Philip Cowan

Dr

Former affiliation
20122020

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Personal profile

Research interests

Philip Cowan has worked on over 80 film and television productions, including; drama, documentary, dance/performance, and animation projects, working for BBC, ITV, C4, S4C, and numerous independent companies.  As a Director of Photography he has shot on 35mm, S16mm, & various digital formats, collecting twenty international 'Best Short Film' awards, including two BAFTA Cymru awards. His work has been screened on network television, and at festivals worldwide.  He began teaching in 1994 as a guest lecturer as various institutions, becoming a permanent member of staff at University of South Wales (formerly University of Wales Newport) in 2005.  Since joining academia he has published a number of articles on cinematography, film authorship and aesthetics, and completed his PhD in 2016.

Research interests

As a filmmaker and an academic, Philip’s main interests lie within film authorship and the aesthetics of film images. 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.

Cited Work as a Cinematographer

“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)

Education/Academic qualification

PhD by Thesis, MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design)

… → 2016

MA Scriptwriting

… → 2003

PGCE/Cert Ed (PoCET), University of Wales Institute, Cardiff

… → 2001

External positions

Member of International Film & Television Research Centre, Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT), Noida, India

Adviser to Ethiopian Film Initiative.

Member of Society of Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image (SCSMI)

Keywords

  • WC Art and Design
  • Cinematography
  • Film Authorship
  • Aesthetics

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