Lauren Smith-Jones, Production Secretary

Lauren Smith-Jones, Production Secretary

What do you love about working in Yorkshire?

What I love most about working in Yorkshire is the range of opportunities for freelancers. Leeds is of course home to ITV and Emmerdale, but many Indies such as Wise Owl Films, True North and Daisybeck have their bases in Yorkshire. Indies are so important because they provide opportunities for local talent, and new graduates and give you that all important foot in the door! The announcement of Leeds as the new home for Channel 4 marked another milestone for Yorkshire and it’s never been a more exciting time for the region!

What was your path into working in TV?

I studied for my TV Production degree at Leeds Trinity University from 2016-2019. In the summer break between my second and third year I gained my first Production Secretary role and started my career in Television.

What are some recent projects that you've worked on in Yorkshire?

In 2018 I worked on a Programme called Big Week at the Zoo filmed on location at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, and most recently worked on the programme David Jason’s Great British Inventions.

Tell us about any particular highlights and any notable challenges that you have overcome during your career in the industry?

In terms of highlights, I will always remember seeing my name in the credits for the first time. It was such a special moment in my life and made me so proud, my entire family gathered to watch the show and see my name!

As television is unpredictable plans can often change at the last minute, so many challenges for me have been rearranging shoot locations, and logistics in short notice – ensuring that the production goes ahead on schedule.

Do you have any advice for people starting out in the industry?

I think for everyone starting out in the industry I would say that it is so important to make a good first impression. Reputation is everything and surprisingly everyone seems to know everyone in some way. If you make a strong first impression it can make all the difference and people will remember you!

How do you think the production landscape has changed in the region over the past 5 years?

I think the area has grown more substantially than any other part of the country. Now more than ever there are a wide range of programmes being made. While there are many programmes that showcase the beautiful scenery of Yorkshire, the production of high end dramas such as Victoria and Gentlemen Jack has raised the landscape to another level and has showcased Yorkshire in an entirely new light.

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    Olivia Thomas, Film Office Co-ordinator

    Olivia is the first point of call for Screen Yorkshire's Crew Service. She is part of the Film Office team and advises on filming enquiries, including locations, crew, facilities and permitting and also maintains our film locations and crew and facilities databases.