How do you get into film? Ask the expert Q&A

Want to work in film but have no idea where to start? You're in the right place!

For National Careers Week 2020, we met up with Oscar-award-winning film expert, Gareth Ellis-Unwin, to ask him your questions about getting into the film industry and find out how organisations like ScreenSkills, where he is head of film and animation, can help.

Gareth was joined by our hosts – resident film buff, Radio 1's film critic Ali Plumb, and Get into Film's Shanai, a newbie to the film industry, to answer questions sent in by the Bitesize audience.

To hear more from Gareth, Ali and Shanai, check out part two of our Q&A.

Meet the panel...

Gareth Ellis-Unwin

Role: Head of film and animation at ScreenSkills.

Best known for: BAFTA and Oscar-award-winning film The King's Speech (producer).

Career history: 13 years as 1st assistant director and line producer; moved into producing and formed Bedlam Production in 2006 with partner Simon Egan. Film work includes: Exam, The King's Speech, Zaytoun, Kajaki and Steel Country. Joined ScreenSkills in 2018, helping to make sure the film industry has the skilled workforce it needs to keep flourishing.

A lot of people just see the recognisable roles of producer, actor, writer, director when, the truth is, the film industry is much, much broader than that... we need carpenters, we need electricians, we need make up artists, costumiers, props people, drivers – list goes on!

Ali Plumb

Role: Radio 1 film critic.

Best known for: Radio 1 series like Movies with Ali Plumb which features Ali in conversation with the biggest movie stars in the world. Recent guests include Margot Robbie discussing her role as Harley Quinn and Jodie Whittaker on all things Dr Who.

Recent 'pinch me' career moment: Interviewing Brad Pitt about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Everything I did when I first started, if I look back now I'd be horrified but you have to go through that teething will get there, you will get there but it's not instant – give yourself a chance.


Industry experience: Get Into Film reporter, interviewing film talent.

Recently interviewed: Queen & Slim actors Daniel Kaluuya & Jodie Turner-Smith.

Career goals: To become a radio presenter.

Advice: Work experience looks really good on your CV. Even if some placements or experiences aren't what you thought they might be and you may be doing things like making tea and coffee, you still learn from it and it's good to be out there doing something towards your goals.

We have interview workshops in school where you sit with your teacher and it's a bit formal but I think sometimes... it is about the personality that comes through and being able to just be yourself in front of those professionals because they are just people.

Want to know more?

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