People living near Pinewood Studios introduced to film industry

A group of 66 people living near Pinewood Studios attended Skills to Film, a practical two-day event that introduced them to the film industry

Supported by the BFI as part of its National Lottery funded Future Film Skills strategy, the new ScreenSkills initiative aims to tackle skills shortages identified by the industry by taking advantage of existing expertise in the local workforce.

Attendees had a wide range of professional backgrounds, with jobs ranging from security guards and wedding dress designers to rangers, drapers, scaffolders and bookkeepers. In addition to learning more about the basics of the film industry, they learned about where their skills could potentially fit in. “I can definitely say that I learnt a lot about transferring my skills to be of use in the locations department,” one of the attendees said.    

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills’ Head of Film and Animation, said: “We know that there are many roles within film that have their counterparts outside the industry. This initiative aims to encourage people with expertise we need to take up opportunities to work in film. We hope that there will be many who are excited to learn about the options and share their skills.”

In this edition of the programme participants were able to explore the accounts, art, construction, costume and locations department. A range of professionals working in each were on-site to answer any questions participants might have about their jobs or about what working in film is really like.

Alongside learning about the departments, attendees received a tour of Pinewood Studios and were able to participate in practical workshops on the essentials of creating a CV for the film industry, networking and finding opportunities.

 "Thank you all so much for this opportunity and a genuinely interesting, insightful and educational programme,” one participant said after completing the weekend. Another said that the course had been “amazing”, before adding that “I hope it opens a door for all the attendees and that you can repeat it every year.”

Andrew M. Smith, Pinewood Studios’ Corporate Affairs Director, said: “The UK film industry is growing at an incredible rate. We really hope this initiative will help local people understand how their skills are relevant to the film industry, and that it leads to people finding roles in a thriving sector.”

All participants are invited to return to Pinewood on 26 June for a networking session, which will help them explore opportunities whilst connecting with managers and hirers.

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