From education to employment

Wembury student’s journey from surfer to social media expert

Wembury student’s journey from surfer to social media expert

Tom Bispham, a Creative Director from Wembury, has a career that has gone from strength to strength since graduating from Arts University Plymouth in 2022.

Specialising in creating short form content for social media, marketing and advertising, since summer 2022 Tom has worked with a range of brands, companies and influencers, including DJ Tom Zanetti, Glastonbury Festival, MISFITS Boxing, Northcore and UN Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh.

Tom credits part of his success to the five years that he spent studying at Arts University Plymouth, beginning in 2017 with an A-Level equivalent Extended Diploma at the university’s Pre-Degree campus. He enjoyed his studies so much that Tom stayed on from September 2017 for a Digital Media Production degree (now part of BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts) at Arts University Plymouth .

Tom said: “Instead of staying on at school to do A-Levels, I chose to go to Arts University Plymouth’s Pre-Degree campus to study filmmaking and media production. I grew up in Wembury, so the sea has been a constant in my life and I love to surf, which led to me doing a lot of ocean videography during that first course. Sharing my work online, everything I posted was getting good engagement and it made me feel like I’d really like to learn more about videography and media management, so I stayed on for a degree at Arts University Plymouth.

“During my degree I started working as a videographer in Plymouth nightclubs, including Pryzm, The Depo and Fever, which helped me make connections in the music industry. After working in nightclubs for a couple of months I met Tom Zanetti, a DJ, music producer, rapper and singer from Leeds. I’ve regularly created content and worked with Tom to support his social channels for over half a year since we met, which has been a great experience. We’ve toured festivals across the UK and abroad, going to Tokyo World, Boardmasters, then further afield to Ibiza, Tenerife, Greece, the Maldives and the USA.

Working with Tom Zanetti helped me to make connections with a range of other professionals within the entertainment industries, giving me opportunities to work with a large number of mainstream artists, companies and events within a relatively short period of time. I’ve filmed and created content in the past year at events including Glastonbury, Insomnia Fest, and MISFITS Boxing. I’ve also worked on short social media films for leading brands like Northcore, and collaborated with Lewis Pugh, an endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans.

“Things are going so well that I’m looking at ways to take practical steps to build a creative agency for short form content. I know that I can take my work to the next level by collaborating with more motion graphic and visual artists, to give my films an added polish. But that also opens the door to work with more graphic designers, animators, screenwriters for creative narratives… I don’t just want to increase my output, I want to pull different strands of talent together to offer an unrivalled service and to have a wider pool of collaborators to draw upon for big jobs.”

BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts at Arts University Plymouth is a practical filmmaking course where students explore the craft and aesthetics of contemporary screen-based media, learning the skills required to design and make for film and media production. Students cover a broad range of approaches to film and media, and investigate the current and emerging techniques used in the global filmmaking industries. The course covers specialist techniques including cinematography, production design, screen direction, sound production, set-building, lighting design, editing, visual effects, social media production and experimental image-making.

Students have the opportunity to design and make films, from initial idea to shooting and screening, all while considering their work in relation to culture, society and the wider world. There are opportunities to develop a wide range of projects beyond traditional film, including screen based installations, site-specific cinema, music video, and video art. Led by a team of filmmakers and media producers, all areas of learning are underpinned by a rigorous critical and cultural understanding of film in its many contemporary forms, setting students up to succeed in whatever specialism they choose to pursue.

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