To celebrate the tenth anniversary of It's My Shout, we look back see how it developed from a one-off community project to an award-winning film and television training scheme.
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It's My Shout is a unique film training scheme in Wales.
It supports upcoming actors, writers, directors and crew
in the production of short films for television.
The scheme has been running for ten years, and more than 9,000 trainees
have now taken part in the production of over 60 short films.
Today, hundreds of former trainees are working in the industry,
both in front of and behind the camera.
This is the story of It's My Shout.
In 2003, Roger Burnell was Director of Theatre for Bridgend Council.
He launched a project for local young people to express themselves
through making a short film.
I'm going down Black Stream.
Anyone want to come with me?
I did feel that film might be a way to engage with these young people.
The people who were working with me at that time felt that they'd
probably want to deal with issues.
It could be, it was,
um, loneliness or drugs,
but they wanted to tell a story
and they wanted to create a story they wanted to create characters.
They wanted to create a sense of excitement and drama.
The result was a film called Down about a boy's quest
to solve the mystery behind his friend's disappearance.
Emma Housley was one of Down's leading cast members.
It's been nearly two weeks.
She's now performing on London's West End.
I played the part of Sian who was a friend of the two people,
the girl that was murdered
and the young boy that was trying to find out what happened.
But there was one line that continues to stick with me.
It's basically I'm walking with the lead character, the young boy,
and the line is, "It's just not right, is it?"
But back then, with my accent being a lot stronger, it came out...
STRONG WELSH ACCENT: "It's just not right, is it?"
So, will you come with me, then?
No way, sorry, Alex.
It's just not right, is it?
The general feel of the whole project,
I just remember it being really exciting and really fun,
and everyone couldn't wait to do it
and couldn't wait to get to the next stage of the project.
Since Down, I obviously carried on at school to my A Levels,
but then after that, I studied at the Arts Educational School in London
and then got into the Wizard Of Oz which is the job I'm doing now
and I'm first cover Dorothy, but when I'm not playing Dorothy,
I'm a Munchkin and I'm in Emerald City and, you know, doing everything,
back stage singing and everything like that. It's really great!
Liam Riddick also took part in Down.
He's currently rehearsing for a national tour with
the Richard Alston Dance Company.
I'd never been on a film set, on that kind of environment before,
and even though I remember it being quite, not low key, but quite small,
but I was fascinated to see all the cameras and the locations
and everything taken from the piece of paper and put into real life.
That's the best memory I think I take away.
Like, forget the film and everything, to be a part of the making of it
and the creation was the best bit for me.
Yeah, I think that's probably why it worked.
They wanted to just tell their story as a story.
You shouldn't go to new talent and young talent and tell them
how to do something.
That should come from them.
The following year, the project grew to make three more short films
with young people throughout Bridgend.
It's midnight, the witching hour.
They've drunk their love potions,
and now it's time to cast their spells on their victims.
Amy Morgan first became involved in 2004
and is now working on London's West End.
Let me get this right, you're looking for a husband?
Yes, that's correct.
So why have you come here?
I was never one of those people that said,
"Ooh, I've always wanted to be an actress."
I actually wanted to be an air hostess and then I found out that
I was too short to ever be an air hostess and so gave up on that one.
I remember Roger Burnell who runs the Bridgend Youth Theatre as well
asking a couple of us if we wanted to audition for these short films?
"Yeah, OK, fine, great, sounds brilliant."
I remember that first one that I did was Bettws Pastie,
which was very interesting, and it was like a teenage party
and I remember it was the first set that I'd ever been on,
and it was incredible.
You just didn't want to touch anything,
but everything was disgusting, cos it was a party.
The props lady had done cigarettes stubbed out in beer cans,
and you were like, "Oh, God, this is brilliant but disgusting."
And, yeah, I remember being given one line.
That was a lot of pressure at the time. Didn't want to get it wrong.
Probably did get it wrong a couple of times.
-Is it true what Lindsay said?
About you and that maths teacher. Slag!
I think I did three films with It's My Shout.
Maybe one or two more,
because I always had little bits here and there,
or Roger would call up and say,
"Can you do this cos someone can't do it?" or whatever,
so I think it was three.
And one of those I did
when I was still training at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff.
Since leaving drama school I've done some BBC Wales productions.
I did a thing called Baker Boys, that was on. I did two series of that.
Rob, you're alive.
Was the last time I looked, yeah.
We've all been so worried, about Valley Bara and you obviously.
-Obviously. Is he in?
-Er, not yet.
There were 419 calls while you were away.
I took messages.
And I've done a lot of theatre actually.
The last couple of plays I've done has been in London which is nice.
It's My Shout was absolutely invaluable to me in terms of
the discipline on set and etiquette on set and things like that.
I seemed to have much more of a head start.
Me and the couple of people in my year group at Welsh College,
when we were doing our TV project, we knew so much more
than we thought we knew, and that people were telling us things
that we already knew and we didn't even realise we had that knowledge.
It was already in us from what we'd done with It's My Shout.
You know, we all had big ambitions for the film scheme.
I know Rog always had big ambitions for it.
He really saw it going as far as it possibly could which was brilliant.
The scheme became known as It's My Shout
giving a voice and opportunity for young people to develop talents,
whether in front of or behind the camera.
Griff Rowland directed
It's My Shout's first Welsh language film in 2004.
Today he's a director on Coronation Street.
Well I'd been doing a lot of documentary work at BBC Wales
for a good few years.
I had trained in drama in theory and practice
at Central School of Speech and Drama
and, to be honest, I wanted to go back to direct drama for television.
And so it was quite a bit of a jump,
because people like to just pigeonhole you as just one thing.
A documentary maker or a drama director or comedy,
and I just had to make that jump.
My short film that I'd done for Roger, and It's My Shout
led me to my first professional gig, if you like, as a drama director
working on Cowbois ac Injans for S4C.
At the moment, I'm now directing Coronation Street.
This is my 51st episode and then once I've finished this block,
I'm going to do the Christmas Day episode, so I'm thrilled.
I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now if it wasn't for having done
that short film, so I know it's absolutely instrumental in that
jump I wanted in my career and the change of direction.
Year on year, the scheme expanded into more communities
across South and West Wales.
Sony has been It's My Shout's biggest supporter throughout.
The growth of It's My Shout is very impressive growth,
starting from something that was a local theme with local people,
and now we're starting to put people on a much wider scale,
growing it to the size of covering all of Wales reaching out to far more
communities than just Bridgend, so it's an absolutely tremendous scheme
that's grown probably much more than I envisaged from the very beginning.
It's My Shout's main broadcast sponsor is now BBC Wales who offer
industry guidance and a broadcast platform for all the films.
For many people, television production, filmmaking can feel
outside, beyond their grasp,
and I think It's My Shout gives people the confidence to make
the connections to stand that little bit taller in those conversations
and with a conviction that they have something valuable to say or do.
It's really important in television that the range of perspectives,
the range of voices,
that take part in production come from the widest possible field.
You know, the BBC is owned by the licence fee payer.
It's owned by every community across Wales, and it's important that
every community across Wales believes it has the right to be able
to think about participating in television production
and know those avenues are open to everybody and not just the few.
Since 2006, the scheme has produced six films each summer
in partnership with schools, colleges
and local authorities across Wales.
In 2011, it reached Bangor, in North Wales, where it filmed ABC Dad.
I could help you learn if you want.
At the time it was something that was more to do with down in Bridgend,
and I was lucky enough to be living locally.
I live in Cardiff, but I come from Bangor,
and now that It's My Shout has gone to North Wales, I'm so pleased
to see North Wales films,
because, you know, it's part of Wales, you know.
I think last year's...so nice to see one location was the corner shop
next to my school that I went to, and it's great, because actually
the opportunity it gives people from all over Wales is really important,
because the voices of Wales come from each corner.
I think it's vital that we continue to look for the talent
and continue to develop the talent
that might otherwise be lying dormant.
He thought I should be tough.
Justin Davies had never acted before playing the lead role
in the 2010 film, Be A Man.
Well, the first time I heard about It's My Shout
is when they came to my school about two years ago now.
My drama teacher picked people who were doing well or OK in the subject
to go to a talk with Roger, and he told us all about It's My Shout,
and then Roger was doing like a workshop with us then.
He was giving us scenarios.
I think it was the synopsis to one of the short films,
and we had to act it out how we would.
-The bus is well late.
-It always is. Is she looking?
We got asked to then go to an audition down in Bridgend,
and this was like, this was me and my mam's version of like,
"Oh, we're going to Hollywood!"
But really it was only like 40 miles down the M4,
but I can remember telling my friends that I went for an audition
down Bridgend for a short film on BBC Wales
and I was waiting for the call for quite some time.
Then I didn't hear nothing for quite a while, but funnily enough,
when I was out with my friends one day, I got a call off my mam,
who found out off Roger that I'd got one of the leading parts.
Go on, then! Stop him, then! Go on, get into him!
-Aye, break his legs!
That's it, yes, go on!
It was the first time we'd ever been on a television set
and it felt really weird,
cos it was in surroundings that we'd never been in before,
never seen the people before.
It was just quite a weird experience, because...
There was probably about 30 people crammed into a two-bedroom house
in the middle of Ebbw Vale, and you're thinking,
"Gosh, what are all these people here for?"
Everybody had a role to play,
whether it was in front of the camera or behind the camera.
It was really intense and amazing.
A couple of weeks after Be A Man came out, it was just nothing.
It was just like, "Oh, I've done that now, let's get on with life."
But then, I went into school one day and I got told
to go and see my drama teacher, and she said she had a phone call that
I've got an audition for Ruth Jones Sky One new programme, Stella.
Ben, I have made you, like a...
Yeah, go on.
I have made you a wheat...
..type of thing.
-She haven't done it.
-A wheat sheaf?
-The dress rehearsal's at four.
-I know. I'll bring it up the school.
-At three o'clock.
Even though two years does sound like a long time,
so much has happened it just feels like yesterday it all started.
And now we're currently in the middle of filming series two.
It's just mad how my life changed in such a short period of time.
The It's My Shout project gave him the opportunity to develop
and perhaps identify a career path
that he wouldn't have thought of before.
I think the whole thing about the It's My Shout project is
it has created opportunities for young people across the board.
We're sat here, in the middle of Six Bells in Blaenau Gwent,
and Blaenau Gwent has been continuously slated in the press
for being a deprived, depressed, run-down area.
But as you can see, it's not deprived,
it's not depressed, it's not run-down.
And the fact that It's My Shout has provided opportunities
for the young people of the area
to take part and to identify what their goals and dreams are
and, ultimately, to succeed,
I think is a testament to the project and what it's all about.
King Danny needed to rescue the old king from his dungeon.
Thomas Herbert got his first lead role in King Of The Castle in 2011.
Before doing It's My Shout,
I thought it was just people living out their lives,
and they just happened to be on a TV screen.
But then when I did It's My Shout, I was thinking,
you don't just live out your life.
There's a script and stuff, and you have to learn it.
Why aren't you eating any?
I'm just not hungry.
I'll save some chips, just in case you want them later.
Since It's My Shout, I got a part in a short film,
and I've done an advert,
which I had to have fake teeth for.
And then I did a Pets At Home advert.
Then I did Casualty.
Hey, Thomas! How you doing?
It was really fun working down in the BBC studio,
because I had my own dressing room,
and it was really cool.
Because there was a green room,
and you got to watch TV there whenever you liked.
Ryan Andrews and Keri Collins were trainee directors
and have recently finished work on their debut feature films.
When I directed Be A Man for It's My Shout,
that was the first time I'd worked under a BBC exec producer, directly,
and the first time I'd had to fit in
with the editorial guidelines of the BBC.
The process is different to making independent film.
That was the first time
I'd ever had to do that, which was an invaluable experience.
Before I'd worked on It's My Shout,
the products I'd been working on were music videos
or adverts or promotional work
or shorts I'd put together myself and worked with my own crew.
So it was great to go into more of a professional environment
where you're given a script to direct which isn't yours
and you know nothing about,
but you're chosen because of your directing style.
I was given a short called Family Picnic,
which was a really sweet short
about two kids that didn't have very loving parents.
And it was set pretty much in reality.
A normal kind of realist environment.
And what I thought I could give to that script
was set it in a different world.
So I set it in a steampunk world.
It's OK. I got it.
The short-film format is really, really tough.
It's a hard thing to do. It's an art in itself.
It's completely different from making feature films.
You have so much less time.
Generally, you have less money.
It's a really tough thing to do.
But short films offer such an important part
of any filmmaker's career,
because it's the only thing you can do to move on to feature films.
Because no-one will give you a six-figure sum to make a feature film
if you've never directed anything.
So as a first step for a director, it's brilliant,
because you're not only being supported,
but you get an end product that is a certain level, which everyone needs.
You have to start building your portfolio of projects
that exist within a reality of the industry.
And I think It's My Shout is a great one to do that.
And you work with the BBC, which is a really high level.
So on your CV, to have something that's been on the BBC
for your first port of call, is amazing.
Most of my peers have also applied for It's My Shout
or been through It's My Shout,
so it's kind of a rite of passage for a lot Welsh filmmakers.
I directed another short film called Fun Day,
which was selected for Raindance Film Festival.
And I'm now on the set of my first feature film, Convenience.
So, yeah, it's just taking further steps forward, really.
After I left the It's My Shout scheme
and I was lucky enough to win best director, it was really helpful,
because it all of a sudden put me in front of the Film Agency.
When the Film Agency had another scheme,
they asked me if I would like to put in a pitch.
And that led on to me doing another short,
and that short went down quite well.
What are you doing? What's happened?
That started building me a portfolio to show investors for my feature.
-Let me go.
Elfie Hopkins, my latest feature,
is going to cinemas next week, which is great.
And that's really my first, like, it's my first foot in the door.
Like It's My Shout was my first foot in the door to short films,
Elfie's my first foot in the door to features.
But every director needs a strong crew of talented people
in every department.
From camera and sound to makeup, costume and set design.
Helen O'Leary was a trainee
in the set design and props department back in 2008.
I hadn't considered TV or film before.
I'd set my sights on doing stuff in theatre.
So it was quite a good experience for me
and an eye-opener, really, doing It's My Shout.
The production designer, who was our mentor for the art department,
gave us one script as a little project each to be in charge of.
So you'd have to do the breakdown for that script,
then do the prop sourcing and then, on the day,
be in charge as our, you know, standby art director.
The Bulb, or Egin, which was my little baby,
it was about a boy in school who was getting bullied,
but as part of a science project,
they were each given a plant to look after.
The plant was like the hero prop in this,
so we had loads of these,
we bought loads and loads of repeats,
piled them up in the van, got them down there,
opened the van door, and they were like...
So someone's board had landed on top of these plants and flattened them.
So we had to do some quick repair jobs on them
and we brought them back to life.
Not magically but with a little bit of wire.
It was quite hairy for me, that experience,
because a few things did go wrong but...got it sorted.
And, yeah, I think that particular shoot
was the one where I thought,
"Yeah, I really want to do this. I like this, it's a good feeling."
So since It's My Shout, I've worked on Upstairs Downstairs
and Doctor Who in trainee capacity,
but since then, did standby props on Pobol last summer,
and now they've asked me back this time around to be art director,
which is what I'm doing now.
There might be cables down there,
so we'll have to be sure we can't see anything down there.
Specifically for me, It's My Shout
just gave me a little bit of insight into the industry
and put me in a position where I could meet other people
who were already doing it.
And then, subsequently, for me,
it did open up more opportunities further down the line.
Chris Jacobi was a camera trainee in 2011.
I'm a bit worried about the reflection because I can't see.
Um...well, I was at uni doing film production,
so I'd concentrated on cinematography throughout the three years,
so I knew that's what I wanted to go into.
Uni doesn't prepare you for what you need to learn when you're on set,
so all of that comes from experiences in the professional world.
I think, last year, the opening of Sweet Sixteen,
there was a very complicated shot,
where the main character is writing what she wants for her 16th birthday.
And we were on top of a roof, like, it was dark,
we had it lit, we had this really complicated shot
that started over her shoulder onto her hand, pull up, pull away.
And I was the one that had to do that shot.
And, I mean, it took about three takes to get it right,
and I think we got it. And that was a really good experience,
cos that was the first film we did,
and it was kind of like me controlling the shot
and getting it right,
and the satisfaction of a very complicated shot that paid off,
and it was used in the film.
From the outset, I've firmly been of the opinion
that the product needs to be as good as you can possibly make it.
Um...it's not enough just to give people an experience.
They need to have an experience that results in something
that they can take pride in.
And we can all take huge pride in what we've delivered over the years.
This year, It's My Shout won its third BAFTA Cymru award.
So, what's the birthday girl want to do today, then?
And the winner is...Sweet Sixteen!
I'd like to thank Roger and Kylie from It's My Shout Productions.
That's the short scheme that made all this possible.
And this summer, another six short films have been made.
Chris Jacobi has returned as cinematographer for three of them.
My role this year is director of photography,
so I'm in charge of, um...lighting,
camera angles, camera work
and obviously training or aiding the trainees I have on each shoot.
It's my first proper job as a DOP and it's getting broadcast national,
so it's nice to have that pressure to know you've got to up your game.
And all of this year's films were premiered at a special event.
Each year since the scheme began, a premiere and awards ceremony
has recognised the trainees' hard work and talent.
But never before has it been held in the iconic setting
of Cardiff Bay's Wales Millennium Centre
to an audience of 1,500 trainees and supporters.
Ten years ago, I remember the first awards event.
It was in a day, actually, in the Odeon cinema in Bridgend.
It went through the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl,
and tonight, here in the Wales Millennium Centre.
And it's great to see so many young people from around Wales taking part.
To be in the Millennium Centre, such...
well, an iconic building,
where so many amazing artists have performed,
says that...well, not only has it got an amazing presence,
but it also has a great potential for the future.
For me, it was a rollercoaster of emotion.
There was humour, there was such talent
in every bit of the production.
It was great that I was awarding sound engineer.
And the winner is...Joseph Barker.
All the best. I don't know what to say. I'm speechless.
-Thanks very much.
For me, these young people, every part of the team,
has got to be recognised.
I also, as a minister, feel that this is a really important scheme
and development I want to support.
It's brilliant. Two years ago, this is what got me into Stella.
It gave me the best opportunity in life.
Fantastic. Yeah. It's great.
There's verification that it's a scheme
that finds and nurtures new talent.
I wish it was going when I was started out.
The future is bright, but I promise you, the future is yours.
So be strong and go and chase it and well done, everybody, tonight.
I'm presenting Best Supporting Actor. What are you presenting?
-Well, that tells you something doesn't it, eh?
That tells you something.
I think the talent's always been there,
but it's the opportunity for the talent to show itself.
It's all very well having talented people,
but if they never have the chance to actually show how talented they are,
then, of course, they're lost.
But it's because of It's My Shout
that that talent has the chance to flourish.
Tonight, a special achievement award
recognises that talent in Aneurin Barnard.
Since leaving It's My Shout, he has won a Laurence Olivier Award
for his role in the West End production of Spring Awakening
and has starred in Hollywood films,
including Mariah Mundi And The Midas Box.
For BBC Four, he played photographer David Bailey
-in We'll Take Manhattan.
This is a bit mental.
I feel a bit young to be taking one of these awards.
I feel like I need another 50 years
before I can stand here and hold it, but I will treasure it.
It's, um...it's overwhelming.
Knowing where this come from, from Roger.
Mr B, as the pupils know him.
Without him, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing,
and a lot of other people wouldn't be doing it either.
And this night here, wouldn't be here for definite.
So a personal thank you, Roger.
And a special award for Roger
recognises how much he has done to develop a scheme
that continues to enrich the lives and careers
of young people across Wales.
I hope that everybody here joins with me
in celebrating what all these people have done.
Thanks to everybody who's come.
This is obviously one of the nights of my life,
and I hope that you've shared in something
which is hopefully going to be important to all these young people.
I think, you know, and hope, I think it will grow,
but I hope that it will just devour the UK.
Let's get everyone involved.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of It's My Shout, we look back over the years to see how it has developed from a one-off community project in 2003 to becoming an award-winning film and television training scheme, that now works with communities right across Wales.
We catch up with trainees who have taken part across the years - from some of the very first young actors who are now starring in Hollywood and the West End, to the directors who have just launched their first feature films - and hear about their experiences of taking part in the scheme and how it has helped them to develop successful careers within the creative industries.