Sgil Cymru’s first trainee for Stepping Up 2017 was Hanna Lewis-Jones.
Prior to gaining her place on Stepping Up Hanna had been working as a Hair and Make-up Trainee on a variety of productions. Her CV includes theatre show ‘Les Miserables’ at the Wales Millennium Centre, the feature-length drama film ‘Their Finest’, featuring Sam Claflin and Gemma Arterton, and the 2016 remake of the 1980’s horror film, ‘Watcher in the Woods’.
As part of her Stepping Up programme, Hanna worked on the first series of the BBC Wales and S4C Drama ‘Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher’. Working under esteemed Hair and Make-up Designer Claire Pritchard-Jones, Hanna developed many new skills including script and character breakdowns within the first few days, as well as gaining confidence in her new role.
Stepping Up has been a great help for ‘Keeping Faith/Un Bore Mercher’ to be able to continue Hanna’s training from Trainee to Junior Make-up Assistant. She’s extremely talented and this is such a difficult area to get a start in. We couldn’t have done it without Sgil Cymru’s help.
Every day is different – which is what keeps it interesting. Whilst some days require me to be on set, looking after assigned main cast and sometimes supporting artists; other days may involve the planning and preparation for the upcoming days/weeks – setting wigs, filling prosthetic moulds, organising and replenishing stock etc.
The ability to ‘step up’ has been crucial in bridging the gap between trainee and junior positions. I’m really grateful to now have the experience of working on a 6 month BBC/S4C drama from start to finish, developing my skills and allowing me to become more qualified in this new role – I’m excited about the opportunities that may now come my way.
Sgil Cymru welcomed experienced editor Al Edwards as the second trainee to Stepping Up 2017.
Al has got over twenty years of experience as an editor. He started with, a then small independent TV company, called Boomerang before moving onto a facility house called ‘Mwnci’ in Cardiff. He stayed with them through their transitional period of re-branding as ‘Gorilla’.
Al specialises as an offline editor, which means he receives all the rushes from a programme or film and cuts them in sequential order at the Director’s request.
In the Summer of 2017, Al decided to go it alone and be freelance.
As Technology becomes better and quicker and as budgets become slimmer it’s becoming obvious to me that there is an edge to be had by being able to multitask and being able to offer a variety of skills other than editing. Clients are now expecting a different level of editor. One, that as well as cutting a programme, that is being able to grade, online and do Special FX on various platforms and software. That is the reason that I applied for the ‘Stepping Up’ programme so I am able to better myself and re-educate through courses that will help me to upgrade my services.
Freelance editor, Tara Wyllie became the third recruit on Sgil Cymru’s Stepping Up 2017 programme.
For her bespoke Stepping Up programme Tara attended a number of courses allowing her to step up from a Final Cut Pro Editor to an Avid Editor. Having worked as a Freelance Editor for a few years Tara realised that she would need to be trained in Avid as this is the industry standard for editing software.
I was looking for something that will help me take the next step up from trainee and more junior positions, to higher level roles as a fully certified Avid Editor. I wanted like to develop my skills, and become more qualified which I hoped would help me in gaining more opportunities as an Editor in the drama industry in Wales.
Before gaining a place on Stepping Up Tara had been working with a number of clients as an Offline Editor, as well as expanding on her post-production skills in her own time.
Tara started in the industry as a Marketing Trainee for the BBC in 2009. Throughout her time with the BBC Tara was able to gain experience within the different production departments. Her experiences included working as a Runner on ‘Doctor Who Proms’, shadowing the Script Supervisor on ‘Pobol y Cwm’ and sitting in on online edits. Following her experience in the post-production suite, Tara realised that she wanted to become an Editor. In 2011 Tara set herself up as a Freelance Producer/ Editor.
As well as working as a Freelance Producer/ Editor Tara has worked as an assistant to the production team on a variety of television programmes including ‘The Only Way is Essex’ and ‘Celebs Go Dating’.
Working on these productions gave me a great insight into what goes on before I get the rushes as an Editor. Which I think is really important to know how to help the whole post-production process run a lot smoother.
Sgil Cymru recruited 4 electricians as part of Stepping Up 2017.
Following the industry-led need that was highlighted by Wales Screen/ Welsh Government, Sgil Cymru recruited 4 experienced domestic and commercial electricians to step up in their career by gaining experience as an Electrician in the TV industry.
As part of their Stepping Up programme, the trainees gained work experience on BBC Cymru Wales and Bad Wolf Studios’ drama productions. In the lead up to their work experience, trainees took part in a variety of workshops to help them prepare for life on set. These workshops included familiarisation with industry kit and health and safety on set. Trainees also attended a one-day workshop where they created a media CV.
Meet the trainees:
Craig Parker – Gwynedd
Craig has over 20 years’ experience in the electrical engineering and installation sector. His experience includes working in commercial and large scale industrial environments. Since 2015 Craig has been self-employed, working with various contractors on a number of developments throughout the UK.
John Jones – Swansea
John has been working as a domestic, commercial and industrial electrician for a number of years. His work included installation of emergency lighting systems, shop fittings and store refits, as well as the inspection and testing of various electrical systems.
Richard Baldwin – Pontyclun
Richard has over 10 years experience in the electrical industry. Having completed an apprenticeship with AG Leers he climbed up the ladder and has recently finished working as an Electrical Supervisor with Solex Electrical. He now runs his own company that specialises in domestic and commercial work as well as CCTV installation and security alarms.
Simon Jeffreys – Swansea
Simon is a qualified electrician with over 10 years experience in the industry. During his time as an Electrician, Simon has owned his own electrical business as well as being a joint partner in a Solar PV installation company. Alongside his own business, he is currently working as an Electrical Sub Contractor for MIC Ltd.
Sgil Cymru welcomed Howard Colin, experienced Camera Assistant, to the Stepping Up 2017 programme.
Howard kick-started his career in 2012 when he started working at a camera rental house where he was able to get his hands on all different types of camera equipment. Following this, he went freelance and started working on a number of different Welsh dramas.
It’s a never-ending journey, trying to learn the in’s and out’s of all the different bits of equipment and how to get the best out of them for the job at hand.
Within the camera department, Howard works as a Camera Assistant. His day to day job can vary, depending on the production.
My day to day job can vary depending on the production, but the core responsibilities include ensuring the camera is loaded (with a memory card) and ready to shoot. In order to do this, there are several factors that need to be addressed, such as: making sure that all the kit is managed correctly and we have the things that we need for the shot or scene. It does sometimes take a lot of foresight as there are things that can slow down production that might come out of nowhere. For example, moving from a cold exterior location to a warm interior location can cause lenses to fog up with condensation, it is important to think ahead and get them into the location to warm up before shooting commences.
That is just one example, but there are multiple situations that can arise, it is my responsibility to work with the Focus Puller (1st Assistant Camera) to ensure the smooth operation of the camera.
By taking part in Stepping Up Howard was able to step up to working on high-end TV drama in Wales.
Sgil Cymru recruited Ben Davenport as its final trainee on Stepping Up 2017.
Ben completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media with Sgil Cymru a couple of years ago. Whilst completing his apprenticeship Ben worked for BBC Cymru Wales as a Production Office Apprentice at Roath Lock Studios. This gave Ben many great opportunities to work on different projects which helped prepare him for life after his apprenticeship.
Since completing his apprenticeship Ben has gone on to work in the production department on a number of programmes including ‘Doctor Who’, ‘Casualty’ and ‘Pobol y Cwm’. Ben also worked as a Location Assistant on the feature film, ‘The Dark Outside’.
Following the end of the shoot on the feature film, Ben was looking for his next challenge and decided to apply for the Stepping Up programme.
As part of his programme, Ben stepped up to work in the production department on ‘Pobol y Cwm’.
The Stepping Up programme gave me the opportunity to move forward in my career by allowing me the chance to be in a higher role where I could learn new skills and gain experience organically from doing the job in a professional capacity.
Llyr Morus, Pobol y Cwm Producer, said:
Ben came to us as an Apprentice in the production department a couple of years ago. It was clear that he was eager to learn and grow professionally whilst making the most of his time here at Roath Lock. We now welcome him back, on the Stepping Up programme, after he has proven his capabilities in a variety of jobs within the production department with indie companies as well as the BBC. Being able to help promising young people like Ben is a privilege, and being able to work with Sgil Cymru is a pleasure. Hopefully, we can build on this experience to help more young people move on in their career.
Sue Jeffries, Sgil Cymru Managing Director, said:
It’s a pleasure and a privilege for Sgil Cymru to help a young person like Ben with his career. Ever since Ben completed his apprenticeship he has grown professionally and we’ve been able to bring him back to Cardiff to climb the ladder in the production department at Roath Lock. We wish Ben all the best with his career, we’re certain it will be a long and prosperous one. Once again Stepping Up proves that Sgil Cymru’s support doesn’t end with your first course.