A budding student filmmaker from Ormskirk has just landed a first class honours degree from Edge Hill University.
Liam Yates, 24, from Aughton was top of the class on his TV and Film Production course where he wowed his tutors with a 1920s-style silent film in collaboration with a local Liverpool band.
The film, called Ad Marginem is a tense, occult thriller influenced by Ingmar Bergman, the director famous for films such as The Seventh Seal. The score was written and performed by indie band Mugstar and, when the film was screened before one of the band’s gigs, it turned the heads of several people on the Liverpool art scene, who immediately snapped it up to appear in an exhibition at the Bluecoat.
“We decided to show a few minutes of footage before one of Mugstars gigs and then this guy came over and started chatting to me about it, saying that he really liked it. He worked for the Bluecoat and said that he’d like to show it in there, so it just went from there.”
Another of Liam’s projects includes a pilot TV series with guitarist Will Sergeant from iconic Liverpool band Echo & The Bunnymen.
“My series is produced in the style of 1970s music TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test. It wasscreened late at night on BBC2 and played ‘indie’ music of the time that wasn’t really well known.
“Will Sergeant will be our series’ own ‘Whispering Bob Harris’, one of The Old Grey Whistle Test‘s most famous presenters. It’s still in the pilot stage and I’m in the process of pitching it and organising a full series.”
Liam worked as a shop assistant in Topman, but felt his passions lay elsewhere. It was when he enrolled on his course at Edge Hill University that his creative ambitions were eventually fulfilled.
“I’ve always been into films but I dropped out of college when I was younger. I just felt I couldn’t work in retail any longer, so decided to go to Edge Hill University, which was just round the corner from me, with brilliant facilities and resources for student filmakers like myself.
“I started out ok and then my feedback from my tutors started getting better and better and I started to really believe that I could get a first, which I did, so I’m really happy with that.”
After graduation, Liam plans to continue making films and trying to break into the industry, following in the footsteps of his all time favourite director, Werner Herzog.
“My degree has really motivated me to have a real go at a career in film. I’m really passionate about it, especially directing, so I’ll just keep trying until I get somewhere.”