Video: West Suffolk College student named rising star after entering his movie The Little Red Flower into East Anglian Student Film Festival
Tyler Livingstone has been making films since he was seven years old, shooting mini features starring his teddies and toys on his first mobile phone.
As he moved through school it developed into a passion, and then once he reached college it became a dream – to write and direct his own films.
Last year the 18-year-old was encouraged by his tutor at West Suffolk College to submit his project, The Little Red Flower, into the inaugural East Anglian Student Film Festival (EASFF).
The four-minute film tells the story of a young boy who comes to terms with the cycle of life through the nurturing of a flower.
“I used a flower that he comes across and treats as a friend and watches it grow,” Tyler said.
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“He waters it and cares for it until eventually the flower passes on and comes to an end where he realises that this is how life works.”
Tyler spent two days filming the process by buying plants at different stages of their growth and planting each one, filming a snippet, and then planting the next one.
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“It ends with a clip where it flops over and dies,” he added. “I did that by using a blow torch with the camera set up on it. “I would make it wilt just a bit, get a few seconds worth of footage, keep doing it until it eventually started to top over. I used three minutes worth of footage faded into that one piece.”
Tyler, from Thurston, was shortlisted out of hundreds of applicants and went on to be named the festival’s East Anglian Rising Star.
The category is only open to filmmakers from the region and aims to highlight the outstanding achievements of a local student.
Since that day, Tyler said his confidence has grown tenfold, with new doors opening and opportunities arising that he never knew existed.
He has now submitted his second short film, Full Circle, into this year’s EASFF and the London Film Awards, and is starting a degree in Digital Film at Ravensbourne University in September.
“It’s taught me that if you put in the effort you can achieve great outcomes and just the whole experience of going to my first festival and coming home with a top place was a great feeling,” he added.
The festival’s founder and film teacher at One, Darren Meitiner-Harvey is eager to find more grassroots talent like Tyler’s to make this year’s festival special.
“We really want to capture the student imagination and gets those guys on board to build the scene,” Darren said.
“There’s some amazing talent out there, and there’s certainly a feeling right now that something special is going to happen and special people are emerging.”
The EASFF, which is supported by Suffolk One, Raindance Film Festival, Cineworld, Hughes Electrical, Grumpy Dogfish and Summer Isle Studios, will take place on October 16.
To submit an entry, visit www.eastudentfilmfestival.com – deadline is August 21.