You’re so EXTRA! Welsh Girl Adventuring Into The TV And Film Industry

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Image taken by myself on set Filming for Poldark 2017

‘OK guys LAST take, I promise!’

My word, I’ve heard that (lie) a million times. From standing in the snow in a questionably short  dress, to witnessing 200 people fake clapping at a wedding like a bunch of excited seals, the life of being an extra (or supporting artist if you want to be all fancy)  is really quiet something.

Eye watering 4am starts, followed by being laced into a corset, unaware if their intention was to break my ribcage, but they sure gave it a good go, working on a film set never seizes to surprise me.

WHY be an extra, that’s so pointless!?

Oh my friend, I’d never imagined that I’d be playing a wife with two children in BBC’s drama production Poldark .

Two children?

A WIFE?!

Wow, how far from reality my assigned fictional character was. But we all need to start somewhere, right?

Being an Extra is fun, (not always glamorous) but it’s a great way to network with other like-minded people and learn about the industry. And let’s just take a moment to appreciate that big stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Brad Pitt and Marilyn Monroe worked as extras, you just never know your luck!

That’s enough about me, gosh we get it you want to be an actress but there are a few things that need to be clarified:

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Image taken by me on set of HBO’s series Succession 2018

Is the UK TV and film industry even that important?  

Can I hear a hell yeah!? The core UK film industry contributes over £4.6billion to UK GDP and supports over 117,000 jobs, it generates tourism, exhibits our talents globally and keeps our creativity flowing!

Margot James from Minister for Digital and the Creative industries said:

From Star Wars to The Crown, the UK is a creative powerhouse for developing many award winning films and shows enjoyed by millions globally’

 

Yes Margot! It’s so refreshing to see the positive effects on our Creative Economy through TV and Film production, by generating jobs and embracing the talents that the UK have to offer, co-working to produce top quality content.

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 Image from Pexels.com, licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

 

But where is all this filming happening?

Getting into the film industry has its hurdles for sure, growing up in a rural welsh village (there were more sheep than people), the possibility of working in the film industry seemed, well, impossible.

According to BFI, 57% of the UK Film industry was based in London and the South East in 2016,

But don’t pack your bags just yet!

Wales’s expansion into the film world has been truly remarkable over the recent years. The impact of Doctor Who with its spin offs The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood saw the construction of the marvelous new BBC studio in Cardiff Bay.

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 Image from Pexels.com, licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

 

In 2010, Casualty moved its production from a 25 year run in Bristol over the boarder to Cardiff, Croseo I Cymru Casualty!

Recently I have also noticed that through my casting agencies Maddog 2020 and CastingCollective, the amount of filming that’s happening in Wales for major entertainment provider such as Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime, really is impressive

Go on Wales, don’t be camera shy!  

It’s amazing to see that The Welsh Government currently invests £30 million into Film and Television production in Wales- with aims to develop a film sector in Wales and maximise the economic, educational and cultural benefits of film, Wales could be the new Hollywood! (Maybe a little too optimistic) But the opportunities for creative people in Wales are only getting better.

 

That’s a wrap folks!

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Is Traditional TV Drowning Due To Online Streaming?

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Image taken from Pexels.com licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

Let’s watch DISNEY CHANNEL!

I mean, if you didn’t singalong and dance to Hannah Montana growing up, what did you do after school?

Growing up watching TV has been something me and my family have always enjoyed (and argued about) together. The power of having the remote control would often end in me and my sister fighting on the floor, with mum being the referee deciding who got to choose the channel, oh the simplicity of being young!

But there has definitely been a noticeable change over the past few years.

Now it would seem that we can all be at home at the same time, and be watching different programmes in different rooms, but why? Why don’t we all sit, laugh and enjoy the programs together like the good ol’ days?

The movement from watching traditional TV to favouring online platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, has resulted in the average viewership age to creep up. Research by Enders Analysis found that the average age of ITV viewers is now 60, followed by Channel 5 at 58 and also Channel 4 being 55.

I’m sorry, What?

Where are they days of watching Made In Chelsea or My Mad Fat Diary? I can’t see my mum tuning into these youth targeted shows!

 

Tablets, Laptops, even your mobile phone! The possibilities for streaming are endless, has this radical reshaping of the delivery of content to audiences killed traditional television?

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Image from Pexels.com  licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

 

Founded in California 1997 as a small DVD by-post service, Netflix has now rocketed and has OVER 100 million subscribers, that’s a lot of eyes watching!

Ian Hargreaves noted that:

The rise of digital has been accompanied by a severe decline in analogue formats

So it seems programme’s are trying to keep up with the demanding digital audiences, last year BBC3’s TV channel switched to an online only provider known as Iplayer, saving them a fair few bob (£30 million a year to be exact!)

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Image from pexel.com licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

 

I must admit, as a student I am guilty of binge watching series and programmes, and yes, I watch everything online. ‘Funnily’ enough no one in my house actually watches TV, we all stream online, we aren’t helping this issue are we…

So what can be done about this decline in viewership?

 

Will we young’uns ever go back to the days of looking through the TV guide to see what programmes are on? Or is it time to remove the TV as the focal point of the living room? (replace it with a laptop on the mantelpiece…perhaps a bit absurd)

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Image from Pexel.com licensed for use under Creative Commons Zero License (CC0)

Don’t fear though keen TV viewers! It’s not time to take your good old’ telly to the tip just yet!

One TV provider which seems to have taken note of these changes is Sky. On the 5th of March 2018, they have saddled up with Netflix, offering a brand new TV subscription pack, with the Sky Q box

Jeremy Darroch- Group Chief Executive for Sky explained:

By placing Sky and Netflix content side by side along with programme’s from the likes of HBO, Showtime, Fox and Disney, we are making the entertainment experience even easier and simpler for our customers

 

Very Clever Sky I see what you are up to, hopefully this should encourage viewers to not complete dismiss traditional TV, whilst also having the easy access to their favourite online streaming platforms, very clever indeed.