Two BU graduates are celebrating a decade-long creative partnership in the film industry.

Ben Lankester and Matt Hopkins

Matt Hopkins and Ben Lankester met on the BA (Hons) Television Production course back in 2003 and went on to launch Progress in 2010, having initially carved out their own careers as freelance filmmakers. Today the company is 16-strong and produces work including commercials, digital content, animation and feature-length films for clients including Land Rover, O2, Kuoni and the Samaritans.

Matt said: “We never set out to run a company of this size, but things evolved and as we have grown to take on new clients and projects we have been fortunate to be able to take on new team members with the skills required to take us to the next stage. We have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the course we studied at Bournemouth. As well as teaching us the technical skills required for filmmaking, it also developed in us that ethos of how to work as a team and to collaborate to produce a project. Having looked back at our showreel as part of our 10-year anniversary, I was struck by how many projects reminded me of those early days working on our student films. It gave us a great foundation on which to build.”

Over the last 10 years Matt and Ben have been keen to develop new talent entering the industry and have offered placements, as well as graduate roles to new generations of students. Ben said: “A big part of what we do is about bringing in and developing young talent. When we are recruiting, we are looking for people with a strong work ethic and ambition. With film equipment having become so much more accessible in recent years, graduates looking for work have a great opportunity to show prospective employers what they can do. It’s great for us to be able to see the style and quality of someone’s work before taking them on, so we certainly recommend that students spend time on developing their voice as a filmmaker and on their showreel.”

As the pair head into the next decade, they remain proud of their BU roots. Matt said: “I chose BU because it was regarded as the place to study film and television. Sure enough, the fact that I had BU on my CV opened doors when it came to starting work and it still feels like a badge of honour now.”