@UKScreenSkills - Creatives and crew from award-winning UK film, animation and television are using the Covid-19 production hiatus to support training in universities and colleges.
Industry professionals who have worked on titles including The Favourite, Quantum of Solace, Game of Thrones, Top of the Lake and a string of Wallace and Gromit hits are taking part in online industry insight seminars for students on university and college courses which have achieved ScreenSkills Select endorsement.
ScreenSkills Select endorses courses that have been recognised by practitioners as relevant to working in the screen industries, a process designed to answer industry criticisms that courses were producing students without appropriate knowledge and experience for the workplace.
Five special online industry insight events with experienced professionals as well as more recent entrants to the sector have been designed to give students, tutors and course leaders valuable insights into key job roles in screen, highlighting early career roles where possible, and relevant resources to support entry into job roles.
They also aim to help universities and colleges maintain strong employer engagement despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 crisis. Running from the end of this month into June, they will cover the production office, art department, animation and VFX, technical and post-production.
They are complemented by a series of online employability events targeted at final-year students. These offer insight on how to find job opportunities, what to expect from a first job, how to identify and demonstrate strengths and what to expect on entering the workforce.
The first round of employability events are taking place at: Edinburgh Napier University, Liverpool John Moores University, Northern Film School, Norwich University of the Arts, Teesside University, University of Portsmouth, University of Westminster, UWE, Bristol, and the University of the West of Scotland.
Tim Weiss, ScreenSkills director of vocational skills, said: “Part of our commitment is to bring the industry and education closer together to the benefit of both. Although this is harder at a time of social distancing, it felt important to continue our work in sharing insight and expertise and help ready the next generation of screen workers to prepare to enter the industry.”
Details of industry experts taking part in the insight events follow.
ScreenSkills Select is designed to help young people and their parents and teachers identify courses that best prepare students for a career working in film, television, VFX, animation or games and distinguish between courses that are a pathway to employment and those less likely to help.
Replacing the previous accreditation service Tick created by ScreenSkills (then Creative Skillset) in 2005, ScreenSkills Select launched last year and is designed to:
- Bring university and college courses closer to the screen industries
- Ensure students who want to work in the screen industries can identify those courses that give them the best possible start
- Help the screen industries identify work-ready students who can fulfil their needs
- Give educators additional industry insight and connections, giving their courses a distinct value in a crowded marketplace.
The move is being made in the context of:
- a booming UK production sector with skills shortages and gaps
- renewed interest in vocational learning
- increasing demand from students for value for money from their education investment.
The industry insight days are being moderated by programme leaders and senior lecturers including:
Freya Billington, from UWE, Bristol, Duncan Howell, Nottingham Trent University, Dominic Dunn, Teesside University and Tom Ware, University of South Wales.
Biographies of experts taking part in the industry insight events:
William Hughes, production assistant
William was part of the ScreenSkills Trainee Finder Scheme – its flagship paid placement programme - n 2018. He chose the production department as he aspires to be a producer. He was placed on The One and Only Ivan and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil before getting his first official production assistant (PA) job on Jack Ryan season two. He worked as a PA on Black Widow for its full production cycle. He’s confirmed as being the key PA on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Emma Mallett, production manager
With more than 15 years’ experience in film and television in animation, children's TV, comedy, drama series and features of varying budget; Emma has worked up the ladder from being a runner to a production manager on productions including Family Affairs, Casualty, Quantum of Solace, Rush, Maleficent and Me Before You. She was previously the Film Production Liaison Manager at Creative Skillset.
Eric Carney, VFX supervisor
Eric Carney is a three-time Emmy Award-winning VFX supervisor who has worked on Game of Thrones and is one of the co-founders of The Third Floor previs studio. He is chief technology officer at The Third Floor.
Charlotte Hutchings, assistant art director and draughtsperson
Charlotte works in art departments on feature films. Another alumni of ScreenSkills’ Trainee Finder programme, working as an art department trainee, she has gone on to work on features such as: Death of Stalin, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Aeronauts and Disney's Cruella.
Tristan Oliver, director of photography
A cinematographer for 25 years, it has been stop-frame animation that has defined his work. His long collaboration with director Nick Park includes the Academy Award winners, The Wrong Trousers, A Close Shave and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. His work with other directors has produced Bafta winners Stage Fright and The Big Story as well as the popular feature film Chicken Run and Academy Award-nominated feature films, Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs, both with Wes Anderson, and ParaNorman.
Fiona Crombie, production designer
Originally trained as a theatre set and costume designer, Fiona decided to switch path after 10 years working in Australian theatre to work in commercials, short ﬁlms and video clips. In 2010, Fiona production and costume-designed her ﬁrst feature, The Snowtown Murders. before going on to projects include Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite, Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth and David Michod’s The King. Fiona’s most recent project is Cruella the prequel to Disney’s 101 Dalmations directed by Craig Gillespie.
Bimpe Alliu, junior concept artist
After beginning her career in social media and digital marketing at Sony Music UK, Bimpe made the decision to focus on working as an artist professionally. Within 18 months, she joined Industrial Light and Magic London as a runner, then transitioned into the role of art assistant, before finally moving into the position of junior concept artist.
Emma Bayat, assistant editor/visual effects (VFX) editor
Emma is currently working as VFX editor on the second season of Pennyworth for Warner Bros. She recently finished as second assistant editor on Fate: The Winx Saga for Netflix.
Alice Felton, art director, and Fiona Crombie, production designer. Bafta-winning creative minds behind The Favourite’s production design
Alice Felton started her career in pop videos and commercials after studying theatre and fine art at University of Brighton. She moved over into films after working on long-form TV series and commercials. Alice assisted the set decorator on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo working with Dante Ferretti. Alice’s credits as a set decorator include Justin Krurzel’s Macbeth, Sally Potter’s The Party, Benedict Andrew’s Una, David Michelle’s The King, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite for which Alice won an BAFTA award and was nominated for an Oscar. Alice has worked as a Set Decorator on many different periods and genres. Alice finished working Disney’s Cruella staring Emma Stone and directed by Craig Gillespie in December 2019.
Paul Austin, post-production
Paul Austin is managing director at Farm Manchester, the biggest post-production facility in the UK outside of London. Farm Manchester has been operational for over 18 months and has been full for most of that time, due to the rapidly increasing amount of productions being made in the North West.
Domizia Salusest, director of photography
Domizia Salusest is an Italian DOP and photographer based in London. She graduated from the photojournalism and documentary photography course from University of the Art London.
While studying at UAL she made contact with the production company Fully Focused who offered her experience on bigger productions. For the past two years, she has been working on short films, music videos and documentaries as a director of photography.