Our credits tell the story.

Two Ivor Novello Awards for NFTS Graduates!

Best Original Film Score & Best TV Soundtrack

(L-R: Dario Marianelli; Martin Phipps & presenter, Goldie)

Two NFTS Composing MA graduates, Dario Marianelli and Martin Phipps won coveted Ivor Novello awards (The Ivors) last night, which took place at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London and were hosted by Paul Gambaccini. NFTS alumni now have an impressive 13 Ivor Novello awards between them! 

The Ivors were created by BASCA [British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors] to celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing. The awards are unique in specifically honouring the UK songwriting and composing community and are exclusively judged by songwriters and composers.

Dario Marianelli won in the ‘Best Original Film Score’ category for Kubo and The Two Strings and has now received three Ivor Novello awards, previously winning for Atonement and Anna Karenina. Dario has also won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Atonement and has many other awards for his compositions.

Martin Phipps won in the ‘Best TV Soundtrack’ category for War and Peace and this is incredibly his fifth Ivor Novello award! He has previously won for The Virgin Queen; Oliver Twist; The Shadow Line and The Honourable Woman. Martin has won two BAFTA TV awards for Best Original Music for Small Island and Wallander and has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy awards.

For more information about the NFTS Composing MA, pleases visit www.nfts.co.uk/composing

NFTS Grads & Senior Tutor Edit BAFTA Winning TV Series

Happy Valley & Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

An impressive 13 NFTS graduates and tutors worked on this year's BAFTA TV Award Winning programmes. Happy Valley, edited by NFTS Head of Editing, Richard Cox beat off stiff competition from The Crown to win Best Drama and Best Actress (Sarah Lancashire) at last night’s Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards.  Richard works frequently with Happy Valley writer and director, Sally Wainwright who recently delivered an inspiring masterclass to NFTS students where Richard described her as “one of the best, if not the best TV writers and directors around!”

If you are a keen editor and would love to be taught by Richard, applications are still open for our Editing MA – more information at www.nfts.co.uk/editing

There was also success for the NFTS Editing department in the Best Factual Series category which was won by Exodus: Our Journey to Europe and credits no fewer than three NFTS Editing MA graduates, Simon Sykes, Nick Fenton and Sunshine Jackson.

‘Best Soap and Continuing Drama’ went to Emmerdale, which credits NFTS Directing Fiction alumna, Diana Patrick. Diana has been directing episodes of the long running series since 1998.

The ‘Leading Actor’ award went to Adeel Akhtar who starred in single drama, Murdered by My Father, which credits NFTS Cinematography graduate, Felix Wiedemann as DoP.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the 'Female Performance in a Comedy Programme' category for Fleabag, which credits NFTS Production Design graduate, Clare Winkworth as Graphic Designer and Sound Recording graduate, Howard Peryer as Sound Maintenance.

National Treasure won the BAFTA for Best Mini Series and credits NFTS graduates, Paul Davies as Supervising Sound Editor and Katherine Pearl as Post-Production Co-Ordinator.

Tom Hollander won Best Supporting Actor for The Night Manager, which credits Sarah Byers, Matchmove Artist; Maria Salcher, Assistant Production Co-ordinator and Juan Montoto Ugarte as Sound Assistant.

BAFTA TV Awards Nominations with NFTS credits:

Best Drama Series

The Crown:  Script Editor, Edward Hemming; Editor, Una Ni Dhonghaile; Digital Compositor, Victor Tomi; Sound FX Editor, Alex Ellerington; Additional VFX Supervisor, Jorge Canada Escorihuela; Rerecording Mixers, Stuart Hilliker & Martin Jensen; Additional Music Composer, Evan Jolly

The Durrells:  Additional Music, Jon Wygens

War and Peace:  Composer, Martin Phipps; Rerecording Mixer, Stuart Hilliker;     Boom Operator, Vytautas Kizala; Sound FX Editor, Alex Ellerington; Matchmove Artist, Sarah Byers

Happy Valley: Edited by NFTS Head of Editing, Richard Cox

Best Factual Series

24 Hours in Police Custody: Assistant Editors, Manuela Lupini and Pawel Slawek

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe: Editors, Simon Sykes; Nick Fenton and Sunshine Jackson

Best Mini-Series

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses: Art Department Assistant, Jamie Burrows

National Treasure: Supervising Sound Editor, Paul Davies; Post-Production Co-ordinator, Katherine Pearl

Witness for the Prosecution: DoP Felix Wiedemann

Best Reality & Constructed Factual

First Dates (Series 7): Composer, Miguel d’Oliveira

The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds: Director, Jackie Waldock

Best Scripted Comedy

Fleabag:  Graphic Designer, Clare Winkworth; Sound Maintenance, Howard Peryer

Best Specialist Factual

Attenborough's Life That Glows: Screenwriter, NFTS Head of Natural History, Paul Reddish

Best Single Drama

Aberfan: The Green Hollow: Sound Effects Editor, Vicente Villaescusa

Murdered by My Father: DoP, Felix Wiedemann

NW: Sound Effects Editor, Matis Rei

Best Soap & Continuing Drama

Casualty: Director, Matthew Evans; Writer, Laura Poliakoff

Eastenders: Writer, Laura Poliakoff

Emmerdale: Director, Diana Patrick

Applications are open for a wide range of our MA and Diploma courses from Editing to Cinematography  – more information here.

Lady Macbeth Director & Producer Discuss making an Anti-Bonnet Period Drama with Bite!

Q&A with Lady Macbeth Director William Oldroyd & Producer (NFTS Graduate) Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly

Introduced by NFTS Head of Screen Arts, Sandra Hebron as one of the most talked about debuts of the year and receiving rave reviews across the board, we knew we were in for a treat when settling down to watch Lady Macbeth followed by a Q&A with its director William Oldroyd and NFTS graduate and Producer, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly. (If you would like to follow in Fodhla's footsteps, find out more about the NFTS Producing MA at www.nfts.co.uk/producing)

An adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s 1865 novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Lady Macbeth is described in the Guardian as “a brilliantly chilling subversion of a classic” and in the Spectator as “plain terrific” while Sight and Sound praises “its skill at filleting contemporary relevance from a classic literary source.”

Fodhla, whose NFTS graduation film, Head Over Heels was nominated for an Oscar in 2014, met William after a friend recommended she watch William’s award-winning short film, Best. “I fell in love with it; it was very clever. I met up with Will and we chatted for hours and then we watched 12 Years a Slave – after that we felt bonded for life!”

The project came together when William and Fodhla joined forces with writer Alice Birch who had the original idea to adapt the Leskov novella as she felt that its themes - the subordination of women in society, life in rural communities, and of passionate illicit love - would be exciting for a film adaptation. Both William and Alice had made their names in theatre – he as the Director in Residence at the Young Vic Theatre and working with the RSC, and she as an award-winning playwright with work performed at the Royal Court and the RSC.

(Pictured L-R: William Oldroyd, Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly and NFTS Head of Screen Arts, Sandra Hebron)

On what drew him to the Lady Macbeth story, William said: “I really wanted to see the central character Katherine on screen as she was very different to other heroines of that time who either had to suffer or die. Katherine fights back; we didn’t have to do very much to make it modern.”

Fodhla was drawn to the project for the same reason: “the complex female character appealed to me. “The challenge of making a period film on such a small budget excited me and I was also excited to find an original take on the genre. We wanted to make an anti-bonnet period drama.”

Lady Macbeth was made through iFeatures, the regional micro-budget filmmaking scheme run by Creative England and supported by the BFI and BBC Films. The scheme was particularly useful for William: “Everything was brand new for me so the iFeatures workshops were really helpful and we relied heavily on Fodhla’s experience having been to film school.” According to Fodhla, “iFeatures took a risk green lighting us but they were totally up for it and very supportive. We got to work with established executive producers and access their knowledge and experience which was invaluable.”

Sandra asked William if he had a sense from the outset of how to make a period film on such a small budget? “The story fit well with a low budget. For example, we couldn’t have many costumes but I’ve always thought it doesn’t feel real when you see so many costume changes in films. We had one location and a small number of characters, which is what we wanted to do anyway. We wanted to keep it focussed and nuclear; having lots of extras and a swooping score didn’t feel right.”

“The austerity and pared down nature of the film came from Alice’s script, which was my taste as well. We used an economy of camera movements, which lent itself very well in terms of representing Katherine on screen.”

On why the film was shot in scene order, William said: “That’s how you would work through a play. I found it difficult to hold a whole feature length film in my head so this approach was helpful with that.” Fodhla added: “It was six weeks intense prep and we shot the film in four six-day weeks. Shooting in order was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. By the third week we had three quarters of the film edited and we knew which shots we needed to pick up. We left a few days free towards the end of the shoot to tie up any loose ends. We needed to block book the actors for the 24 days and half the cast had to be based in Durham but they were all very flexible and understood our approach.”

Ari Wegner is the DoP on Lady Macbeth. According to William, “Ari really understood the script and character. She has an incredible eye and had a symbiotic relationship with Florence who plays Katherine. We wanted to objectify Katherine like the men were so we locked off the camera with a static shot so she would be seen as an ornament and in moments of freedom, rebellion and defiance, Ari moved the camera with Katherine. We wanted it to feel like Katherine wanted to break out of the frame.”

One of the students asked William how the horse scene was filmed: “This was a moment when creative thinking and the low budget had to meet – we didn’t want to cheat as it was a powerful moment and the first time you see Katherine break down emotionally. We found an ‘acting horse’ who could fall over although it was only allowed to fall over three times including one rehearsal! We put aside a morning to film that scene and it was one of the only ones where we broke our rule and didn’t shoot in sequence.”

On why they decided to change the ending of the novella for the film, William had the following to say: “It was important to writer Alice that Katherine wins at the end even if it was a hollow victory as she felt that so many women were punished for what they did.”

In addition to its rave reviews and praise for subverting the period drama genre with a strong and unrepentant female character, Lady Macbeth is also garnering attention for having a number of black characters in its small cast. In a recent article, The Guardian asks: “Will Lady Macbeth end period drama’s whitewashing of history?” On this subject, William said: “There are no descriptions of the characters’ race in the book and the casting was completely open. The UK was a lot more diverse at that time than people think. Britain was white washed in that respect and not just in period dramas. We simply chose the best actors for each role.”

Lady Macbeth is in cinemas now, distributed by Altitude – our thanks to them for the screening.

For more information about the NFTS Producing MA, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/producing

 

 

BT Partners with NFTS to Address Skills Gap In Broadcast Engineering

Launches Scholarship for Production Technology MA

BT has announced a partnership with the National Film and Television School (NFTS) to encourage people to train as broadcast engineers and production technologists to help combat the current skills deficit in the sector.

BT will offer a scholarship to support a student through the Production Technology MA, a two year course which equips successful applicants with the skills required to support all aspects of production technology in live and recorded environments. After completing the masters, graduates will be invited to apply for a job with the company.

BT is also providing up to six students with work placements in the BT TV team, to be based at the iconic BT Tower in London or the BT Labs in Ipswich. The company recently announced plans to recruit 1,700 apprentices and graduates across the UK, with numerous posts available in the TV team.

Greg McCall, managing director of BT TV, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the NFTS and supporting the broadcast industry’s talent pipeline. As we continue to evolve our growing TV arm and provide our audiences with the highest quality content, we need the most talented broadcast engineers on board to help us do that.”

“Today’s announcement is part of our ambition to transform the UK’s tech literacy as we firmly believe it’s the best way to equip young people to get ahead in the workplace while helping to fuel the economy. We’re really looking forward to working with the NFTS to support our goal and help inspire the next generation of broadcast engineers.”

Nik Powell, NFTS director, said: “The UK is facing a crisis in broadcast engineering as there is a significant lack of skilled people applying for positions. According to some estimates, 60% of all broadcast engineers are within five years of retirement, and there are not enough new engineers being trained at the moment.

“It’s fantastic news that BT has come on board to partner with us on this exciting new MA. Both BT and NFTS have content and technology at their heart: BT is leading the way in combining leading edge technology with compelling content and services and at the NFTS, technology and tech know-how is becoming increasingly important in delivering our award-winning content. I am looking forward to working together to deliver a compelling and practical curriculum that will help solve this looming skills gap by providing highly skilled graduates who can hit the ground running.”

Applications for the Production Technology MA are open until October 16th 2017 and the course will commence in January 2018. There is an upcoming onling open day or the course on October 9th at 1pm – sign up here

 

Ends

For further information

Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369. All news releases can be accessed at our web site. You can also subscribe to receive all BT announcements here and you can follow us on Twitter here.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.  BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 20161, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,012m with reported profit before taxation of £2,907m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

1The results for the period have been revised to reflect the outcome of the investigation into our Italian business. Detail of which is set out in our third quarter results announcement published on 27 January 2017.  This financial information is unaudited. 

For more information, visit www.btplc.com

About the National Film and Television School

The NFTS is one of the world's leading film, games and television schools. It has been cited by some media as one of the top five film schools globally and by one as the No.1 international film school. In 1967, the government recommended the creation of a national film school for the UK and in 1971 the National Film School opened its doors for the first time focussing on postgraduate education. In the 1980s, the school officially changed its name to the National Film and Television School to incorporate the demand for courses in television production and has since added games to its remit.

For more information, please visit www.nfts.co.uk

Contact for further information:

Vicky Hewlett, Head of PR and Communications, NFTS: VHewlett@nfts.co.uk

 

NFTS Grad Wins Breakthrough Talent BAFTA

Over 30 Grads Credited in BAFTA TV Awards Nominations

(Mahalia picking up her BAFTA! Credit: BAFTA)

We are extremely proud of our Directing Fiction MA graduate Mahalia Belo who has won the Breakthrough Talent award at this year’s BAFTA Television Craft Awards for her work on the critically acclaimed Channel 4 single drama Ellen, starring Jessie Barden. Ellen credits a number of NFTS graduates including DoP, Chloe Thomson; Editor Carmela Iandoli; Composer, Jonathan Hill; Production Designer, Laura Ellis Cricks (formerly Tarrant-Brown) and Art Director Thalia Ecclestone.

(Still from Ellen)

Mahalia graduated from the NFTS in 2012 and her graduation film, Volume premiered at Sundance and won the British Independent Film Award for Best Short Film. She was subsequently featured on the cover of Screen’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ issue and is currently in pre-production on original psychological horror Requiem’, directing all six episodes for BBC 1.

Other productions receiving accolades at the Television Craft BAFTAs, which credit NFTS graduates include: The Night Manager, which received the BAFTA for Best Sound: Fiction (NFTS Sound Recording graduate, Juan Montoto Ugarte; Sound Assistant), and The Crown, which picked up the BAFTA for Special, Visual and Graphic Effects and had NFTS graduates, Victor Tomi on the crew as a Compositor and Jorge Canada Escorihuela as an Additional VFX Supervisor.

Meanwhile, the nominations for the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards have been announced and over 30 NFTS graduates and two Heads of Department are credited! This year’s ceremony will be held at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 14 May. Credits are as follows:

Best Drama Series

The Crown:  Script Editor, Edward Hemming; Editor, Una Ni Dhonghaile; Digital Compositor, Victor Tomi; Sound FX Editor, Alex Ellerington; Additional VFX Supervisor, Jorge Canada Escorihuela; Rerecording Mixers, Stuart Hilliker & Martin Jensen; Additional Music Composer, Evan Jolly

The Durrells:  Additional Music, Jon Wygens

War and Peace:  Composer, Martin Phipps; Rerecording Mixer, Stuart Hilliker;     Boom Operator, Vytautas Kizala; Sound FX Editor, Alex Ellerington; Matchmove Artist, Sarah Byers

Happy Valley: Edited by NFTS Head of Editing, Richard Cox

Best Factual Series

24 Hours in Police Custody: Assistant Editors, Manuela Lupini and Pawel Slawek

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe: Editors, Simon Sykes; Nick Fenton and Sunshine Jackson

Best Mini-Series

The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses: Art Department Assistant, Jamie Burrows

National Treasure: Supervising Sound Editor, Paul Davies; Post-Production Co-ordinator, Katherine Pearl

Witness for the Prosecution: DoP Felix Wiedemann

Best Reality & Constructed Factual

First Dates (Series 7): Composer, Miguel d’Oliveira

The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds: Director, Jackie Waldock

Best Scripted Comedy

Fleabag:  Graphic Designer, Clare Winkworth; Sound Maintenance, Howard Peryer

Best Specialist Factual

Attenborough's Life That Glows: Screenwriter, NFTS Head of Natural History, Paul Reddish

Best Single Drama

Aberfan: The Green Hollow: Sound Effects Editor, Vicente Villaescusa

Murdered by My Father: DoP, Felix Wiedemann

NW: Sound Effects Editor, Matis Rei

Best Soap & Continuing Drama

Casualty: Director, Matthew Evans; Writer, Laura Poliakoff

Eastenders: Writer, Laura Poliakoff

Emmerdale: Director, Diana Patrick

And finally, an impressive 33 NFTS students and graduates have been selected for the BAFTA Crew programme, which connects emerging talent with writers, directors and producers, providing a rare opportunity for peer to peer networking and development across all key roles within production – they include:

Abigail Dankwa, Director

Alexandra Harwood, Composer

Andrea Cuadrado, Editing

Andrew Alderslade, Camera

Andrew Oldbury, Producer

Ani Laurie, Director

Anushka Naanayakkara, Director

Bojan Brbora, Camera

Caroline Bridges, Camera

Chiara Ventura, Producer

Elena Ruscombe-King, Writer

Emily Morgan, Producer

Eva Weber, Director

Fawzia Mahmood, Producer

Fiona Brands, Editing

Frances Poletti, Writer

Hannah Cole, Producer

Ian Forbes, Camera

Ina Remme, Producer

Jac Clinch, Director

Katherine Pearl, Production Management

Louis Dodd, Composer

Maddie Quarm, Sound (Production)

Manuela Lupini, Editing

Mike Forshaw, Director

Nosa Eke, Director

Pawel Slawek, Editing

Samantha Rhodes, Editing

Simona Susnea, Camera

Sophie Halton, Production Management

Thomas Blazukas, Sound (Post Production)

Tim Morrish, Composer

Vera Simmonds, Editing

 

 

Assistant Directing Students Work on Highly Anticipated Productions

Starring Emma Thompson & Steve Coogan: Apply Now!

(Still: All the Devil's Men starring Milo Gibson)

“Assistant Directing is a brilliant role. A Runner on the last film I worked on said you are the cushions of the set; you support the crew at all times and keep morale high and that's what I want to keep doing”

It’s work experience time for the Assistant Directing and Floor Managing Diploma students so we caught up with two of the students, Charlotte Smith and Eline van Oeveren, as well as Richard Lingard from the Assistant Directing Association and Helen Fraser, experienced Assistant Director and visiting NFTS Tutor, to find out more. If you are inspired by their stories, apply now and start in September 2017 - more info at www.nfts.co.uk/assistantdirecting

Charlotte Smith

Since joining the NFTS, I have done so many things I would not have been able to achieve without the support of the School. I have worked on student projects as a 1st AD which was really good fun but a real challenge. I have also had opportunities to work on professional sets including Stan and Ollie directed by Jon. S Baird and All the Devils Men, at West London Studios. These gave me real insights into a professional AD department which I am extremely grateful for and has cemented my interest in the AD role even more. I have recently secured a freelance Floor Assistant job on Emmerdale at ITV Yorkshire in Leeds. This has been an incredible experience so far. My main role on set is to help the cast when they struggle with the lines and prompt them during line run through. I also support the AD department and look after the cast on set. I mainly communicate with the Script Supervisor and the AD department and cast. A typical day on Emmerdale can be long from 7am until 7pm but it is really enjoyable.

(The Woolpack - famous pub in Emmerdale)

When I graduate, I hope to pursue a job in the AD department hopefully as a 3rd AD or Floor Runner then work my way up the ladder. In the far far future I hope to become a director but AD’ing is a great way to work up close to the director and experience the creative process. AD’ing is a brilliant role. A Runner on the last film I worked on said you are the cushions of the set; you support the crew at all times and keep morale high and that's what I want to keep doing."

Eline van Oeveren

I've already completed work experience on a few feature films as a dailies runner in the UK and I am currently doing work experience as a Production Assistant at Lukkien, a media company in my hometown in the Netherlands. I am assisting on multiple commercials for a range of companies including Yulu, Haribo and Fonq. Lukkien has made commercials for Philips, Nintendo and the studios were home to one of the seasons of The Voice of Holland. I've done set dressing, catering, and general running tasks. The sets for Fonq in particular were very abstract and beautiful.

Coming to the NFTS (and the UK in general) was life changing. I've gained so much experience over the past half year, not just in work but in life as well. I really feel like I've grown as a person. The most interesting experiences so far have been the work experience on the feature films where I got to meet loads of talented people. Seeing how it actually works in the industry is an amazing way to learn.

(John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan to star in Stan and Ollie biopic directed by Jon S Baird)

Richard Lingard, Training Co-ordinator, Assistant Directors Association (ADA)

The Assistant Directing and Floor Managing Diploma is delivered in partnership with the BBC, supported by the Assistant Directors Association and the Production Guild.

Richard Lingard, Training Co-ordinator at the ADA arranged for four of the AD students to experience working on action-thriller, All The Devil’s Men written and directed by Matthew Hope, produced by Hannah Leader and starring Milo Gibson, William Fichtner and Sylvia Hoeks. They have been working on a range of scenes including car interiors using green screen as well as stunts and fight scenes.

“Although it was early starts and long days for all, all the students agreed it was a fantastic experience and opportunity to make valuable contacts for the future. They felt that the placements increased their skills and knowledge of the film industry and kick-started their professional network. Some have already gone on to find more work with ADA professionals on the back of these placements”.

Paul Bennett, 2nd Assistant Director on the production said: "You’re obviously doing something right with the trainee scheme as all the students we had were brilliant. Punctual, enthusiastic and with a great knowledge of what was going on and what was expected from them. It's not always easy for even a seasoned AD to come onto a film that's been shooting for a while but each student we had on set proved themselves to be valuable members of our team.”

Helen Fraser, Assistant Director and NFTS Visiting Tutor

Helen Fraser is an experienced Assistant Director having worked as 2nd AD on productions such as High Rise, Victoria, A Royal Night Out and Sunshine on Leith. She has worked with all the AD students on drama, The Children Act starring Emma Thompson: “I had all of the students out on various dates throughout the production and they primarily worked with the onset AD's, particularly the Runners & 3rd AD. They assisted with the day-to-day running of the set and looking after cast & background”. 

(Emma Thompson - starring in The Children Act)

One of the students, Lilla Vindic spent a week working with Helen on her current production as she had a particular interest in becoming a 2nd AD. “Her experience centred more around the last week of prep/beginning of shooting and she observed the Production Meeting, Read Through, Rehearsal Process, Camera Tests, and spent time with both 2nd AD's (one prepping, one shooting) & the Crowd 2nd.”

According to Helen, “It's great to have a course that actively trains and encourages young members of the industry to become Assistant Directors. As we all know, the role of Assistant Director is essential to the smooth running of any production and the NFTS course gives the students opportunity to learn & train in all levels of the department. The students on the NFTS Diploma are ambitious, focused and hardworking. All of them have been keen to learn and welcome feedback, both good and critical. They have been a welcome addition when on work experience.

She has the following advice for aspiring ADs: “Be prepared to work long hours & be prepared to work hard. Be friendly, polite, helpful, approachable, organised & thick skinned. Buy good comfy shoes & decent waterproofs. Observe, listen & learn from everyone around you, and don't worry if you make mistakes starting out. The best thing about mistakes is you learn from them - just don't repeat them! Oh and don't sit down on set! And put your phone away!”

And on the highlights of working as an AD: “The sense of achievement when a plan comes together & when a challenging day runs smoothly!”

For more information on the Assistant Directing and Floor Managing Diploma, which starts September 2017, and to apply, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/assistantdirecting

NFTS Production Managers Work on Productions Starring Natalie Portman & Kit Harington

Scholarships Available; Apply Now!

(Kit Harington, Jessica Chastain and Natalie Portman: Stars of upcoming film, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)

 Sannah Salameh: “I always enjoy being on set; there is a special energy in a lot of people working towards a common goal that I really love”

We caught up with some of the NFTS Production Management for Film and Television Diploma students to find out what they are doing for their work experience and how it’s going so far. If you enjoy what you read, this could be you in September! There are also two scholarships available for Sargent-Disc, the leading UK provider of payroll, production accounting and production management software to the entertainment industries. Find out more and apply now at www.nfts.co.uk/productionmanagement

Jenny Martin (Sargent-Disc Scholar)

I am currently on placement, working for Bedlam Productions Ltd. (who previously made The King’s Speech with Seesaw Films) under the Head of Production and with a freelance Producer. I have been helping to production coordinate three short political broadcast films to be aired on BBC and ITV. I saw this experience as an opportunity to learn more of the world of politics whilst doing a job which is otherwise familiar to me. My training at the NFTS really has prepared me well for the precision and efficiency that is asked of me from the job. As the team is so small, I feel I am a vital part of the machine and I am in my element.

I am soon to move onto my second placement, where I have been offered another two weeks on a feature film, Swimming with Men to be directed by Oliver Parker (Johnny English Reborn, St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's GoldDad’s Army) where I will be assisting in the production office. I want to move into feature films and/or TV drama when I graduate so this is really a gleaming opportunity for me!

I am so grateful to the School, to my mentors and to Sargent-Disc for supporting and encouraging me to speak out and offer myself to the world. At this stage I want to soak up all the available experience and familiarise myself with the industry, as soon I’ll be a part of it – and I really can’t wait!

Chris Hopper

I have been working on The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, an upcoming Canadian drama directed by Xavier Dolan with a stellar cast including Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain and Kit Harington. Tasks have included researching venues for the wrap party for the UK unit and the costume department asked me research and order a pair of shoes for one of the actresses, which I managed to negotiate for free! The art, location, and production departments for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan are all based in the same office. I have been working in the prep period between shooting blocks so there has been a lot of organising to prepare for the next round of filming. I have been doing all the office-based runner jobs including food shops, post runs, coffee rounds, cleaning and tidying, and photocopying and printing, but I have also been able to visit other departments such as costume and help them out too.

For me the highlight of the Production Management for Film and Television Diploma so far has been the opportunity to manage the budget for a short film. Most people would not consider production management to be a creative role, but you have to know a lot about every department in the filmmaking process and manage money creatively in order to make sure the production survives. I find this a lot of fun as I get to build relationships within a production quickly! After graduation, I will be applying for jobs in feature films as a Production Assistant and plan to work my way through various roles in production (secretary, coordinator etc) and eventually hope to be a Production Manager in this area.

Kieran Nolan Jones (Sargent-Disc Scholar)

Since starting the Production Management Diploma, I have been lucky enough to participate in a number of work placements:

Sargent-Disc, a business specialising in accounting and software services for the entertainment industries, gave me the opportunity to spearhead pre-production on five animated 'how to' videos, which explained how to use their latest software CrewStart.

I am currently on work experience with Ridley Scott’s companies, RSA and Scott Free Productions, where I have been assisting each department within the whole company as an overall Production and Office Runner Intern.  In the production office, duties include answering telephones, filing paperwork and data entry. Other tasks include arranging lunches, dinners, and transportation, reservations, photocopying, general office administration, and distributing production paperwork. 

Furthermore, on an ad-hoc basis I am participating in work experience within the VFX department on Oscar-winning director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's new film, Werk ohne Autor, under the guidance of VFX Supervisor, Simon Giles (Penny Dreadful, A Royal Night Out, The Devils Double). This opportunity has allowed me to gain experience within an independent VFX setting. Tasks have ranged from sourcing post production crew such as Opening/End Title Designers, shadowing Simon as he creates the VFX budget, organising meetings and accompanying Simon on pitch meetings with various VFX Houses who aim to 'bid' to work on the project. 

When I graduate, I aspire to become a VFX Production Coordinator progressing to VFX Production Manager/Producer.  I am especially interested in following this career path as I find the overall postproduction and VFX pipelines fascinating. In addition I hope to develop and produce/production manage my own short fiction and animated films, progressing one day to feature length films.

Sannah Salameh

After working on two different projects for my work experience, I can say that every day is the same, but different.  There is plenty of running around, lots of stands to load in and out of trucks, and endless numbers of teas and coffees to make. Although the motions are the same, the context that you are doing them in always differs, and that’s why it never gets boring.

You have to be prepared to be the emergency glue to fill various holes! So far, I have been a caterer, set dresser, lights holder, first aider, background artist, child entertainer and cat feeder on top of doing the more straightforward PA stuff (a lot of printing, calling and emailing). For me the best part is always the people you meet and work with. You end up sharing very random things with your colleagues like trying to rein in two massive dogs running loose on a set, armed only with a piece of bacon!

I’ve had so much fun so far on the Diploma! I have met amazing people from every department, but I must give a shout out to my fellow PMs. We come from very different backgrounds, but people in that room have my back and I have theirs. I always enjoy being on set; there is a special energy in a lot of people working towards a common goal that I really love. Meeting cool industry people has been another highlight. Production Management is a female dominated profession, so we have met some badass women who have been so inspiring!  Another highlight was hearing Steve McQueen speak. I have admired him since way back in his art days and I was really star struck.

I want to be able to choose projects that really inspire and interest me. To have freedom of choice is the biggest luxury. In the long run, I want to be more involved in developing projects, starting a production company together with likeminded people would be cool, or even try my hand at directing.

For more information about the Production Management for Film and Television, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/productionmanagement

NFTS Grads Compete for Palme D’Or at Cannes

Adding to 6th Consecutive Cinéfondation Selection

(Still from You Were Never Really Here)

In addition to NFTS students enjoying their sixth consecutive Cinéfondation short film selection at this year’s Cannes film festival, NFTS graduates are also competing for the prestigious Palme D’Or in the main competition and in the short film section!

NFTS alumna, Lynne Ramsay’s latest film You Were Never Really Here is playing at the festival and is one of the 19 films battling for the Palme D’Or in the main competition section. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, and backed with National Lottery funding through the BFI Film Fund, Ramsay’s film is adapted from a novella of the same name by the American author Jonathan Ames. NFTS Cinematography graduate, Tom Townend is credited on the film as DoP.

Fiction, A Drowning Man, directed and produced by Directing Fiction graduate Mahdi Fleifel and edited by NFTS alumnus, Michael Aaglund is one of just nine films selected from 4,843 submissions to compete for the Short Film Palme d’Or.

NFTS graduation film Wild Horses, directed and written by Rory Alexander Stewart and produced by Rebecca Smith, was picked from 2600 works submitted by film schools from all over the world and is one of just 16 films selected for the Cinéfondation short film programme. Rory said of his film’s selection: “It’s a huge honour for our film to be selected at Cinéfondation. I would like to thank the whole team for their efforts and look forward to seeing the screening with the team at Cannes!”

About You Were Never Really Here

A former Marine and ex–FBI agent, Joe has seen one too many crime scenes and known too much trauma, and not just in his professional life. Solitary and haunted, he prefers to be invisible. He doesn't allow himself friends or lovers and makes a living rescuing young girls from the deadly clutches of the sex trade. But when a high-ranking New York politician hires him to extricate his teenage daughter from a Manhattan brothel, Joe uncovers a web of corruption that even he may not be able to unravel. When the men on his trail take the only person left in the world who matters to him, he forsakes his pledge to do no harm. If anyone can kill his way to the truth, it's Joe.

About A Drowning Man

Alone and far from home, The Kid makes his way through a strange city looking for the means to get through his day. Surrounded by predators he is forced to make compromises merely to survive, his life of exile grows one day longer. 

About Wild Horses

Joan’s efforts at teenage rebellion are frustrated by her illness and her overbearing mother, until her increasingly vivid dreams and an overzealous tutor inspire her to realise her independence.

Wild Horses was made by a group of graduating NFTS students including Rory Alexander Stewart, Director/ Writer; Rebecca Smith, Producer; Samira Oberberg, Cinematographer; Celetria Kimmins, Production Designer; Sophie Halton, Production Manager; Fiona Brands, Editor; Nick Olorenshaw, Production Sound Mixer; Ashley Sinani, 1st Assistant Sound; Segun Akinola, Composer; Michael Roy Johnson, Sound Editor & Re-recording Mixer; Kelvin Chim, CG Artist; Gillian Simpson, Compositor; Alex Davis, Colourist & Online Editor.

Other projects that credit NFTS graduates at Cannes include:

Happy End directed and written by Michael Haneke and competing in the main competition (UK Production Manager, Rob Watson; Production Assistant, Fawzia Mahmood)

How to Talk to Girls at Parties, directed by John Cameron Mitchell is to receive its world premiere at Cannes (Production Co-ordinator, Hussain Ahmed; Production Manager [Film4], Kasia Malipan)

Wind River, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan is to screen as part of the Un Certain Regard selection (Orchestrator/Conductor, Ben Foster)

Mobile Homes, directed by François Pirot  is to screen as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (DoP, Benoit Soler; Editors, Nicolas Chaudeurge and Andonis Trattos.

I Am Not a Witch, directed by Rungano Nyoni is also screening as part of the Directors Fortnight selection (Producer, Emily Morgan; Gabriel Gauchet, Associate Producer/Location Manager)

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of our alumni, apply for our Directing Fiction MA by 4th May at www.nfts.co.uk/directingfiction

 

 

Composing MA Grad Wins Games BAFTA!

Don't Miss Composing & Games Design Open Days

Lyndon Holland picking up his BAFTA (Credit: BAFTA/ Shutterstock)

Congratulations to recent NFTS Composing for Film and Television MA Graduate, Lyndon Holland who has picked up a Games BAFTA in the ‘Music’ category for mystery adventure game, Virginia. This is the second year in a row that a NFTS Composing graduate has won this award with Jessica Curry winning the 2016 BAFTA Games Best Music award for Everybody's Gone To The Rapture.

If you are a composer and would like to follow in Lyndon and Jessica’s footsteps, don’s miss our upcoming Composing MA for Film and Television open day on the 26th April 2017 – sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/composing We also have an open day coming up for our Games Design and Development MA open day on the 17th May - sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/games

The ceremony, which celebrates the very best in games of the past year, took place last night at Tobacco Dock, London and was hosted by Danny Wallace.

Lyndon said of his win: “It means so much to me to be recognised by an establishment as prestigious as BAFTA. I got excited about working in the games industry after working directly with the Games Design department at NFTS. I feel proud that our country gives Video Games the respect they deserve by hosting an event like this. It's such an exciting industry to work in and it seems like the bar of creativity keeps getting raised each year.”

About Virginia

Virginia, which was also nominated for ‘Best British Game’ and ‘Best Debut Game’, is a first person interactive drama. It is the story of a recently graduated FBI agent and her partner as they seek to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a young boy.

Developed by a small team at Variable State, Co-Founder, Jonathan Burroughs said the three nominations are "a bit overwhelming but very exciting" in a recent BBC Newsbeat interview.

Recent NFTS Composing MA Graduate Credits

NFTS composing MA graduates have been credited on a number of recent high profile programmes. Alumnus, Graham Hadfield has composed the music for the three-part BBC1 natural history series Galapagos presented by Liz Bonnin. Graham has previously collaborated with Atlantic Productions including two IMAX 3D films and David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef series.

Composing MA graduate, Mat Davidson has provided the music for both the one-off documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, which will be screened on BBC1 at 9.00pm on Tuesday 28th March and also for the Channel Four series, Three Wives, One Husband.

Composing alumnus, Jon Opstad has composed the music for the 3-part BBC2 documentary series American Justice (NFTS Composing graduate, Roger Goula provided Additional Music and Chloe Lambourne was an Editor on the series).

For more information and to sign up for the Composing  and Games Design MA open days on the 26th April and 17th May respectively, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/composing and www.nfts.co.uk/games

 

From Beaconsfield to Fantastic Beasts!

Digital Effects Open Day 17th May

NFTS Graduate & Director David Yates Describes “Blessed” Journey from Film School to Directing Harry Potter 

After a rousing welcome by NFTS Director, Nik Powell, triple BAFTA-winning director and NFTS graduate, David Yates gave students a fascinating insight into his journey from film school to directing international blockbusters such as the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (If you would love to work on digital effects for movies like these, don't miss our Digital Effects MA open day on the 17th May - sign up at www.nfts.co.uk/DFX)

(Still from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

Starting with a glimpse of his NFTS graduation film followed by a clip from his award-winning political thriller, State of Play, David explained that he has always been drawn to a diverse mix of textures, colours and tones, right from his early career to the Potter movies: “I make full utilisation of the tools at hand to express the texture and story.”

He stressed how exciting it can be at the start of your career to work with new and unknown cast and crew: “Starting out, you tend to by necessity discover other wonderful people and bring them to people’s attention. Go with those who inspire and excite. James McAvoy had only done one piece of telly then. It was very exciting; hopefully you’ll find some fantastic people to work with too! Everyone in this room who makes something will know what you feel when you meet the right actor; it’s instinctive, like falling in love; you know it’s them!

Even the extras in David’s productions get special attention: “Background action is so important; you need to make that part of the movie feel alive!” In State of Play, David asked the extras playing journalists to create their own desk space so it would feel personal and in The Legend of Tarzan, the extras were put through workshops including history lessons.

(Still from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2)

On working with VFX for the first time on a big scale on the Harry Potter movies, David said: “I had a privileged introduction to big movies thanks to working with great producers like David Heyman who told me he loved what I did and to just get on with it! It was an amazing experience wondering into the movies and feeling that no one would say no to anything I suggested.”

David encouraged the students to be open to change in the filmmaking process: “Filmmaking is a constant process of evolution and change. It’s organic; you have to be open to things; it’s a very fluid process. The more confidence you gain, the more open you are to fluidity and change. I do loads of preparation including previs and storyboarding but that’s the groundwork. It’s good to prepare but also to be open to improvisation; I’m a strong believer in that.”

“The directors who will really succeed are the ones who aren’t concerned about everyone on set knowing they are the director and can be succinct with their direction! The director is there to help everyone discover their best and realise a vision you feel strongly about.”

(David Yates with NFTS Director, Nik Powell)

Despite David’s huge success, he feels he still has a lot more to learn: “I’m still evolving; I’m genuinely curious and feel that I’m half-way through a journey of discovery of the filmmaker that I am. I haven’t got to making the thing I want to be remembered for yet. However feted you become, take it with a pinch of salt, it’s a marathon not a sprint.”

A student asked David what his state-of-mind was when he went into directing the Harry Potter series: “I was both excited and scared! The producers were great – they all watched my back and believed in me, and allowed me to do my thing. My journey has been very blessed without people trying to muscle in, which I know is not the norm.”

More questions came in thick and fast, from what it was like working with ‘wonderful’ Production Designer, Stuart Craig and his ‘beautiful sets’ to how David picks his cinematographers, “I employ people who inspire me. I’m looking for a partner and ally; a flexible DoP who won’t spend too long lighting!”

And, on what it was like working on both The Legend of Tarzan and Fantastic Beasts at the same time, “actually, it was one of the most exhilarating years of my life, I love being busy!”

If you’d love to come to inspiring masterclasses like this one, sign up to one of our upcoming open days to find out more. For those looking to work on visual effects on movies like Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts, register for our Digital Effects open day on the 17th May or if Editing, Composing or Sound Design is more your thing, we have a Post Production open day on the 26th April – more info here:  www.nfts.co.uk/open-days

 

 

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