Discover! Creative Careers Week draws to a close

The 2019 Discover! Creative Careers Week has now officially ended with thousands of young people having learned about jobs in the screen and wider creative industries.

Studio visits, marketing and writing workshops and talks were among the range of activities introducing pupils to a diverse range of careers in film, TV, VFX, animation and games.

One participant hailed the experience as “amazing” and said: "Having the chance to visit a massive TV production company is something I never thought I would get to do. I have really gained an insight into the industry.”

Creative agency Feref with Sony and MPC held a day for pupils that included developing ideas for a marketing campaign for the forthcoming Jumanji film. A visit to Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden included the Harry Potter studio tour.

Groups of students took part in events from touring the digital archives and projection rooms of the BFI to visiting Gaston’s Cave, creators of Peppa Pig, for a talk and tour around the studios.  Other participating animation studios included Blue Zoo, who are behind the Mr Bean animated show and the upcoming TV adaptation of Paddington.

Images above: Students explore Gaston's Cave; Blue Zoo offer a character creation demonstration 

At the National Videogame Museum in Sheffield, students learned about a career in videogames with a series of talks and fun demonstrations, as well as a chance to explore the museum. Discover! introduced other pupils to a career in games with visits to companies such as Konami, Ubisoft and SEGA.

The production company Kudos arranged talks by creatives on some of its best-known shows including Paulette Randall (director of Tin Star and Death in Paradise), production designer Tom Bowyer (The Capture) and editor Paul Knight (Spooks).

Tim Rahman, Director of Learning for Enterprise for Westminster Academy, described the trip as “an absolutely incredible experience” and said: “As young people it is so important to see the industry in action and the day was a real inspiration for them.

“The staff at Kudos were incredibly engaging throughout and really made the students feel like they could have a future in such an amazing sector. I've already had students get in touch with them about creating further opportunities so as a school we are already seeing the success of it. This is the most important thing as a teacher - being able to give our students this access is something schools simply cannot do without the help from these kinds of companies.”

A student said: “I've learnt so much and it has just made me so determined to work hard and make it in the media industry. I am really excited about the future possibilities - thank you!"

In Manchester, pupils visited the set of Coronation Street, learning about screenwriting and writing their own storylines. In Leeds, pupils wrote their own scenes for Emmerdale which were then performed for the students by Emmerdale actors that day.

Images above: Students come together with actors Isabel Hodgins (Victoria Sugden), Anna Nightingale (Andrea Tate) and Matthew Wolfenden (David Metcalfe) to create Emmerdale scenes. 

The BBC offered tours of their news studios in Salford, Birmingham and Bristol to inspire students to pursue careers in TV journalism.  Sky’s introduction to life in the newsroom included the work of sports reporters including a talk by former sportsman turned presenter Mike Wedderburn. Channel 4 also opened its offices in locations including Leeds, London and Manchester to showcase a range of roles including film financing, programme-making and commissioning.

A long list of other companies also took part including Elstree and Three Mills Studios, Bankside Films, Lionsgate, Molinare TV & Film.

Images above: Students take a tour of the BBC studios; a brainstorming activity takes part at SEGA; director Dr Paulette Randall gives a talk at Kudos TV & Film; students explore the National Videogame Museum; Warner Bros. hosts a Discover! Week event.

Discover! Creative Careers Week had started for the screen industries at Pinewood Studios on Saturday, with a series of talks and panels from industry professionals including ScreenSkills own Oscar-winning producer and head of film and animation, Gareth Ellis-Unwin. ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar interviewed BAFTA-winning writer and director Deborah Isitt for the official launch in Birmingham on Monday.

Seetha praised the initiative as “wonderfully inspiring and exciting” for the students, giving them the opportunity to discover careers they may not have previously considered.

The week concluded with ScreenSkills joining forces with Access:VFX at WorldSkills Live in Birmingham, the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeships and careers event.

You can read more about other events and organisations taking part here.

The Creative Careers Programme was a commitment made by government and industry as part of the government’s industrial strategy, championed and supported by the Creative Industries Council. The DCMS provided funding to support the first year. Discussions are under way on how to repeat Discover! next year.

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