USW: A Perfect Partnership for SAW

On Wednesday the 5th of December, USW hosted an exciting panel chaired by Screen Alliance Wales’ very own Managing Director, Allison Dowzell. The stage was surrounded by puppets that were used in `His Dark Materials’ but, more importantly, and taking centre stage, were three University of South Wales alumni speaking about their experiences of working within the industry and how they got there, culminating in their experience working on the recent BBC/HBO hit drama `His Dark Materials’. They were MJ, a graduate from the BA Animation course, who is now working as a Pre-Visual/Post-Visual artist for Painting Practice at Wolf Studios Wales, Sarah Notley, a TV Set Design graduate and Art Director, and also Andrew Creak, a BA Film graduate, who is now a SAW Production Trainee, all of whom are working on `His Dark Materials’.  They were also joined by the Director in Production & Performance at USW, Tom Ware. 

All three graduates have been heavily involved with SAW’s education project, often themselves giving talks to those studying on their previous course.  MJ spoke of how `inspirational’ it is to see young people at the studios getting to see the whole process of filming from start to finish and this experience certainly wouldn’t be the same without MJ giving such a unique insight into the Pre-Visual and Post-Visual process – so thank you very much, MJ! 

The panel was followed by a special screening of Episode 4 of `His Dark Materials’ Season 1, which was all filmed in locations around Wales and even involved a fishing village being built in a quarry!

All in all, the evening was a smashing success with Screen Alliance Wales and The University of South Wales capping off the night by announcing a brand-new partnership, which will future-proof the industry. This new deal will nurture the talent coming through the ranks of USW’s many creative courses and will provide the opportunity to further develop their craft on trainee schemes, via work-shadowing opportunities as well as offering work on some of the biggest shows such as `His Dark Materials’ `A Discovery of Witches’ and more.