Spotlight Feature - Dom and Matt
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, it’s the turn of Dominik and Matt who met whilst working on Sex Education and are now both SAW trainees.
From an early age, Dom always wanted to be an actor. He believed that acting would allow him to “express himself, honestly”, with this passion leading him to study Drama at Wolverhampton University. Whilst studying there, him and a friend decided to sign up to casting agency Mad Dog 2020 casting, just on a whim and not thinking any more about it. A year later, Mad Dog 2020 contacted him to ask if he would be available to take part in the 3rd series of the Netflix original show Sex Education, shot here in Wales. Dom jumped at the chance and thought that SA work was a great entry point into working in film and TV and fulfilling his dream. Fortunately for Dom, the director on the show took a shine to his (magnificent) hair, so he got to spend a lot of time in front of the camera by becoming one of the more prominent extras. He had a great time on set, giving him the chance to interact with a lot of interesting people, including fellow SA, Matt (but we’ll talk more about him later).
After filming had finished, Dom found more SA work on another project through Mad Dog 2020; the Tom Hardy film Havoc. Although he enjoyed his time on both productions, he found that SA artist work wasn’t very permanent, and this coincided with a recently discovered fascination in roles behind the camera. So when a Studio Trainee job with Screen Alliance Wales came up, he jumped at the chance of working within a different area of production and gaining as much experience as possible. Dom applied for the role and fortunately was the right fit for the job. In his current role, he gets the opportunity to interact with nearly every department in the building. This has both increased his knowledge of working in the Film and TV industry whilst also improving his communication skills.
The biggest takeaway Dom has taken away from this area of work is that no matter what, people are all the same. Whether it be a Hollywood A-lister, or someone who makes the tea on set, you can have a conversation with anyone. Dom also puts some of his success down to blind luck! Sometimes all it takes is just being in the right place at the right time, and for Dom it was on a bus with his friend and deciding to take that first step. He is now living in Cardiff and enjoying his time working on `His Dark Materials’ at Wolf Studios Wales, soaking up as much experience and knowledge as he can.
For a special double bill this month, we would also like to introduce you to Matt. Matt started out working for the Royal Ballet in Birmingham as a sports massage therapist and whilst there, discovered a love of the workings of a production. Upon hearing Sex Education series 2 was being filmed near where he was living at the time, he was lucky enough to get the chance to speak to some of the crew members who were working there. Matt discussed with them the area of work he would like to get into, and it was a location manager that put Matt in touch with Mad Dog 2020 casting, so he quickly signed up and made a profile. He did however get some experience working in the production office on Sex Education Series 2, getting the chance to do some office running for a short while before the show wrapped filming.
Sometime later, Mad Dog contacted him to let him know that there was some availability for extras on series 3 of Sex Education. He was thrilled to get the part and became a regular for filming days. It was working here where he met fellow SA Dom. They hit it off immediately and decided to live together with some other SAs whilst filming for the show was taking place. Once filming had finished, Matt decided that he too had found a love for the behind-the-scenes operations of a production. After taking an interest in this area of work, he was recommended Screen Alliance Wales as a great entry point into the industry, providing traineeships in a variety of departments within film and TV. He applied with Screen Alliance Wales to be a trainee, and more specifically, in props – an area he had gained an interest in after having conversations with the standby-props department on the set of Sex Education.
In his current role as Props Trainee, Matt gets the opportunity to interact with a nearly all departments on the production; everything from the art department to greens. This allows him to observe first-hand the workings of a production and gives him an amazing insight into working on a high-end TV production. Matt puts a lot of his successes down to having conversations with people. “Networking is an amazing way of getting your name and face out there and opens up a multitude of doors for opportunities”. It’s certainly worked for Matt!
A huge thanks to Matt and Dom for sharing their stories with us and we look forward to watching their careers going from strength to strength. Stay tuned for the next Spotlight Feature where we’ll be telling another unique story. If you would like to know more about our Trainees Dom and Matt, you can read about them on our website here. For more information about MadDog 2020 casting and how you can get involved, visit their website here.