Film and animation paint creative picture for UI student

A UI student learns to balance his passion for film and animation with creative and professional lenses.


Katie Goodale

Sophomore Tyler Radcliffe poses for a portrait outside the Adler Journalism Building on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. Radcliffe hopes to go into screenwriting or producing and can be found working on his Youtube channel or designing commissioned pieces.

Michael McCurdy, Arts Reporter

Part of being a creative storyteller is finding one’s niche medium: the path artists employ to guide people through an ensemble of poems, a portfolio of paintings/photos, or collection of prose.

For University of Iowa sophomore Tyler Radcliff, his storytelling medium choice came to him at a young age after realizing in middle school there are other unconventional methods to get his ideas out.

“I remember in middle school we usually had the option to create videos for class assignments, and so I was probably the only one in my class who chose that option,” Radcliff said. “I always really enjoyed it, especially over making PowerPoints.”

Radcliff’s passion for film increased with age. Residing in Council Bluffs as a freshman in high school, he discovered that statewide speech competitions also took short film entries. Excited to combine his passions with schoolwork, he quickly got to work writing and directing short films for the next four years of high school.

“At my school, no one had ever tried the speech short-film competition, partially because not that many were heavily interested in cameras or recording video,” Radcliff said. “So I decided to write and direct one with my friends, and the movie ended up being terrible, but it was fun to make and a good experience. Every year, we kept getting better and better and eventually were recognized at Iowa All-State for Speech.”

Now at the UI, film is an all-encompassing part of his college experience; however, his sole focus on short films has expanded to incorporating his knowledge and passion for storytelling to other media and uses of film.

Before his attraction to film, he was interested in drawing and sketching art. At school, in his business-like, one-strap shoulder backpack, he carries around two booklets of sketches. Some for doodling and personal meanings, others for outlining his projects, one being an upcoming animation project titled “Jeepers.”

Because of his ongoing fascination with storytelling and lifelong passion for drawing, he recently decided to double-major in cinema and art.

“At the very end of my freshman year, I realized because of my interest in special effects for my short films, I added art as a double major that will focus on graphic design and animation as its focus,” he said.

With some art classes now under his belt, Radcliff said his goal of finding work in film and digital art will now be more of a realistic outcome after college — he recently designed a T-shirt for the Nebraska and Hawkeye game, while also designing a logo for a local athletics trainer’s startup company.

He even gets paid on campus to work behind the camera, serving as a videographer for HawkVision, where he sits behind a plethora of cameras during Hawkeye home football games, helping his coworkers decide the content that plays on the south end-zone Jumbotron.

Still young in his tenure at the UI, he hopes to continue exploring a diverse range of storytelling media on campus while also expanding his startup production company, Dapper Productions, in hopes of garnering a portfolio of film and animated work to help him with his future aspirations of being a screenwriter or producer.