Students behind the scenes

Barking and Dagenham Youth Dive into the lens with Innovative Pilot Project

In a bid to provide hands-on experience in the broadcast media sector, pupils from three local schools had the opportunity to take part in a ground-breaking pilot project. Spearheaded by Film Barking & Dagenham’s ‘Make It Here’ Programme, in partnership with Crew Room Academy and supported by Eastbrook Studios, the Schools Broadcasting Pilot aimed to engage 50 students aged 14 to 17 in the dynamic world of film and TV.

The initiative aligns with the borough's burgeoning presence in the film and television industry, offering young people an opportunity to explore career pathways in broadcasting. Through the guidance of industry professionals and access to state-of-the-art equipment, participants collaborated to produce their own chat show, leveraging a 40ft outside broadcast truck and equipment provided by NEP, a broadcast production group.

The pilot was held over two days where students assumed various roles, from conducting interviews to managing technical aspects like cables and cameras, mirroring the responsibilities of real-world broadcasting teams. The resulting chat show, crafted with professionalism akin to top TV programs, has been compiled into a showreel for students to showcase their newfound skills and experiences in their portfolios and CVs. Watch a short recap video of the day here.

Additionally, students benefited from insights shared by industry experts, including CBeebies presenter Aaron Roach Bridgeman, further enriching their understanding of the broadcasting landscape.

Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe, Cabinet Member for Educational Attainment and School Improvement, said "This project empowers our youth to shine in the broadcasting industry, offering hands-on experience with top-notch equipment and guidance from professionals. It's a testament to our commitment to providing equal opportunities for all students."

The success of the project was made possible through the generous contributions of volunteers from the broadcasting community and equipment donated from NEP, underscoring a growing commitment to supporting young people from diverse backgrounds in pursuing careers in the media.