UCL News


Behind the camera with #UCLHappyPlace

29 October 2015

Hopefully by now you will have seen the short

Behind the camera with #UCLHappyPlace youtube.com/watch?v=99lYQOWpg2M" target="_self">#UCLHappyPlace films showcasing UCL Library Services, that we asked the UCLU Film & TV Society to make for us over the summer.

The aim of films is to give prospective and new students a flavour of our spaces and services in a light-hearted humorous way, and we were really pleased with results.

As a follow up we thought it would be good to ask the film directors Chris Tapsell and Anton Novoselov a bit about their work and their experience of our libraries during their time at UCL.

What did you study at UCL?

Chris: Philosophy

Anton: History with a year abroad

What was the idea behind the films?

Chris: I think the main thing was to not take ourselves too seriously. Instead of a standard, predictable corporate video, UCL Library Services wanted something that is a bit more inventive and fun. After pitching a couple of ideas, we settled on the sketch with Emily, which we tried to keep comedic and tongue-in cheek in tone.

We went deliberately well over the top and tried to make a pair of films that were a bit self-referential and self-aware - you're obviously not going to be passing out with excitement on visiting a library, but at the same time they're genuinely great spaces with plenty to offer. Hopefully that came off in the end products.

Did you have a favourite place to work in one or more of our libraries?

Chris: Not really, in a way I wished I had used the libraries more while I had the chance, as there are some far nicer environments to work in than I'd realised.

Anton: I don't really know why but my favourite study spot for the last few years of my degree became the Portuguese and Catalan section of the Main Library. It was just very cosy and you usually could always find a place there (thus solving the ever present problem of spare study spaces in the libraries). 

Did you discover any new favourite places while making your films?

Chris: The English section, where we actually shot the History scene, is great. We used that room because of its big windows which were great for giving us some natural light to play with, and it makes it a pretty unique space in the Main Library.

Anton: I really liked the UCL Senate House Hub, which is where we shot the second short video. Unfortunately, by the time I discovered it I'd already graduated so didn't get a chance to work there but it seemed like a nice alternative to studying on the campus. I quite liked Chandler House as well, I must say. 

What one piece of library related advice would you give to current students?

Chris: Don't think that the Main Library is the only real one. When we started working on the project we realised that there are actually around 17 libraries dotted around UCL, so make sure you take time to explore and find a space that works for you.

Anton: Online Resources! I think it was only in my last year when I was writing my dissertation that I properly started to appreciate the amount of databases and reading lists, etc that UCL has access to so I would strongly recommend making the most of them while you have the opportunity.

It really does make a difference when that all important book is checked out or unavailable in all the libraries in London but you can find a related article through UCL Explore instantly and for free.

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Debs Furness, Head of Reference Services, UCL Library Services