Michael Sheen film shoot welcomes trainees

By Huw Thomas
BBC Wales arts and media correspondent


Actor Michael Sheen has been joined by 11 trainees on the Welsh set of his new Netflix film Apostle.

Sheen is filming on location in south Wales for the period drama, which co-stars the Beauty and the Beast actor Dan Stevens.

The trainees were chosen from applicants to the Foot in the Door programme.

It is designed to open up the film industry to young people not already in employment, education or training.

Sheen, the Golden Globe-nominated actor from Port Talbot, said film traineeships were an "important" entry-point to the industry.

"What we really want to do is support and encourage work from within Wales - our home grown stuff," he told BBC Wales. "It's also really important for younger people.

Media caption,
Huw Thomas caught up Michael Sheen - on location, close to home

"When I was growing up, I had no idea that you could do anything other than act on film, I thought it just happened magically.

The programme has been organised by Ffilm Cymru Wales and Charter Housing Association.

The successful applicants have had a week of training and are now working with the experienced crew on the set of Apostle. The roles include make-up, art and design, costume and construction.

Sheen added that the experience could help shed light on the workings of a film set.

Filming is due to last for several more weeks. The production has also given Sheen the opportunity to return to his roots, with some of the filming happening near his hometown of Port Talbot.

"It's fantastic. I've done some work in Port Talbot - specifically on The Passion in 2011 - but I've never filmed here, not like this on this scale.

"It's amazing. They've built this incredible village here in Margam Park. I used to come here all the time when I was growing up. Now to see what they've done here is really great. We're attracting a lot of film production into Wales, which is fantastic."

Image caption,
Norman Porter and Jaimie-Leigh Grierson are working behind the scenes

One of the Foot In The Door trainees, Norman Porter, from Wattsville, had looked at working in the United States but the cost was prohibitive.

"Working in this industry seemed unattainable - but I jumped at this chance and now here I am and I've been working in the art and design department," he said.

"The sets are phenomenal - I've been using my painting, carpentry and arts and design skills; it's hard work but rewarding."

Jaimie-Leigh Grierson, from Abercarn, is working in hair and make-up and said it has opened her eyes to opportunities in the industry in Wales.

"From when I was a little girl, I always wanted to work on the other side of the camera, watching how things are made and I've got a passion for make-up," she said.

"It's been amazing and opened my eyes to where I can look to get further jobs in the industry and it isn't such a strange world now."

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