Coventry student turned Hollywood visual effects guru
You may not have heard of Coventry alumnus Christopher Townsend, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen his films. Chris received an honorary degree in 2015 in recognition of his outstanding work in film-related visual effects, and he told us this was just as exciting for him as his Oscar and BAFTA nominations!
After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from Coventry Polytechnic in 1988, Chris worked at George Lucas’ visual effects company before becoming a freelance visual effects supervisor. His résumé includes superhero flicks Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3 (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award at the 2014 Oscars) and Captain America: The First Avenger alongside swashbuckling fantasy Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow. Chris told us what he thinks of this award:
“I’ve had an amazing career in the film industry and am fortunate enough to have been nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA but I can honestly say I’m just as thrilled to be recommended for this honorary degree by Coventry University. This is where I set out on a journey that would eventually lead to Hollywood – in fact the degree course I studied here was one of the early adopters of computer graphics, which of course play a big part in visual effects – so I’m very happy to be returning to collect this award.”