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Stirling graduates make national television debut

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University of Stirling graduates’ documentary about a mixed martial artist is to air on the BBC Scotland channel tonight.

The Bad Guy was created by Stirling alumni Cory Thomas, Giulia Veronelli, Laura Buchanan, Danny Flynn and Marco Di Gioia.

The film tells the story of MMA fighter Chris Bungard and evolved from a 10-minute, 2018 dissertation documentary that was recognised at the Focus on Factual Awards and the Royal Television Society Scotland Student Awards. The short film caught the attention of BBC Scotland's Head of Multiplatform Commissioning Steve Carson, as well as BBC Scotland's Commissioning Executive for Digital, Social and Youth Louise Thornton, who commissioned The Bad Guy as a 30-minute documentary for the BBC Scotland channel.

Mr Carson said: “I first saw an early version of The Bad Guy at a graduation show of production work at the University of Stirling. The film shone a light on a character and a world which many film-makers wouldn’t have spotted.

“I’m delighted to be able showcase this great example of new documentary talent on the BBC Scotland channel – a testament to the skill of the production team and the success of hands-on production teaching at Stirling.”

After graduating from Stirling, Cory, Giulia, Laura, Danny and Marco formed their own company, D14 Productions – named after a TV studio in the University’s Pathfoot Building, and made the film with support from Stirling production staff.

Camera operator Laura said: “Working with Chris on our dissertation and seeing The Bad Guy's success lead to a commission for BBC Scotland was a huge honour. Chris' journey had progressed so much since we first met him, and we couldn't have been luckier with the timing.

“The Bad Guy follows Chris' Bellator debut, the biggest fight of his career so far, and dives far deeper into his personal life and past than before. We can’t wait for everyone to see, and hopefully love, it.”

Reflecting on her time at Stirling, she added: "The University of Stirling gave us the vast knowledge and experience that any professional would need to deliver for television. As former Film and Media students, we were delighted to have received so much support and recognition post-graduation. The university were able to provide us with a lot of editorial and moral support throughout all stages of production and help solve our logistical issues. Stirling University wanted to see us make the best documentary possible off the back of winning this commission, and it's thanks to them that we did."

 

Passionate

Former BBC Scotland Head of Commissioning Ewan Angus executive produced the film, along with Stirling's Head of Production Dario Sinforiani, with assistance from experienced producer Gerald Strother.

BBC Scotland’s Louise Thornton said: “The Stirling students were incredibly creative and passionate. I found them very professional to work with, despite them being new to BBC TV production and also being in the process of setting up their indie.

“All in all, a successful first doc for BBC Scotland and hopefully lots more ideas to come from them.”

Mr Angus said: "It was a real privilege to work with such a group of committed, talented and creative young film-makers."

Stirling Head of Production Dario Sinforiani said: 'We are incredibly proud of the team's achievement in working together to produce such an excellent documentary so soon after graduation from our University. The opportunity to help them through the process of their first broadcast production was a real pleasure.

“Their creative and organisation skills were tested and they overcame every hurdle. We pride ourselves on preparing students for careers in production, and I'm sure that this team can go a long way in the industry."

The Bad Guy will be shown on the BBC Scotland channel at 10.30pm tonight. Visit the BBC webpage for further information.

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