Job title: props trainee / art department assistant
Joining ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder scheme in 2014 gave Lili Lea Abraham a foot in the door of the film industry. And a bursary has helped her attend an international educational programme for art department professionals to further develop her skills in production design.
Originally from Hungary, Lili Lea Abraham moved to London in 2010 to study film at the London College of Communication. While she had the chance to design short films and cover the theoretical aspects of film at university, she encountered the perennial problem of transitioning to work in the industry without knowing many film professionals or having real-world practical experience.
Being accepted on ScreenSkills' Trainee Finder scheme allowed her to get a foot in the door. Working on projects like Mowgli and The Halcyon enabled Lili to gain invaluable work experience and credits, but it also helped her to start building her professional network. She reaps the benefits of that today; some of the people she has met have since employed her, whilst others have become close friends.
Following the work she did in Mowgli’s prop department, joining the Warner Brothers Creative Talent Scheme in 2015 offered Lili further training opportunities. Many films later – Ready Player One, Paddington 2 and Life and Death of John F Donovan are only a few of the titles on her resume – Lili is continuing production designing shorts and independent art house feature films and fulfilling her ambition of becoming a full-time production designer.
Recently, a bursary from the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund allowed Lili to attend Art Department Masterclass: World Building, an international education programme that took place in Vilnius in June 2018. With 80% of the course fees covered by the bursary, she was able to participate in this workshop that focused on the art department’s work in project development and production. Watch a video about the workshop:
Although Lili understands why many graduates are concerned about finding ways to enter the film industry, she believes they should not worry. ”There is a lot of help out there along the way for people who are motivated and hard working. ScreenSkills is an absolutely brilliant example.”
ScreenSkills Trainee Finder has placed hundreds of young, talented, creative individuals on film, high-end TV and children's television across the UK. The entry-level placement scheme matches trainees with productions who have paid into the skills investment funds (commonly known as the levies) for on-set and on-the-job training. In return, the production companies can claim back some of the trainee's salary.