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Stephen  Desmond

Stephen Desmond MA, FHEA

Senior Lecturer

School of Media Arts and Technology

023 8201 3447 ext. 3447 Room no. JM224

Biography

Stephen has been a senior lecturer in film and television production at Solent University since 2009, teaching across the BA Film Production, BA Film, and MA Film Production degrees. He has also taught photography production in other degree programmes at Solent. Stephen teaches documentary film production, fiction film production, and experimental film production, screenwriting, history and theory of film, media studies, and critical approaches to mass media. Stephen's 'Intro to Film Editing' classes at Solent received the highest student feedback (SUE survey) results of any unit on the BA Film Production course. Stephen was the recipient of Solent's Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. He has 38 practice-based research outputs (films, articles, radio broadcasts, installations, artefacts, conference presentations) which meet the criteria of the Research Excellence Framework of the UK. See recent publications, below, for full details and an extract from the PURE system of public research records.

Stephen is a commissioned filmmaker, university lecturer, and film journalist. He has over 20 years' lecturing experience in the field of film production and film studies and has been at the top of the senior lecturer scale in the UK for 18 years. He loves teaching diverse, international, and non-traditional, as well as traditional students. He believes passionately in expanding participation in higher education. He loves teaching in a team of committed colleagues.

Stephen has extensive experience in the post-production industry as an editor and trainer of editors across the broadcast sector. He has an early-career specialism in media management and film commissioning for the independent sector. In higher education, Stephen has extensive experience in curriculum development and course management at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Some notable facts:

  • Stephen won a scholarship to complete his MA at the University of Michigan (ranked in the world’s top 20 universities). He graduated with a 3.9-grade point average on a 4 point scale - one of the highest GPAs ever recorded in the School of Literature, Science and Arts at the University. 
  • Stephen is currently completing his PhD (a comparative praxis-study of Pedro Almodovar and Todd Haynes) at Dublin City University, considered to be one of the most innovative universities in the EU.
  • Stephen's undergraduate degree is from DCU. In a university that accepts only the top 5% of school leavers, Stephen graduated third in his class of 72 students. 
  • Stephen developed and ran the highly successful MA in Video Production and Film Studies at UWL for over six years (see Awards, below, for the full text of Roger Mills' letter nominating Stephen to the Higher Education Academy)
  • Stephen is known for mentoring and developing student final year production projects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels which have success in the broadcast industry: At Solent, Stephen supervised Sophie Klingberg Kruhoffer's ground-breaking final MA film about grief and bereavement that went on to be broadcast on Danish National Television.
  • Previously, Stephen supervised Yvonne Tang in producing her final MA Film Temple of the Tigers, a feature-length documentary that was sold to Discovery Channel, who provided additional production funding. The film ultimately became the broadcast hit of the year for Discovery around the world. 
  • Stephen taught for seven years in the postgraduate division at the Parsons School of Design in New York ranked number one in the US as a university of the creative arts.
  • At the age of just 30, Stephen was offered the position of executive director and President of the Board of Trustees of Film/Video Arts, the largest non-profit centre for independent filmmaking in the US.
  • Stephen is the founder of the Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism.
  • Stephen's post-production industry client list  includes: The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, Penn Chemicals BV,  Dublin Institute of Technology, AVID Technology UK, Jim Bambrick & Associates, Headband & Liniment, Fuji International Productions, Moviola Digital, Post Resources, WTNH-TV8 New Haven, WBNE New Haven, Ticino Films, Lancer Productions, Soho Audio, Bloomberg Television, Little Dog Productions, Joetown Inc., Backstreet Edit, Lionheart Films New York, RAI, Phoenix Communications, Oracom Inc., Alchemy Digital, Cammach Associates, VH1/MTV New York, The Jewish Museum New York, Asset Picture New York, NVI, National Recording Studios New York, Swiss Television.

Stephen maintains a full LinkedIn profile which contains over 50 employment references and endorsements.

Stephen is also a member of The National Union of Journalists - membership no. GO927934.

Further details on Stephen can be found on the CCRJ website.

Taught courses

Further information

  1. Industry experience

    Stephen is a commissioned documentary filmmaker, university lecturer, and film journalist. He has extensive experience in the post-production industry as an editor and trainer of editors across the broadcast sector. Follow the link to find out more.

    Stephen has an early-career specialism in media management and film commissioning for the independent sector. In higher education, he has extensive experience in curriculum development and course management at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.

    Stephen's post-production industry client list includes: The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, Penn Chemicals BV,  Dublin Institute of Technology, AVID Technology UK, Jim Bambrick & Associates, Headband & Liniment, Fuji International Productions, Moviola Digital, Post Resources, WTNH-TV8 New Haven, WBNE New Haven, Ticino Films, Lancer Productions, Soho Audio, Bloomberg Television, Little Dog Productions, Joetown Inc., Backstreet Edit, Lionheart Films New York, RAI, Phoenix Communications, Oracom Inc., Alchemy Digital, Cammach Associates, VH1/MTV New York, The Jewish Museum New York, Asset Picture New York, NVI, National Recording Studios New York, Swiss Television.

    Current work

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020.  Testing the Boundaries of Viewership in the Films of Todd Haynes and Pedro Almodovar. “Stephen Desmond is currently creating a film art installation using emerging film technologies and software interfaces in conjunction with his written PhD research thesis at Dublin City University. As part of the installation's wider exploration of comparative viewership (aesthetic/technical topographies of empathy and desire) in both filmmakers, Desmond examines the influence of religious art and Catholic iconography in the cinematic mise-en-scene of Pedro Almodovar, and the figure of the marionette in the cinema of Todd Haynes”.

    Documentary film, forthcoming 2019-2020. Voices from the Nakba Revisited. Desmond is UK editor on this new film about legacy Palestinian refugees from 1948.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 1. Desmond is UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 2. Desmond is UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 3. Desmond is UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 4. Desmond is UK editor.

    George Carey - Honorary Visiting Professor 2019

    Stephen places great emphasis on building and maintaining links and strong relationships with the film and media industries using his extensive portfolio of professional contacts. In 2019, Stephen brought the award-winning documentary filmmaker and found of the BBC's Newsnight programme, George Carey to Solent as an Honorary Visiting Professor. George has been enormously supportive of our students and made himself very available to them. Read more

    Stephen also interviewed George Carey in front of a live audience on campus at Solent University. Read more

  2. Teaching experience

    Stephen has 25 years' teaching in higher education in the theory and practice of digital media, digital video editing, documentary film production, drama productions, TV studio production, photography, video art, journalism, experimental media, sound design for film and video, and radio production. He also has extensive experience in UG and PG course management, including validation and quality control mechanisms.

    Stephen has been a senior lecturer at Solent University since 2009. Before joining Solent he held the following positions:

    • Thames Valley University, London - senior lecturer and course leader in video production and film studies.
    • City University of New York - assistant professor.
    • New School University and Parsons School of Design, New York - lecturer in digital media.
    • Film/Video Arts, New York - director of education.
    • College of Staten Island - lecturer in film theory and media studies.
    • University of Michigan - instructor.
    • Murray Consultants Public Relations, Dublin - account executive.

    Solent University stories that mention Stephen's teaching

    Graduate's film on grief gets broadcast
    Solent alumna, Sophie Klingberg-Kruhoffer describes how the MA final major film project she made under Stephen's supervision formed the basis of a series on Danish television. Sophie describes the role Stephen's teaching played in her development and she discusses her experiences in his fiction film and documentary units.

    Making it big in the TV industry - alumni spotlight
    This alumni spotlight story focuses on the films of Chris Dodd, who is now a successful ITN documentary producer. Chris describes his experiences in Stephen's documentary classes and how this helped shape his career success.

    Graduate wins advertising award
    BA (Hons) Film student, Carlotta Caldieri describes how her learning experience in Stephen's documentary classes and the classes she took with his colleagues led her to continued success in the film industry.

    Film graduate sails the seas as a broadcast technician on Royal Caribbean Cruises
    Solent alum, Craig Holden, now a senior broadcast technician at Royal Caribbean Cruises, describes his career success and how the guidance and technical training provided by Stephen helped him in his career.

    For a worthy cause
    BA (Hons) Film graduate, Jemma Fox describes her success in the post-production industry and the importance of her learning experience at Solent.

    Film production: Virginia lands place on BFI Film Academy programme
    BA (Hons) Film Production student, Virginia Rarra describes how she was selected to be part of the BFI summer training scheme for editors, and describes how her experiences in Stephen's editing classes led her to apply for the role.

     

  3. Recent publications

    Stephen's recent publications include articles, experimental films, screenings and presentations. For more information, follow the link below...

    Conference organiser, forthcoming October 2020.  Cleraun Media & Filmmaking Ethics Conference in Dublin October 2020.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Testing the Boundaries of Viewership in the Films of Todd Haynes and Pedro Almodovar. “Stephen Desmond is currently creating a film art installation using emerging film technologies and software interfaces in conjunction with his written PhD research thesis at Dublin City University As part of the installation's wider exploration of comparative viewership (aesthetic/technical topographies of empathy and desire) in both filmmakers, Desmond examines the influence of religious art and Catholic iconography in the cinematic mise-en-scene of Pedro Almodovar, and the figure of the marionette in the cinema of Todd Haynes”.

    Documentary film, forthcoming 2019-2020. Voices from the Nakba Revisited. UK editor on this new film about legacy Palestinian refugees from 1948.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 1. UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 2. UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 3. UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 4. UK editor.

    Film art installation, forthcoming 2019-2020. Palestinian Lives-Palestinian Voices - Artefact 5. UK editor.

    PhD thesis chapter (1), forthcoming 2019-2020: essay for publication "ESCAPING THE PRISON OF GENDER: SEARCHING FOR THE PANSEXUAL GAZE IN PEDRO ALMODOVAR’S ‘JULIETA’ AND TODD HAYNES’ ‘CAROL’.  Female Suffering, Penetrable Male Bodies, Desire, Spectatorial Positioning and The Crucial Question of Empathy"

    PhD thesis chapter (2), forthcoming 2019-2020: essay for publication Madonnas and Marionettes: The comparative politics of intertextuality in the films of Pedro Almodovar and Todd Haynes

    Conference panel chair and conference co-organiser, October 2018: Ethical Issues in Documentary Filmmaking,  Cleraun Media Ethics Conference, Dublin October 2018. Interviewed panel members including Sinead O’Shea, the award-winning documentarian.

    Conference co-organiser, October 2016: Ethical Issues in Documentary Filmmaking, Cleraun Media Ethics Conference, Dublin. 

    Conference panel and chair and conference co-organiser, October 2014: Ethical Issues in Documentary Filmmaking,  Cleraun Media Ethics Conference. Interviewed panel members including Frank Connolly, the award-winning investigative journalist.

    Radio broadcasts, Near FM radio station, Dublin, December 2013-May 2014. Stephen is producer of the programme and interviewer. As part of his professional practice research, Stephen conducts interviews with major figures in film-making, politics and broadcasting. He performs this role in an unpaid capacity for research and community service purposes, and to maintain his professional experience and development.

    • 11 May 2014: interview with Mary Lawlor, founder of Frontline Defenders.
    • 11 May 2014: interview with George Carey, founder of the BBC's Newsnight.
    • 13 April 2014: interview with Roisin Shorthall TD, former junior minister for health.
    • 30 March 2014: interview with Rita O'Reilly of RTE Television's Primetime Investigates and Medical Journalist of the Year.
    • 16 February 2014: interview with Dr Bill Tormey, Consultant Toxicologist. Dr Tormey is a major figure in public health, and public health policy. 
    • 19 January 2014: interview with Rodger Larson, founder of the Young Filmmakers Foundation, live from New York.
    • 31 December 2013: interview with film-maker Alan Gilsenan. Alan Gilsenan's filmography: director The Road to God Knows Where, 1988. God Bless America: Gore Vidal, 1995. All Soul's Day, 1997. God Bless America: Marsha Hunt, 1997. The Irish Empire, TV series documentary, 2000. Zulu 9, short film, 2001. The Ghost of Roger Casement, director and writer, 2002. Sing On Forever, director and writer, 2003. Timbuktu, 2004. The Legend of Liam Clancy, director and writer, TV mini-series documentary, 2006. The Asylum, 2006. The Hospice, director and writer, 2007. Paul Durcan: The Dark School, 2007. The Importance of Being Irish, 2008. The Yellow Bittern: The Life and Times of Liam Clancy, documentary, 2009. Treasure of the Bogs, director and writer, 2011.

    Conference panel chair and conference co-organiser, November, 2013. A major conference galvanising advanced professional practice in the field of documentary filmmaking, journalism, media and communications, focusing on professional ethics, standards, disclosure, and covering investigating political corruption, corporate wrong-doing and human rights violation. The Future of Investigative Journalism in Ireland, a full-service conference for journalists and academics exploring the development, history, theory and practice of investigative journalism in Ireland. Desmond organised and chaired the event through his research centre The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism. Presenters included: Stephen Desmond, Chair; Rita O'Reilly, Irish Medical Journalist of the Year and reporter on RTE Primetime; Seamus Dooley, President of the National Union of Journalists Dublin; Remy Farrell, Senior Counsel, expert on whistle-blowing legislation; Frank Connolly, Investigative Journalist; and Constantin Gurdgiev, lecturer, journalist and author.

    Conference panel chair and conference co-organiser, October 2012. Ethical Issues in Documentary Filmmaking, Cleraun Media Ethics Conference in Dublin. Desmond interviewed panel members including Stefan Ronowicz, BAFTA award winning documentarian.

    Conference panel chair and conference co-organiser, October 2010: Ethical Issues in Documentary Filmmaking, Cleraun Media Ethics Conference in Dublin. Desmond interviewed panel members including George Carey, Founder of Newsnight on the BBC, Series Editor of Panorama, and award-winning documentarian.

    Screening: The Frontline Club November 23rd, 2009 of Desmond's film: Desmond, S., 'The Jaweed Al Ghussein Story' The Frontline Club Headquarters, London. https://www.frontlineclub.com/?s=JAWEED+AL+GHUSSEIN

    Presentation, 23 November 2009. Documenting Injustice - Making a Documentary in an International Context, The Frontline Headquarters, London. (presentation followed screening).

    Screening, 2 July 2009 of Stephen Desmond's recut film The Jaweed Al Ghussein Story at Foreign Press Association Headquarters, London.

    Presentation, 2 July 2009. Documenting Injustice - The Jaweed Al Ghussein Story at The Foreign Press Association, London. (presentation followed screening).

    ArticleDocumenting Injustice, Desmond, S., Times Higher Education supplement, October 2007.

    Presentation, The Impact of Al Jazeera at The Middle East and the Media conference, The International Media Council, London, 2007.

    ScreeningRefugee Teachers, short narrative documentary film about the experiences of refugee-teachers at Birkbeck College, London, August 2006. Stephen Desmond was a co-executive producer and online editor. The film was exhibited at a public screening held by the refugee charity, Reconnect.

    Curated screening, Young British Experimental Filmmakers, curated screening of experimental film, Sonoimagenes Festival, Buenos Aires, August 2006. Stephen Desmond served as co-curator with Luciano Zubbillaga.

    Screening, Peace or Patriotism: Journalism, War & the Search for Truth, short narrative documentary about the journalism of war reporting, April 2004. Stephen Desmond was co-executive producer and editor. The film was exhibited at ISTROART 2004.

    Film art installationDigital Technology and Video Art, public video-art installation at ISTROART 2004 in Galerii Medium, Bratislava, August 2004. Stephen executive-produced and co-curated the digital technology and video art installation which was exhibited together with three other installations: performance and video art, sound and video art, and identity and video art.

    Article,Video Art 2, Desmond, S., ISTROART 2004 exhibition catalogue.

    Conference co-organiser, Peace or Patriotism, a conference held in Belfast for academics, war reporters and journalists, February 2004. Desmond co-organised the conference with Barry Lowe.

    Curator film screening, Leslie Thornton artist mentor workshop screening, on behalf of Film/Video Arts and NYSCA at Lincoln Centre Cinemas, New York City, 1993-94.

    Curator film screening, Cheryl Dunye artist mentor workshop screening, on behalf of Film/Video Arts and NYSCA at Lincoln Centre Cinemas, New York City, 1993-94.

    Curator film screening, Barbara Hammer artist mentor workshop screening, on behalf of Film/Video Arts and NYSCA at Lincoln Centre Cinemas, New York City, 1993-94.

    Curator film screening, Rosa von Praunhiem artist mentor workshop screening, on behalf of Film/Video Arts and NYSCA at Lincoln Centre Cinemas, New York City, 1993-94.

    Other outputs

    Freelance film editor and post-production trainer, 1986-2019. Desmond's client list includes: The Centre for Conflict Resolution Journalism, Penn Chemicals BV,  Dublin Institute of Technology, AVID Technology UK, Jim Bambrick & Associates, Headband & Liniment, Fuji International Productions, Moviola Digital, Post Resources, WTNH-TV8 New Haven, WBNE New Haven, Ticino Films, Lancer Productions, Soho Audio, Bloomberg Television, Little Dog Productions, Joetown Inc., Backstreet Edit, Lionheart Films New York, RAI, Phoenix Communications, Oracom Inc., Alchemy Digital, Cammach Associates, VH1/MTV New York, The Jewish Museum New York, Asset Picture New York, NVI, National Recording Studios New York, Swiss Television. 

    Executive producer and commissioner, 1986-2019.

    Desmond has periodically controlled and administered film funding for emerging and independent filmmakers through agencies, such as The Artist Mentor Project at Film/Video Arts, which distributed NYSCA (New York State Council of the Arts) funding. He has provided seed funding for a range of innovative film projects.

    Desmond has also co-executive-produced and supervised a range of award-winning and commercially successful films produced by filmmakers in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the master of arts degree at a range of prestigious educational institutions.

    Reports, 2003-2009. Desmond produced a range of extended reports in his capacity as course leader for the MA in Video Production and Film Studies at the University of West London, relating to internal and external validation processes, periodic reviews and external audits. 

    External and community engagement activities which are awarded recognition by REF

    September 2013 - December 2014 (and continuing in 2015) AVID Learning Partnership. Instigated and progressed AVID Learning Partnership (ALP) for AVID Media Composer at Solent University. AVID is the industry leader in high-end digital film editing technology for the broadcast industry.  

    January 2014 - ongoing. Appointed trustee of major refugee charity. Invited to become a full trustee of the respected charity, Reconnect. Reconnect is committed to facilitating the training/employment of unemployed /underemployed refugees, with special emphasis on teacher training and refugee journalists. Reconnect has facilitated the training of over 60 teachers in partnerships with Birkbeck and The Institute for Education. Reconnect is also currently implementing a postgraduate certificate for refugee journalists. Other trustees of Reconnect include Caroline Demian, the director of Merrill Lynch.

    May 2014 - ongoing: 

    2019: elected to represent national UCU on the Trade Union Congress.

    2019: re-elected LGBT officer on The Southern Region of UCU, the University and College Lecturers Union.

    2019: re-elected as equality officer for The Southern Region of UCU.

    November 2018: re-elected to the National LGBT Standing Committee of UCU. 

    Twice winner of national election to the National Executive Committee of UCU (LGBT Seat), Equality Officer London Region, etc.

    August 2013 - ongoing. Police liaison. As an advanced media practitioner, and as a member of The National Union of Journalists, Stephen was re-selected this year as police liaison officer/Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for the area in which he have lived for over 12 years: Ealing, London. In this capacity, he has headed a range of community consultation projects relating to local development initiatives and planning issues. He has worked extensively in consultation with his local community and the local council, local councillors, local police and a range of officials. Nominated three years in a row for a Pride In our People Award.

  4. Research interests

    Stephen is a practice-based research academic with strong industry experience and knowledge. Stephen has an extensive research profile and history of research outputs which meet the ‘Research Excellence Framework’ criteria for practice-based research publications.

    Research keywords:

    Practice-based research, filmmaking, radio broadcast, photography, film history and theory, gender, sexualities, LGBT human rights, refugees, migration, multi-culturalism, international conflict resolution.

  5. Awards

    Stephen received the Solent Teaching in Excellence award in 2018. He received Thames Valley University's Teaching Excellence award in 2009. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy - nominated by Roger Mills who has made 120 films for television.

    Roger Mills Nomination of Steve Desmond as a Fellow of the HEA

    Dear Higher Education Academy:

    I am writing this reference in support of Mr Stephen Desmond, who has applied for a fellowship through the HEA.

    My name is Roger Mills. I have produced and directed over 120 documentary films for the major terrestrial broadcasters and won many awards, inter alia four BAFTAs in my own name, including the Desmond Davis Award for Services to Television.

    I was the Academic External Examiner for the MA in Video Production & Film Studies at The University of West London (then TVU) from 2006 – 2010. It was there that I met Mr Desmond, who was Course Leader for the MA during that period

    Mr Desmond’s career is a formidable one. He has over 25 years experience teaching in Higher Education around the world, including 5 years in the MA in Media Studies at The New School University in New York, and 5 years teaching on the MFA in Design & Technology at the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.

    During my years as Mr Desmond’s External Examiner in the UK I was impressed by his ability to:- design successful curricula: manage the MA programme itself: implement excellent quality mechanisms and record keeping: design effective and appropriate technical facilities: recruit, support , teach and mentor students from all over the world.

    Due to Mr Desmond’s sustained energy in supporting each student to attain his or her potential, many international awards for filmmaking were won e.g. Best Directorial Debut from The New York Independent Film & Video Festival; Best Cinematography-International Section from The New York Independent Film & Video Festival; The MA student film ‘Temple of the Tigers’ commissioned by The Discovery Channel, which became its broadcast ‘hit of the year’.

    Students also shone academically under Mr Desmond’s tutelage. PG fellowships were won at Yale University in the US, while some students advanced to complete PhDs by film practice at institutions such as Queens University Belfast.

    Mr Desmond shared a close and collegial bond with his teaching colleagues Witold Starecki and Luciano Zubbillaga. It seemed to me that the three worked most effectively as a team in delivering the best possible experience for the MA students under their care. Mr Desmond was clearly well respected by his students, who appreciated his unstinting efforts on their behalf..

    During my time as External Examiner, The MA course run by Mr Desmond was taken through a formal 5 year periodic review practice, which was, evaluated by a team of internal and external advisors, adjudicators and quality audit professionals. The results were most satisfactory. Mr Desmond’s ability to create a blended curriculum which interwove theory and practice was singled out for commendation, together with his capacity to stimulate learning around the mastery of technologies in ways which directed students towards wider theoretical and ethical concepts, critical awareness, sustained research and intellectual rigour.

    I have no hesitation in recommending Mr Stephen Desmond for a HEA fellowship.
 

    
Yours faithfully,
    Roger Mills M.A. (Oxon)