Meet Your Lecturers: Rachel Tillotson

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Rachel Tillotson: Senior Lecturer in Film Production

Tell us about you, and what you teach at the University of Gloucestershire:

I am a part time Senior Lecturer in Film Production and have been working at UoG since 2013. I work with the final year students on their films. I am also a narrative filmmaker, a writer/director outside of my work at UoG. I also help to supervise a PHD screenwriting student and I run the second year Work Placement module. I teach as an associate lecturer at other universities also and primarily focus on directors, working with actors and script. More about me is on my biography which is here: https://www.racheltillotson.com/about

What else have you been up to recently?

I am currently writing a feature and developing a second feature whilst working with a production company in Cardiff who have optioned a TV series of mine, which they are developing. I am interested in mixed genre, dark comic psychological dramas and also in science fiction. I am passionate about exploring how women are represented on the screen and also on our relationship to technology.

What’s your favourite film(s) of all time? Your favourite director(s)?

I like a range of films but the ones that have inspired me have been: La Jetee, Parasite, The Sacrifice, The Lobster, Brazil, Of Horses and Men, Naked, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Blue Ruin, Last Night (1999), Leaving Las Vegas…it goes on, then musicals like Cabaret, West Side Story and Grease were part of my childhood. I don’t have a favourite director but
I admire the works of Spike Jonze, Benedikt Erlingsson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Paul Thomas Anderson, Lukas Moodysson, Lars Von Trier work, Polanski, and it goes on…

Which films should all UoG Film Production students see before they can call themselves filmmakers?

Apart from the works by the directors I’ve just mentioned they should also see the works of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Ronert Bresson, Michael Haneke, Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman, Lynne Ramsay, Mike Leigh, Jane Campion and Ken Loach to name a few.

What advice would you give to yourself as a brand new filmmaker?

If I were new and keen on becoming a director I’d make documentaries as a way to get into narrative film making. This is something I didn’t do, and although I don’t regret it as I explored a great deal of ideas via my shorts I believe making documentaries is a really good route in.

Any favourite on-set experiences?

I really enjoyed making OFFSIDE with the BBC as I worked with wonderful people and I have enjoyed the editing processes of my short films, as there is a lot more control in shorts for a director.

Which cake(s) can you be relied upon to contribute to the department?

I am forever on a diet, famously so I think, but if I weren’t then I’d always go for a good quality traditional Victoria Sponge, home made. If its chocolate it has to be Lindt. But I prefer more savoury than sweet!

What’s the best bit of Film Production at UoG?

I think it’s a very happy place. We film staff adore our jobs and are good friends and we love coming to work, it’s always fun and we laugh a lot daily. I think our passion for the work reflects we care a lot for the students and want them to find their creative potentials. The students get a really fantastic level of teaching.

  Find out more about Film Production at the University of Gloucestershire.

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