Film & TV Training Courses

Film & TV Training Courses

Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire Runs UK Craft Certificates for Second Year to Meet Growing Demand for Crew

An exciting initiative for individuals interested in a career in film & TV opens for applications in Yorkshire today. The National Film and Television School (NFTS) Leeds, Screen Yorkshire and ScreenSkills are recruiting for five part-time film & TV craft courses, offering training in areas identified as ‘in demand’ locally, as the region’s booming film & TV industry emerges from the impact of COVID.

The craft certificates, in grip, lighting, hair & make-up, costume and production assistant (scripted), have been designed to provide trainees with a clear pathway to working in the film & TV industry.

The five part-time training courses will be delivered by NFTS Leeds from March – July 2021 with the support of Screen Yorkshire and in partnership with local education providers: University Centre Leeds, Keighley College and BECTU Grips and Crane Technicians Branch. This will be the second year of recruitment in the Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire, a ScreenSkills initiative supported by the BFI awarding National Lottery funds to support the building of capacity outside of London and the South East.

Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire, year one grip students in Leeds

Applications are now closed

The courses will be taught by craft specific tutors alongside film & TV professionals through a combination of practical training in person, online tutorials, online masterclasses and mentoring support as a pathway to industry. A work experience module is intended to be included in the programme if COVID restrictions permit. Local industry partners include ITV, ProVision and Prime Studios in Leeds.

Demand for local skilled crews is high, as COVID-secure film & TV production continues in Yorkshire under new lockdown restrictions. NFTS Leeds operates out of ITV’s landmark Emmerdale studios, which was one of the first UK productions to resume shooting under the new COVID safe filming measures. Other major TV productions that have filmed or are currently filming in the region in autumn 2020 supported by Screen Yorkshire’s Film Office include: Gentleman Jack, Anne Boleyn, The Syndicate, Ackley Bridge and Meet The Richardsons. ScreenSkills is supporting trainees on productions including Gentleman Jack and Ackley Bridge.

Nasreen Paracha (Amy-Leigh Hickman) filming 'Ackley Bridge

The Yorkshire based productions are part of a wider booming UK film & TV production landscape; between 2014 and 2019, spending on high-end TV shows in the UK almost tripled from £640m to just under £1.7bn, creating thousands of highly skilled jobs in the industry. Last month, the BFI’s research and statistics unit revealed high growth in consumption of at home screen entertainment during and post-lockdown, with a 109% surge in demand for streaming services, helping to fuel demand for production of new screen content, including productions that were halted during the first lockdown.

The five film & TV craft courses are part of Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire, delivered by the National Film and Television School (NFTS) Leeds in partnership with Screen Yorkshire, supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery Funds awarded by the BFI as part of the Future Film Skills Programme. The Centre aims to demonstrate how partners joining forces can amplify the impact of targeted investment into training and build a greater skilled workforce outside London and the South East.


Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire

Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire is establishing innovative partnerships to meet the demand for local crews to work on these productions and support further growth in the region. The courses will provide students from any background with a clear pathway into the industry, developing their skills, and preparing them for the specific demands of working within these industries.

With the support of the NFTS, all students will also take part in two week-long ‘boot camps’ designed to prepare them for the specific requirements of film and TV, such as their role within a department, set etiquette and the challenges of freelance life (including tax, invoicing and networking).

The craft courses are part of a portfolio of initiatives being rolled out across the region by Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire, aimed at upskilling the local workforce and creating new opportunities for individuals wishing to develop their careers in the screen industries. The long-term aim is to ensure that the region is a nationally-recognised centre for training in the screen industries.

It is the second year for the film & TV craft course programme, which launched shortly before the first Covid lockdown earlier in 2020. NFTS Leeds adapted the course content to ensure that year one students were offered a rich learning experience, despite pandemic restrictions limiting face to face and classroom training. Students were given access to some of the most vibrant film & TV talent from around the world through a series of exclusive online industry masterclasses.

Highlights from the online 2020 programme included masterclasses with the world leading costume designer Sandy Powell (The Irishman, The Favourite), multi BAFTA winning writer/director Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack, Last Tango in Halifax), Oscar winning producer/director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later) BIFA-winning Director and NFTS grad Yann Demange (Top Boy, ‘71), and Production Designer Rick Carter (Avatar, Back to the Future, Star Wars and The Goonies.)

Our first year has been one of unexpected challenges, particularly for such practical courses. We, along with all the partners, and students adapted quickly and hearing the fantastic feedback from some of the first student intake motivates us to work even harder to ensure we seek out and develop the very best production talent from across Yorkshire and the North. Filling these courses and providing the world class training the NFTS is renowned for is key to ensuring the local screen industry has a consistent pipeline of job ready trainees for years to come.

Meabh O'Donovan, Head of NFTS Leeds

These courses are vital for the future well-being of the TV and Film industry in Yorkshire. All the signs suggest that this region will again be a booming production when the pandemic has receded and it’s important to have a well-trained workforce to cover all jobs and roles.

Glyn Middleton, Head of Skills at Screen Yorkshire

ScreenSkills is committed to providing people from any background with pathways to break into this exciting industry. The courses will help to build and sustain a skilled local workforce that will enable Yorkshire and Humber to develop as a home to film and television production. We congratulate the students who underwent training this year, some of whom have already found work in the industry, even during the pandemic. And we hope to see strong applications for the new round of recruitment.

Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills

The five film & TV craft courses are specifically targeted towards students who want to break into film and television. We actively seek to address under representation within the screen industries by encouraging people to apply whatever their background. No previous experience is necessary, but training is an investment both for the candidate and the provider, so candidates must demonstrate a clear commitment to achieving a high level of proficiency and dedication to the craft.

The deadline for applications was Monday 18th January 2021.