Barnsley College Graduate Wins Internship at True North

Barnsley College Graduate Wins Internship at True North

Matthew Woodcock Selected from Connected Campus Network

A former Barnsley College student has beaten off strong competition to win a paid internship at Leeds based True North. The production company is the  biggest non-scripted indie in the North of England, behind hit shows such as A New Life In The Sun and Help! We Bought a Village for Channel 4, Pam Ayres’ Cotswolds for Channel 5, Teen Mom UK for MTV and Forensics – Catching a Killer for Sky.

Matthew, who was studying a UAL Extended Diploma Creative Media Production and Technology in Film and TV production whilst at Barnsley College, won the internship following a competition to select one of the most promising young students studying at colleges within Screen Yorkshire’s Connected Campus network.

Matthew Woodcock working at True North

True North established competition to win a 6-week paid internship

True North, founded in 2002, have a strong ethos for nurturing local talent and supporting individuals at the start and throughout their careers. After working with Screen Yorkshire to forge stronger links with the region’s local colleges, True North came up with the idea to launch a brand new competition to identify and support a talented individual studying at one of the seven colleges that were signed up to the Connected Campus network.

Connected Campus was established by Screen Yorkshire in 2019 with the aim of forging closer links between TV and Film professionals, production companies, broadcasters and the students trying to break into the competitive screen industries.

Matt studied UAL Extended Diploma Creative Media Production and Technology in Film and TV production at Barnsley College. He impressed True North with his application, beating off strong competition from students who entered from Barnsley College and six other Connected Campus partner colleges across the region, including Bradford School of Art, Leeds City College/University Centre Leeds, Wakefield College, The Sheffield College, University Centre Grimsby, and York College/University Centre.

The pandemic gave us the opportunity to reassess how we find new talent. We’ve always worked closely with local universities, but we wanted to reach out to young people who might not have the opportunity to go into higher education. A degree isn’t a prerequisite of a career in TV. We want to attract people from a diverse range of backgrounds, whose circumstances may not afford them to be able to do unpaid work experience, which is the traditional route into television. By establishing a 6-week paid placement, we hoped to remove the barriers for anyone to apply and give a rounded view of life in busy production company – with interns spending time in all areas of production and post-production. We met some great applicants from across the region but were particularly impressed with Matthew’s enthusiasm and commitment, as well as his obvious love of TV. We can’t wait to see him develop and hope his is the first of many True North internships of its kind.

Sallie Leak, Talent Executive, True North

Within the Digital Industries department at Barnsley College, we pride ourselves on providing outstanding teaching and learner to our FE students by using industry standard equipment and offering a number of creative work experiences. Being part of Connected Campus with Screen Yorkshire has also played a vital part at College in preparing learners for the industry by offering guest talks, shadowing opportunities and offering industry experience. Matthew has shown great aptitude for filmmaking, excelling within the technical framework of his Film & TV specialism to be able to take advantage of the spectacular move to industry facilitated in an invaluable opening provided from Screen Yorkshire and True North Films.

Jo Kyte-Sharp, Course Leader: Digital Industries, Barnsley College

This internship is an amazing opportunity for me and the things I have been able to experience, as well as the people I’ve got to work with, make it even better!

Matthew Woodcock, Intern at True North and student of Barnsley College

Matthew working on location for True North's Sky crime series: Forensics – Catching a Killer

Matthew’s internship has been such a success that True North plan to re-launch the competition to Screen Yorkshire’s growing network of Connected Campus colleges next year.

As part of its commitment to nurturing local talent, True North has also provided work placements to three trainees on Screen Yorkshire’s Centre of Screen Excellence: Yorkshire programme, a partnership with ScreenSkills. Three trainees are now undertaking work placements at True North as part of the CoSE:YMy First Factual Job in TV course. Mick Rowe – as a researcher on Forensics: Catching the Killer (Sky); Oliver Woodgate – as an intern on Forensics: Catching the Killer (Sky) and Paul Wormwell as an intern in Production Management at True North

Two alumni from Screen Yorkshire’s Beyond Brontës: The Mayor’s Screen Diversity Programme have also secured paid roles at True North:  Jasmin Ubhi has secured a permanent role as Production Coordinator, on The Cotswolds with Pam Ayres, after joining the team as Production Secretary in 2021 and Kate Barron also joined the team as Production Secretary on The Cotswolds with Pam Ayres, at True North this year.