In a galaxy far, far away…Sackville’s Film students spent Friday 18 November visiting the home of British film making, Pinewood Studios. Wha? Huh? You may ask, well it’s where they’ve shot every Bond film since 1962, it’s the home to the Star Wars productions, the Carry On series, was where they shot Mary Poppins Returns, Black Widow, The Red Shoes, and my fifth favourite film of all time: the 1982 SAS thriller, Who Dares Wins and so many more. It’s also home to the worlds largest sound stage (the famous 007 Albert R. Broccoli stage). Kenneth Branagh is currently shooting the new Poirot film there, and has been the centre of British film production since 1936…so it’s a big deal.
Friday’s event was a Future’s Festival aimed at showcasing the many and varied career paths open to students interested in working in the film industry – from logistics to make-up and from production design to shooting and editing.
All the big companies were there: Disney, LucasFilm, Industrial Light & Magic alongside smaller production companies like Canyon Media and our students had the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry professionals, got to play around with cameras, dolly’s, jibs, green screen and much more besides while at the same time meeting a vast array of Stormtroopers, Tie-fighter pilots, Chewbacca and even the Evil Emperor (I held a door open for him and he said thank you. You can kind of forgive an evil Sith Lord for destroying Alderaan if they have good manners!)
We also got a chance to attend a talk with the master of the big budget blockbuster – special effects designer, Chris Corbould who has worked on every Bond since 1977’s ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’, Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, ‘Inception’ and more besides.
This was a careers fair with a difference – an actual hands-on experience which left our students with a very clear idea of what they could do next once they leave Sackville. The British film industry is growing with new production facilities being built for Amazon and Netflix and Disney so, in the words of Chris Corbould: “There is going to be a shortage of new British talent behind the cameras”. Judging from the feedback we got in the bus coming back, I’d say the film industry has just found some new recruits!
Curriculum Leader of Film & Digital Media (and Bond geek!)