With the aim to close the skill gap in the film locations department, Sgil Cymru ran a Location Manager course with support from the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund, with contributors from UK film productions.
The course was led by experienced Location Manager Lowri Thomas, who has been working in the media industry since the 80s. As the main course tutor, Lowri taught the trainees everything that was involved with the Location Manager’s job, from scouting, paperwork and the relationship between departments, all the way up to the cleaning after shooting finishes.
The course took place at Sgil Cymru’s offices in Pinewood Studio Wales where 10 trainees took part in a variety of sessions with Lowri. One of these sessions was jointly run with experienced Production Designer and Supervising Art Director, Stephen Nicholas. This particular workshop focused on the importance of a good relationship between the locations department and art department.
In addition to the classroom-based work, the trainees were given briefs and went out to scout locations in Cardiff’s City Centre. They also had a set visit to Channel 5’s new drama, ’15 Days’, that’s currently being filmed in South Wales.
Sara Hawley, course participant said:
The course was more than I expected, the role, the sessions and the people. Everything was above and beyond what I expected.
A number of experienced Location Managers joined Sgil Cymru as guest speakers throughout the two weeks, these included Finlay Bradbury (Christopher Robin, Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Dark Knight), Iwan Roberts (Submarine, Mr. Nice, Keeping Faith) and Owain Gillard (The End of the F***ing World, Casualty, Father Brown). This gave the trainees an opportunity to ask questions and hear about their experiences.
Hannah James-Johnson, course participant said:
It was amazing to have such high-profile industry figures to talk to, with a wealth of experience.
In addition to the guest speakers, the trainees were visited by Andy Dixon Facilities, Creative Risk Solutions and Lubas Medical who came in to talk about the services they offer and how these directly affect the Location Manager’s role.
Hannah Tribe, course participant said:
This course has felt like a brilliant springboard into the industry, meeting people who are keen to help – encouraging us to contact them. Although it’s too soon to know how far this course has benefitted me, but the increase in confidence and sense of my own ability is already having an effect.
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