RTS Futures Northern Ireland, in partnership with Queens University Belfast, ran a highly successful season of Film and TV crafts and skills workshops over four days in early April.
The first event, “Sketchy business: making it in animation”, brought together a panel hosted by the university’s Dr Helen Haswell and featured three experts from Belfast animation house JAM Media: visual effects supervisor and director Niall Mooney; animator Jessica Patterson; and animation director Simon Kelleghan. They discussed how to get your foot in the door, as well as giving practical advice, including how best to structure a show reel.
“The ultimate presenter’s panel” was hosted by RTS Futures NI’s Vice-Chair and third-year University of Ulster student, Conor Finn, and included BBC Radio Ulster’s Vinny Hurrell, UTV Live host Paul Clark and Cool FM’s Pete Snodden. The latter was “working in a radio station for free for two years, making tea and hoping someone would call in sick”, before landing his first job.
“Capturing the seven kingdoms” featured Helen Sloan, the on-set stills photographer of Game of Thrones, and pulled in the largest audience of the week, who were treated to unseen stills from the HBO series.
“Zero budget film-making: a how-to guide’ ended the season of workshops, which were hosted by Queens University Belfast in its production studio. Two film-makers – Dr Thomas Scott and Steve Earley from Belfast Metropolitan College – were joined by the actor, Frank Cannon, who offered advice on how to make the most of micro-budgets, set etiquette and working with unpaid actors.
“We are so pleased with the success of the Film and TV crafts and skills season. We took a risk by running such niche, specialised workshops but it paid off, and it’s always so encouraging to see so many enthusiastic, passionate young people who want to learn,” said RTS Futures NI Chair Stacey Burns.
All photography by Ronan Karicos