Some of the biggest names in U.K. film and TV have launched the London Screen Academy. The free school for 16-to-19 year-olds in the English capital will train a new generation of industry professionals. The launch comes as U.K. film and TV boom, but the British Film Institute has warned of a skills shortage.
Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson from “James Bond” producer Eon Prods., Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner from Working Title, Heyday Films’ founder David Heyman, and “The Last King of Scotland” producer Lisa Bryer are among the LSA founders.
They came up with the idea and have played an integral part in creating the curriculum. Under the free school system in the U.K., the department of education will fund the school, which will not charge students any fees.
The LSA founders want to turn out students who are ready to step straight into industry roles with lessons based on industry standards and working methods. The new academy is based in Islington, north London, and is accepting applications for 2019 when it will admit 300 students. That number will rise to 1,000. It will focus on various areas including film and TV production. The plan is to broaden out to include games and VR at a later stage.
This week the BFI unveiled more research that shows the U.K. film and TV businesses are booming, but the organisation has also highlighted a glaring skills shortage in the U.K., as well as challenges facing the indie film business.
“As founders we believe that everyone who has a passion for film-making should have the opportunity for a career behind the camera in one of the many jobs in the screen industries,” said Bevan. “We want to make the seemingly inaccessible film and television worlds accessible.”
He added that the “workforce should better reflect the diversity and cultural richness of the city in which we live.”
LSA students will also study English and math and graduate with a diploma equivalent to three A levels. Nick Watkiss will be the principal designate, running the school day-to-day.