Nowhere Boy graduate in global demand.

Posted on 16th June 2010
BAFTA award-winning former student Matt Greenhalgh shared his memories of studying at the University of Chester's when he returned to the Warrington campus earlier this term.
Screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh
Screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh

A former Print Media student, Matt has gone on to write for several television shows, including Hollyoaks, Cold Feet, Clocking Off and Queer as Folk 2. In 2007, he wrote Control, a biopic about the life of former Joy Division lead-singer Ian Curtis, for which he was awarded the Carl Foreman Award for Best Newcomer at the BAFTAs.

He followed up by writing the screenplay for Nowhere Boy, covering the early life of John Lennon. After a successful launch in the UK the film was released in America premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.

Matt said: "I look back fondly at my time here. I was very lucky getting on this course and then that triggered off a chain of events that has got me to where I am now.

"The weird thing is that Phil Redmond gave a seminar at Warrington in my first year. I went and listened to him, never thinking that one day two years' later I would be walking into his company as an employee, seeing that Brookside sign behind the counter!"

He is keen to explore the possibility of developing a Screenwriting programme, acknowledging that although he was not a model student, the experience enabled him to focus.

He said: "I think it gave me time to sit and think about things and think about things creatively. Thinking is very much underestimated in creative fields - just being allowed to sit in your room and have these ideas.

"Imagination is what it's all about and cultivating that, having the belief that something can come out of it in the end and that you can actually do it. There is a basic way of structuring a script and there is a certain amount of things you can learn, but the rest is down to the individual.

"In the years that you are at university you've got an opportunity to bolster your saleability, not just by talking, but by researching what you want to do. All the big films are about what the kids go and see. People want to work with a fresh voice and the industry wants and needs young writers, who can tap into younger audiences."

Matt's latest project, to be aired on the HBO channel, is a collaboration with Kevin McDonald, who directed The Last King of Scotland, about a child soldier from the Ivory Coast, who arrives at JFK Airport seeking asylum.