Spotlight on Tony Slade

11 September 2013

Tony Slade

This week the spotlight is on Tony Slade, Head of Creative Media Services

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am Head of Creative Media Services in ISD. My team provide creative support for learning, teaching and research, as well as producing promotional collateral for UCL-wide activities. 

This is achieved primarily through the use of graphic design, photography, video capture, audio production and large format printing (specifically academic posters). We work across and with all areas of UCL staff and student activity.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

Time flies – I have been here for nine years now! Before I came to UCL, for many years I lectured in photographic theory, history and practice. However, I worked mainly as an Advertising Photographer in London and the Thames Valley. I’ve photographed everything from the “Argos” catalogue to “Zebra” – a speciality on the menu at The Royal Armouries in Leeds!

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

Pre-UCL, some of the ad campaigns I worked on led to my work being seen across the world, even though I never saw them. A friend once sent me a photo of a billboard he saw whilst driving across a remote part of Mexico – that was particularly spectacular. I also have a few TV commercials to my name. 

At UCL, it has been particularly pleasing to digitise and create original photography of objects held in the UCL Museums and Special Collections. Developing such a resource to bring these artworks and artefacts to a wider audience is rewarding in so many senses.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Transcribe Bentham is really exciting because it brings together teams and individuals from across UCL and beyond to deliver something extraordinary. It is an amazing project, which has enabled UCL Professional Services staff in ISD and the UCL Library to work really closely with academics, especially those from UCL Digital Humanities and UCL Laws: Bentham Project.

Top of my list now though is working with colleagues to develop an updated video editing and archive resource and enhance the UCL Imagestore further.

What is your favourite album, film and novel? 

Album

70s Quadrophenia – The Who 

80s Graceland – Paul Simon 

90s Stanley Road – Paul Weller 

00s The Seldom Seen Kid – Elbow

Film: I have to choose just one film, then it would be Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola. 

Book: Too many options, I commute and I am an avid reader. A book I never tire of is Catch 22 – Joseph Heller.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

Four fonts walk into a bar. The barman says “Oi - get out! We don't want your type in here!”

Two Eskimos were sitting in a kayak and a bit chilly. So when they lit a fire in the craft, it sank, proving once and for all that you can't have your kayak and heat it.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Dorothea Lange, Don McCullin, Robert Frank, Margaret Bourke-White, David Attenborough, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor – just so they could make up and be friends again!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Play more, give more, smile more – then, follow your instinct; it will serve you well.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I’m not the greatest person to sit next to on a plane.

What is your favourite place?

Difficult one – Salcombe in the South Hams, Devon, on a boat with a beer. Although, flying into Cape Town on a very clear morning looking over Table Mountain from the sea made me realise how really beautiful the Cape is; we have family there which makes it extra special.