Backstage jobs available in film studios for those with practical skills

September 28 2018
Thumbnail Image

THE SOUTH Bristol studios where hit series like Poldark, Sherlock and The White Queen are made will be the setting this October for a free two-day boot camp aimed at easing the shortage of people with the practical skills needed for a wide range of off-camera roles in film and TV drama production. The 50-place Production Boot Camp is being put on by the film and TV production and training company Calling The Shots at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios in Whitchurch Lane on October 25 and 26, with funding from Creative Skillset, the skills body for screen-based Creative Industries.

Visiting a live TV production set

Pictured: top, Demelza from the BBC drama Poldark, filmed at the Bottle Yard in Hengrove; above, a TV production set at the studios

THE SOUTH Bristol studios where hit series like Poldark, Sherlock and The White Queen are made will be the setting this October for a free two-day boot camp aimed at easing the shortage of people with the practical skills needed for a wide range of off-camera roles in film and TV drama production.

The 50-place Production Boot Camp is being put on by the film and TV production and training company Calling The Shots at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios in Whitchurch Lane on October 25 and 26, with funding from Creative Skillset, the skills body for screen-based Creative Industries.

Calling The Shots founder-director Steve Gear explains: “It takes a great variety of skills to make top quality film and television dramas but there is a growing shortage when it comes to filling many of the practical and technical off-camera roles, including logistics, set construction,  hair and make-up, costume-making,  crane operators, electrics , computing and more.   

The idea of this free two-day event is to let those who have developed these kind of skills in other areas of work find out more about the industry, explore how their skills might transfer and brief them about the possible ways in, including via Skillset’s Trainer Finder service.”

A similar boot camp in January attracted more than 500 applications and has already led to some graduates taking further courses or gaining industry experience.  They include Carter Caldwell who said: “After the Boot Camp, I applied for Skillset's Trainee Finder scheme, and was lucky enough to get a place. As a result, I am currently working on The Spanish Princess, based on the book by the best-selling Bristol-raised novelist Philippa Gregory, at the Bottle Yard. So, yes, the boot camp has definitely had a positive impact for me! “

The agenda for the October 25 and 26 boot camp will include a tour of the Bottle Yard Studios; visits to a working production set and the site’s set-building and costume workshops and talks by industry professionals about the practicalities and realities of  drama production work and about entry routes. 

Applicants for the 50 free places must be 21 or older with a qualifications in, or good experience of, the key skills required.  

Applications must be made using the form available at http://callingtheshots.co.uk/skillset/ . Early application is advised and the final deadline is Monday October 8 at 5pm. 

Successful applicants will be notified by October 15. There is no charge for attendance or for refreshments during the day.