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Spotlight Feature - Diana - start of article

Spotlight Feature - Diana

Every month, Screen Alliance Wales wants to shed a spotlight on those who have had a particularly interesting route into working within the Film and TV industry. No two people are the same, and it’s been fascinating learning each individual story of those who are now working in the Film and TV industry. This month, we want to introduce Diana who currently works in the ‘Greens’ department on His Dark Materials Series 3.

From a young age, Diana had a fascination with the sets that she saw in TV shows and films and always wanted to work within this field. She tried her hand at architecture, but it wasn’t for her so she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of set design. Originally studying design for theatre, she opted to specialize in TV hoping to work on more fantasy style shows; a genre she loves, and more specifically with forest-like environments. It was this passion that led her to Wales, moving from her native Romania, in order to study Film and TV Set Design at the University of South Wales.

Whilst at University, she got the chance to complete two weeks work shadowing on the first series of Bad Wolf’s His Dark Materials working in the Art Department. This placement provided her with her first proper glimpse of what it is like to work on a high-end TV set.

After finishing University, she returned to Bad Wolf and worked on the second series of His Dark Materials as our Screen Alliance Wales Art Department Trainee, working in Greens. `Greens’ comes under the Art Department and deals with anything and everything related to the plants and other fauna that is seen on screen. It is very much set dressing but with plants!  These sets can be either be in the studio or on location and is vital in creating a fully textured environment that’s looks and feels organic. It’s a difficult job, with a lot of running around, heavy lifting and a fair amount of mud and dirt but is very rewarding when you see the finished product! Diana played a key part in creating the jungle scene in His Dark Materials Season 2 and she was also responsible for keeping the `Welsh indoor jungle’ watered and fresh using specialised lighting.

Former Trainee Diana has returned once again to Wolf Studios Wales to work on His Dark Materials season 3
A behind the scenes shot of a forest environment that Diana worked on, used on His Dark Materials Season 2

After completing her SAW Traineeship, she transferred her skills to a position in the Set Dressing department on an Apple TV production in London.  Diana is now back with Greens and doing really well. She has been working on a major TV Production in Wales and she is also occasionally stepping up to other roles when required as things such as lead dresser, lead standby or sometimes co-ordinating roles.

Recently, Diana was called in to help back here at Wolf Studios Wales on His Dark Materials Season 3 so she has come full circle and it is wonderful for us at Screen Alliance Wales to see how far she has come. 

In looking for work in this area, Diana recommends that you network with as many people as you can. Be friendly and approachable and ensure that you use each opportunity as a chance to show how good you are at your job. People will want to work with you again if they know you’re a focussed and determined person. It can be a tough job at times, but Diana relishes the challenges that each production throws at her. “It can sometimes be chaos, but without the chaos, it’s boring!”.

A huge thanks to Diana for taking the time out to talk with us about her journey, and we cant wait to watch as her career grows! Stay tuned for next months Spotlight Feature.

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