It was a golden night at the Oscars for UCA Farnham alumnus Graeme Willetts’ latest project, The Silent Child, as it was named the winner of the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
Graeme, who graduated from BA (Hons) Film Production in 2008, worked as a sound mixer on the film. Inspired by real life events, the short, which was written by Rachel Shenton and directed by Chris Overton, tells the story of a profoundly deaf child who lives in silence until she is introduced to sign language.
“Attending a cinema screening of the film was a particular highlight for me,” Graeme says. “I had the opportunity to see first-hand how it has effected the deaf community and how much this film means to people. I only entered Rachel and Chris’ journey at the production stage of the film, but it was nice to see the years of work Rachel had done in advance of the shoot and it’s been a great experience leading up to the Oscars too.
“It’s been very surreal. I always get a buzz when a project I’ve been involved with achieves good things, but nothing yet has quite compared to what The Silent Child has achieved. The projects I’ve worked on that go the furthest have a certain feel about them. You really get a sense that you’re working on something special, and The Silent Child was no different.”
The film has been praised widely for the awareness it has raised of the challenges faced by the deaf community, and in particular, children, including language barriers and access to education.
Graeme adds: “As the Sound Mixer, my responsibility, along with my boom operator, is making sure every line of dialogue is clean and sounding great.”
Throughout his career, Graeme has worked on a number of commercial and branded content shoots. In addition to his expertise in sound mixing, he has also continued to develop his passion for writing and filmmaking.
“I’m working on a number of personal projects at the moment,” he says. “I shot a short last year that is currently in post-production, and I’m currently editing a short promotional video for a charity that I volunteer for. I also have various writing projects that I’m developing too, with the view to shooting later this year or early next year.”
Below image: Graeme Willetts.