CULT Cymru Newsletter 2013


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creative unions learning together edition 1 an explosion of activity an indoor pyrotechnics course run at venue cymru llandudno welcome to cult cymru s newsletter cult cymru is the one stop shop for learning for creative professionals in wales aiming to support all those working across the creative industries including broadcasting film live events and publishing cult cymru was formed in 2008 following a bid to the welsh government s wales union learning fund wulf by bectu supported by its sister unions equity the musicians union and the writers guild of great britain its aim is to support creative professionals in accessing training which is relevant accessible and affordable the creative industries are one of nine key sectors identified by the welsh government as crucial to the recovery and growth of the welsh economy several years on the project continues to offer training advice and support to creative professionals to date cult cymru has helped over 2,000 individuals access a variety of learning opportunities many of those working in the creative sector are atypical workers with many operating on a freelance basis or on fixed term contracts with a constantly changing market due to technological advances and the recession leading to redundancies there hasn t been a greater need for creative workers to update their skills and cult cymru is here to provide ongoing support one of the main duties of project manager siân gale is to write the funding applications and to identify the learning needs of members of the respective unions through liaising with partners union learning reps members and employers working with project coordinator beth roberts the next step is organising workshops and events to meet those needs over the next few pages read about some of the activities already undertaken hear from those who have benefited and learn about the role of the union learning representative ulr as one of many wulf projects we re grateful that we can offer bespoke learning opportunities to our respective union members throughout wales says siân and we appreciate the ongoing support from the wales tuc and the welsh government it really makes a difference to thousands of workers in a very broad range of sectors we now have funding in place until march 2016 and we look forward to working with current partners as well as new ones including employers and further education providers


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a word from the chair this year cult cymru welcomes paul gray as the new chair of the project s steering group as the musicians union s voice on the steering group over the past five years i have been privileged to see the immense amount of work and dedication that our partners in the other creative unions and the cult cymru team have invested in ensuring that as wide a variety of workshops and events as possible have come to fruition from cv writing first aid music studio production masterclasses to ip and copyright working with agents pyrotechnics and rigging and lighting we have responded to the requests of our respective members and hope that there has been something of interest to everyone it is therefore with great pleasure that i look forward to my new role as chair of the steering group going forward and on behalf of us all i would like to extend our sincere thanks to siân and beth at cult cymru for the excellent work they have done thus far i know there are many new exciting activities planned over the next few years so please do ensure that you complete our online survey follow us on twitter like us on facebook and regularly check our website so that you don t miss anything ­ employability skills have never been so crucial north wales freelancers flying the flag beyond wales those freelancing in north wales might know all about salford and its new media city but are those in salford and nearby manchester aware of the wealth of freelance talent who are only an hour and a half away in north wales hopefully they do now as the bectu north wales freelance branch incorporated a trip to the dock10 studio complex in media city into their annual trip to the bve north exhibition in manchester ann jones a highly respected advocate for training within bectu who chairs the union s uk wide training committee organised the excursion that was financially supported by cult cymru as well as our visit to bve north which was as interesting and informative as ever we visited the new facilities at salford says ann jones who is chair of bectu s north wales freelance branch we were shown around dock10 by paul houghton head of operations it was a great opportunity to tell left to right david donovan bectu cymru ifor humphreys mari humphreys llywelyn owen medwen roberts huw roberts gavin roberts ann jones rhys edwards bronwen williams harpreet matharu him about the wealth of talent and experience into which broadcasters and production companies can tap utilising the skills of the freelance technicians based in north wales just 90 minutes away from salford and manchester to illustrate the range of their experience in the industry members also brought along their cvs for distribution to the relevant heads of departments everyone enjoyed the day says ann and hopefully some members will acquire new work opportunities as a result 2 cult cymru newsletter edition 1 read more about members ifor and mari humphreys on page 5


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promoting an explosion of training activity many in the theatre business have already benefited from the numerous workshops that are a direct result of cult cymru liaising with employers staff freelancers and casual workers at arts venues throughout wales clwyd theatr cymru is an example it had been intending to update the indoor pyrotechnic training for their staff for a while but courses advertised in england never seemed to fit in with staff work schedules and the numbers involved weren t enough to warrant a bespoke session cult cymru worked with the theatre s technical manager pat nelder and venue cymru llandudno in organising a joint training day run by lincoln parkhouse of just fx at venue cymru attendance was strong there were 25 attendees in all including the whole range of backstage technicians says pat nelder lincoln covered the whole range of stage pyrotechnics available flashes bangs flames and smoke he and his team covered all the safety and operational issues with plenty of demonstrations and lots of practical work the whole day concluded with a great display all set up and fired by the participants working together with other venues was the great thing about this day when you can get a reasonable number of attendees together you get much more freedom around arranging dates for this sort of thing many thanks to cult cymru for making this happen the advantage of working together like this means that everyone s money goes further said cult cymru project manager siân we can bring workshops to wales that wouldn t otherwise be possible and rather than one or two employees from the larger venues attending these activities in england we can offer them to a broader range of people at a local level including staff casuals and freelancers it also means that everyone wins including the public who benefit from a better skilled workforce being able to offer higher quality productions wales millennium centre s technical director martin hunt is also impressed by how the cult cymru project worked with them in organising 250 hours of training for permanent staff and casuals which included rigging lighting and sound at the millennium centre we had been looking at ways of improving training and the partnership with bectu through the welsh government s wulf fund has helped us to train about 25 of our staff and casuals and we intend to spread this to the rest of wales in the future through the wales technical forum i think it is very enterprising and forward thinking of the unions to be acting in this way and we re delighted that we can continue to work together in the future cult cymru is already discussing its next round of courses with members of the technical forum and theatre workers workshops include firearms awareness pat testing manual handling and health and safety 3


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arming writers with skills a successful full-time writer othniel smith has first-hand experience of the issues and concerns facing freelance writers he is a union learning rep ulr for the writers guild in wales and represents his union on the cult cymru steering group which coupled with a real passion and eagerness to help writers gain essential skills to develop their business places him in the perfect position to identify the training needs of guild members writers often work in isolation and even the most experienced of us can feel left behind in terms of professional development says othniel who writes for tv radio and the stage i feel that the guild s involvement with cult cymru is a useful way of combatting this not only by providing much-needed training opportunities in areas such as personal finance for freelancers and enhancing one s web presence but also through the opportunity to network with fellow writers and other creative professionals working with cult cymru has resulted in numerous courses and workshops including marketing and promotion online pitching and presenting and writers software final draft in purely practical terms people have learnt for example to use computer software for screenwriting blogging web design which enhances their work opportunities explains othniel who is himself a keen blogger on blakeson.blogspot com even if there is no immediate career benefit from doing a course i think taking up such opportunities helps one to feel positive and pro-active it s also useful to meet other people such as actors and cinematographers with whom one can form creative teams the chance to pursue training in areas which might not be directly relevant to one s work such as photography and first aid can also help to give people a fresh outlook on their practice more recently othniel was responsible for creating a database of writers guild members who live in wales the guild s london office has been kind enough to furnish me with a list of those members with welsh postcodes i m also very grateful when new members get in touch with their details i see my main responsibility as communicating with members via e-mail and where possible in person in order to gauge their needs and tell them what s available in terms of affordable training about othniel smith as well as plays and short stories for bbc radio four and bbc radio wales his tv credits include the story of tracy beaker kerching hilltop hospital and tati s hotel othniel has worked with theatre companies such as made in wales giant steps true fiction the exquisite corpse and talawa see the glory and writes reviews for the british theatre guide he has written one novel yer blues his novellas include sons of nervous lovers the true story of my alien abductions by adrian longton and he is the blogger behind he has also made several short films which are viewable on 4 cult cymru newsletter edition 1


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doing the write thing for writers fellow writers guild union learning rep angela graham is also one of cult cymru s trainers angela a respected tv producer and writer developed and delivers cult cymru s popular portfolio and pitching workshops she shares othniel s desire to make valuable training accessible to writers in wales i became a ulr because i believe in the worth of collective action and i wanted to help fellow writers access good and affordable training in wales says angela who was the development producer on bbc cymru wales major series the story of wales portfolio development helps people to recognise and assess their experience of work their career achievements and their ancillary skills then to develop good ways of showcasing these points presenting and pitching is an introduction to the basics of presenting information and pitching ideas or making bids ulrs priority is responding to members training needs and it was a suggestion from a guild member which led to angela arranging a specific two-day writing course one of our members alerted us to a course in england which offered taster courses to writers and creatives in a variety of fields so that they could make an informed choice on whether or not they wished to go further into the potential areas of work and invest money in further training explains angela nothing like this existed in wales so through working with the tutor graham hartill who specializes in therapeutic writing and cult cymru we developed and organised a two day writing in therapeutic community settings workshop we hope to organise a similar course about working as a writer in communities but from a different perspective i.e villages and interest groups about angela graham angela graham is a documentary-maker with 30 years experience making programmes for channel 4 s4c bbc and itv she is a professional tutor in documentary-making at cardiff university school of journalism a member of the wales media policy group and on the steering committee of creative exchange wales network which promotes collaboration between academia and business catching up with new technology and old friends the humphreys household is more than familiar with the busy and often unpredictable life of a freelancer as it has not one but two freelance camera people under its roof husband and wife ifor and mari humphreys from llanfairpwll on ynys môn are both busy freelancers whose work takes them all over the uk both went on the visit to bve north and media city and found the trip useful the bve is a great opportunity to see what equipment is out there and what new technology has been developed says ifor who has been freelancing since 1998 it was a great show this year a real eye-opener it was also great to meet up with the other freelancers on the trip which isn t something you do unless you re working together both ifor and mari humphreys have attended various courses organised by cult cymru including bectu s new creative industries health and safety passport crisp that is accredited by iosh and recognised by employers throughout the broadcasting film and arts and entertainment industries that was really useful says mari often the courses are ones you need and the ones you should be doing anyway but the incentive is stronger for you to commit to a course if it s run by your union 5


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boosting confidence to work bilingually one element runs through all of cult cymru s activities and that s the real need for them from union members in order to find out where there are training gaps cult cymru has regular consultation and contact with union members it was during one of these sessions with the cast and crew of s4c s rownd a rownd series that equity member emyr gibson suggested the need for a specific course tailored for welsh actors siân cult cymru s project manager came to speak to rownd a rownd s cast and crew to explain the aim of the project and to consult with us on what courses we could find useful says emyr who is familiar to thousands of viewers as meical in the popular s4c series there is a situation here in wales where so many of us actors have only worked through the medium of welsh and subsequently there is a real lack of confidence among many of us to go for english language roles emyr believes that everything should be done to give welsh actors the best possible opportunity to find work in welsh and english which in his view is more important now than ever as many struggle to find work his suggestion resulted in working with cult cymru in organising a course in caernarfon with director and voice coach joan mills the course was great enthuses emyr and working with someone of joan mills knowledge and experience was amazing we worked hard on the confidence issue and the great lesson i learnt was unless there is a specific accent that s crucial to the role it s the words that are important and by concentrating solely on the words accent is irrelevant the strange thing was as i focussed achieving highlights in hair and make-up welsh independent feature film panic button premiered on sky movies last year this was victoria northbrooke s first feature film as hair and makeup designer it was a significant part of a developing career in which according to victoria cult cymru has played a pivotal role having joined bectu freelance hair and make-up artist victoria was introduced to cult cymru by claire williams her union learning rep for make-up and hair recognising how fiercely competitive the film and media industry is victoria embarked on a series of courses hoping to gain an 6 cult cymru newsletter edition 1


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completely on the words my accent became less prominent somehow what i was saying was more important than how i was saying it we also worked on the varying aspects of the voice and what i learnt that day i now have to put into action and i know that the others who attended the course got as much out of it as i did there are few people as experienced in directing and voice coaching as joan mills she has worked as a theatre director voice practitioner and performer for more than 40 years and has directed and taught at the royal court theatre the royal welsh college of music and drama and dartington college of arts currently the fellow in voice and performance at tfts aberystwyth university she explains how she approached the work for the actors workshop and how it s all about the word and not the accent and about emotion as well as technique first we discussed the needs of the group and why people were there we discussed the `acoustic geography idea and how one s `heart language is deeply connected to identity we discussed fears of not being understood of sounding in our own heads as inauthentic when `tidying up or reducing our accent lots of people do not use their full creative and expressive ability because various inhibitions prevent them fulfilling their true vocal potential and that s terribly sad i suggested that the real need might be to connect with english through the work on the texts and their rich language so the actor can play specifically and from a deep clear impulse rather than from working inwards having begun to form external anxiety about the accent it was very rewarding to work with this group of actors and know that they found the work we did together helped build their confidence for me it was also stimulating as it presented interesting challenges around exploring emotion voice and language as well as issues such as the relationship between accent class culture and stereotypical casting in the theatre edge by arming herself with the latest techniques marketing skills and contacts i ve had some tremendous training opportunities in the last two years thanks to cult cymru says victoria who lives in pontypridd the cv and portfolio development workshops were hugely beneficial as was the marketing and promotion workshop the latter gave me the confidence to develop my own website which has had a very significant impact in terms of showcasing my work to producers and it played a vital part in my recent signing with a london agent and securing an interview with craft and tech and oscar-winning hair designer jan archibald i also was extremely fortunate last year to gain a placement on the feature film how i live now victoria also attended the laying on of hair for hd course with ken lintott which was a personal highlight for her the course was identified by former bectu union learning rep ros wilkins who liaised with ken and her colleagues about the course content the course itself was organised by cult cymru who helped members access skillset s freelance bursary to help pay some of the course costs ken is the absolute master of wigs and facial hair application explains victoria he has worked with some of the hollywood greats including elizabeth taylor and also created the looks for hagrid and dumbledore in harry potter to have the opportunity to train with such an incredible master was an absolute dream come true for me i found the networking event at the bbc studios at roath lock immensely useful too meeting the producers of casualty pobol y cwm and doctor who i m in no doubt that cult cymru has a very real impact empowering freelancers here in wales 7


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here s a list of some of the courses already run by cult cymru visit to view our current activities and to complete our learning survey to enable us to plan future activities activities cult cymru activities general · project management · preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector ptlls · adobe photoshop for beginners · industry awareness for lecturers students · digital photography · digital media for freelancers · neuro linguistic programming · web design · welsh language taster course · bbc wales drama speednetworking · redundancy support · assertiveness workshop business skills workshops · improving your cv · finance 4 creative freelancers · marketing promotion · marketing promoting yourself online · social media roadshow · portfolio development · pitching your ideas · first aid at work 3 days 1 day workshops · creative industries safety passport · freelance survival thinking outside the box · agents who needs them · the rights stuff · introduction to employment in the creative industry · speed networking skills craft specific workshops · improvisation for the stand up · working in english voice workshop · home recording masterclass · keyboard masterclass · meet the managers sn fest · money the music finances funding sn fest · what s the deal with the digitals sn fest · final draft software for script writers · writing in community settings · 1 day sound course advanced outboard equipment · from idea to edit self shooting and editing · electricity in the entertainment environment · introduction to sound · adobe illustrator cs5 · introduction to autocad · cad4theatre · stage lighting production electrics · rigging for the entertainment industry · final draft · movie magic · pyrotechnics · camera/lighting for drama · shooting with large format cameras · make-up hair prosthetics laying on of hair special fx period hairdressing barbering events · cult cymru fair y galeri caernarfon 2010 · cult cymru fair newport university 2012 · live local ­ think global bangor university management centre 2013 written by mari williams designed by mwnci bach 029 2055 4601 @cult_cymru cult-cymru project manager 029 2032 2582 siân gale project co-ordinator 029 2055 4601 beth roberts 8 cult cymru w0007 t oldfield llantrisant rd llandaff cardiff cf5 2yq cult cymru newsletter edition 1



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