Supporting screen in the South West

New and aspiring screen talent in Cornwall have taken part in a one-day event to support the growth of the county as a filming location with a second event targeted at students in Somerset.

Set Ready Cornwall was held by the ScreenSkills in partnership with Screen Cornwall for those starting out in behind-the-camera roles in film and television or with in-demand skills to transfer into the UK’s booming screen sector.

The event  was supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds to ScreenSkills to deliver the BFI’s Future Film Skills strategy.

The first live careers event since the first lockdown of the pandemic took place in Truro, Cornwall, in collaboration with Screen Cornwall. Caroline Officer and assistant director Alex Withers delivered a presentation on set etiquette, detailing what prospective workers in film and tv can expect on-set, what will be expected of them, and how to make the right kind of impression.

Alex Withers said: “With our set etiquette presentation we aim to introduce new entrants to the industry, to the kinds of expectations and demands that will be made of them in their first job on-set. By giving an overview of the various departments involved in production and an introduction to the terminology they’re likely to encounter. We hope to give them a leg up and a head start when approaching work in the industry.”

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, ScreenSkills head of film and animation who is also an Academy Award-winning producer, spoke to the audience about the ways in which ScreenSkills can support their careers.

And attendees then took part in a session simulating what happens on a production, acting as members of different on-set teams. The group saw a scene being filmed with actors, and saw in real time the challenges of filming on-set. On what they’d taken from the session, three attendees said “It was very hands-on and entertaining. It makes me want to go back on set,” one said.

The day concluded with an industry panel chaired by Gareth with Laura Giles, Screen Cornwall, Alex Withers, cinematographer Mary Farbrother, and Charmian Adams, art director.

Attendee Lia Stephenson (pictured) said: “I’s been a real insight into the film industry and how everything slots together efficiently to time and within budget. I was so grateful to get some tips on my CV, that’s why I came.”

Neal Megaw said:  “It’s been inspiring to see so many likeminded people in the same room. It makes me hopeful about developing my creative career. It was really useful to get advice on improving my CV too.”

Screen Cornwall is a film office set up to provide filming advice, locations and crew to production companies and location managers interested in shooting in the region, working closely with the county council.

Sessions exploring set etiquette, CV advice and safety on set were also held in Somerset for students at courses endorsed by ScreenSkills Select at  Bridgwater & Taunton College and Weston College.

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