The other day during our interview, as World’s End director Edgar Wright was fumbling for the correct pluralized form of “thesis,” he said “See? I don’t know these things, I never went to university.”
I didn’t question it at the time, but reading back through the transcript, I went back for a follow-up. “Hey, but that’s not what Wikipedia says!” I told him, something serious journalists are always saying, “The internet says you graduated from Bournemouth Arts College!”
Wright clarified that “arts college is different,” and went on to explain his dubious status as “notable alumni.”
In 1992 I applied for the prestigious Film and Television Higher Diploma at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art & Design. They said that at 18 I was too young to be a director and to do the National Diploma in Audio Visual Design instead. So I did that and spent two years making shorts and learning how to edit (and getting very drunk at student discos). Two years later I reapplied, and they said I was still too young to be a director and to come back in five years.
I didn’t come back. Five years later I was making Spaced with Simon and Jessica.
However the twist in the tale is the BPCAD (now called the Arts Institute Of Bournemouth) have cunningly included me in the alumni of a course I was twice rejected for. Which is outrageous.
I thought about asking them to take it down, but decided to live with the smug satisfaction that they wanted to put me on there alumni list even though they roundly rejected me.
I can relate to this, because my University also considers me a notable alum. They even sent my name to a collections agency!