Yaz Weston, a third and final year student at Swansea University, is hoping that she will be swapping her BA Hons degree for her three Oscar’s when she finishes her Media Studies this year.
Yaz is on course for a second-class honours, upper division (2:1) Media and Communications degree this summer despite a journey which has involved negotiating many hurdles along the way.
Yaz, aged 35, originally from The Uplands area of Swansea moved to Cornwall to be with her mother. Yaz had always enjoyed being involved in the performance side of the arts but never in the production side. She decided to attend St Austell College (now Cornwall College) where she worked hard for her BTech in Media and AS Level in film.
During her studies Yaz was awarded three St Oscar awards by the College for Best Production Design, Best News Programme and Best 1st year Film. While she was studying Yaz also worked for Radio St Austell Bay (RSAB), a volunteer community radio station, for 2 years, where the station supported and encouraged Yaz to continue with her studies.
Throughout her studies Yaz took on the responsibility of caring and raising her disabled niece during her teen years. When Yaz’s Mum died she decided to return, with her niece, to her roots in Swansea but wanted to continue her studies and the courses offered by Swansea University suited her needs very well.
During Yaz’s first year she was taught by Swansea University graduate and lecturer Jimmy Hay who has become an acclaimed writer and film director with his debut film High Tide recently premiering at the Taliesin Arts Centre.
Yaz applied for an internship as a runner with Jimmy’s film production company Long Arm Films but Jimmy and his colleague James felt that Yaz’ talents were so good that they took her on and she soon became First Assistant Director for the production of the High Tide film.
Yaz is currently following a Further Dramatic Writing module in her last year at Swansea University which involves her writing a 10 minute radio play and a screen play.
Yaz’s aim is to write and work independently in the production industry.Through working on High Tide Yaz made very good contacts with other professional production companies and is negotiating to work on other projects when she leaves University in the summer.
Speaking about her learning experiences and her ambitions Yaz Weston said: “Moving back to Wales gave me the opportunity to further my studies to enable me to gain a greater understanding of the production side of the performing industry. To complete my Degree at Swansea University was the obvious choice for me, I feel like it is where I am meant to be right now in my education and career; as I would not have met Jimmy and the rest of Long Arm team and not have extremely exciting opportunities in front of me.
“Combining the PR, Marketing and Branding courses with the Dramatic Writing courses I have taken during my degree have ignited a passion I have always had for writing, and broaden my horizons which could be utilised in any field of a Media occupation I choose to follow. Given the obstacles I have faced during my degree I could not have wished for a better network of support from my tutors and lecturers throughout the whole of my degree. I am excited for what my future holds which could not have progressed without completing the Media and Communications Degree here at Swansea University.”
- For more information about the Swansea University Media and Communications courses go to http://www.swansea.ac.uk/mediastudies
- The Long Arm Films High Tide is being shown at various venues during April – June. For more information go to http://www.longarmfilms.co.uk/showing-at. It is being shown at the Taliesin Arts Centre in Swansea University on Tuesday 28 April at 5pm. For more information and bookings go to http://www.taliesinartscentre.co.uk/cinema.php?id=1086
- Tuesday 7 April 2015 15.39 BST
- Tuesday 7 April 2015 15.51 BST
- Swansea University, Tel: 01792 295050