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boomsatsuma’s Film & TV Diploma at The Bottle Yard Studios

Kieron Hawkes Fortitude Director speaks to students at The Bottle Yard (c) boomsatsuma

Kieron Hawkes Fortitude Director speaks to students at The Bottle Yard (c) boomsatsuma

Kieron Hawkes, Director of Fortitude (Sky Atlantic) speaks to students at The Bottle Yard Studios © boomsatsuma

Launched in 2018, The Bottle Yard’s Film & TV Production Diploma, delivered by boomsatsuma in collaboration with Bristol City of Film, gives 16-19 year olds the chance to study in a working studio environment.

Open to young people aged 16-19, the course is taught on site at the Studios and consists of creative projects including filmmaking, TV production, photography, events management, animation graphic design, production design, sound design and more.

Alongside curriculum-facing projects are a number of extra opportunities arising from the course being based at a working TV and film facility. These can include placements on active productions, behind the scenes set tours and insights, use of facilities and runner positions.

The OCR Cambridge Technicals Extended Diploma is a nationally recognised qualification equivalent to 3 A Levels and worth up to 168 UCAS tariff points.

Case study: Fortitude (Sky Atlantic)

It was an inspirational journey for a group of students who took part in a unique skills experience on the set of Sky Atlantic’s Fortitude at The Bottle Yard Studios, made possible thanks to access granted by production company Fifty Fathoms.

17 year old boomsatsuma students Laylah, Oli, Isaac, Victoria, Genaya, Scott and Chloe spent the day behind the scenes in April 2018, gaining valuable insight into what goes into a major TV shoot, observing the set environment and filming activity. They also learnt about different roles within a production team, recording interviews with Andrew Wood (Producer), Kieron Hawkes (Director), Callum Devrell-Cameron (Assistant Producer), Paul Spriggs (Production Designer), key cast Luke Treadaway and Mia Jexen, plus camera, sound, makeup, costume, unit photography and publicity.

Students shared their ambitions for the future with Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, who talked about Bristol’s commitment to widening access to TV & film education to young people from all backgrounds across the city. The film they produced about the day formed part of their boomsatsuma Media Production Diplomas.

In October 2018, Fifty Fathoms returned to Bristol for a preview screening and Q&A hosted at Watershed by RTS Bristol and The Bottle Yard Studios, preceded by a screening of the students’ short film. Earlier that day, 24 local writers attended a workshop with Fortitude creator Simon Donald, Exec producer Patrick Spence and script producer Ben Stoll.

The Bottle Yard’s Fiona Francombe said: “It was an honour to be Fortitude’s official home for this new series and we feel sure it sends out the message – Bristol, City of Film, is the ideal place to make great drama.”

Unit publicist Iain McCallum said: “At Fifty Fathoms we pride ourselves in working closely with the talent we find on our doorstep wherever we happen to be filming. There is no shortage of amazing talent in Bristol and it was a huge pleasure to welcome these young people to our set and still more marvellous to see the fruits of their labour on the big screen.”

A big thank you to all involved for bringing together this valuable experience.