Foot In The Door: Film Skills for Birmingham’s Young, Digital and Diverse Generation… Views of two participants: December 16

Two participants from the Film Skills Brum course share their thoughts and experiences…

Sarah Knowlton

dsc_0973“I started the Film Skills Brum course with a small amount of knowledge on what I wanted to do as a career; originally I had a strong interest in being a video editor. Even though I am still passionate about video editing, I have also developed a strong interest in cameras and script writing. In order to learn more about cameras, I have purchased my own SLR camera and I have started writing my own scripts in my own time.”

“Before I started this course I was sending my CV out to a lot of production companies based in Birmingham, and I only heard back from a few saying there were no positions available for me. After looking continuously on the Creative Alliance website I came across the Film Skills Brum course advertised and I thought that this is an opportunity that I don’t want to miss, so I applied on that same day. I would describe my personality before I started the course as fairly shy and when I initially started I was nervous to meet everybody else there, because we all have different levels of experience within the TV and Film industry. Everyone who attends this course has the same passion and drive I have, we all have a certain direction we want to pursue and I have learnt a lot from each person there who I have been given the opportunity to work with in our projects.”

“Both Dan and Martin have taught us about each department of the Industry and have given us an idea of what everybody does specifically that helps to produce a piece of work. They have given us a chance to meet with professionals; for example, we have done several workshops with trained lighting, camera, sound, editing and location experts. Dan Wilson brought us to the set of Doctors so we are able to watch for ourselves what a live production team do in order to produce an episode for the show. Seeing a real life set for me was truly inspiring and has given me a lot of optimism for my future, hoping that one day I will be able to become a professional script writer, camera operator or even a video editor. I want to produce a piece of work that will hopefully inspire other people to want to join the Film and TV industry, and with Dan and Martin’s encouragement I know I will be able to.”


Karl Robinson

dsc_0979“I’m part of the Film Skills Brum course in partnership with Creative Alliance. I took the opportunity to join this course as having worked in the security industry for four years on a zero hour contract I’ve come to the realisation that it’s time to move on with my life; and to also move into an industry which I’ve always had a keen interest in working in.”

The Film Skills Brum course has opened my eyes towards the many vast different roles in the film & television industry. Also having come onto the course with minimal to no practical experience working in a film or television production I’ve also been able to pick up skills that I previously wouldn’t have known and still probably wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t joined the course such as working with camera equipment and sound.

“I’ve also taken a keen interest in specific areas of the industry already from having workshops on this course. I’ve become particularly interested in working in the locations department of Film & Television as with the previous project we worked on and the project we are currently working on, I’ve taken the time to scout locations both in person and via the internet.”

“I came onto this course not knowing originally what I would like to do at the end, however having talked to Martin Simms and Dan Wilson, I’ve gained knowledge that, had I ever gone to university, I probably wouldn’t have learned via textbooks or the courses provided. They’ve also opened up my eyes again to the many different routes into the industry as when we’ve had the workshops with current working professionals each one has given their story as to how they came to work in the industry with many having not taken the university route.

Overall I’m pleased with the knowledge that has been passed down to us having gone past the halfway stage of the course and look to continue to pick at the knowledge of each of the professionals that come onto the course to teach us.


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