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Graduates pay tribute to UCA scholarship benefactor Dougie Slocombe

Beneficiaries of our Dougie Slocombe Cinematography Scholarship have paid tribute to the man after whom it was named, Oscar-nominated cinematographer Douglas ‘Dougie’ Slocombe, following his death at the age of 103. First offered in 2001, this scholarship has helped a number of our Farnham Film students to fund their studies.

Dougie was best known for his cinematography work on the original Indiana Jones trilogy, although he also worked as the director of photography on such titles as The Italian Job, The Great Gatsby (1974) and Rollerball (1975). His final feature film was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in 1989 and he was nominated for three Oscars over the course of his career.

“For me, getting the scholarship was a real confidence boost just when I needed it – plus the financial assistance helped get me through university,” said Peter Emery, who was the inaugural recipient of the scholarship in 2001.

“Especially in the early years after leaving university, having the scholarship to my name helped me stand out a little at a time when my filmography was very small. It’s a lovely thing to be able to make a link to a legend like Dougie Slocombe in my own career and talk to the man himself. I remember that he invited me round his house. At that time he had nearly lost his sight. He asked me to show him what films I’d made and describe how I’d lit them. I wasn’t ready for such an opportunity and was a little overwhelmed, but it’s things like this that grow your confidence. Cinema changed so much in his career and to my surprise it’s looking set to change at least as much again in the next 103 years.”

2004 recipient Benjamin Jones, who now works as a professional cameraman and filmmaker, said: “Initially, receiving the scholarship gave me a huge kick start in confidence. It goes without saying that the financial help was enormously helpful, but the feeling that my tutors saw something in either my potential, or at least my enthusiasm, acted as a real mental catalyst to push forward.

“I'd been experimenting heavily with video outside of my studies but was shy in showing anyone anything I’d been doing. For this to be noticed and validated meant a lot.”

Matt Gillan, who received the scholarship in 2013 and has since moved on to the National Film and Television School to study his Masters in Cinematography, said: “Receiving the Dougie Slocombe scholarship was a fantastic honour. Having one of the greatest British cinematographers and a personal idol of mine believe in what I was doing gave me huge confidence in my own ability as a cinematographer. The scholarship has been extremely beneficial to my career. Not only is it something that really stands out to people and helps to set you apart from the crowd but it also gave me a real determination to succeed. I don't think I would be where I am now if it wasn't for Dougie's incredible generosity and willingness to help out the next generation of filmmakers.”

The Dougie Slocombe Cinematographyy Scholarship, which is endowed by the BCS Trust, is still offered at UCA, having been awarded to students from our Film course for the past 12 years. You can discover more about our Film Production course at UCA Farnham here.

Header image credit: Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark, photographed by Douglas Slocombe. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive.