Alumni Dinner 28th February 2015

Saturday 28th February saw more than 30 Alumni members gather in the school Dining Hall for the 2015 annual dinner. 

After enjoying a superb four-course meal accompanied by plenty of liquid refreshment and our traditional intercourse bingo (which, this year raised £100 )everyone settled back to listen to this year’s speaker—our very own membership secretary Liam Rand (1977).  

Over the course of the next 30 minutes under the title A Career In Celluloid , Liam proceeded to both astound and educate us about his career as a Hollywood script editor. 

Who would have thought that someone who had shared the same classrooms, playing fields and assembly hall as the rest of us would go on to edit scripts for some of the best-known films of recent times? 

Without the slightest hint of hubris Liam casually mentioned that he had worked on The Shawshank Redemption, Miss Congeniality, Love Actually, Meet Joe Black and a number of other, well-known Hollywood movies.  

Whilst quick to explain that he had benefitted from his time at STM he also pointed out that he didn’t particularly shine in English lessons, and began his working life in the retail trade. 

But an Open University degree in English Literature led to him becoming a script writer first for Eastenders in the late 1980s and then Coronation Street. When his agent suggested that he might be more suited to editing he jumped at the chance and has never looked back.  

His talk not only focussed on his own particular experiences but also explained the complexities involved in writing a screenplay: getting the plot points in the right places, ensuring it runs to time, and so on.  

He not only spoke, but also showed clips of his work to demonstrate the point. So we saw scenes of Oscarwinner Sir Anthony Hopkins speaking Liam’s lines in the final act of Meet Joe Black , enjoyed Morgan Freeman’s first encounter with Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption and heard how it was Liam that had suggesting using Bye Bye Baby in the funeral scene for Liam Neeson’s wife in Love Actually.  

All in all, a most enjoyable speech that perfectly rounded-off a great evening!