Professor Andrew Quicke was a former professor in the Department of Film & Television at Regent University. Prior to his time at Regent, Professor Quicke moved to Oxford to study at Oxford University. There, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science. Throughout his career as a director, writer, and producer, he worked for BBC Television, CBN News, Clearview International Cable Television, and many other film production companies. He has traveled through Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, the Middle East, the United States, and other locations for documentaries and other projects. He also founded the Reuters-Visnews International Film Training School in Nigeria. At Regent, Professor Quicke was an executive producer for endowed film projects. At the end of the Fall 2022 semester, Professor Quicke retired and moved back to London.
What was it like studying at Oxford University?
It was wonderful; however, there was a problem. The instructors at Oxford didn’t teach film at all. They taught English and many other subjects, but they didn’t teach film. So, in those days, it wasn’t possible to get a degree in film. I had a degree in modern history, which taught me more about conducting research. The degree also taught me more about the realities of how people behave rather than how they ought to behave. BBC taught me a great deal about broadcasting, particularly about television, and I learned from them.
What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
I was fascinated by human behavior. First, it was from the documented point of view, and more recently, I believe that some things are difficult to show in a documentary and can be better shown in a fictional situation. One of these things is time. Feature films usually last for two hours, maybe three hours, but basically a film is made up of compressed events. You can let your fantasies fly, and I think that can be interesting. I think the film that maybe made me want to join the industry was Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.
What inspired you to become a professor at Regent?
I went to the Reuters Visnews organization and was asked to set up a film school for some of their international clients, particularly from Nigeria, who knew nothing about film. So with the help of another former BBC guy, we invented a three-month Visnews International Film School. Three months is not nearly enough time; you really need more like two years. But that’s how I got into education. When I heard about Regent University, I was very interested, and was one of their first lecturers back in 1978. I was asked to join their faculty full-time, but I decided not to. Instead, I did other things, like running a cable system in Thailand and a news variant in Jerusalem.
Then, I returned to Regent because I was working with CBN in Middle Eastern television. I spoke to Jack Heeler, who was the dean at the time. He told me they were still looking for someone to teach international broadcasting and I felt like the time was right now. I said I’d come down for a year, and my whole family loved it. We decided to stay and got our green cards and became citizens. Now, thirty-five years later, I’m retiring! America’s a wonderful place, and I think Regent is so rare as a developed Christian film school. I think it was the first, and I can only hope we are the best.
What is your favorite memory from directing, producing, or writing a movie or TV show?
I think one of the most interesting film expeditions I did was to look for the lost tribe of the Norris in Afghanistan. That was long before America went to Afghanistan when it was a Wild West frontier and nobody went that much. My brother was working on an industry project at the time, so we met up first in New Delhi, and then later in Pakistan. My brother had a car and I suggest we drive across Asia and look for the Norris tribe in Afghanistan. Eventually, we did find the Norris, who are a small collection of Greek descendants. They live in a very mountainous area, and we filmed them in their homeland. That was a very exciting trip!
Do you have any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
Working in the film industry is very hard work. Not all of it is glamorous. The first next ten years of your life in this industry are going to be really tough. You’re gonna be working weekends, nights, and long hours. Most of it will probably be underpaid until you get a break. If you have a romantic partner, they are going to have to understand that they’re not gonna see very much of you in those early years. I often tell people to figure out their careers before getting married because they have no idea what time commitment their job will demand.
There are sacrifices you make if you’re in this intense industry. People have left the industry not necessarily because they’re incompetent. It’s just that luck didn’t favor them. But at the end of the day, if you think you’re called into this industry, then you gotta do it. Otherwise, you spend a lifetime regretting what you could’ve done.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergraduate in a different subject. True film art comes from those who are widely experienced and determined to reveal aspects of human behavior, interest, and passion through the camera. Good film directors should read books consistently and stay cognisant of movements in world art.