Benjamin Pinsent

Benjamin Pinsent


  • 1.14 Arts and Humanities Building

  • AMA

Personal profile


I am a current Post-Graduate Research Student at The University of East Anglia. While my current research project concerns film history, genre, special effects and media reception. My academic interests span much further than that, from Japanese Cinema to Animation. 

My Ph.D. research concerns the reception of the work of Rick Baker, the make-up artist that created the legendary werewolf transformation from American Werewolf in London. The thesis will encompass his work on lycanthropes and simians and is a historical reception study tied to a historical examination of the techniques that Baker used.

While I am currently working toward his Ph.D., I am also close to publishing a section my Masters' thesis, an examination of the auteur image of Japanese Director Naruse Mikio, and I have plans to publish articles about Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood and Ghost in the Shell. 

I not only have experience in academia, but through his professional career, I have dabbled in film production, radio broadcasting, marketing and criticism. 

Academic Background

Doctor of Philosophy in Film | University of East Anglia, Norwich | 2018 - Current

Provisional Title of Thesis: By the Light of the Moon: Comparing and Contrasting Critical and Production reception of practical effects in the films of Rick Baker

This project seeks to be both a historical reception study examining discourses surrounding Rick Baker. It aims to investigate and elevate the role of the Special Effects Artist. It also seeks to preserve a history of special effects that is slowly being ignored by other academics.

Master of Arts in Film | University of East Anglia, Norwich | 2015-2016

Grade: Distinction | Modules Studied: Film History Theory and Criticism: British Cinema: Effects Audiences and Media: Asian Cinema: Fantasy Genres: 

Award: Outstanding Effort for a Post Graduate Taught Student in the Department of Film Television and Media

Masters' Dissertation Title: The Invisible Auteur: Using Naruse Mikio to Consider Issues of Authorship, the Distribution of Japanese Cinema and the Construction of an Auteur Image
This was a study surrounding the construction of Naruse Mikio's auteur image that involved examining how and why a specific picture of the Japanese director was formulated. It used festival material, academic material and reviews to demonstrate the instability and bias that form around directors status as an auteur.
Bachelor of Arts in Film | University of Essex, Colchester | 2011-2014
Grade: First Class Modules Include: Hollywood Directors: Animation: World Cinema: Cultural Ideology: American Documentary: Philosophy and Film: Practical Filmmaking
Third Year Dissertation: Speaking in Public: Identity by and for Another
This was a critical-creative project that explored the Sartrean notion of Identity and the other. Part of the challenge involved making a short film that dealt with this particular philosophical idea in a narrative, while the essay in a more academic.

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, University of East Anglia

20 Sep 201520 Sep 2016

Award Date: 7 Apr 2017

Bachelor of Arts, University of Essex

1 Oct 201110 Jun 2014

Award Date: 17 Jul 2014