Charlie Lyne

Chelsea, Art & Design, 2010

Creative Enterprise Award Winner 2011 – Freelancer

Charlie Lyne has successfully carved an outstanding career as blogger, journalist, presenter, events organiser and all round film expert. His movie blog ultraculture.co.uk won Sky's Blog of the Year in 2011 and he was listed as The Times' Top 100 Arts Tweeters. Making a business from his blog he was headhunted by Claudia Winkleman to present on Film 2011 and has worked for everyone from the BBC to Timeout, The Guardian to ID-Magazine, Vice and the ICA.

You’ve built a career on your very successful blog – was that the plan when you set it up?
Not at all. When I started the blog I would have been amazed to learn it was going to last a year, let alone half a decade. At the time it was just something I used to distract myself during AS revision. It was only by keeping up with the blog that I realised I wanted to be a writer at all.

What skills and characteristics do you need to manage the kind of varied career you have?
Freelance work can be pretty terrifying when nothing's coming in. I think you have to have the patience to trust that — in all likelihood — a job will come along eventually.

What’s your advice for students hoping to make a career in the media?
Seek a niche. For a long time, I made the mistake of writing about a very wide range of subjects, and therefore competing with a huge number of more talented, more knowledgeable and more experienced writers than myself. I only really gained some traction once I started writing from a more personal angle.

How did studying at Chelsea prepare you for your career? Is there anything more UAL could have done?
I studied filmmaking at Chelsea and even though I was only there a year, the experience had a massive impact on the way I went on to write about film. I think it's a common mistake to draw too thick a distinction between filmmaking and film criticism. My writing has been enormously informed by my film work, and vice versa.

What’s coming up for you next?
I'm in post-production on my first film, Beyond Clueless. It's a feature-length essay film on the mind, body and soul of the teen movie, and with any luck it'll be finished early next year.