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Diane Shorthouse

Diane Shorthouse, BA Dance

Freelance Line Producer

BA Dance Performance, 1997

What made you choose Middlesex University?

Honestly – the daffodils at Trent Park campus. Middlesex had the course I wanted to do.  A few other Universities had similar courses but after visiting Trent Park, I knew the location, (London) and campus had the inspiration I was after.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

The standard and experience of teachers/lecturers and the fact the course content was mostly practical.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

Choreography as it gave me the opportunity to explore story telling and lead a project.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

The daily dance classes, the Student Union and life in halls at Trent Park.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Learn as much as you can every day. Experience every day and don't miss a class.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

It put me in contact with like-minded individuals and provided a platform for me to showcase my skills to industry professionals.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I have always loved films. The pros of this industry are being a part of something that many people across the globe will enjoy and watch again and again. The cons are the hours one works - they are very very long and the work (for a period) can be all consuming, eating into your personal life.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

Whilst attending Middlesex, I was introduced to legendary director Stanley Kubrick. My first job upon leaving was choreographing an Opera for Stanley's daughter, Anya Kubrick, which was Hansel and Gretal and ran at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.  From there I made further contacts in the film industry and rapidly worked my way up from Stand-In to Feature Film Producer.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

Closing the funding for my first feature film was a defining career break, as well as completing and selling my first feature film. Highlights to date include: Billy Zane calling my mobile to organise his time with us on the low budget British feature Mercenaries; having to tell football legend Sir Geoff Hurst on the set of Payback Season that the catering van was on fire and did he want pizza instead; acting a scene through with Daniel Craig on the set of Casino Royale while Eva Green had her make up checks; and working as Stand in for Carnival Films 10-parter The Tenth Kingdom (2006) through to working as Line Producer for Iron Lady Producer Damian Jones on his latest project Powder Room (2013) starring Bafta winner Sheridan Smith with Jaime Winstone, Kate Nash and Oona Chaplin.

What does the future hold for you?

Pinewood Studios have asked me to be Line Producer on a new movie, which will hopefully be shot in September.

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Be hard working, plan and have a 'to do list'. Grab every opportunity that comes your way.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Don't worry, it all works out when you focus and put the work in.

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