Old Princethorpian Interview

Tom Pilling

1. Bit of background, where you live, what you do for a living:

I am currently working as a DOP (Director of Photography) based in London. I mainly work on television and web-based adverts where I direct the visual aspects of the shoot and then light and compose the shots to get the production looking as best as it can.

I live in Kingston which is in South London and I have just bought my first house. From this I have learnt three vital things: buying a house is something that I never want to do again, deadlines are normally a random guess and no matter how hard you try, a sofa will never ever fit through a door.

2. Age:


3. When were you at Princethorpe - years from and to?

I joined Princethorpe back in 2007 and I was in 7JA if I remember correctly with the wonderful Mr Allen. I then continued up until Upper Sixth where I went on to study an Art Foundation at Central Saint Martins.

4. What was the school like in your day?

The school was how I imagine it has always been: full of noise, laughter and love. 

5. How did Princethorpe affect the person you are today?

The biggest thing I took from my time at Princethorpe was the knowledge that the more you put in, the more you get out. Princethorpe taught that it's not all about ticking boxes, it's about giving yourself to the things you love to do and the more you give, the more you will get in return. 

6. What advice would you give to your teenage self?

I don't know where to start with this one as there is just so much to choose from. Apart from the obvious choice that blonde highlights in Year 8 were maybe not the best choice then I would have to say: give your time to the things and people that you love and don't waste it worrying about things you can't even remember a few years later.

7. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your life?

Apart from my family and the brilliant Mr Isaacs then it would have to be the people I am surrounded by. Creative people - people who have passion flowing from their ears.

8. What keeps you awake at night?

The number 381 bus that always seems to beep right outside my window. 

9. What has been your proudest moment/greatest achievement so far?

Seeing my work on TV for the first time was very surreal and I would love to work on bigger productions in the future. 

10. What’s your biggest indulgence?

I know some of my answers have been a little way from sensible but I am totally serious when I say Biscoff cheesecake. I'm about seven times larger post-lockdown but I regret none of it.

11. If you had to have one last meal, what would it be?

... Biscoff cheesecake 

12. If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be and who would be with you?

If money was no object then I would say somewhere sandy, sunny and in close proximity to a large quantity of gin. Joining me ... anyone who want's a G&T and maybe my partner...

13. Lasting memories of Princethorpe:

There are too many to choose from but one very fond memory was going to Loch Lomond with the Youth SVP on a mini bus with a group of fantastic people. Pink day was also fantastic even though dressing up as a questionable belly dancer may not have been the best choice. The lasting memories are the little ones you have with your closest friends that make no sense to anyone but you. Those are the best memories.

14. Are you in touch with any other Old Princethorpians, if so whom?

I am but I am notoriously terrible for keeping in touch with people. The fab Helen Fitchett is always a great catch up but the time difference is tricky with Helen swanning off to Australia... I'm still saving up for my ticket.

15. Is there anyone you would like to track down?

I once forgot to get cash to tip a delivery driver who climbed eight flights of stairs to deliver my pizza. I should probably track him down to apologise, and possibly give him a long overdue tip.