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Bristol boot camp offers new ways to gain off-camera jobs in TV drama making

Published on Tuesday, 19th December 2017

The Bristol film studios where POLDARK and SHERLOCK are made is hosting a free two-day boot camp on January 18 and 19 to help tackle a skills gap in high-end television drama production by highlighting the off-camera jobs available for people from a wide range of other work backgrounds.

The 50-place event is being put on at The Bottle Yard Studios, Whitchurch Lane, supported by the High End TV (HETV) Levy Fund, managed by Creative Skillset, the industry skills body for the screen-based Creative Industries.

It is being run in Bristol by the Bristol-based film and TV production and training company Calling The Shots as part of a series of similar events taking place around the country.

Calling The Shots whose co-founder/director Steve Gear explains: “It takes a great variety of skills to make a top quality television drama but while very many want to act in them, direct, operate the cameras and so on,  there is a widening skills shortage when it comes to filling equally vital and interesting practical and technical roles, such as set construction, hair and make-up, costume-making, transport, location management, crane operators, electrics and computing.  

So the idea of this two-day event is to let attendees who have developed skills in other areas of work explore how their know-how might transfer to TV drama and how to make the most of the opportunities this presents.”

The agenda for the High-End TV Drama Boot Camp will include a tour of The Bottle Yard Studios (a location for many television dramas, including BROADCHURCH, POLDARK, SHERLOCK and WOLF HALL); visits to a working production set and the site’s set-building and costume workshops; talks by experienced on and off camera personnel, and have-a-go sessions.”

Steve Gear  added: “UK production of high-end drama is currently enjoying a boom as a result of which Bristol’s The Bottle Yard Studios is busier than ever. But recent research into High End TV skills by Creative Skillset shows there is widespread industry concern that future growth will be limited unless more people with the right off-camera talents and skills get involved.”

Applicants for the 50 free places must be 21 or older with a qualification in, or good experience of, the key skills required.  Applications can be made using the form available at http://callingtheshots.co.uk/skillset/ . The deadline for applications is Monday 8 January (5pm).

Kaye Elliott, Creative Skillset High End TV Programme Lead says: “Attracting new talent to the High End TV industry in the regions is vital to sustain growth. These regional boot camps serve as an ideal entry pathway for those interested in a career in High End TV drama".