UK industry supports training with contributions to the Record Animation & Film Skills Fund

New figures show a strong post-pandemic rebound for the UK’s entertainment industry, as films shot in the country in the past 12 months have brought in record contributions of £1.4 million (around 1 $.7 million) to the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund and the Animation Skills Fund.

A total of 66 productions paid for in £1,436,701.94 for the year until the end of March. The previous Film Skills Fund record was £1,081,352 in 2019/20, falling to £474,000 in 2020/21 when production was hit by lockdown. Productions, regardless of size, are encouraged to contribute 0.5% of UK production spend up to a cap, which was £61,000 for 2021/22.

Contributors included Wonka, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Dungeons & Dragonsdrag queen documentary Maisie, Persuasion (the new adaptation of Jane Austen with Dakota Johnson), The lost king (with and co-written by Steve Coogan), by George Clooney Boys in the boat and the murder mystery See how they work.

A short film made in Northern Ireland, true colors became the lowest contributor at £12.50 after writer-director Arón Holden and producer Lisa Service decided it was important to do their part. “We felt that if we could help donate even a small amount, it would amount to paying it for the next person,” Service said.

the Animation Skills Fundwhich was relaunched in 2019 after a period of inactivity, also recorded a the best total ever of £187,030 contributions from productions. The cap for animation contributions was £44,500.

Tom Box, co-founder of Blue Zoo Animation and chairman of the Animation Skills Fund, said: “The animation industry in the UK has gone from strength to strength in recent years, but this is under threat if the skill pipeline cannot sustain itself. on demand. So it’s fantastic to see so many companies investing in talent through the Animation Skills Fund, so that our vibrant industry can maintain its cherished reputation. There’s still so much work to do, so we encourage everyone to contribute so we can nurture even more amazing animation talent.

Training supported by the Animation Skills Fund last year included editing Toon Boom, the essentials of leadership and management, writing for children’s animation and becoming an animation production manager as well than launching Animation Trainee Finder. Over 350 people have been trained.

The fund also supports the Young Animator of the Year (YAY) initiative for ages 11-18, through which 104 young animators participated in tutorials, after-school clubs, summer studios and portfolio reviews with more of 400 subscribers. on the YAY website.

The boards and working groups of both funds are currently meeting to confirm training priorities to meet the pressing demand and address skills needs across the sector. The skills funds are invested alongside the BFI’s National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy, which ends this year.

“I want to personally thank everyone who includes the ScreenSkills Skills Funds contribution in their budget, as we know costs have increased and every budget line is scrutinized,” said Gareth Ellis-Unwin, Head of Film and of the film at ScreenSkills. Animation. “Funding is essential to enable us to help find, develop and retain the workforce that is the backbone of our incredible industry – for studio production as well as independent filmmaking.

“But money is only part of the equation and we are also very grateful for productions that provide training opportunities. No matter what stage you are at in your career, there is no There’s no better way to cement skills than to use them, so internships are invaluable.

“It is essential for the creative and commercial success of film in the UK that there is sustained investment in the freelancers who are at its heart. You can’t make great movies without investing in people.

Anita Overland, whose production credits include Small Axe, The Iron Lady and The beautiful game and is the chairman of the Film Skills Fund, said, “I know from my own experience how difficult it is to team up when there is so much production going on. But we should use the boom to ensure that we find and develop a greater diversity of new talent and to help the existing workforce progress – because it is at the mid to senior level that the problems are most acute. . I ask all my colleagues in the industry to help build a larger and better qualified labor pool by contributing to the Film Skills Fund.

Training supported by contributions from the Film Skills Fund last year included the transfer program for people experienced in working with black hair and makeup for people of color, hiring and managing a team, Deaf awareness and virtual production training.

The fund also supports Film Trainee Finder, the paid placement program for new entrants. Contributing productions receive a grant to support placements in a range of skills shortage positions. More than 1,500 people have benefited from training or career development with support from the fund.

To learn more about the Animation Skills Fund, visit screenskills.com.