Director advises students to consider a career that prioritises their passions
Ian Puleston-Davies delivered a Q&A session to students ahead of the film screening of ‘Bolan’s Shoes’ during LTU’s Journalism and Media Week.
In this talk, the film’s writer and director challenged the audience mainly comprised of students to consider what it is that they feel truly passionate about as well as playing to their own strengths.
Ian Puleston-Davies explained the different facets of the filmmaking process as well as his own initial entry into TV and film. Recounting his initial passion for drama, he talked about veering away from working on the family farm and going against the grain.
Both passion and talent are a combination that need to work together to get to your destination. Ian shared that he was concerned by the Government ignoring the arts in the school curriculum.
Ian said: “The bottom line is I think creativity, through art, through music is absolutely essential and shouldn’t be the first thing that gets dropped out of the syllabus.
“I had the fire and enough talent to nurture it.”
Ian recounted the acting process that influenced his time while working on ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ with Steve Coogan in 2002. He believed that this experience taught him a lot about authenticity while using improvisation techniques.
He said: “The golden rule of improvisation is you never block…otherwise it’s not improvisation.”
This pivot into writing and directing came after a long career in front of the camera where he is best known by viewers for playing the builder Owen Armstrong between 2010- 2015 in the long running British soap opera, Coronation Street. However, whilst playing the character on set there seemed to be a feeling that this proverbial ‘flame’ which Ian talked about was fading away.
In one instance, Ian shared to the audience that he once yawned on a take. This came from a sense of losing interest in playing the same character day-in-day out.
On this transition, Puleston-Davies said: “If you don’t have that fire in your belly, forget it. Do something else.” Therefore, Ian did he moved into writing and directing and ahead of the film screening of ‘Bolan’s Shoes’.
Ian left the audience with advice on taking confidence in shifting between different roles and sage advice on what he’s heard in the past.
He said: “I’ve heard some fantastic explanations as to why people shift or make that shift over to filmmaking and I’m not digressing. It’s part of my evolutionary story.”