Over the past 18 months Eski and MetFilm School Leeds have forged a mutually beneficial relationship that has led to some innovative filmmaking with young talent in the North of England.
Thanks to very brilliant Lucy Francis, Programme Leader in Acting for Screen, we have worked with a dozen young actors and even found a highly talented writing partner for the drama series we have created for secondary schools across the country.
Sometimes the stars align, as Lucy Musgrave our Marketing Support explains:
“At a recent event held at Met Film School in Leeds, I had the privilege of meeting some of the talented young actors who have helped, and continue to help, shape one of Eski’s newest and biggest endeavours.
Circle North is a brand-new interactive drama series developed to provide a relatable and engaging way for young people to learn about a range of social topics. It is proving to be a great way for secondary school students to learn about different issues happening in our society, helping to ensure they are prepared for a range of difficult situations.
After a lot of hard work and dedication from John and the Eski team in developing everything from the initial ideas to scripts and branding work – it was time for our actors to bring Circle North to life.
After going through many applications, we were very impressed by the standard presented by many of the MetFilm School students. And now – those students play some of Circle North’s biggest parts.
Being Eski’s first series production of this scale, it was important that actors held the skills needed to work on a live set with a film crew and lengthy scripts, to deal with sensitive topics, and to work alongside lots of other actors. The cast exceeded our expectations. We are so proud of how far the MetFilm students have come since we first started filming Circle North, and you can truly see improvement in not only skills, but also confidence.
We took a trip to MetFilm School Leeds campus to screen a couple of Circle North episodes to some the new first year acting students, whilst having a chat with some of the talented young people who were involved.
Working with MetFilm on Circle North has certainly been a positive experience for us, and it was great to hear from the actors themselves how working on Circle North has benefited them.
At the special screening, Circle North creator and Managing Director of Eski John Gilbert took to the stage to chat with the actors we’ve collaborated with over the past few months in what was for some, their first paid acting jobs.
Olive, who plays Jess in the episode “Controlled”, told us how she had never been on a live set before, making Circle North an invaluable opportunity to experience a taste of what it’s like to work as an actor. She had nothing but positive things to say about the knowledge she had gained working with Eski, explaining how although coming on to a new set can be daunting and a lot to take in, a friendly hard-working team (and LOTS of repetition) makes filming enjoyable!
Speaking of enjoyable, Jack who plays Tommo in “Unwanted” told the audience that Circle North was the ‘best experience of his life’. Not much can top that!
Hugie and Alex who play Ben and Kian, starring in all the Circle North episodes explained to the audience what an exciting experience this has been – and it was clear that they both hoped Circle North filming would continue into the future (which is great to hear!).
They discussed how the single shot style for the latest episode was a new kind of challenge to remember all lines and direction, though is something they’ll never forget.
Rowan, who has co-written most of the episodes explained how she had grown into confidence as she has help shaped the characters to go beyond stereotype and into real people that young audiences will relate to. John praised her superior abilities to write for young people and even acknowledged that as well as producing exceptional work she is the fastest writer he has ever worked with!
Working with MetFilm has helped us in producing something that is currently being shown in secondary schools across the country, and we hope that everyone involved is very proud of what they have achieved and the impact we are making.
Long may this positive working relation continue!
You can learn more about MetFilm School here.
View and access a free trial of Circle North here.