December Newsletter - 2021 Round Up
Welcome to December’s Screen Alliance Wales Newsletter! Instead of bringing you the usual news from the month, we have rounded up all of our 2021 highlights for you to enjoy! 2021 has been an incredible year for Screen Alliance Wales, and it has been amazing seeing first-hand the impact that our work has been having on schools, organisations and our very own trainees. Without further ado, here is our festive December Newsletter!
Nothing we achieve is done without the support of our funders, who have facilitated our work over the past 4 years. We simply could not do what we do without them.
So far, thanks to them we have:
· Welcomed over 2500 people to visit the studios and see the amazing sets of `ADOW’, `HDM’ and `Industry`
· Had 71 Trainees across all of these productions
· Supported 233 Work Shadowing placements – many of these have gone onto paid work.
· Exceeded 440 jobs advertised via our website, over 200 people have gained employed thanks to the direct involvement of SAW.
· Reached out to schools, colleges, universities, youth clubs and communities across Wales to deliver workshops and masterclasses to people of all ages.
· Thanks to them, everything we do is free, and this allows us to give anyone and everyone, no matter who they are or what background they are from, an insight into the wide range of opportunities available in this industry.
Thanks to them, this means that, to date, we have engaged with over 22,000 people across Wales.
To Bad Wolf, University of South Wales, HBO, MovieTech, Mad Dog 2020, 4Wood, Gorilla, Facilities by ADF IJPR Cymru and Coleg y Cymoedd, we thank you for being our incredible sponsors and for your continued support.
Trainees of 2021
It has been important for us at Screen Alliance Wales to be able to welcome back a significant number of trainees once again. Increasing from 4 in 2020 to 25 in 2021, giving people their first taste of the industry is an important part of our work.
In addition to simply offering paid employment, each trainee has been given a bespoke training and materials package unique to their needs and prepare them for their future careers. These include training in First Aid, Fire Warden and Fire Extinguisher Training, Mental Health Resilience and Confidence, as well as specific skills such as workplace qualifications and tools as shown below. We also supported other organisations to find their own entrants into the industry, with 6 other individuals taken on as trainees with Disney at Bridgend. These opportunities were advertised exclusively through our website.
As one of the key foundations of Screen Alliance Wales, being able to engage with learners across Wales is vital in ensuring the industry can nurture a pool of talent for productions of the future. This year, with loosening restrictions, we have been able to deliver face to face sessions in 15 Local Authorities in Wales, including 4 in North Wales, helping ensure we are seen to be working towards our commitment for the whole country. In 2022, we are aiming to ensure we will have worked in all 22 Local Authorities.
While social distancing has limited the numbers we have been able to accommodate in our classroom for tours, the combination of outreach and virtual learning mean this year we have worked with 9,283 learners. As a result, in total, SAW has delivered insight opportunities to 21,731 students.
Work shops have included
- Careers in TV and Film
- Set Design
- Scenic Painting
- Prop Design
- Special effects
Providing support online was both a necessity brought on by circumstance in 2020, but also a platform we can support individuals from a broader audience – removing financial and geographic boundaries to learning. Newly available in 2021 are:
· Online activities and downloadable teachers guides.
· Edited versions of Masterclasses and Careers Cafes
· Adapting for TV – Project in conjunction with the Hay Festival
Over the course of 2021, we have delivered a range of courses to empower individuals to either get their first job in the industry, advance their career or re-train.
- T·V Drama Script Writing with Bad Wolf Development Executive Zina Wegrzynski
- Locations Training
- Production Coordinator Training
- True Crime Production with Tracey Ulman (in association with PACT)
- Script Supervisor Training
The Script Supervisor training in particular generated interest from Productions in need of people to fill this role, and a few of the attendees have already reaped the benefits and provided us with feedback.
“Six months on, and I’ve been in near constant work as a script supervisor and learning more new skills every day! The fundamentals that the course provided me were exactly what I needed to step-up in the role” – Rebs Fisher Jackson
“I came away ready to step on to a set and carry out some work experience as a Script Supervisor – fully aware of the role and the requirements. It was a good grounding in what the role requires and what would be expected for me to learn when I had a chance to carry out some work experience.” – Edward Russell
In addition to department specific training, we have ensured people working with us have been given Professional development training including:
· First Aid certification
· Fire Marshall training
· Health and Safety Passport
Started in 2021, our Careers Café has continued and provides anyone an opportunity to learn more about careers and potential pathways in the industry on a monthly basis. Alongside a presentation, attendees to the free events have been able to ask questions and benefit from the experience of a group of people from various backgrounds and different levels of seniority. Our guests and topics have been:
· Hannah Raybould – Operations Manager at Bad Wolf
· Llyr Morus – Production Manager at Vox Pictures
· Eve Moss – Client Services Director at Gorilla
· Angela Clarke - Director
· Alex Moore – Locations/ Assistant Unit Manager on His Dark Materials series 3
· Sue Jeffries – Managing Director of Sgil Cymru
· Bethan Evans – Script Executive at Bad Wolf
· Chris Worwood and Liam Jones from IJPR
· Behind the Scenes of the Industry presentation
At Screen Alliance Wales, we have set ourselves some ambitious goals to ensure individuals from all parts of Wales are given the opportunity to bring their skills to the TV & Film industry, no matter their ethnicity, economic background, if they face challenges accessing normal workplaces or limited by geography. We recognise we cannot achieve these goals without working with others.
Pen-Y-Bryn - The Swansea based school, with pupils aged 3-19, has been a long-standing partner of SAW, and that coordination has increased in 2021. Over this year, we have been able to support their Film Project and Magazine that runs alongside it and we have also gifted them some T-Shirts bearing the SAW and Bad Wolf logos for them to wear during their film project lessons. We have also promoted and shared more and more of their resources, as well as providing them content for their own articles in their termly magazine.
Their current ‘Superboy’ project, due to premiere at the end of the Autumn term has drawn praise from numerous sources. Professor Graham Donaldson, one of the key individuals in the re-shaping of the Welsh curriculum has sited them as an exemplar school in how they intersect world of work skills into their day-to-day activities and pointed learners and teachers directly to our website for resources.
Over the years, they have attracted support also from industry talent from the likes of Joanna Lumley, Michael Sheen and Brian Blessed.
Click here to listen to Professor Donaldson's message and here for a message from Brian Blessed.
St Albans – Our commitment to supporting St Alban’s has allowed pupils to experience a range of industry-based activities. We have delivered workshops on Stop Frame and Key Frame Animation, Puppetry, Set Design, Special Effects, Scenic Painting and Prop Making.
University of South Wales - We are fortunate to have USW as one of our key supporters, and the close location means we can work on a number of projects.
- We are in the process of developing several projects with USW to include a bid into Challenge Fund.
- Discussions have been had regarding bespoke sessions for the MA students, and session have been booked for us to talk with undergrads as well.
- Along with Cardiff Commitment, we will be joining with USW to deliver a series of short courses for learners from Year 7 and Year 12 for the Screen for Schools project. A break in Production earlier in the year gave us a two-week window for tours. Consequently, we were able to offer tours to USW, RWCMD and Coleg y Cymoedd as part of a Covid safe pilot. We provided 16 tours for 160 students from these institutes.
In early 2021, we collaborated with the Hay Festival group to generate a resource for their Beacons Project. Normally, students aged 16-18 from across Wales are invited to the Festival to meet professional writers, broadcasters and journalists to develop their writing skills. Due to the uncertainty of what would be able to take place in 2021, we developed a virtual session with `His Dark Materials’ screen writer Jack Thorne. He was able to talk about the numerous issues and considerations when adapting a book for the screen. The talk was supported by resources linked to the curriculum in Wales.
The resource can be accessed at https://www.hayfestival.com/wales/beacons-project/jack-thorne
Urdd, West Glamorgan
A part of a project to reach out to students in the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea regions, we have been supporting the Welsh language Youth organisation ‘yr Urdd’. Over the course of the Autumn term, we have been delivering taster workshops in a range of different film skills to both Primary and Secondary students. In the New Year, this will continue as a focused film making project, that will hopefully provide entries for the organisations ‘Eisteddfod’ in Summer 2022.
A key part of our commitment to spreading our influence across Wales has been our work in North Wales. As part of a competition arranged between Careers Wales, Gogledd Creuadigol and us, in the first week of October we visited 5 different schools in North Wales. The sessions involved groups planning, filming and editing a 1-minute film, all in one day – with a focus on improving some fundamental skills. The films were judged by Stifyn Parry of BAFTA Cymru and the winners announced in a virtual event in November.
Despite the challenges presented over the past year, we have continued to work closely with Careers Wales. We have adapted to deliver a significant amount of sessions virtually, but in the last few months we have been able to get back to face to face opportunities again. This work was recognised when we were shortlisted at Careers Wales ‘Valued Partner Awards’.
Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales delivers a programme of activities that raise awareness of vocational education and training and career pathways that will impact positively on businesses in Wales. They do this by supporting vocational learning through Skills Competitions and the Have a Go initiative, to help encourage young people to excel in the world of work. We have been involved with both of these initiatives in the past year, and as part of the Skills Competitions, this delivering workshops on key areas that were identified as common weaknesses in the entries from last year. These were narrative, sound and interviewing skills.
We have also been delivering their ‘Have a Go’ workshops to schools in Wrexham, Powys and Monmouthshire in animation, within the context of potential careers.
2022 Plans for the future!
Following their acquisition of a controlling interest in Bad Wolf, next year we look forward to working with Sony. We hope that our unique approach will achieve common goals in making the industry more open and diverse.
We will shortly be advertising for our own SAW Trainee who will start with us and then work across a range of departments to give them an insight as to where they want to be in this industry. We want to open the door for someone who currently doesn’t even know where the door is.
Working with refugees
Next year, we are working with Afghan Refugees to try to find them paid work and help them feel secure and settled in Wales. We will be announcing projects in the local communities, namely Butetown and Grangetown, to encourage more people from underrepresented backgrounds to enter this industry.
Wales Millennium Centre
Following on from our Step Across programme, we are continuing to embrace the wider creative sector in Wales. Working alongside the Wales Millennium Centre, we are going to be working with groups both local to them in Cardiff, and Young Carers from Swansea.
Wales documentary network
Building on the success of the ‘One Stop Doc Shop’ project we supported last year, we are once again teaming up with Wheesht Films in a successful funding bid. The BFI Doc Society are supporting the project which will seek to get women from underrepresented areas to develop the skills and confidence to tell their own stories in 2022.
All of us here at Screen Alliance Wales wish you a very Happy Holidays and a wonderful year ahead! Thank you for keeping up to date with all that we’ve been up to over the past year, and we can’t wait to bring you all our exciting news in 2022. We will be out of office from the 17th of December until the 4th of January, so until then, we wish you a safe Christmas and a Happy new year.
Don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels to keep up to date on all the latest news and vacancies.
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