Screen and Film School Birmingham industry activity roundup

20 December, 2022

As we slowly wind down for Christmas here at Screen and Film School Birmingham, it feels like a great time to look back at the variety of brilliant industry guests we have hosted since September.

We’ve had the privilege of welcoming a wealth of experienced industry talent so far in this school year, and they have all passed on their film and screen knowledge to our students. Back in the autumn we hosted Lewis Arnold, who is now one of the go-to directors for top-notch British TV drama. With credits such as Broadchurch, Misfits, the David Tennant ITV mini-series Des, the Sean Bean drama Time and Sherwood with David Morrisey, Lewis discussed his career trajectory, and gave some invaluable advice to everyone in the audience.

Following on from Lewis, Directors Carl Hunter and Michael B. Clifford brought decades of film and TV making experience with them to the Film School, while ground-breaking filmmaker, photographer and artist Pogus Caesar discussed what it’s like to be one of the only black male voices in local television and the importance of a diversity of voices in today’s climate.

Local talent Daniel Alexander discussed how his filmmaking journey began: he started out filming hip-hop videos of his mates and fast forward to 2022, he now directs for international artists and earlier this year he created the official handover video of the Commonwealth Games, broadcast to millions of people around the world. Daniel has now honed a roster of big-name commercial clients and scores of creative credits, whilst always passionately striving for new talent to get a foot in the door, with numerous self-starting projects. Daniel’s masterclass proved to be particularly inspirational for our students, as his focus is in and around the Midlands.

More recently, we were joined by Khurrum Sultan, who discussed his extremely diverse work experience, which includes everything from intense fly-on-the-wall documentaries in war-torn countries, to directing dramatic scenes on Hollyoaks.

We got two contrasting voices in November, as Ben Hands shared tips on what to do when just starting out and looking for work, while renowned producer Roger Shannon discussed his decades of experience and how the industry has changed since he first entered the industry. Also in November, we were thrilled to welcome Dean Williams – the organiser of the Birmingham Film Festival – fresh from its biggest year yet. Dean provided insight into what it takes to organise such a mammoth event and gave students some tips on what to do when submitting their own work to festivals.

We ended the year on a high with three practical workshops. Sound engineer extraordinaire Billy Bannister offered some first-hand experience from his years of running sound on some big-name film projects, while Jessica Biddle demonstrated some stunning make-up special effects on our students, including cuts, grazes, bruises and even bullet holes. She also discussed how fast-paced, on-set SFX works whilst trying to stick to a tight shooting schedule.

Last but not least, in-demand editor Jim Page shared some unmissable advice on the craft of editing on high-end productions and clients for the likes of BBC, ITV, Hulu, Disney and Film 4.

This rundown of the top industry talent that we have had the pleasure of welcoming to Screen and Film School Birmingham is sure to continue to impress with the upcoming masterclasses we have in the pipeline for 2023. We can’t wait to welcome these film and screen specialists to Digbeth and to share news of them as they happen.



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