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Pinewood inspires the next generation of filmmakers with Futures Festival 2023

Dec 1, 2023

Futures Festival 2023 welcomes 4,000 young people to the studios

Pinewood Studios’ Futures Festival 2023 welcomed over 4,000 young people from all over the UK to their Studios in Buckinghamshire. The Futures Festival, hosted by Pinewood, is the largest free careers event for the Film and TV industry and this year was attended by special guests HM Lord- Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, The Countess Howe, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, Greg Smith MP, Rob Butler MP and Cllr Martin Tett, Leader, Buckinghamshire Council. The aim of the annual event is to inspire and educate students about the many career opportunities across our fantastic industry. More than 50 companies from across the industry supported the event including The Walt Disney Studios, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and EON Productions as well as 20 industry experts who took part in Q&As hosted by BBC Radio 1 film critic and journalist Ali Plumb. Attendees met employers and industry professionals, took part in workshops and experienced Pinewood Studios’ world-leading filmmaking and post production facilities.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said,

“Events like Pinewood’s Futures Festival are so important for showing young people the full range of careers waiting for them and breaking down barriers about working in the creative industries. We’ve set a goal to build a pipeline of opportunity for young people and support one million more jobs by 2030 as part of our ambitious vision for the sector. My message to any young person thinking about their future career is simple: there is a bright, exciting future for you in the creative industries – why not explore it?”

The careers event incorporated multiple locations across the Studio including, X Stage, D Stage, TV One, N Stage, The John Barry Theatre, Pinewood Post Production Department, the Boardroom, The Props building and Stage 3 Pinewood East. Guests were greeted by characters from films shot at our Studios including Stormtroopers, Droids and characters provided by 501st UK Garrison, Rebel Command who truly brought the ‘force’ as well as plenty of smiles to the event.

Corporate affairs director, Pinewood Group, Andrew M Smith OBE DL, said,

“It has been wonderful to experience the buzzing atmosphere at the Studios throughout our Futures Festival and welcome so many young people through the gates. It is so important to demonstrate the breadth of roles and careers within the Film and TV industry and inspire the next generation of filmmakers.”

The John Barry Theatre hosted a schedule of sold-out talks, with Q&As hosted by Ali Plumb who also presented two talks on film publicity and the landscape of film journalism and reviewing. On display in the theatre were a BAFTA and an Oscar as well as costumes from EON Productions’ 25th James Bond film No Time To Die. The packed schedule of industry speakers including Oscar-winning special effects supervisor and director Chris Corbould, independent board advisor Monica Chadha, associate producer for EON Productions Gregg Wilson, production designer Sonja Klaus, Actors Studio Founder Tim Kent with surprise guest Oscar-winning cinematographer, James Friend, actor, director and founder of The Wonderworks Charlotte Riley, sculptor Brian Muir and director and cinematographer Molly Manning Walker. Plus panels with ScreenSkills and graduates from the National Film and Television School who completed Masters courses in Composing, Producing, Animation and VFX.

BBC Radio 1 film critic and journalist Ali Plumb said,

“I absolutely love being involved with Pinewood’s Futures Festival: getting to share my love of cinema and TV with those of us looking to join the UK’s incredible creative industries. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to hang out with stormtroopers, droids and wookies, absolutely, but it really is a great place to start if you are looking for a career in Film and TV, with such incredibly talented guests offering up their valuable time to share their secrets.”

On X Stage, attendees had the opportunity to meet Industrial Light & Magic’s recruitment and emerging talent team, interact with technical equipment such as lighting desks provided by MBS Lighting, who lit all the exhibits on display, and experience 3D photogrammetry scanning in pods provided by Clear Angle. The Greens Team demonstrated their talents and built a beach scene complete with full-size palm trees and 17 tonnes of sand. Young people could get up close to Cruella De Ville’s Panther car from Disney’s Cruella and film props made and displayed by Makinarium.

Barbara Harrison – Careers Lead, John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe, said,

“John Hampden Students attended the Futures Festival. An outstanding opportunity for students to find out more about careers and pathways in the film industry. Thank you Pinewood Studios for organising such an inspirational event.”

Pinewood Post Production showcased how dialogue, sound effects and music are layered to create tension, atmosphere and impact. Using the film Beast with Idris Elba, they demonstrated the equipment, processes and people involved in creating a feature film soundtrack and discussed the various roles within the department.

TV One and D Stage housed numerous exhibitors, educational institutions and tenants from the lot whilst Imaginarium gave a demonstration of their motion capture facilities on N Stage.

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Sony and Creative Media Skills hosted separate workshops encouraging creative thinking and group work and advising on routes into the industry. The Mark Milsome Foundation were based in the Sony office for the day to talk about their charity and the vital importance of safety on set.

A huge thank you to everyone who visited the Studios, exhibited in our spaces, hosted a talk, guided a tour, supported parking, ran a workshop, shared their knowledge, provided security and inspired young minds.

We look forward to announcing details of Futures Festival 2024. Sign up for news on Futures Festival 2024 here.

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