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Philipcowan

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Qualifications

PhD by Thesis (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2016)
MA Script Writing (University of Glamorgan, 2003)
PGCE/Cert.Ed.(PoCET) (University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, 2001)

About

Philip Cowan has worked freelance on over 80 film productions, including; Drama, Documentary, Performance, and Animation projects, working for BBC, ITV, C4, S4C, and numerous independent companies. As a Director of Photography he has collected twenty ‘Best Short Film’ awards, including two BAFTA Cymrus. His work has been screened on network television, at festivals world-wide, and even at the Tate Gallery, London. He completed his PhD at Manchester Met., is a member of the International Film and Television Research Centre at the Asian Academy of Film and Television in Noida, India, where he has done some teaching, and continues to work with African film makers through the Ethiopian Film Initiative.

Vimeo
Cinematography Showreel

Publications

Cowan, P. (2017) “Analyzing Stylistic Patterning to Establish the Cinematographer as a Coauthor” in Projections: The Journal for Movies and the Mind 11:1., S. Prince (ed.), pp. 16-37. New York: Berghahn Journals.

Cowan, P. (2015a) “The Democracy of Colour” in Journal of Media Practice 16:2., J. McDougall & N. White (eds.), pp. 1-16. Bristol: Intellect Journals.

Cowan, P. (2015b) “Book Reviews: Cinematography” in Projections: The Journal for Movies and the Mind 9:2., S. Prince (ed.), pp. 93-98. New York: Berghahn Journals.

Cowan, P. et al (2013) “Image Aesthetics at the Time of Digital Cinema: Round Table for Film Schools” in Festival International des Écoles de Cinéma: 36es Rencontres Henri Langlois. Poitiers, France: 5th December. Available at http://uir.ulster.ac.uk/29207/1/Transcription_TR_Image_EN.Murat.Akser.pdf

Cowan, P. (2012a), ‘Underexposed: The neglected art of the cinematographer’, Journal of Media Practice 13: 1, G. Palmer (ed.), pp. 75-96, Intellect: UK

Cowan, P. (2012b), ‘Authorship and the Director of Photography: A Case Study of Gregg Toland and Citizen Kane’, Networking Knowledge 5: 1, T. Phillips (ed.), pp. 231-245, Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association: UK

Selected Citations

Hunter, A. (2016) Hal Ashby: The Myth of the New Hollywood Auteur. NY: Bloomsbury, cites Cowan, P. (2012a) “Underexposed: The neglected art of the cinematographer”, pp. 10, 59, 122.

Jarry, J. P., Oughton, N. (2016) “Learning Cinematography at Film School: Old Ways, New Directions” in The 21st Century Film, TV & Media School: Challenges, Clashes, Changes Mello, C. et al (eds), pp. 280-315. Sofia: CILECT, cites Cowan, P. et al (2013) “Image Aesthetics at the Time of Digital Cinema: Round Table for Film Schools”, p. 290.

Sharma, A. (2015) Documentary Films in India: Critical Aesthetics at Work. NY: Palgrave Macmillan, cites Cowan, P. (2012a) “Underexposed: The neglected art of the cinematographer”, pp. 205-6.

Colman, F. (2014) Film Theory: Creating a Cinematic Grammar. NY: Wallflower Press, cites Cowan, P. (2012b) “Authorship and the Director of Photography: A Case Study of Gregg Toland and Citizen Kane”, pp. 46, 58-59.

Memberships

Society of Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI)
International Film & Television Research Centre, Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT), Noida, India

External

Film Screenings and Exhibitions

“Sleeping Mat Ballad” (Constantas, 2015), commissioned by Welsh National Opera @ The Sleeping Mat Ballad
“Branches” (Constantas, 2014) Feature Documentary, commissioned by National Theatre Wales.
“We are Still Here” (Martinez de Lecea, 2012) @ Adain Avion, Ebbw Vale
“Reflections of Ethiopia” (Cowan, 2010) @ Afrika Eye Film Festival, Bristol 2011
“Reflections of Ethiopia” (Cowan, 2010) @ WOW: Wales One World Film Festival, Cardiff, 2011
“Chwarel (Quarry)” (Jones, Williams, 2010) @ Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, 2011
“The Separation” (Morgan, 2003) @ Showroom, Sheffield, 2010
“Hwyrgan” (Whitehead, 2006) @ Oriel Myrddin, Carmarthen, 2010
“Reflections of Ethiopia” (Cowan, 2010) @ Africa in Motion Film Festival, Filmhouse, 2010
“Chwarel (Quarry)” (Jones, Williams, 2010) @ Experimentica, Chapter, Cardiff, 2010
“Reflections of Ethiopia” (Cowan, 2010) @ Addis International Film Festival, Ethiopia, 2010
“Chwarel (Quarry)” (Jones, Williams, 2010) @ Howard Garden Gallery, Cardiff, 2010
“Anemos” (Constantas, 2000) @ Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan, 2010
“Darn” (Constantas, 2008) @ Tactile Bosch, Cardiff, 2008
“Salt Shoes” (Constantas, 2008) @ Experimentica, Chapter, Cardiff, 2008
“The Greatest Escape” (Sealey, 2003) @ International Black Film Festival Wales, 2008
“Brown Girl” (Rahman, 2002) @ International Black Film Festival Wales, Cardiff, 2008
“Brenin (King)” (Constantas, 2003) @ ReelDance International Dance on Screen Festival 2008 & 14-Stop Tour, Australia & New Zealand, inc; Melbourne, Campbelltown, Sydney, Perth, Hobart, Noosa, Brisbane, & Christchurch, New Zealand, May-Oct 2008

Conference Presentations (2008-Pres)

2016, Conference Presentation, “Stylistic Patterning as a Methodology to Establish the Co-Author Status of the Cinematographer”, at Cornell University, Society of Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI) annual conference.

2013, Invited Contributor to Round Table Presentation, Image Aesthetics at the Time of Digital Cinema, at 36th Henri Langlois International Film Schools Festival, Poitiers, France.

2013, Conference Presentation at La Fémis, the French State Film School, for ‘Teaching Cinematography’ Conference, organized as part as GEECT (The European grouping of Film School within Cilect).

2012, Presentation at University of Wales Newport, Performance and Screen Media Research Group

2011, Conference Presentation “Authorship and the Director of Photography” at MECCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association)

2011, Research Symposium Presentation at MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design) at Manchester Metropolitan University

2011, Presentation at WIRAD (Wales Institute for Research in Art and Design) Emerging Researchers Event as part of the Cardiff Design Festival

2010, Screening introduction, and Q&A, for my film Reflections of Ethiopia (Cowan, 2010) at Africa in Motion, Edinburgh African Film Festival

2009, Conference Presentation “Storaro and The Last Emperor” at Colour and the Moving Image Conference, Bristol University.

Public Engagement Activities and Esteem Indicators

International Advisor to ETHIOPIAN FILM INITIATIVE from March 2010. (http://www.ethiopianfilminitiative.org/about-us/efi-advisors)
Philip was a judge on an international panel for the Short Film Competition Prize at the Addis Ababa International Film Festival in March 2010

Work Cited as Cinematographer

“They Call Me, Don’t Call Me” (Sealey, 2006) “This multi-layering of fictional and non-ficitional information creates a complex cinematic synthesis, a subversion of New York, caught between the present and its own history, a place outside of time”, (Paul Purgas, The Black Moving Cube, The Black Moving Cube, ed. David A. Bailey, The Green Box, Germany, 2007, p.135)

“The Confectioner” (Constantas, 1997) “The Confectioner was a personal, almost abstract feminist work centred on sexual power play and repression, with form and content superbly married by the director Margaret Constantas and photographer Phil Cowan.” (Dave Berry, “Unearthing the Present: Television drama in Wales”, Wales On Screen, ed. Steve Blandford, Wales:seren, 2000, p.135)

Film Awards as Cinematographer

“Light in Shadow” (Konstantaras, 2005) UK Film Council 1st Prize, Images of Black Women Film Festival, London 2006
“The Separation” (Morgan, 2002) BAFTA CYMRU: Best Short Film 2003; “Best Animation” Celtic Film Festival, 2005; “Diploma of Honour” KROK Film Festival; “Best Short Film” San Sebastian Festival; “Critics Choice” Cinanima, Portugal; “Best Animation” Dresden; “Best Animation” Animated Dreams (Estonia); “Audience Award” & “Jury Prize” Malaga; “Best Animation” Melbourne Film Festival; “Wooden Wolf” Award, Black Nights, Finland; “Best Animation” Fantasia, Montreal
“The Confectioner” (Constantas, 1997) BAFTA CYMRU: Best Short Film 1998

Research

Expertise or Interest

As a filmmaker and an academic, Philip’s main interests lie within authorship and the image. He explores the creation of meaning in visual narrative through both his professional practice work, as a Cinematographer, and his published articles and conference presentations.

His practice-based work, which has been screened internationally, awarded twenty ‘best film’ festival awards world-wide, and his theory-based work, which analyses the work of classical and contemporary cinematographers, like Gregg Toland and Vittorio Storaro, examine the authorial role of the cinematographer in collaborative filmmaking.

“The Confectioner [Constantas, 1997] was a personal, almost abstract feminist work centred on sexual power play and repression, with form and content superbly married by the director Margaret Constantas and photographer Phil Cowan.” (Dave Berry, ‘Unearthing the Present: Television drama in Wales’, Wales On Screen, ed. Steve Blandford, Wales:seren, 2000, p.135) “This multi-layering of fictional and non-fictional information creates a complex cinematic synthesis [They Call Me, Don’t Call Me (Sealey, 2006)], a subversion of New York, caught between the present and its own history, a place outside of time”, (Paul Purgas, ‘The Black Moving Cube’, The Black Moving Cube, ed. David A. Bailey, The Green Box, Germany, 2007, p.135)

Awards

Honourable Mention
British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) Practice Research Award 2016.
Screenworks

Twitter

@philip_cowan

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