Ellen Thomas graduated from BA(Hons) Performance and Media in 2014 and has since been working as an actor, director and videographer.
When I first joined USW, I was pretty set on what I wanted to achieve on completing the degree. I had all these expectations about how the three years would go, and what would happen after I left, and it's turned out to be so much more than that 18 year old immature me could have expected. After graduation, I secured a job as a Video-Journalist for the new TV channel Made in Cardiff. It was a huge learning experience and I learnt a lot.
I’ve also done a lot of acting since graduating - I was in a National Theatre Wales production called Before I Leave at the Sherman Theatre, I performed in the Cardiff Fringe Theatre Festival in a play called Moirai plus I’ve been in music videos (including one for Suede!) and short films.
My most recent project has introduced me to directing. Through It’s My Shout, a production company that help support emerging artists in Wales, I directed Tin Dancing Shoes for BBC Wales, which was broadcast on BBC Two in November 2016.
The film is set in the 1940’s, which worked well as as my experience during my film making modules in University directly correlated in theme, location and ideas for the look I wanted. We filmed at the Tin Shed Laugharne Museum; the same place I filmed my second year project Come Back To Me, and my final third year project Attachment. I felt that the story of a war refugee isolated in an unfamiliar community, although set 76 years ago, was hugely relevant today, and I knew I could trust the knowledge of the lovely people of the Tin Shed to help us with the authenticity of the time.
It was an immense experience and I recommend all USW students to get involved in future It’s My Shout productions, whether its as an actor, trainee crew, writer producer or director. Its a great way to get used to the dynamics of life on set and I have my first professional credit as a Director and to have had it broadcast on the BBC is something which doesn’t come along often!
I’m currently directing my next short film, shooting in West Wales. I'm also keen to continue pursuing acting.