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Mark's research project

Mark Player discusses his experience of working on his PhD in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television
My research is on do-it-yourself (DIY) Japanese film production during the 1970s and 1980s. It looks at how the form interacted with the country's punk music and culture scene, and the radically changing film industry, at that time.

Getting started

Mark became aware of our Department when he learned the University of Reading was part of the Southwest and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWWDTP).

After talking to members of staff from different universities in the SWWDTP consortium, he decided the University had the academic expertise to support his research.  

Two members of the Department (who became my supervisors) got in touch after I submitted my initial proposal and they were both very interested in working with me. In a way, Reading sort of chose me.

Studying part time

Being able to study his PhD part time gave Mark time to think and rethink his ideas. It enabled him to gather information and materials that he probably wouldn't have considered otherwise.

Embarking on a PhD is unlike any form of education you have previously done. It's natural to feel alienated or unsure about the value of your work at times, or even your own expertise in the subject. But remember that your research is unique and has something to offer the world, and as it grows, you grow as well.

Conducting research in the field

Mark had the opportunity to visit Japan and conduct fieldwork thanks to funding from the British Association for Japanese Studies and additional financial support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

He met several filmmakers who self-produced films during the 1970s and 1980s, including Professor Naoto Yamakama from Tokyo Polytechnic University.

Winning awards

The quality of Mark's research was recently recognised when he won the University of Reading's PhD Researcher of the Year 2018 Award for the Heritage and Creativity Research Theme.

Research stories

The context of film scholarship has allowed me to risk making a film of a sort that was completely new to me (a historical drama), which might not have been possible in the commercial environment that I came from.

Dominic Lees, PhD student

Our research


We partner with national and international cultural institutions across all our disciplines.

Some of our recent major research projects include User Not Found, Staging Beckett and Harold Pinter: Histories and Legacies