Screen and Film School Manchester Industry Activity Round-Up

21 April, 2022

We’ve been busy in Manchester since we opened our doors in September. Riverside Studios is a thriving hub of activity, from teaching to filming and everything in between. Our extra curricula events, such as masterclasses, fall under our industry activity, and we’ve put together a comprehensive round-up of some of this year’s highlights so far.

We aim to provide our undergraduate students with a diverse range of guests, focusing on different disciplines and areas of expertise. From world-renowned screenwriters to Hollywood cinematographers, Manchester has hosted them all.

At the beginning of 2022, Danny Brocklehurst, the superstar scriptwriter and show runner on the recent headline-grabbing Stay Close, joined us for an online masterclass. As well as discussing his past achievements, such as the hugely popular Shameless and Clocking Off, Danny gave our students and applicants tips on working through the execution of an idea, from the development all the way to shooting.

Shortly after that, Bella Lambourne, who is Head of Operations at Banijay UK, spoke about how she helped to develop the company from the early days of the pioneering Big Brother success, and how it has grown to a worldwide enterprise which incorporates up to 27 different companies. She also gave us some amazing insight into the making of a new Janet Jackson documentary, simply called Janet, which Banijay have co-produced.

To add a musical element to the school term, Nothern band The Orielles visited us to discuss with the students about the creation of their first ever short film that they are about to begin circulating at the festivals this summer. The band explained the differences between making a music video as opposed to a short film and the anxieties they felt about stepping away from their guitars and into directing.

The Orielles

 

ITV Studios, a company who have sites dotted across the city, were generous enough to send three different talent agents to the Film School to speak to our students about how they can realistically get a job with ITV. They promised to come back when our students are in their third year and said that they will run assessments to see who they could potentially employ after graduation.

In February, Fabian Wagner, our patron and a world-famous cinematographer, cut the ribbon at our launch event. Fabian had our students enthralled by a Q&A that he took part in over the course of the morning, discussing the highs and lows of his career as well as what it was like to work on Justice League and Game of Thrones. In the afternoon he set up a Game of Thrones scene and worked with the students on camera and lighting.

Fabian Wagner

 

To mix things up, we hosted Dan Bays from Cake Entertainment. Dan is a specialist in ideas and character development and works primarily in animation; he offered our students a real insight into how animated characters are developed in conjunction with the artists.

As we entered spring, we were fortunate enough to have two brilliant masterclass guests. Tim Wildgoose, who is Head of Weapons and Manufacturing at Lucasfilm, and James Bridger, who is an exceptional gaffer. Tim spoke to the students about conceptualising weapons on leading Hollywood blockbusters, including Eternals, Wonder Woman and Aladdin, whilst James demonstrated his work by showing scenes from one of his most recent triumphs, I May Destroy You. This focused on the lighting design of the acclaimed BBC show.

Tim Wildgoose

 

Finally, as we approached the Easter break, Manchester Film Festival was running in mid-March and our Head of Year One Milda Baginskaite had two films featured in the North West Shorts section. We were delighted to be given 30 tickets to the event and our students who attended took part in a Q&A afterwards and then set about networking with the filmmakers.

The brief pause in teaching has allowed us the chance to stop and take stock of all of the brilliant industry activity we have experienced in Manchester so far. There will be plenty more to come over the course of the next few months and we look forward to sharing all of the exciting news at it happens.

 


 

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