Find Your Future
Angela is one of the stars of our new Find Your Future adverts, find out more
The Film Forward initiative is designed to create change in the UK film industry by supporting experienced Black, Asian or minority ethnic professionals to advance into more senior roles.
Angela is stepping up from production coordinator to production manager.
For many years now, Angela Effanga has been a “girl with a dream” – that of becoming a producer for fantasy and sci fi movies.
But the path to her chosen career has been far from a straightforward one, as many in the screen industry will similarly attest.
“Film was always something I wanted to do but I didn’t know how to navigate the field,” the 35-year-old explains. “When I started out, people weren’t really offering paid work experience, and I needed to earn and pay the bills. I basically got through by piecing info together here and there.”
A careers talk at college helped to sharpen her focus: she had originally thought becoming an actor was the path to working in movies, but a teacher suggested she might consider other creative roles.
She studied for a degree in film and video production at university, and then was lucky enough to encounter a key mentor figure at a television industry event.
“I met the line producer for the BBC’s Holby City and she said, ‘Come in and do some work experience and see how you like it’. She was the first person to give me that quality time and advice. It was so helpful.”
Angela began shadowing the production coordinator, then landed a stint in the script department covering for someone on annual leave. After that, a script runner’s job came up and she spent two “fantastic” years on the hospital drama.
With a firm ambition to move to production, she then made the jump to go freelance.
“I love working with crew, getting my hands dirty, seeing everything come together".
She started as script runner and then worked across a whole range of genres for various independent production companies, from children’s TV to comedy and documentaries, rising through the ranks to production coordinator today. “It was a baptism of fire at first but brilliant getting experience on different genres and making contacts.”
Highlights include the adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy another key skill picked up from learning on the job has been handling the logistics of international productions – from visas to contracts, travel and accommodation.
This year has been the first year in which she has worked exclusively in film – on the Netflix movie I Used To Be Famous, A24 film Tuesday and a Searchlight/BBC/BFI film with the working title Vibes.
Now the hope is to step up into a production manager role and, in the mid to long-term, become a producer.
That’s exactly where ScreenSkills’ new paid placement programme Film Forward provides fresh opportunity – not only for mid-career professionals like Angela, but also for those from under-represented backgrounds.
“I’m at the point in my career when I’m ready to step up and take on a new challenge,” she adds. “And I think Film Forward is going to be exceptionally invaluable. Our industry is very much based on contacts, and this scheme is all about mentoring and advice – even before I begin my placement it’s already been a huge help, just being able to have those conversations.”
“Programmes like Film Forward will further help to bridge the gap and help crew members like me to progress to senior levels, work to increase inclusion, and have more visibility”.
Film Forward is delivered by ScreenSkills supported by the BFI with National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy.
A seasoned production coordinator with 10 years’ experience, Angela Effanga has worked across genres from scripted comedy to documentary, TV shorts, children’s and film, and on projects with budgets ranging from micro to high-end. She describes herself as a team player with a great sense of humour, strong analytical and communication skills and the ability to prioritise and work on her own initiative, delivering to tight deadlines. Production credits include the adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy and crime drama series Informer for BBC One, Netflix film I Used to Be Famous and Tuesday for A24. She is keen to build on her expertise and expand her skillset with the aim of stepping up as production manager.