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Oct. 16, 2013, 2013/For Immediate Release, high res. photo available

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



WINSTON-SALEM Joseph Blankinship, a college senior studying cinematography at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) School of Filmmaking, won third place in the 2013 National Student Operator competition conducted by the Society of Camera Operators. The awards were announced at the organization’s annual meeting in Burbank, Calif.

Blankinship, of High Point, was recognized for his work as camera operator on the student film TITLE FIGHT, which premiered at UNCSA in May. He received a student membership in the society.

“This award was a wonderful surprise that seemed to validate everything I've worked for at UNCSA,” he said. “It was kind of like a few of my greatest camera operator idols saying I really can do this!”

On the set of TITLE FIGHT, for which Joseph Blankinship won a national camera operators competition  Photo by Brent LaFever

Cinematography faculty member Thomas Ackerman A.S.C., photography director for more than 35 theatrical films including BEETLEJUICE, JUMANJI, and THE LEGEND OF RON BURGANDY, said the award is important recognition. “It places both Joseph and UNCSA Film School in a very positive light,” he said.

TITLE FIGHT was written and directed by Ian Michael Gullet and produced by Bernice Miller, both of Winston-Salem. When a worn out veteran inherits his old boxing coach's gym, a challenge for its ownership reignites his will to fight.

Blankinship is currently working as camera operator on the student film STARLIGHT and as director of photography for the student film SO LONG CHARLIE. He is student body president, a voting member of the UNCSA Board of Trustees, and a member of the Chancellor Search Committee.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.