STARTING YOUR FILM AND TV PRODUCTION CAREER

Our next Film and TV production diploma starts this October! We caught up with two of our current students Erin and Simon, to find out abit more about their story and what led them to joining the course:

Erin Rivers

Erin, 17 has always been determined to pursue a career in the media through her love of creating content for her Youtube channel. Having seen the YAFTA building on many trips down Kirkstall Road, Erin one day Googled the Academy and discovered the Film and TV Production course…What has been your education/career path to date?
I’m currently studying A-levels in Media and drama. I’ve not been necessarily focused on going to university, I’ve been more focused on gaining practical industry experience.

What made you want to pursue a career in film and TV production?

I’ve been making Youtube content since I was 12 years old and honestly have never really considered anything else. I love all aspects of the film and TV industry from the production perspective and also being in front of the camera. My idol is Ricky Gervais because he writes, produces, directs and stars in his productions.

What are your plans for the future?

After my YAFTA course finishes, I am undertaking a week’s work experience with Lime Productions in Liverpool and after that I hope to get an industry internship until I complete my A-levels.

What’s the biggest take-away from the course so far?

It’s not about just learning the technical and creative skills. It is so important to make good relationships with people. Be nice, friendly, helpful. When you’re working on a set you are part of a team and you need to be someone who others know they can rely on to do a good job

What would you say to someone who is looking at a career in film and tv production?

If you really have a passion for it, then undertaking a course like YAFTA’s I think is a must. Getting stuck in, creating your own content, learning from industry pros and being with like minded people really helps spur you on to follow your dream. It is the best first step you can take.

Do you think being in the north is an advantage/disadvantage?

Before I found YAFTA there was only one other course I found which was a week’s long event in London which I knew was not going to give me the level of experience and training I needed. I think having quality courses, and with more content being produced in the north there will be more opportunities going forward.

Simon Riordan

Simon has long harboured a dream to become a film maker but through lack of confidence and not seeing a clear path into the industry instead pursued a career in finance. Nearly 15 years later, Simon, 36 is realising his dream having discovered YAFTA’s Film and TV Production Diploma.

What drew your attention to the course?

I was conscious I didn’t have any experience at all in the industry, only a passion and desire to give it a go. I really liked the fact that YAFTA focused on that and the course is about helping you get that experience and it is open to anyone, from any background.

Who is your inspiration?

Christopher Nolan is my idol. To be able to call myself a film maker like him is really a dream come true and YAFTA has made it an achievable goal to reach his heights.

What’s the biggest take-away from the course so far?

Have the confidence to go for it. If you have the tenacity, commitment and a little bit of luck thrown in, you can do it, I really believe that now.

What would you say to someone who is looking at a career in film and tv production?

I think it doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re at, with a part time course like YAFTA’s you can still do it – you can still pursue a career in film and TV and it will work around your existing commitments. Go for it!

Do you think being in the north is an advantage/disadvantage?

Being in the north still does have its challenges but there is growing opportunities and we just need to make sure that as a region we can take advantage of them with a really strong skilled and creative sector.

What do you think it means to the industry and northern talent with the likes of Channel 4 moving here?

It’s a really exciting time. There’s a pool of potentially untapped talent that is now going to get an opportunity to shine.

Elliot Laurence trained at ALRA North after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University. Continuing to work as an actor he has worked with companies such as Bolton Octagon, HOMEmcr, Collingwood Learning and Sheffield Theatres.
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Adam received his training at The Academy Of Live And Recorded Arts (ALRA), where he studied stage, screen and audio performance. Since graduating Adam has been cast in various productions in a versatile range of mediums including voice over, theatre, music video, and film. Adam has experience working as a teacher with children, adults and vulnerable groups too.
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Anna Dawson is an Actress, TV Presenter and Musician alongside being a Writer and PR/Marketing Exec. Additionally Anna works in production and has worked as production manager on various feature films such as the recent Scott & Sid which filmed in Yorkshire. With a degree in Politics from Durham University and a long list of acting credits in film, TV and theatre, Anna was chosen to become the Public Relations Officer for the Equity Yorkshire Ridings General Branch Committee.
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Lee Maxwell Simpson gained a first class degree in Drama from Manchester University before training as an actor at London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. After graduating, he appeared in a number of commercials, notably for Thomson Holidays and Moonpig.com, and various short films and stage productions, including a National Youth Theatre tour to the Middle East and a spoken word European tour with the novelist Jonathan Coe.
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Ian Puleston-Davies is a professional actor who has recently filmed Marcella, Beowulf and Lewis. Ian played Owen Armstrong in Coronation Street for 5 years prior to his recent acting achievements. Ian has an impressive acting CV having been in most major soaps and dramas in the UK over the past 20 years. Some of his credits include Eastenders, Waterloo Road, Silent Witness, Life on Mars, I'm Alan Partridge, Dalziel & Pascoe to name a few. He is currently writing his own screenplay and working as an actor but will also be finding the time to teach YAFTA masterclasses. Ian supports the development of actors at YAFTA.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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Charlotte is the Managing Director of YAFTA. She is a TV Presenter, Actress, and Agent. Charlotte also owns YAFTA Talent Agency and YAFTA Consultancy. Charlotte is currently working as a TV Presenter for various companies including Made in Leeds TV. In 2015 Charlotte had her own TV show called ‘Challenge Charlotte’ which aired across the Made Network in Leeds, Tyne & Wear, Bristol and Cardiff, the show is set for a second series in 2016. She also played the role of Hannah O’Rourke in BBC1’s Happy Valley and played various roles in TV Comedy Sketch Show ‘Cool Beans’. In January 2016, Charlotte filmed the part of Jane in Coronation Street. She will also be one of the judges for Made in Leeds’ TV Programme ‘Star Made’.
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