We are extremely lucky to have an extensive range of guest speakers attend the film school each year to deliver masterclasses and share with our students their insight and experiences in the film industry. We are committed to our students developing in their chosen specialism, and we will work with each student to arrange guest speakers either in a group or 1-1 scenario, who are working in the industry in that profession.
Recent guest speakers include:
Charlie Brooker is a television presenter, author, screenwriter, producer and social critic best known for his sci-fi drama series Black Mirror and for his critiques on modern society though his television shows like Screenwipe and Newswipe.Charlie is a television presenter, author, screenwriter, producer and social critic best known for his sci-fi drama series Black Mirror and for his critiques on modern society though his television shows like Screenwipe and Newswipe. On Wednesday 8th April, almost 100 Screen and Film School students, staff and alumni welcomed Charlie to join us for an in-depth Student Takeover Masterclass. For over two hours we tried to ask as many of the 120 questions submitted to him as possible in a hilarious and insightful virtual masterclass.
John Carney is an accomplished director and writer best known for Sing Street (2016), Once (2007) and Begin Again (2013). John started his music and film career in the 90s, directing music videos and award-winning short films before delving into features, including November Afternoon, On the Edge (starring a fledgeling Cillian Murphy), Zonad, as well as writing and directing TV shows Bachelors Walk, The Modest Adventures of David O’Doherty and Modern Love. In his virtual masterclass, led by Industry Engagement Manager Fiona Adams, John gave an in-depth look into his 2007 romantic musical drama Once, resulting in a truly unique opportunity to hear the ins and outs of production from the director himself.
Laurie Nunn is best known as the writer and creator of Netflix Original and BAFTA-Nominated series, Sex Education. Laurie joined students of Screen and Film School Brighton and Institute of Contemporary Theatre for an incredible Student Takeover where they had the opportunity to ask her anything and everything they wanted to know about the show! Over the two hours we spent with Laurie, we covered how she writes tough and taboo topics alongside comedy, the casting process and how they ensured such a diverse range of actors, as well as working with Netflix, filming those intimate scenes, and much, much more.
As soon as Normal People landed on our screens back in April, we knew that we had to get its producer, Catherine Magee, to speak to our students! Joined by students of our sister college, Institute for Contemporary Theatre, we spent a fantastic Friday afternoon plucking Catherine’s brain for everything you could want to know about the production of Normal People.
Seamus McGarvey is a cinematographer best known for his work on Atonement and Anna Karenina with director Joe Wright, as well as The Hours, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Greatest Showman, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Avengers. Seamus has received two Oscar nominations and was awarded the Royal Photographic Society’s Lumiere Medal with Jack Cardiff, Freddie Francis, Roger Deakins and Ridley Scott for their contributions to the art of cinematography.
Joe Wright is best known for directing multi-award winning features films Pride and Prejudice, Atonement, Hanna, Anna Karenina, Pan, The Soloist and Darkest Hour. He also directed the Nosedive episode of Black Mirror and won the Best Drama Serial BAFTA for Charles II: The Power & The Passion. We were thrilled to have Joe join us for an exclusive Q&A virtual masterclass on Wednesday 6th May.
Having started out as a runner almost 20 years ago, Malcolm Davies has worked his way through the ranks to 1st AD. He has worked on The Catherine Tate Show, The Diary of Anne Frank, Rev, New Tricks, 3 episodes of Black Mirror, Luther, My Mad Fat Diary, Fortitude, The Spanish Princess and more, so he had plenty of experience to share with us all in his Ask Me Anything Masterclass in June.
Mia Bays is an Oscar-winning, twice BAFTA-nominated Producer who has been in the industry for almost 30 years and, in that time, has worked on over 50 shorts, documentaries and feature films, including Scott Walker: 30th Century Man, Letters from Baghdad with Tilda Swinton, and Ill Manors. She is also the Director at Large for Birds’ Eye View, a not-for-profit that centres the female perspective in film and campaigns for gender equality in all film spaces. We were introduced to Mia by one of our students, Anniston, as they have worked together in the past, and we were extremely grateful to be able to have a Masterclass with Mia on Monday 18th May.
Stuart is now best known for his film and television work, including The Patrol, winner of Best Film at Raindance 2015, and This is England ’90, Black Mirror’s Hang the DJ, and the I Am mini-series. His work is often shown on Channel 4, BBC1 and Netflix, and he is a recognised member of the British Society of Cinematographers. Having always had a love of making skate videos with his friends, Stuart built up a portfolio of work with clothing and footwear brands, as well as music videos, corporate pieces and eventually short films, before enrolling at NFTS and then gaining agent representation.
Jack Stew worked as a Foley Artist for 35 years and, in that time, has worked on over 250 feature films, TV programmes, animations and videogames in his time – he even won the Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel trophy for his work on Slumdog Millionaire in 2008. The aim of Jack’s Masterclass was to inspire students to play with Foley techniques on their own productions, adding depth and texture to scenes without breaking the bank, whether it be for comedy engagement – the over exaggeration of sounds for comedic effect – or re-creating the noises of a car crash that cannot be re-recorded on set.
Paraic Morrisey- CC Wade
Paraic and Michael Morrissey began making films and music together in their teens and were soon being asked to create music videos for their friends under the moniker CC Wade. The twins learned on their feet, looking for ways to create imaginative, high-quality films – often with low budget and minimal crew. Paraic brought with him the treatments that secured their pitches with Goat Girl and King Krule, showing the detail that the brothers go to when discerning their visual style. With a wealth of success behind them- including their video for Fat White Family that won Raindance’s Best Music Video 2019- our students were thrilled to hear advice and top tips first hand.
Elaine Pyke started her career in the industry as an actress on The Bill. She moved on to script editing and producing, then was hired as the Head of Drama at Sky and promoted to Director of Sky Atlantic in 2011. At Sky Atlantic, she commissioned Sky Original high-end TV dramas such as The Tunnel, as well as overseeing all other programming for the channel, including Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and more. In 2014, Elaine joined New Pictures as an Executive Producer for Indian Summers (Channel 4) and is the lead Exec on The Innocents for Netflix. Elaine discussed her journey into producing and gave an exclusive insight into how commissioning for high-end drama has changed, and what is now expected.
Hannah Williams is a casting director for Backstage, an online casting platform for filmmakers and actors. At Backstage, she has cast background actors for Being Human, Broadchurch, Toast of London, Man Down, Pride, The Legend of Tarzan, and Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. She’s also started her own casting company, where she has works on BBC and BFI film projects as well as for commercial and creative agencies. Hannah gave the students an exclusive insight into the importance of casting, noting that a great cast can elevate even the simplest of ideas, whereas bad casting can ruin an otherwise fantastic project.
Simon Stolland began his filmmaking journey by creating music videos for friends, where they caught the attention of SB.TV. founder: Jamal Edwards. Jamal put Simon in contact with Rapman, where the two worked together for almost 3 years before creating Shiro’s Story, a 3-part YouTube mini-series that sky rocketed both of their careers. Simon gave tips on creating shot lists, managing others and working with an AD, as well as what he would look for in an AC/2nd AC, before looking at scenes from his critically acclaimed feature, Blue Story.
Michele D’Acosta is best known as producer of the award-winning documentary Biggie & Tupac, which has been acknowledged as one of the 50 most important documentary films of the past 25 years. At her Masterclass on 23rd October, Michele discussed in detail the importance of finding your authentic voice when storytelling, be it fiction or documentary. She also invited students to participate in a task to create a short film plot using items and words that were important to them, which they then had to present in groups.
Toby Whithouse is a writer and producer, known for creating Being Human (2008) and The Game (2014), as well as writing many much-loved episodes of Doctor Who. Toby came to Screen and Film School for a Q&A hosted by Industry Engagement Manager, Fiona Adams, where they delved into the details of his early acting career, how that transitioned into writing and the ups and downs of creating content for the BBC and beyond.
Paul Van Carter
Paul Van Carter is an award-winning producer and writer, known for the double BAFTA-nominated McQueen (2018), Churchill (2017), and My Name is Lenny (2017). For his Masterclass, a Q&A led by Fiona Adams on 30th October, Paul went through the ins and outs of producing – from festival markets to legal battles, and licensing to finding funding.
Graham Duff is an experienced and prolific writer for screen, radio, stage and print. However, he’s best known for sit-coms such as Ideal, Hebburn and Nebulous and talked about creating comedy characters that resonate with audiences. He shared detailed insights during his October masterclass about writing strategies that help unlock the potential for both self expression and fun in writing for screen. He also discussed ways of maximizing student’s chances to get their script read and into development.
Mia is a highly experienced producer specialising in branded content, with a wealth of experience in TV, short film, drama, documentary, commercials, music videos, charity, educational and corporate. During her Masterclass, Mia went through her impressive deck of work, as well as speaking in detail about the opportunities that Be The Fox have given Screen and Film School, and what the future holds for them.