities, there were a lot of courses which focused on one side of film production. All theoretical or technical aspects kill me – I’m far more interested in the creative side and the tutors at UCLan really encouraged me.”

It’s a competitive industry, and Alan knew from the start that he would need to work hard to get to where he wanted to be. In his third year, he was commissioned to write a film for an independent content creator. Although he had to work on the script at the same time as completing final assignments, Alan was determined to take every opportunity available.

 

“I would have been stupid to turn it down. You don’t know how much you can do until you’re really pushed.”

Now that he has graduated, Alan is continuing to work on the commission, a family sci-fi titled ‘Zak and the King’s Guardians’, and hopes to have it completed by September. Following this, he will be making more short films and hopes to start approaching agents for representation.