Press Releases 2017

UWTSD students gain work experience on new S4C drama, Bang

08.09.2017

Seven students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) were lucky enough to have recently gained work experience on the set of S4C’s latest drama, Bang.

Bang

Set in Port Talbot, Bang is a thrilling story about blood, love and human relationships and is the first in a season of brand new dramas on S4C.

Bang – which starts on S4C this Sunday, September 10th - is produced by Joio and was created by acclaimed writer Roger Williams (Tir, Galesa, Gwaith Cartref).  It tells the thrilling the story of a brother, a sister and a gun where loner Sam (Jacob Ifan, Cuffs) has his life transformed when he comes into possession of a gun and starts to break the law.  His ambitious policewoman sister Gina (Catrin Stewart, Doctor Who, Stella) is paid to uphold it and makes it her mission to find the owner of the weapon. The family saga plays out against an inquiry into the shooting of a local businessman that raises questions for Sam.

The series was shot in Port Talbot during the Spring and Summer of this year and the seven UWTSD students had roles in a variety of departments, including the Production Office and costume, camera, lighting and art departments.

The relationship between the production and the University started in early 2017 when Roger Williams, Bang’s creator, came to the University to talk to the students about the production and to offer them the opportunity to work on set and to experience media production first-hand. Nerys Evans, Executive Project Officer on the University’s Yr Egin project in Carmarthen led on the collaboration encouraging students to take part in a project that would allow them to gain experience of working on the set of a busy drama production.

“It was great to be able to offer our students the opportunity to take part in this very special project – especially as the production was shot on location in nearby Port Talbot,” says Nerys.  “It’s very important for students to gain live experiences in the industry and we were so lucky that Roger Williams wanted to work with the University to offer placements to our students on such an exciting and innovative production.”

According to Joio’s Roger Williams, securing work experience is crucial for anyone interested in a career in film and TV:  “Gaining work experience in the television industry is vital for anyone who hopes to build a career in the field. I was therefore very pleased to be able to welcome many talented students from UWTSD to work with us on Bang.  They had great energy and enthusiasm and we wish them all well as they start their careers.”

S4C is also pleased that Bang has been able to engage with new and exciting you talent in the Port Talbot and Swansea areas. 

Gethin Scourfield, S4C's Content Commissioner for Drama, said: "S4C is delighted that this partnership has been able to offer young talented individuals opportunities to gain valuable skills and experience in the workplace - especially on such an ambitious production as Bang. Developing talent in Wales that will be able to work in the industry for years has become crucial to us as a channel and such collaboration between production companies and organisations contributes to the nurturing of a new generation of Welsh talent."

A number of students showed an interest in working on the set of BANG and were put in contact with Amanda Roberts from Crew Wales who facilitated the whole experience.

“Crew Wales is an initiative that works to develop a new generation of crew for Welsh Film and Television productions,” says Amanda who’s currently on a secondment from UWTSD managing the Crew Wales initiative.

“It was a privilege working with Bang to provide work experience opportunities for local students. The managers and crew of Bang were incredibly supportive of the scheme and offered a high standard of mentored support for all participants, providing an invaluable insight of the professional workplace.”

Kimberly Latchem

The students who worked on the production relished every moment of the opportunity, learning new skills and developing as individuals.

"My work experience on the Bang production has been very useful and very valuable,” says Kimberly Latchem, an MARTs Film and Digital Media student at UWTSD.

“I learned how to conduct myself on a set and take initiative in a new environment. I made great new friends and colleagues, and by shadowing people in different departments I was able to learn other aspects of different roles other than running."

Ben Wheeler, a first year Film and Digital Media undergraduate at UWTSD saw the experience as a great way of meeting industry professionals and a fantastic way of creating new and valuable contacts.

Having the opportunity to receive work experience on Bang has proven invaluable as a stepping stone from the artificial environment of a university course, to the reality of the world of work in one of the most intense industries,” he says. 

“The experience has allowed for me to observe and converse with creatives, establishing contacts for my career ahead. The placement with the Camera Department, with my ambition of becoming a Director of Photography, proved invaluable as they generously gave their time to teach me more about the equipment behind the artistic vision. My chance to discuss the passion behind the craft with Mark Milsome was invigorating, especially after witnessing his abilities in the field. The department, along with the rest of the cast and crew behind this upcoming program, were a pleasure to work with and I hope that they receive the praise that they are due.”

“For me to spend the best part of my first year studying the genre, it was a treat to see the narrative of a new production come together on and off the camera. Amanda Roberts’ guidance and visits as part of my time there were constructive and pushed the experience one notch further. I’m so glad I was given the chance.”

Aidan Biddiscombe who has recently graduated with a first class BA in Illustration at UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art loved being a part of the Art Department.  “My work experience on Bang was fantastic!” he says enthusiastically. 

“Everyone in all departments were really helpful and happy to take time to teach me what they knew about film set life and share their experiences. I was also given little jobs to do under supervision when possible such as sorting out costumes for actors and keeping continuity for extras which was something I've always wanted to do!  Everyone was really kind and supportive, including producers, make-up, camera, runners, actors (some of whom I had met on previous work experiences) but the costume department were extremely lovely and treated me like one of their own. I learned so much on this absolutely fantastic production and experience and would recommend work experience on a set to anyone interested in the working in TV and Film.”

And it was the opportunity to create and be a part of a professional props team that Louise Sullivan, a UWTSD Foundation Art student enjoyed.  “I was lucky to be given really exciting tasks to help with, mostly within the graphics department where I was able to help design, print and make props such as creating artwork for office notice boards, bottle labels and packaging. Being offered these tasks when on work experience gave me a really good impression of the working processes, led by discussions with the production designer that helped me to grasp the overall feel of how the space should look and how best to approach my work. I learnt so much from this two week placement, working with an encouraging team was rewarding and having learned so much, it gave me confidence to try and move into a professional position afterwards.”

As one of S4C’s flagship autumn drama production, Bang will lead the channel's schedule from September onwards.  The series is firmly rooted in its location in Port Talbot and the Afan Valley, and breaks new ground for S4C where the purposeful use of English dialogue is used to reflect aspects of this community.

With S4C’s headquarters moving to Yr Egin – a new digital and creative centre on UWTSD’s Carmarthen campus – during the summer of 2018, this collaboration between S4C, the University and local production company, Joio, further attests the growth and the ambition of the creative industries sector in South West Wales.

For further information about Bang, please visit www.S4C.cymru

Ben Wheeler

Further Information

 

For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476