Representatives from the high-end TV (HETV) industry gathered in Cardiff this week to celebrate 10 years of ScreenSkills’ High-end TV Skills Fund in Wales.
Chair of the HETV Skills Council, Barry Ryan, welcomed guests and thanked the production industry in Wales for its achievements over the past decade, highlighting the importance of long-term collaborative and collective investment in a skilled HETV workforce.
“I’ve realised over the years working with different crews on productions for different companies,” began Ryan, “From helping individuals plan their careers, to supporting producers and independent production companies train and develop staff, the Fund has helped many of us start and maintain career paths throughout high-end television. And that is the essential thing the industry is reliant on – skilled personnel.”
Over the past three years, the Fund has supported 19 productions in Wales including The Lazarus Project, Sex Education, The Pact and Doctor Who. During the 10 years, 2,745 beneficiaries in Wales have been supported by funded programmes to grow and develop the Welsh workforce.
The breadth and impact of this work was explored in a panel discussion led by Cardiff-based producer Adam Knopf, who chairs the Wales HETV Fund Working Group. Members of the working group, David P Davis from 5 Acts Productions and Hayley Manning from Little Door Productions, joined Adam on the panel.
Discussing the work the Fund is doing in Wales to help those in the industry progress, Hayley Manning advised crew: “To give your career the best chance, get embodied in every role. Get experience and credits across a variety of productions, and be patient.”
Adam Knopf, himself an alumni of the Make a Move programme that led to his first line producing role on Marcella, addressed the challenges faced when stepping up into more senior production roles. Drawing on his latest production, Lost Boys and Fairies, Adam explained how the Developing Heads of Department programme was supporting talent in Wales wanting to progress into more senior roles by offering on the job experience.
“The Developing Heads of Department programme in Wales was totally career changing,” says Peter Darney, after working on the set of Lost Boys and Fairies. “I got to shadow a director working with a team at the top of their game creating a world class drama, here in my home town. I got extensive directing experience in things that only the budget of a high-end drama could offer. The breadth of experience I gained has given me the confidence to know that I can lead my own teams through whatever challenges production might throw at me.”
David P Davis raised the importance of supporting those who are stepping up into more senior production roles and setting up people to succeed. He also shared his advice: “Everything is a learning opportunity. It might not be what you want to do long term, but it’s a stepping stone. So that when you get where you want to be, you’re ready.”
Watch the video to find out how the High-end TV Skills Fund has invested in the workforce in Wales. The first version is in Welsh.
Watch the video in English below.