Paul Wells, Shooting Producer/ Director

Paul Wells, Shooting Producer/ Director

What was your path into film and TV?

I got a lucky break early on in my career! I got a job as a trainee on a new entrance scheme with ITV after a Media Degree at Bradford University. I had to move to Norwich but got two years on the job training and lots of experience of research, and camera within Regional TV. I moved back to Yorkshire after three years working in regional TV and actually got on to a Screen Yorkshire scheme who put me in contact with True North Productions in Leeds who I have worked with a lot over the last 15 years.

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

I have just finished a brand new series for Channel 4 called The Yorkshire Jobcentre for Minnow Films. It’s a six part series about the benefits system. With unprecedented access to a job centre in Leeds we filmed the stories of both staff and customers: finding out what life is really like on the benefits frontline. It should transmit in July so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

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

A particular highlight of my recent career was to make my first single documentary last year – it was of course also a massive challenge. It was an amazing collaboration with the journalist whose initial idea and pitch it was. Together we made a film we were both extremely proud of for the BBC that recently won Best Current Affairs at the North West RTS awards (Alas I did have to travel out of Yorkshire to make it).

It’s still available on the BBC Iplayer. Life after My Brothers Murder. – A brutally honest film about grief and the affects of knife crime.

What do you love about working in Yorkshire? What makes it different to filming in other regions?

Yorkshire is such a great place to live – don’t tell everyone – but also the screen industry within it is a real pleasure to work in. I feel like it’s not too big to get lost within it and the people that work here are what makes it sing. There is a real community of brilliant creative people that make working here such a joy.

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

It might sound obvious but we are incredibly lucky to work in this industry. Yes the work is hard but it’s a hell of a lot of fun – with incredible privileges and experiences to go along with it. At the start of your career it’s important to work hard and come with an open mind to learn from everyone you meet in the industry. If you think you know it all already you are so wrong. I’m still learning from every colleague and every contributor I work with.

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

Prior to Covid, Leeds was starting to get incredibly exciting – Channel 4 coming to Leeds feels big and important and there does feel like a new energy and excitement in the region with so many more interesting projects being made. I’ve definitely noticed a real upsurge in production numbers but also production quality.

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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.