The importance of training schemes offered by ScreenSkills to screen professionals in the UK was explained in detail to more than 50 Ukrainian filmmakers in a successful Zoom presentation by Nicky Ball, Head of High-end TV Mid-Level Career Progression, on Wednesday, November 30.
The event was organized by Filmmakers for Ukraine as part of a fruitful collaboration with ScreenSkills, the organisation responsible for training schemes to increase the film & TV workforce in the UK.
Fifty-seven (57) Ukrainian professionals who live now in the UK on an extended stay permit attended the session and had the opportunity to get informed of the modus operandi of ScreenSkills, the training programs which can be beneficial to them (Trainee Finder, Make a Move, Leaders of Tomorrow, Film Forward), what it means to apply for bursaries and how to navigate themselves on the ScreenSkills website in order to find training opportunities.
A very engaging discussion at the Q&A session followed the presentation.
As Nicky Ball explained, ScreenSkills is an industry-funded skills organisation for the UK’s screen industries – TV, film, animation, visual effects, games and immersive technology. They work across the UK ensuring the screen industries have access to the skills and talent they need for the future. Primarily, they offer training, placements, bursaries and mentoring.
According to ScreenSkills records:
- £26 million in industry contributions invested to date in workforce growth and development
- Supported over 190 HETV productions in 2021/22
- High-end TV Skills Fund invested in 1650 people in 2021/22 to enter industry or advance their careers in HETV all across UK
Watch the video with the full presentation below:
‘’ScreenSkills are here to support behind the scenes crew so be that camera, makeup, sound, costume, post-production, virtual production, visual effects. We are not an organization that works with actors or casting agents or stunts. We are absolutely behind the scenes but apart from crew, we absolutely do support producers, writers and directors’’.
Nicky Ball, Head of High-end TV Mid-Level Career Progression, ScreenSkills
The clarification of how is high-end TV defined in the UK was important for Nicky to make in the beginning of her presentation. ”High-end TV in the UK is classed as anything that makes content over a million pound per hour episode. So, anything that you might see on BBC, high-end drama which is after nine o’clock at night, on Amazon, on Sky, on Netflix, on HBO, is classed as high-end TV. But, what also can be high-end TV is unscripted. So, we work with many different production companies and productions who are based generally out of Bristol, who make unscripted for natural history and international natural history.’’
The importance of focusing on professional development at ScreenSkills was also a strong point made by Nicky Ball.
‘’Many of us share the experience of coming into the industry and realizing our previous training is not applicable to the actual job, so we need mentoring/short courses that are really going to help us step up our career. The journey on how to make the jump from being a production Runner, towards coordinating – and becoming a Line Producer. Or from being a camera trainee towards a clapper loader, and so on, is not entirely clear to all of us. ScreenSkills is focused on how they can support the individuals with the issues addressed, with a focus on their professional development’’.
During the Q&A discussion, the issue of lack of networking and the lack of receiving positive responses by employers was addressed by some Ukrainian filmmakers.
According to Calvin Walker, Business Development Consultant and one of the volunteers of the NGO Filmmakers for Ukraine who worked for the FFU / ScreenSkills collaboration project, ”What we often hear is that a production company might hesitate to take on Ukrainian professionals because they haven’t been in the country long enough and they haven’t been recommended by others. It’s really hard for them to get a foot in. So, if they register and they do even the most basic course and they can put ScreenSkills on their CV that’s already a first step to showing that they are in the UK and they are actually part of the system in training’’.
The establishment of the association Talented UA – UK was announced by its founder Ksenia Bugrimova during the Q&A discussion. Ksenia was the Head of the Ukrainian Female Film Industry in Ukraine and since her arrival in the UK, together with her colleagues, they have created a database of the Ukrainian professionals who are now staying in the UK aiming to coordinate their efforts to integrate into the local filmmaking industry.
‘’We want to empower people to recognize that they have all they need to step up their game. Oftentimes if you are brilliant at what you do, people would like to keep you where you are because otherwise, they would have to look for someone to replace you. So, this is about you being able to propel your career with our support.’’Nicky Ball, Head of High-end TV Mid-Level Career Progression, ScreenSkills
Special thanks to the NGO Talented Ukraine that has enabled us to inform many Ukrainian film and TV professionals now based in the UK about our collaboration with ScreenSkills.
The next step of the collaboration between Filmmakers for Ukraine and ScreenSkills is our presentation at FOCUS which will take place on December 7.
Read more about our presentation at FOCUS HERE.
If you are in the UK on an extended stay permit and would like to attend our presentation in London you are very welcome. First, remember to register at FOCUS (for free).
ScreenSkills Zoom Presentation Video