FREE, ACCESSIBLE, ONLINE COURSES AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE GET THEIR FIRST BREAK AND THRIVE IN FILM, TV, VISUAL EFFECTS, ANIMATION OR GAMES.
The UK is a world leader in screen skills, with film, TV and games production enjoying an exciting period of growth. However, it’s estimated that by 2025 around 20,000 new full-time jobs will be needed in the UK film and high-end TV sectors alone to help keep up with demand.
ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the screen industries, has created a series of free online courses as part of the BFI Future Film Skills programme using funds from the National Lottery. The Getting into the Screen Industries and Work Well courses are designed to open up the screen industries to a greater diversity of talent, across the whole of the UK, and help ensure a better, more welcoming, inclusive place to work.
Getting into the Screen Industries is a course for anyone who would love to work in film, TV, visual effects, animation or games, but is not sure if they have the right skills, or how they go about getting a foot in the door. The five, short, online modules start with an introduction to working in the screen industries and the various roles involved; they then help people identify the right role for their skills, and give insider tips on how to find work, how to apply for a role and how to perform well at interview.
Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and Animation at ScreenSkills and producer of the Oscar-winning film, The King’s Speech, said: “The screen industry has a high demand for a lot of people with a varied range of skills and competencies – everything from the effects artists to camera operators, to people that are in more craft and design roles, such as makeup and hair, or the art department. What the ScreenSkills e-learning does is help you identify the skills and competencies that you already have, then order them in a sensible and clear way that will give you that extra advantage when you’re looking for work”.
Akira Hippolyte, TV production coordinator: “I did a ScreenSkills course as I was struggling to get into the industry. I found it very supportive and inspiring. It helped build my confidence and see what it was like in a working environment. After the course, I was able to get a runner’s job in drama”.
The Work Well e-learning series has been developed in consultation with the UK screen industry sector to equip those working in film, TV, visual effects, animation and games with the knowledge needed to identify and address unconscious bias, harassment and bullying, and mental health awareness in the workplace. They are recommended for all, regardless of job role, career stage or position. In working environments staffed by a large proportion of freelancers, often without HR departments, and where work schedules are intense, the e-courses provide a vital and unifying resource for the screen industries.
Tim Weiss, Director of Vocational Skills at ScreenSkills, said: “The overall aim for these e-learning modules is to end up with a workforce and an industry that is kinder, safer, fairer, and more inclusive. That means more people will want to work in the industry in the first place, coming from a wider range of backgrounds. It means more people will want to stay working in it and not consider other careers or changing direction. And it also means, in terms of the content that we are creating, that it’s going to be better and more representative of the wide range of people that are our audience”.
Zara Janjua, multi award-winning broadcaster, said: “I am Scottish-Pakistani and throughout my career, I’ve had experience with sexism, racism, prejudice, and unconscious bias. I think it’s great now that we are in a position where we are beginning to fully understand what that looks like on a day-to-day or operational level. What I love about the Work Well course is that it’s broken down into three e-modules that are 20 to 30 minutes in length. You can do them at your convenience, which is just fantastic. Also, the assets are great. There is lots of video and animation to help explain the topics and all the information is punctuated by statistics which you can see in graph form, so it’s not oversaturated with data”.
The Getting into the Screen Industries (GITSI) and Work Well e-learning courses are free and can easily be accessed from the ScreenSkills website via a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. They don’t need to be done in one sitting, so can be fitted into a busy work or study schedule. The five GITSI modules take between 10-15 minutes each to complete; the three Work Well modules take between 20-30 minutes each to complete. Those who have finished each course get an industry-recognised ScreenSkills certificate (one for each course) to add to their CV or work portfolio, or to show to their employer.