Brunel’s brutalist backdrop will provide the inspiration for a unique filmmaking project celebrating the university’s 50th Anniversary year.
But it’s only one element of an experimental process that will consider everything from the spirit of innovation, to movement through space and time - according to award-winning filmmaker Meghan Horvath.
As Brunel’s new filmmaker in residence Meghan will work with a team of students to interpret the university’s history using a variety of mediums, including Super 8mm film, photography and archive footage.
The resulting short film will be screened next year alongside a series of film nights recognising Brunel’s eclectic contribution to the history of cinema and TV, most famously its role in Stanley Kubrick’s controversial A Clockwork Orange, which made a star of the university’s imposing 60s-style Lecture Centre.
Meghan said: “Everybody has a strong reaction to this type of architecture, people either really love it or absolutely hate it. I’m going to use it as an inspiration.
“One idea is to consider colour, and contrast its greys with people dressed up in bright colours. Maybe we can use the space in a way that introduces people who represent characters from Brunel’s past. It’s very much at an early stage – it’s an exciting opportunity.”
Meghan, whose background is in documentary making, moved to the UK from the USA 10 years ago. Holding a Master’s degree in international history, her most recent work The Private Life of Manick G was nominated for the Short Film Award at the 2015 Sheffield Doc Fest. Her feature-length documentary The Middle Men won Best British Documentary at the 2010 London Independent Film Festival.
Meghan added: “People don’t realise how much time and effort it takes to develop a film and there’s a lot of work which is invisible and that people don’t hear about.
“I’m really excited to introduce the students to that process, and to show them how long you can really take developing a film before you even start to think about filming it.”
In her new role, Meghan will also be holding a series of masterclasses for students over the next nine months, to give them an opportunity to learn more about her craft.
A series of events will be held at Brunel to mark the university’s 50th year – including public debates, film nights, a gala party and a Discovery Trail on campus. The centrepiece will be Charter Day on 6 July next year, when the university will celebrate becoming a university 50 years ago.
For details of all the events the university has planned, visit www.brunel.ac.uk/fifty.