Actors Studio based at the world famous Pinewood Studios is currently recruiting for 2 new apprentices.
The successful candidates will be taking a Level 3 Broadcast Production Assistant Qualification supported by our Training Provider All Spring Media. The training for the qualification will either take place over Zoom or face to face at All Spring’s training facility in Chesham. Training will be provided on a block release basis.
The remainder of the time will be spent gaining valuable industry experience with Actors Studio at Pinewood Studios. You will work alongside industry professionals, including directors from Netflix, BBC, ITV and more. This is an ideal opportunity for those looking to kickstart their career in the film and tv industry, and gain valuable experience and contacts to make it happen.
Apprentices will learn to light and work with Cinema Cameras, Editing Software, and Sound Production, and how to successfully Direct for screen.
We are ideally looking to hear from people with a very keen interest in Film and TV. It is essential that candidates have a CAN DO attitude and are prepared to work very hard.
Very good organisation skills and the ability to adapt and take responsibility is a must.
APPLICANTS Please send your CV and in addition to: Please write 100 words on why you think you have what it takes? Please write what you would do if it rained on a film shoot? Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org No phone calls, please. Applicants should have achieved a Maths and English qualification to Level 2.
Bryony Moss is a disabled actress with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. Whilst working as a disability advocate on social media, Bryony is currently studying performing arts at college and loves horse riding. We reached out to Bryony for her to share some experiences on how she has overcome challenges being a disabled student and continued to develop her acting career despite its difficulties. We hope this article can inspire others who need encouragement and want to understand the industry from the perspective of somebody who has a disability.
When did you start acting? I started acting back in 2016 at my local Stagecoach Performing Arts School. I got into acting as I read an article about how Performing Arts can help people with mental health conditions and since then I’ve never looked back. I am now a youth theatre member of an inclusive theatre company called The Theatre Shed. Back in 2019 I performed at Edinburgh Fringe Festival with The Theatre Shed.
Where did you train as an performer? My training began at my local Stagecoach Performing Arts School back in 2016. I found it really hard to get onto a performing arts course at college. However after years of not giving up I was accepted onto Performing Arts Level 2 at Berkshire college of Agriculture. I am now a first year student on their Level 3 Course. In the future I may look into how I can get into Drama School.
What are your favourite roles you have played? I have no professional credits however I did really enjoy playing Gerda in The Snow Queen in The Theatre Sheds Christmas Production in 2018. I would love to get professional credits and be an actor in TV and Film. I do have a dream list of all the shows I wish to be in my career. For example I would l love to be in Call the Midwife, Bridgerton and Maleficent to name a few.
What is your favourite film? I love Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia 2 you will probably hear me singing the songs and dancing too. It’s such a happy film and it always puts a smile on my face. When we watched it at the cinema I was singing away and didn’t want the film to end.
Who is your favourite performer? I have quite a few favourites however if I hear of anything featuring the actress Alison Steadman then your definitely see me watching it. I love watching her as I find the way she adapts to playing different characters really interesting and I love learning from her too.
What do you do in your free time when you’re not acting? When I’m not acting and not doing college work I love to take my dog Mango out on walks. I enjoy writing content for my blog. I have recently started a YouTube channel so I’m looking forward to creating content for it. I also love going horse riding at South Bucks RDA I love doing dressage and entering competitions. Riding for the Disabled is a charity very close to my heart as it saved my life. The horses and ponies are like my best friends and the staff and volunteers are just incredible.
When did you become a disability and mental health advocate? My journey started back in 2017 on Instagram. I wanted to create content showing my everyday life living with my disability and mental health conditions. I wanted others to feel less alone but to also provide resources for their support network. From this I then decided to create a blog too. I also wanted to raise awareness of hidden disabilities as this has affected me all my life. As I don’t look physically disabled, people think I’m “faking it” and this became an issue I discuss on my platforms too.
Do you think there are enough opportunities for disabled performers in the industry? I think slowly more tv programmes are discussing disabilities, however I do get upset when disabled characters are played by non-disabled actors as I think the programme has really missed out on making their programmes more diverse and by casting a non-disabled person creates a negative atmosphere around disability. This is one of the reasons I wanted to join this industry as I want children to see people like them on their screens because when I was growing up not seeing people like me made a negative impact on my mental health. I also think more diverse casting could really help to lower bullying rates in schools. Also by casting a disabled actor I think helps bring productions to life and are more realistic as I know a lot of people who get upset when a condition they have is portrayed in the media in an unrealistic way. Having said this I feel hidden disabilities are even more underrepresented and this is also another reason that made me want to join this industry as an actor. Sometimes I do wonder if productions really wanted a performer who is non disabled to play a disabled character – why don’t they cast people with hidden disabilities for these roles too.
Have you come up against any challenges as a disabled performer? I have faced a lot of challenges becoming an actor. I found it really hard to get onto a performing arts course at college because of my disability. It took me a few years to get a yes for being accepted onto a performing arts course. I believe that the industry is missing out on potentially very successful performers because of them having a disability. I think that there should be more schemes in place to encourage more disabled performers into the industry.
Who would you say is making a positive contribution in promoting more opportunities for disabled performers? Early last year I got myself an agent with iNCLUSIVE Talent. I believe they are making a massive positive contribution in promoting opportunities for disabled actors. As they not only find work for disabled performers but non disabled too. Unlike other agencies that only represented a certain type of person, INCLUSIVE Talent is all about representing everyone together in our community which is amazing because you might think disabled actors are a lot different but we have more in common than you think. I think casting directors should definitely look into having more disabled and people with hidden disabilities audition for more roles and as extras.
How could the whole community help in promoting more diversity of underrepresented groups in the industry? I think colleges and schools should aim to provide better opportunities for underrepresented groups to join their courses. I think more storylines should discuss these issues and have true representation rather than having a non disabled person play a disabled character. For example, I think there should be opportunities for people in underrepresented groups to create their own soaps and sitcoms. I definitely have a lot of ideas on what I would love to create into a drama. I think more money should be put into making sure programmes show a true representation of society I think partnerships should be made between companies like Pinewood to help show diversity on our screens. For example collaborating with different agencies to get more disabled and other groups shown on screen.
Richard Raymond is an award-winning British film director, who started his career at our base Pinewood Studios, working under Lord Richard Attenborough, Neil Jordan and Blake Edwards.
His short film, Souls of Totality won 12 International Film Festivals, including Best Grand Jury Award at Hollyshorts, Best Short Film of the Festival at Raindance, Best Film of the Festival at St. Louis and Most Popular Film at Rhode Island. Richard was also awarded a “Special Mention for Direction” at Edinburgh International Film Festival and Best Film of the Festival at New Renaissance, an Award previously only given to feature films.
His previous credits include Desert Dancer and A Million Eyes where Richard has directed actors such as Freida Pinto, Tom Cullen and Tatiana Maslany. In this interview, Nathan talks to Richard about his experience of working with actors, what they can bring to set and how to put themselves ‘out there’ and the importance of making friends with Casting Directors: How to Audition and Make Your Self Tape Shine – with Casting Director Ben Cogan
Tim Kent is an award-winning Director/Producer and was previously an Agent to many household names. Tim now runs Actors Studio and continues to coach actors of all levels from his base here at Pinewood Studios. Having been an agent for 12 years, Tim gives actors an insight into how to build a successful relationship with your agent, and where to look to find representation if you’re newer to the industry. Nathan also discusses upcoming courses with Actors Studio and what the future of the industry holds.
Esteemed casting director Ben Cogan has worked in casting for over 25 years and began as a Casting Assistant for many TV shows (including EastEnders, Holby City and Waking the Dead), before becoming the Casting Director for Doctors in 2002. 380 episodes later, Ben moved to Casualty and, in his time there, six episodes that he worked on were recognised with BAFTA nominations. During this period he also worked on the Afternoon Play series, Kiss of Death and various short films – one of which was nominated for an Oscar. Ben is now a freelance Casting Director working on Feature Films and Drama in addition to hosting an incredibly popular audition workshop on our Masterclass in Screen Acting and now a brand new, two day Zoom workshop: How to Audition and Make Your Self Tape Shine
Here are some of Bens top tips for emerging actors:
It is important to build a rapport with your agent. This is a valuable aspect of being managed by someone when you are looking to break into the industry.
Your work & credits should be constantly updated and your CV can be used to apply for professional work.
Headshots should be simple, not too flashy, just simple headshots that show what you actually look like. This is the most professional way to come across to any agent or casting director. Remove dated or old images from your profile.
Whether your hopes are to go into acting, dancing, singing or musical theatre – you may want to learn all forms of the arts to help you to succeed. This way any opportunity that arises through your agent you can audition for.
Consider all work your agent offers you! Any audition is a great opportunity.
Don’t fret about your age, appearance, or your time away from ‘the game’, just be true to what you want to achieve and ensure you and your agent are on the same page.
For a professional self-tape, make sure it is bright and there isn’t lots of background noise. Read more about how to self-tape on here.
Always learn scripts for auditions if you have time and research the role.
Enjoy what you are doing, enjoy drama, enjoy the process and don’t let knockbacks affect you. It may be the case that you give the best audition but aren’t compatible with the mum or dad they have cast – this is out of your control, so just concentrate on what you can control.
Keep your love for drama, the scripts, the characters and never let your enthusiasm be diminished or get disheartened by what you see as rejection. It’s not rejection, it’s just that part didn’t go your way.
Take control of what you can, be it preparation, passion, presentation – particularly with self tapes at this moment in time.
When preparing for a headshot shoot, grab a mate or loved-one the day before and improvise a little shoot together in order to feel more comfortable and confident.
Make yourself a glossary of all the TV shows, productions and films you like and research the casting directors who worked on these projects. This can help you pin-point who to contact in the future and can be a good starting point for a conversation.
I started my performing life when I was 5 years old; I truly doubt if anyone who will read this is younger than 15, so not sure if my experience of getting into the business is even relevant. To add to the fact that it was in a different country in a different era; a time when you used to get your text for an audition on fax. So many times you got from the production your text smudged and it was sometimes awkward to call and ask, especially if you’re 12 years old and embarrassed, not realising that the smudge is not your fault. Also, you don’t want them to remember you as “the problematic one” – sounds familiar at any age, right? But since then I learned you SHOULD ask, in order to give your best and closest to what they (by “they” I mean casting directors and directors or anyone in the casting room. Well… When there was still an actual casting room) want. Many times I guessed or waited for the audition day to ask once I arrived – that’s how I roll – living on the edge.
As actors, we are always trying to advance, learn, build our ‘tool kits’. However, during the current times inspiration begins to dwindle, being in front of the camera suddenly terrifies me. Do I still have it in me?? To find out I jumped onto Tim Kent’s 5 Day Course, one of the few things available.
Here I was, back on set. Nervous. Actors wearing visors. Name tags on chairs, that were placed sparsely apart. Mr. Kent greeted us, and suddenly the mood changed, actors began to smile as he spoke of filming, acting, camera angles, the editing process and what’s expected of us as actors, suddenly we were back in that world we love. LIGHTS! ACTION! The magic words. Suddenly the posture was back, the breathing, the anticipation. We were handed out scripts, that were later filmed. He placed us in the hot seat, analysing each character, where we came from, what’s our story, and imaginations flowed again. Amazing transformations.
Day 2 Now this was a tough one. A day of entering your deeper emotions, those things at your core, the things we hide, the things that make us who we are, and how to safely access them and use it on screen. We each chose a story that has impacted us in some way, and gave it to camera, no scripts. A great bonding exercise (with some tears) as we all gave our story’s. Suddenly your soul is blasted open, and there you are, the real you, no shields, no barriers. Somehow all our raw emotions were there. At the end of the day we were handed scripts that were to be filmed at the end of the week as part of our Showreels.
Day 3 – Rehearsals Rehearsal day. We worked with our partners, rehearsing the two scenes. Yet after the previous day there was suddenly a deep intimate connection between all of us. Mr. Kent separately rehearsed with each pair of actors, where we worked on blocking, and polishing our characters, building their stories, until it came to life.
Day 4 – Filming Shooting day. Nervous. Each pair filmed their scene separately. The masked crew was lovely, as we all worked in such new circumstances. We were directed by a young talented director Nathan Caselton. More skills, more strength, more self-belief. who had years of experience working with Tim Kent. He was incredibly patient, guided us through our scenes, helping us understand our characters better, working out the best angles for each individual actor. And there we were, acting, and happy.
Day 5 – That’s a Wrap We entered our second day of filming. The actors suddenly developed an aura of confidence, I think the previous day of intense exercises and filming helped us all access something, almost like progressing onto a new level. We were directed by Mr. Kent, and it was like watching the magic unfold in front of your eyes, like watching an artist with a paintbrush. He took those incredible energies of each actor and moulded it into scenes creating beautiful shots together with the Director of Photography. Stories unfolded, and the actors became real, shining, giving their all on camera.
Unforgettable experience. Almost like someone breathed life into you again, inspired. True movie magic.
For actors, it can sometimes feel like your career path is dictated for you by the industry. The uncertainty that 2020 has brought definitely hasn’t helped, but despite the rollercoaster this year has been, there are many reasons to be hopeful. Screen entertainment has provided so much comfort to people, and whilst areas of the industry have been shut down, there are new opportunities cropping up for performers. Acting can be a difficult career to navigate and one that often has no clear linear progression. Despite this, there are several ways you can take back control and get ahead in the industry.
1. Invest in your marketing. Your headshots and showreel are the most valuable thing you have as an actor. If your agent is submitting you for work, or if you’re submitting yourself, then casting directors will come into contact with them daily. Remember that all they know about you is the marketing you have to offer them. So show off your edge (what makes you, you) and know your casting. Having a professional showreel which shows a range of emotions and characters is so important. It needs to be recent, show what you look like today and highlight your ability to perform with nuance and subtlety. Your headshots should make an immediate impact since they hold the key to you getting in the room. Make sure your headshots and showreel work hand in hand and give casting directors a really good sense of who will walk in the door.
2. Training, training, training. Whether you’re a working actor, returning to the game, or you’re just starting out, 2021 is the perfect time to invest in training because it will pay off when normal life kicks back in. Actor’s Studio has a great range of face-to-face and online courses available so you can make it work for your budget. Training with industry leading tutors teaches you lifelong skills, it makes you ‘set-ready’ and it gets your name out there amongst top directors. Word of mouth is everything in this industry so perhaps it’s no surprise that I can trace back several paid jobs to my training at Actor’s Studio. Keeping your skills sharp in areas like script analysis and vocal technique will help you book the work instead of just auditioning for it. Preparation for the job IS the job, and training can help you build that confidence you need to make great choices and own your craft!
3. Get creative. Make the work you want to be in. In an industry heavily focused on looks, creating your own work helps you take charge of the characters you want to play. Be proactive and start making projects that excites you. Gone are the days of actors waiting for their agent to call. Just look at the film industry, some of the most successful actors get involved in the production and writing of scripts they are passionate about. It’s a great way to develop contacts without always approaching people as an out-of-work actor looking for their next role. Now, you might just be the person casting an actor to work alongside you and develop a relationship with industry professionals in a more organic way.
4. Use your time to upskill. In the down time between jobs, look at where the industry is moving and make smart choices. Ever considered getting into voiceover work but you don’t have a reel yet? Many theatre projects have been cancelled this year but the voiceover market seems to be growing. Having a professional voice reel has helped me book jobs and made lockdown more bearable because I can work from home.
5. Build your network. Screen casting has gradually picked up pace again and every day actors I know are booking work. Industry leaders have had more time on their hands this year which has made contacting more accessible. Use this time to meet casting directors and directors via workshops or even via video call. Develop these relationships like you would in any other industry and you will see the pay off further down the line.
So be good to yourself, look after your physical and mental health and explore the things you can control right now. Luckily, training and filming can continue through lockdown and when the industry jumps back into full action…it’s going to need all of us to bring our A-Game!
Any actor who wants to work in television needs to know and understand the differences between multi-cam and single-cam. With COVID-19, growing measures are being put in place by productions to make sure that you, the cast and crew, are safe. Productions are looking at filming more efficiently, and the use of multi-cam is quickly growing in popularity. Continue reading The Growing Demand for Multi-Cam and What Actors Need To Know
For those of us behind the scenes or on-screen, film sets have been in lockdown just like everywhere else and the industry came to a holt. It was hard to imagine what a Film or TV set might look like operating with COVID-19 guidelines, but slowly, productions are reopening including Actors Studio and we have implemented new ways of working in accordance to government guidelines and advice from the British Film Institute.Continue reading Coronavirus + The UK Film & TV Industry