19 December 2015

The red carpet was rolled out for a celebration of two film legends at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Creative Arts.

BAFTA award winning director Mike Newell, and Academy Award winning film editor and sound designer Walter Murch, were the guests of honour.

The pair were immortalised on campus through two new studios: The Mike Newell Soundstage and Walter Murch Post-Production Lab.

The evening included presentations and show reels on the careers of Mike Newell and Walter Murch, followed by speeches by the honoured guests.

St Albans man Mike Newell, who directed the critically acclaimed 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' and was the first Brit to direct a Harry Potter film with 'the Goblet of Fire' said:

'It's such a blast to be here with Walter Murch, it's just amazing.'

Mike then went on to compare his humble beginnings working within the broadcasting industry, to the potential futures of those who will use the new post-production lab.

Poignant Hertfordshire memories

Walter Murch, who used his talents in sound design and picture editing when collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola on films such as 'Apocalypse Now' and 'The Godfather' II & III said:

'It's fantastic to be here in Hertfordshire, where two very important turning points in my career happened. I edited for a friend, Zinneman in 1976/77 on the film 'Julia' and that was the first time I had ever worked not only outside of the United States, but outside my close group of friends.

'To return (to Hertfordshire) 10 years later to direct 'Return to Oz 'which is based on books that had been tremendously important to me as a child growing up, was also a turning point in my life.  So I'm happy to be here now, whilst celebrating the 50th year since I've been working in motion picture.'

Dean of the University's School of Creative Arts, Judy Glasman, who attended the December 10th event, said: 'It's a fantastic occasion to have two pillars of the film world here.

'To have people of this stature working with us and having these newly refurbished spaces to be permanently attached to them, it's great, not only for the school but for the students.

'We are very honoured and it gives the students good role models as they develop their own work and careers.'