Our Friend in the West: Laura Aviles

Laura Aviles

As Bristol City Council’s new senior film manager, I have finally reached a position where I can support and promote my two main passions – Bristol and filming in the West Country. 

My role is to oversee the work of the Bottle Yard Studios and Bristol Film Office, and make sure that Bristol can build on its past successes and deliver a single, complete and consis­tent offer encompassing studio and location filming. And, despite the pandemic, there has never been a better time. 

Students from the West of England win at the RTS National Student Television Awards!

The RTS National Student Television Awards took place on Friday 16th June at the BFI in London, at a ceremony hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan. After initial judging of the undergraduate entries in the regions, the nominations for the national final were selected from the regional winners by the national juries.

How to survive as a TV freelancer

(Credit: Jon Craig)

At “How to survive as a TV freelancer”, the panel cited toughness, persistence and resilience as key qualities needed to work in the television industry.

Transferable skills are also important. “You should be shooting, doing sound and showing your creativity,” said RDF West head of production Angela Oakhill.

One of Oakhill’s pet hates is interviewees who talk about RDF productions made in London: “Do your research – it’s easy to find out what shows are made here in Bristol.”

Boom Bust Boom

It is a skillfully woven story, brought to life with animation and puppetry that both pokes fun and unravels economic conundrums.

The screening took place in mid-September during the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival at the Watershed in Bristol, in association with the Bristol Festival of Ideas and the RTS.

Our Friend in the West: Mike Gunton

Mike Gunton

Last week, I was standing in a fly-fishing shop in a small town in Montana telling the owner I worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. "Oh, so you're from Bristol," was his reply.

OK, he was a wildlife fan and did then ask if David Attenborough was my neighbour, but it does illustrate that Bristol and the NHU's reputation go far and wide.

I joined in my late twenties to work on the Attenborough blockbuster The Trials of Life. I thought I'd stay for the three years it took to make the series and then move on.

RTS Centres' Council gets animated

Morph modeling

The chairs of the Society’s 13 regional centres, along with representatives from RTS HQ and Board of Trustees chair John Hardie, were tasked with creating their own Morph figurine.

Led by Aardman Productions animator Jim Parkyn, the group set about crafting their own plasticine creations, and photographer Jon Craig was on hand to capture the results.

While the RTS Midlands Chair, Isabel Clarke, scooped up the prize for the best likeness with her well-made Morph, it’s safe to say that the Centres’ Council won’t be giving up the day job yet.

Scriptwriting for TV

The bad news for Lisa Holdsworth, en route to addressing a Bristol Centre meeting, was that her train had no internet access; the good news was that she could spend the time writing an extra two pages of the current script. Lisa's talk, attended by local university students as well as RTS members, was peppered with such practical insights into the modern TV writer's day. You'll have seen and heard Lisa's work on Waterloo Rd, or New Tricks, or Robin Hood, or previously on Emmerdale (of which she has written 40 episodes).