Screen and Film School Manchester industry activity roundup

24 December, 2022

To finish off our Screen and Film School industry recaps, having looked at Birmingham and Brighton’s year so far, we’re heading to Manchester.

Back in September, our students kicked the term off with a trip to Bolton Film Festival. The four-day festival hosts a wide range of question-and-answer sessions, and we were lucky enough to spend the afternoon in the company of some very talented northern filmmakers. The first of these discussions that our students enjoyed was ‘Producing Award-Winning Film’ and was hosted by friend of the Film School Isobelle Crossaint, from HOME. Isobelle interviewed freelance producers Chris Hees and Loren Dunn and they gave our students amazing insights into what being a creative producer looks like across different genres. Whether it is animation, documentary or fiction, they had tips for all. Still at the festival, the next session that we attended featured the Bolton writing duo, the Clarkson twins who discussed their BBC 3 series Red Rose, and he spoke about the different ways writers work with production companies, producers and crew.

Still in September, students were invited on various tours as part of fresher’s week. Ed Harvey from Manchester Studios gave the students a tour of the Granada Coronation Street site and showed the students a drama that had been filming in their biggest studio. At Stockyard, students were invited to have a look around one of the biggest prop houses in the UK. Lastly, at Scruff of the Neck, students were welcomed into the studio and production room. They were shown how the company film their weekly twitch channel with different artists each week. Maisie Woodford spoke about the internships that they offer and how our students can get involved.

Charlie Lightening is a legendary music documentary maker who has worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Gallagher and in his early years he started off working with Kylie Minogue. He gave the students an insightful talk on how he forges these long-lasting creative relationships with A-listers that can last years at a time. When he worked on the documentary As It Was with Liam Gallagher, it was Charlie that realised that there was a feature-length documentary in the footage that they’d captured. You can see from the results of the film that the trusting relationship between the Charlie and Liam evolved over time.

In the autumn, Bobby Cochrane and Elli Metcalfe from Screen Manchester spent the afternoon with our students and spoke about what they do in terms of supporting film and TV crews that come to the city. They gave the students tips on what they can be doing in the here and now to further their careers in their chosen area. They spoke about the free crew database that they have set up – a tool for all northern filmmakers and that for the students to get on to it they need two credits. Screen Manchester are working hard to make Manchester a central hub for Northern TV and film and have been using the Film School as an example for big brands such as Netflix and Apple TV to see that it makes sense for them to build a studio up here.

At the start of November, we welcomed our college Patron and world-renowned cinematographer Fabian Wagner back to our campus for an expert masterclass on all things House of the Dragon. You can read all about it here.

Helen Ledgard’s credits include, Ninja Warrior, Sitting on a Fortune, Pointless, Money Ball and Naked Attraction. With this knowledge, Helen worked with our second-year students to devise their very own gameshows. Props were provided by Stockyard North, and the students had great fun coming up with ideas. In the afternoon, the first years joined the fun. The second years assumed the position of heads of departments and the first years did a brilliant job of filling the roles, such as camera department, props, script supervisor and contestants in the gameplay. The students worked amazingly as a team and at the end of the day came away with footage from five cameras. One of the students took the footage away to edit and we are very excited to see the finished results.

Simeon Halligan from Grimm Fest came to speak to the students about his award-winning, globally recognised film festival. Grimm Fest is one of the only genre film festivals and they specialise in horror and science fiction. Simeon founded the festival when he saw a gap in the market as he wanted to distribute his own feature film. He has produced three features to date and has another one due to be shot in 2023. He welcomed students to get free tickets for his festival and will be back in touch for junior crew members for his feature.

Rebecca Mark-Lawson from Tyke Films kindly let the students watch a special screening of her feature length documentary Irene’s Ghost. She then joined the students for a discussion on the process behind the making of the film. She also gave students some amazing tips on creating their own documentaries and encouraged the students to focus on their passions and truths.

With that, our wide-ranging run of industry activity came to an end, as we begin to slow down for a short Christmas break. Thanks to all of the guests we were lucky enough to host, and to our hard-working industry teams. We’re looking forward to seeing all of the exciting industry activity that takes place at our three schools in 2023.



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