Screen Suffolk Crew Directory member Madeleine Wynn has a background in Theatre Direction and acting but had to take a break from the industry to raise her son. She recently made short film Mermen in Suffolk. As an actor had never really experienced the other side of the camera and she loved the camaraderie on set and having successfully produced and directed her film, Madeleine realised that she yearned for a career change. She found out about Screen Skills via word of mouth and investigated. She explains.
“It’s a case of signing up to their newsletter, setting up a profile with them and then waiting for opportunities to arise. In the mean time I noticed that they had many free online courses – everything from Covid Awareness on set to interview technique. To ensure I was ‘set ready’ I did every single course available and the certificates all appeared on my profile for employers. I then managed to get on to an ‘Open Doors’ free webinar to learn about various roles on set and to discover what specific area I wanted to focus on.”
Having previously been a theatre director she quickly realised that she wanted a role that would suit her strengths of multitasking and hard work. She knew she wanted to work closely with directors and script supervisor ticked all the boxes.
“Script supervisors work closest to and support the director while liaising with all the other departments. It was then a case of looking out for more specific webinars and researching. By the time they advertised for the new cohort of trainees for High End TV drama 2022 I felt ready to apply.”
“I was surprised I was chosen because of my age. Screen skills have about 2,000 applications and choose about 40. I felt the courses were really for young people starting out, or with far more film experience than I had. I have been set back before due to age so although I was passionate about the role and had written the application I decided not to apply! It was late the night before when I remembered and decided to just click ‘send’. I was honest and had set out reasons for applying at my age and how my theatre directing experience would transfer but then forgot about it as a pipe dream.
The scheme means productions who contribute to the HETV Skills Fund, can claim a percentage towards alumni’s weekly salary through the programme.
I found Screen Skills to be a brilliant organisation. They are incredibly inclusive, caring and supportive. I really enjoyed the whole process and completed the training at the beginning of April. I’ve been busy with a few theatre productions this year which I had committed to but now hope to be more available when Screen Skills help with paid placements on High End TV drama. On top of the fee negotiated directly between you and the production company Screen Skills also pay expenses towards the jobs.
The support and encouragement that Madeleine has received from ScreenSkills has spurred her on to apply for a script supervisor mentor who she is working with at the moment and she’s waiting for her first paid role in HETV.
“I think it’s really important to be absolutely clear about what you want and not to generalise. Being sure of your path before you apply for anything means you can apply with conviction and with knowledge of the job.”
If you are cast or crew and don’t require an overnight to work in Suffolk then please make sure you sign up to our database. Also make sure you check out ScreenSkills for useful information on how to develop or start your career in the industry.