Student Spotlight: Zacharie Johnson-Pillon


Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired by sport. The people who participate, their stories, the feeling you get from watching it... all those things move me. And the people who tell those stories bring a lot more depth to the things we feel. That’s what I want to do: feel the emotion and allow people from home to feel it too.

Can creativity save the world?

Absolutely. There's so much potential within people to change and improve things on their own personal scale as it is, so I have no doubt that the most creative people can do amazing things on an even wider scale. Studying at USW’s creative campus allows us to connect and work with other creative minds, which widens the field of possibilities massively.

Where has your creative journey taken you since starting at USW? What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been able to meet people who share the same passion as I do, and exchange on matters that I care about, which has broadened my horizons. I’ve also discovered new aspects of sports journalism, such as photography and video editing, which have now become two things I want to pursue.

I’ve also been able to produce podcasts, documentary films, and work for Pontypridd RFC as part of their media team.

What do you have planned next / after you graduate?

At this point in time my options are still open. Thanks to the course, I have the opportunity to either pursue my studies by doing a master's degree or going straight into the work field.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as a first year starting at USW?

Try and make any idea you have happen, because you’re in the perfect setting to do so. The amount of kit, equipment, software and facilities on campus that are at your disposal are practically infinite, and there are competent people around you to guide you in the right direction. Don't let people mock you for trying, because by trying you’re building towards something bigger. Create as much as you can, make the most of this opportunity, because your three years will fly by.

What makes studying VFX at USW so special?

The people, the city, the facilities, the freedom... you name it. My university experience, despite going through Covid, has been brilliant. From the minute I walked through the door all the way up to now, I never once felt like I’d made the wrong choice. I’ve always felt like I’ve been provided with the best teaching, advice and guidance, and the opportunities have been plentiful.