Leeds School of Arts

Bridging the gap between education and employment in the film, TV and creative media industries

Leeds School of Arts and the Northern Film School work closely with Film Buddy to bring the best work experience and opportunities in the film industry and beyond to our students.

Film Buddy work with Leeds School of Arts, the Northern Film School, and the university’s Careers & Employability Service, to provide past, present & future students with careers support along with pre- and post-graduation employment opportunities across the Film, TV and Creative Media industries. Students have access to bespoke one-to-one mentoring, workshops, advice and preparation for employment through industry led mentoring, CV, showreel and portfolio development, work placements and creative collaborations.

Founded by Assistant Director, Writer and Producer Ben Sweet, Film Buddy was created to “help bridge the gap between education and employment” by developing a mutually beneficial relationship where students gain additional support and guidance, whilst the film industry gets to connect with our talented students and graduates. 

“In my experience of working with the students for the last 5 years, it is clear that the filmmaking course prepares them very well for industry. I always see very focused and talented students who have a clear direction and understanding of what’s required to succeed and along with our input and opportunities, Leeds Beckett is a top destination for any aspiring film maker.”

“The future of filmmaking in the region is very bright, and for me that’s thanks to the major broadcasters who choose Yorkshire as a destination, and the writers and directors who are inspired by the regions plethora of fantastic locations and the producers who trust in local talent.”

Since the partnership started in 2016 there have been numerous success stories, with dozens of students getting their first hands on experience of working on a commercial film set as a result. We have previously featured stories about students working on Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’ and Sky’s ‘Intergalactic’, and have recently spoken to three more recent graduates who benefited from the school’s partnership.

ELLICE Street

  • Producer at What Media
  • BA (Hons) Filmmaking, 2017-2020

“I was struggling trying to get my foot into the industry and I didn’t know where to start…. One of my tutors let me know about Film Buddy and I sent them a CV and cover letter and they were in touch within a week arranging a meeting to discuss my career and my options regarding placements and experience in the industry. Later the same day I got a call back offering a placement within the art department on ‘The Irregulars’ which is a Netflix production based in Liverpool. I said yes and by the following Monday I was sat in the production office doing research and making props for the art department. I loved the whole week and learnt so much. It put me in such a good position as a third-year filming student with Netflix credits on her CV!”

Leanor Spiers

  • BA (Hons) Filmmaking, 2017-2020

“My experience with Film Buddy enabled me to gain experience on a professional set, something that I would have really struggled to get on my own. My placement was in Liverpool working on the third season of Sky’s ‘Tin Star’ and I loved it. The Assistant Director’s team that I was working alongside were all lovely and really took me under their wing to help me learn and make the most out of the experience… the support I received meant I was able to gain some vital work experience on a professional set and an amazing credit on my CV.”

 

Reuben Waring

  • Freelance Director and Writer
  • BA (Hons) Filmmaking, 2017-2020

“The gap between education and employment is a daunting place, and with an unclear path to getting your first job in the film industry… to help with this I was introduced to Film Buddy during my final year of study at the Northern Film School as part of an experiential learning module. I edited some behind the scenes footage of a show they had filmed earlier in the year. This quickly provided me with experience working outside of university. Following graduation, I was contacted by Film Buddy to edit some of their online content and since then I have hosted their online Q and As with members of the film and television industry, allowing me to personally speak to industry professionals that have worked on some of my favourite films.”

“Film Buddy also offered me my first directing position post-university. I directed and edited an online educational series titled, Discovering Disability, in which a panel of film and television industry individuals discuss their working experience as part of the disabled demographic.”

“The work I have done with Film Buddy has helped me to find work as a director’s personal assistant on an upcoming Studio Canal title, a sequel to 1970’s ‘The Railway Children’.”

Young white woman operating camera

Senior Lecturer in Film, Steve Mardy, has worked closely with Ben and the team at Film Buddy: 

“In the past five years the Northern Film School has witnessed a growing successful partnership with Film Buddy. In addition, they have provided students in the Northern Film School with invaluable contacts within the broadcast-related industries, whilst one-to-one sessions and short masterclasses have delivered additional training in topics ranging from producing, directing, production design, editing, cinematography, sound design, scriptwriting, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.”

“The newly arranged Film Buddy partnership offers a wider spread of activity covering not only film production, but also FB will offer activities to Performing Arts, Music & Sound, Creative Media Technologies and Fashion Marketing.”

Horror film being filmed in the background and a clapper board in the foreground

This ongoing development of partnerships is part of the Leeds School of Arts’ and the university’s wider commitment to giving the best possible support to our students and graduates to develop the skills and experience needed to make the most of their degrees within the thriving film industry in Leeds. Director of Business Engagement, Careers & Employability, Mark Stow thinks now more than ever making this kind of service available to help connect our amazing graduates with the right opportunities is vital: 

“In the current climate, it is critical that we ensure our students are fully aware of the diverse range of opportunities available to them and to understand that they can apply their skills and talent across a breadth of sectors. The Film Buddy collaboration is just one example of how we are trying to promote the career paths that students, from across all our disciplines, can access. And has been clear we continue to exceptional student and graduate talent across all of our subject areas who can benefit from engaging with this partnership.”

“We look forward to building on this success, working with Film Buddy to ensure our students have the experiences, skills and self-belief to achieve their true potential.”

Find Out More

Current students and staff from across Leeds School of Arts can access Film Buddy’s services through My Hub.

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