X Close

UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Lights, camera, action!

By Krisztina Lackoi, on 6 December 2012

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at the Art Museum? Well, over the past couple of weeks we’ve been busy with filming and photo shoots. This may sound glamorous until you realise just how much hard work is involved, with an entire morning’s work often whittled down to a just a couple of minutes.

film crew setting up for filming in UCL Art Museum

Film crew setting up for filming in UCL Art Museum













The Art Museum is an unusual space in that it functions as office, classroom, workshop, reference library, storage area, research space and exhibition space all at the same time. And with Neoclassical sculptor John Flaxman‘s plaster casts mounted on the walls, we are quite literally surrounded by art. All this makes the Museum a great place to film in, and we’ve recently hosted a number of different groups.

Dr Emmett Sullivan studying his iPads and his books during a break in filming

Dr Emmett Sullivan during a break in filming









Last week there was a film shoot for a short taster session for a 6-week course offered next summer through Coursera by the University of London, The Camera Never Lies. Historian Dr Emmett Sullivan from Royal Holloway gave a most engaging introduction to the themes of the course, with our volunteers also appearing as extras.

Dr Sullivan and two Art Museum volunteers looking at an object from the collections

Screen shot: Two members of the Art Museum team, Becca and Roxy, look at an object from the collections with Dr Emmett Sullivan

The following day Tom Cowie, third year History of Art with Material Studies student and Art Museum volunteer extraordinaire, was here to film his (60 second) entry to the Guardian’s Very Short Film competition.  Tom used large anatomical prints in the collections from Bernhard Siegfried Albinus’ 1749 book, Tabulae sceleti et musculorum corpus humani as the basis for his introduction. The main prize is £9,000 towards tuition fees and living costs, and we wish Tom the best of success with his entry.

UCL Student Tom Cowie stands in front of two 18thC anatomical prints from the Art Museum's collections

UCL student Tom Cowie stands in front of two large 18thC anatomical prints from UCL Art Museum’s collections

After Tom had finished filming, we welcomed a team from The World of Interiors, who were here to look at John Flaxman’s work and to size up the Museum spaces ahead of a photoshoot for a planned feature. Much interest has already been generated by the upcoming John Flaxman: Line to Contour exhibition at the IKON Gallery in Birmingham, to which UCL Art Museum has loaned most of the artwork. But more on that in another blog post. In the meantime, do come and visit, and see for yourself what all the fuss is about!

2 Responses to “Lights, camera, action!”

  • 1
    Chris B wrote on 24 January 2013:

    Hi Krisztina – thanks for this blog post. I’m interested to hear how the entry for the Very Short Film competition filmed at the museum fared (I think the competition closed a few weeks ago). Would be fun to read an update and maybe see a link to the finished 60 sec film? Thanks!

  • 2
    Krisztina Lackoi wrote on 31 January 2013:

    Thanks Chris – and watch this space! We’ll hopefully have an update on the Very Short Film competition entry soon…

Leave a Reply