News and Features

New Sponsor Announcement - Welcome Real SFX! - start of article

New Sponsor Announcement - Welcome Real SFX!

We are thrilled to welcome yet another fantastic company to the Screen Alliance Wales sponsors’ family. Cardiff-based practical special effects company, Real SFX, have provided their services to some of the UK’s biggest films and TV shows, creating amazing physical effects that make each production really come to life. Not to be confused with CGI or computer animation which is added into the production at a later date, Real SFX create the real explosions that you see on screen, as well as fires, bullet hit effects, weather effects, complicated engineering systems such as cars flipping and collapsing buildings. We spoke with Danny and Carmela, Directors of Real SFX, about the work they do and how becoming an official SAW sponsor will further strengthen both our organisations and the industry in Wales as a whole.

Danny’s passion for special effects began when he was 12 or 13 after watching Terminator 2, and from that day he knew that we wanted to work in special effects. It was this that first ignited his passion for this area of the industry and has shaped his career, leading him to start Real SFX. One of the things that they try and do is not stick with one particular client but look to branch out into different areas within the UK and abroad, sending members of their team around the country to work on a variety of productions. They are also looking at different techniques and services to create a broad range of effects, for example, branching further into prosthetics – something they currently do, but would like to expand on. Growing the brand is important and being in Cardiff and working closely with SAW enables them to do that and do that well.

Carmela and Danny, Directors of Real SFX
The company have been involved with a number of TV shows and Films over the past for years, including Doctor Who

We asked Danny and Carmela about becoming an official SAW sponsor, and what it means to both of them.

“We’ve worked closely with SAW for the last couple of years. The team have been absolutely brilliant. We follow the same ethos as SAW, to engage with colleges and schools and local communities to open people’s eyes to careers. As a company we go script to screen, we don’t just train special effects people, but we also have a full production team as well as engineers, carpenters and model makers. It’s really important for us to engage with SAW as they bring us lots of different people from different avenues that want to get into a career, so I think it’s been a natural progression for us to support Screen Alliance Wales.” - Carmella

“SAW provide a fantastic window into the industry and also a pathway of opportunity. It’s working with people who have worked in the industry themselves, so they know how it works, and they have access to companies like Real SFX where it’s just a phone call or a visit just down the road, so we’re bringing people into the workplace and allowing them an opportunity to work here or anywhere else within the area.” - Danny

Over the last 5 years, the way we watch film and television has drastically changed. There are now a multitude of different platforms to view movies or TV shows, with Netflix and Amazon Prime as well as other streaming platforms, constantly creating new TV shows and films. This means that the demand for content is always high and therefore crew are constantly needed to work within this area. It’s incredibly important for Real SFX to provide the next generation of special effects people. They invest heavily in training, as its vital for health and safety that their employees have the right qualifications, so they work really hard to ensure that they have the correct certificates when working on set. Screen Alliance Wales share this passion to train and educate the next generation looking to start their career in the industry. We are proud to be working alongside Real SFX as they bring through the special effects crews of tomorrow.

Fire, explosions and other real life effects are brought to life on screen by companies like Real SFX
We are so pleased to welcome you to our family of amazing sponsors

We also asked Danny and Carmela about what it takes to work within special effects.

“I think it’s very important to say that most people who have come through our door haven’t come through a special effects background, that they didn’t even want to be a special effects person. I’ve had apprentices who have worked in supermarkets, or they’ve had history degrees that now have Emmys after working with us. We’re looking for people who just want to engage in the creative industries and have a passion to be a part of the industry and wanting to learn. One of our main things is to try and channel into someone’s better creative side. They might come to us and be more of a workshop person or more of an office person or they’re someone on set, but we train them up and see what their ability is.” – Carmela

“The willingness to learn and the drive to work hard is key, which in some cases is even more important than qualifications. It’s very demanding working in the industry, its long hours, so you have to have a passion for what you do, and SAW has provided the right people who are the right fit for us, when working on film and TV shows.” – Danny

Thank you so much to Danny and Carmela to taking the time to chat with us and showing us their incredible workshop. Make sure to check out our YouTube channel here to view the brand-new sponsors video featuring Real SFX where Danny and Carmela talk to us about their work and becoming an official SAW sponsor.

To find out more about Real SFX, visit their website here:

Related Articles


Welcoming Dragon Fire and Water to the SAW Family

March Newsletter

February Newsletter