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From left: Creative student Rebecca Cumbo, Charmian Adams, Mari Yamamura and student Thomas Howe

Media students learn from screen industry experts including Downton Abbey art director

MEDIA students at Bridgwater & Taunton College have received training from top industry professionals, thanks to their course’s ScreenSkills Select quality mark status.

ScreenSkills is the industry-led body for the screen industries, encompassing film, television, VFX, animation and games.

The organisation aims to provide insight, career development and other opportunities to help people get into the sector and progress within it.

BTC’s Level 3 Commercial Media Production programme is one of a small number of UK college courses which have been endorsed with the ScreenSkills Select quality mark.

The course has been signposted as relevant to working in the sector thanks to its high quality course content, industry links, and support available to students as they take their next steps towards further training and work in the screen industries.

As part of the scheme, students at Bridgwater campus took part in a ‘Set Ready’ employability day with Charmian Adams (Art director on ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Edge of Darkness’ and ‘Sid & Nancy’), Mari Yamamura (Director of Photography for BBC’s ‘Dracula’, ‘Doctors’ and ‘Being Human’) and Alex Withers (Assistant Director department on ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ and the ‘Everybody’s Talking about Jamie’ feature film).

Workshops

The students learned how film sets work through a variety of workshops, including recreating a scene from ‘The Joker’. The professional visitors also advised the students on how to create CVs for Media and offered tips on how to get into the industry.

The Creative Media students were also joined by Media Make-Up students from University Centre Somerset, who learned about the design side of the industry and did the make-up for the scene recreations.

Level 3 Creative Media (Film & Television) student Jack Turner said “I had an absolutely amazing time with ScreenSkills. Getting the chance to work with professionals in my area of interest was fantastic and I can’t thank them enough.”

Alexander Churchill, also a Level 3 Creative Media (Film & Television) student, said “It was a very engaging and informative experience. I learned a lot from it, including practical skills.”

Real experience

Margaret Burgin, ScreenSkills’ Head of Careers, said: “To get their first jobs in the film and TV industries, students need real experience of how the industry works and what roles are available. They also need to know how to approach film and programme makers.

“This ‘Set Ready’ employability day was a huge success because it combined all of these things with students learning directly from professionals currently working in the industry – exactly the kind of industry experience ScreenSkills Select is designed to promote.”

Alan Hardcastle, Course Leader of Level 3 Commercial Media Production at the Bridgwater campus, said: “This has been an amazing opportunity and our students were lucky to be able to take full advantage of it.

“At a time when the industry is expanding and the need for talent is at an all-time high, showing students the reality of working on set and meeting people who are active in the profession is invaluable.

“It makes the whole thing real to them and breaks through the perception that living in a rural area makes it harder to get into the industry, even though the BBC, Netflix and Marvel all shoot locally.”

 

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