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February 2021

Jamie stands on a walkway that leads up to the side of a stage with a camera in hand posing for the camera. A crowd can be seen to the front of the stage

Jamie Thistlethwaite

BA (Hons) Film and Television Production 2013

1. Tell us about yourself.
After studying my BA in Film & Television Production at ARU, I then went on to study for a Masters degree in Filmmaking at the Met Film School in Ealing Studios. 
Since then, I've worked as a photographer & filmmaker for companies such as Getty Images, Pride in London, AKT, The Diner, Polette, Cambridge Pride & Bossa Studios. My photography work has been featured in The Independent, Evening Standard, Time Out, Mail Online & Gay Times whilst my film work has been screened at various UK & international film festivals, earning me a Best Director nomination for my work on the web-series “Support Acts” at UK Web Fest. In 2020, I was shortlisted for the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Award & won the Love in London Photography award. In September 2019, I set up a photography & film business, DoodleBug Images Ltd., & have been capturing everything from drinks to drag queens on a variety of large-scale projects since. 

 2.What is your fondest memory of Anglia Ruskin University? 
My fondest memory would be the final film project screening at the Arts Picturehouse as part of the Cambridge School of Art degree show exhibition. Growing up as a creative, you're constantly reminded how hard it will be to succeed so to actually watch a film that I had directed on a cinema screen as well as see posters for my film around the Ruskin building made me realise for the first time that my dream was achievable. I've been so fortunate in my career to have had work featured/screened in high-profile places since then but that Arts Picturehouse screening is the one that will forever mean the most to me. 

 3. What has been your favourite job? 
My favourite job so far was photographing Cambridge Pride in 2019. I'd photographed several Prides prior to this but as soon as I heard that Cambridge was planning its own, I knew I had to be a part of it. My time living in Cambridge & studying at ARU truly made me the person I am today, so to get the opportunity to be a part of that event was an incredible honour for me. I just remember standing by the stage photographing a performance & having this epiphany moment of little 18-year-old Jamie wandering through Jesus Green for the first time all those years ago & then seeing myself now being an official photographer for Cambridge's first ever Pride with thousands of people all around me. I'm not ashamed to say that moment brought a tear to my eye & is one that I will never forget in my life! 

4. In one word, how would you describe Anglia Ruskin University?  Life-altering.  

5. How did your time at ARU help you? 
My time at ARU made me realise that what I want to do with my life isn't just a daydream but a tangible thing that I can actually achieve. Being taught by people that have worked in the industry & getting to create my own projects for the first time was such an experience and gave me the confidence I needed to follow through on my aspirations. 

6. What did you love about your chosen course? 
I loved being able to try my hand at so many roles on a variety of different film & TV projects. We would go from directing actors in a dramatic scene to working as a Vision Mixer or Camera Op on a live TV studio-style programme. Being able to experience all those roles across my 3 years really helped me to understand what I was passionate about & what I wanted to pursue going forward. Even after all these years, whenever I work on a new shoot or project, I still refer back to the skills I learnt whilst at ARU.  

7. What advice would you give to current students as they’re preparing to graduate? 
This next chapter of your life is going to be scary & you're going to face an awful lot of pressure to decide quite quickly what your future holds but never forget what you've experienced whilst studying at ARU. The experiences, friendships & memories that you've created over the past few years have shaped you into the person you are today so take a step back to cherish this moment & all that you've achieved before you embark on that next big step into the unknown.  

8. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst studying? 
I wish I would have realised what a unique situation I was in having access to the amount & variety of kit, facilities & people around me. Life after ARU really taught me how hard it is just to pull the finances together for projects so I wish that I had taken even more chances to utilise what I had available to me to make films & develop my creative voice even further.  

9. Who was the biggest influence on your career? 
I think us creatives tend to magpie influences & inspirations from all avenues of life but one of my biggest influences would be Jim Henson. His work was filled with such joy & wonder & the fact that his two biggest creations, The Muppets & Sesame Street, still bring happiness to millions of people across the world years after his passing shows the undeniable power of his work. Whatever I'm working on, my aspiration is always to entertain & bring a much-needed smile to my audience. In the words of Mr. Henson himself, "My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here".  

10. What advice would you give your younger self? 
Oh young Jamie, you really need to stop doubting yourself. Take that risk, make that leap, don't be afraid of failing & say yes to that thing that scares you so. P.S. Stop cooking pasta every night! 

11. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know. 
Whenever I'm worried about something or I'm doubting myself too much, I put a particular song on my speakers as loud as I can. All those troubles just melt away & I know that I've got this. I will never, ever reveal what that song is though! 

12. What’s next?  Obviously 2020 didn't go exactly as we all had planned, and I definitely missed working on some big shoots & events that had been in the pipeline. I'm so looking forward to those projects starting back up again soon & getting to capture so many fantastic people, stories & moments through my work.