TV talent inspires students at the RTS Futures Careers Fair

TV talent inspires students at the RTS Futures Careers Fair

Thursday, 9th March 2023
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TV talent flocked to the RTS Careers Fair to help young people get in and on in the industry. Matthew Bell reports

The RTS Futures Careers Fair made a triumphant return to the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, last month, after two years of Covid-enforced absence, during which time it was held virtually. Some 1,300 people attended the fair and around 300 received expert advice from a CV clinic. There were 45 exhibitors in the hall plus an “Ask me anything area”.

The day began with a masterclass on House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel, in which director Clare Kilner and cinematographer Catherine Goldschmidt discussed their work on the HBO fantasy drama, and how they broke into the industry and built their careers.

Kilner was a stage manager in the theatre, including at the Royal Court in London. She recalled: “I was working in the rehearsal room, watching directors and I thought, ‘I want to do that – I want to tell those stories.’” She started making short films and then applied to film schools. “I was 29, so I discovered [film-­making] quite late.”

California-born Goldschmidt took a BA in film studies and then specialised in cinematography at the American Film Institute.

Directing and cinematography remain male-dominated areas, but progress is being made. Goldschmidt said that, on House of the Dragon, it was “a priority to have gender balance wherever possible. The camera crew was essentially 50-50. For me, personally, to be able to walk on to the set and have it in some way representative of the real world, it just makes it easier – you don’t feel like you have to prove yourself.”

Kilner added: “It created a really different feeling. It was the first set I’ve ever been on that had that 50-50 [balance].”

Offering advice to young film-makers, Kilner said: “Make personal films. Every single one of you has a different story… use your voice to tell your story.”

Goldschmidt urged would-be cinematographers to shoot: “The more you can shoot films, then the more you are experimenting and finding your voice, figuring out what you like and what you don’t like, and finding the people you like working with.”

Later in the day, some of the key people behind hit ITV shows The Masked Singer and The Masked Dancer, which are made by factual entertainment specialist Bandicoot, revealed the secrets of the South Korean TV format.

Costume designer Tim Simpson explained: “I’m in this luxury position of designing ludicrous costumes for celebrities.… I then oversee the workshop that puts all those [ideas] together. I’ve got a whole team that works with me, everyone from sculptors to tailors and seamstresses, putting all of that stuff together to bring the costumes to life.”

Both shows are filmed at a studio facility on an old RAF airfield in Hertfordshire. “It takes 350 people to get [the show] to the screen,” revealed production executive Vanya Barwell.

Keeping the identities of the celebrities secret is a huge challenge, Barwell continued. “We’ve had paps at the side of the airfield trying to take pictures and unveil [the celebrities].”

The other sessions during the day were: an IMG Studios-led discussion of technical and operational careers; “Get ready for your TV job”, which offered advice on equipping yourself for a job behind the camera; “What is television really like? Reports from the first six months”; and a National Film and Television School session on working in a TV studio.

The RTS Futures Careers Fair 2023 was held on 7 February and sponsored by IMG Studios and the NFTS.

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