Whilst the glamour of London’s media industry can be contagious, we’re seeing a growing hive of creative activity, talent and investment right here in the Midlands – all breaking the myth that you have to move to London to become a success in the media industry.
‘Brummiewood’ hall of fame
In the last decade, the Midlands has seen lots of attention from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hardy and Helena Bonham Carter. The region has become a filming hotspot for blockbusters such as, ‘Ready Player One’, as well as car chase scenes for ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’, starring Channing Tatum.
Bollywood also took a bite out of Birmingham, when legendary actor Dharmendra and his two sons came to shoot part of their comedy sequel, Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, which generated almost £2.5m for the local economy, according to the BBC.
More recently, the success of Peaky Blinders (a BBC crime drama set in Birmingham) has put the spotlight on the Midlands, as a creative hub for film and TV production. The shows creator, Steven Knight CBE is a proud Brummie and is eager to create opportunities for his home city. In an interview with Birmingham Live, he said: “The film and television industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. The most important thing is that we create jobs for people in city- and not just technical media roles.”
Investing in the future of Midlands media
HS2, the Commonwealth Games and Coventry’s ‘City of Culture’ title, are just some of the accolades the region has amassed. The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has made a conscious effort to invest in our cities through media and in a new report, proposes a £61m investment into a ‘Creative Quarter’, which will no doubt attract lots of famous faces to the region!
The ‘Peaky Blinders’ creator is another investor and announced the launch of a multi-million pound media village in the heart of Birmingham- complete with film and TV studios. Within the village he hopes for a Victorian style cobbled street with actual shops and restaurants, when not in use for filming. Netflix has already shown interest in the studios.
The BBC has also committed to becoming more representative of the country after the London-base came under fire for essentially hogging the country’s talent. Currently, the broadcaster giant has around half of its employees around the country, but Tony Hall, the BBC boss announced that he hopes to increase this to two-thirds by 2027.
Talent Vs. Experience
Whilst having a creative eye for any media role is key, nothing can replace a portfolio of practical experience. Lucky for you, nobody understands that quite like the Midlands media industry.
Media companies like Made in Birmingham TV (local news and lifestyle station), Blue Hippo Media (filmmaker) and Yamination Studios (animation) are seeing the value in developing homegrown talent. The Custard Factory animation studio for example, provides local students an opportunity to get hands on experience in animation.
Media graduates in the region also agree, with one stating: “Two out of three of my placements were in Birmingham. So its important to note that whilst there are recognised biases in the industry, work is not completely restricted to London!”
Like its residents, the Midlands media industry is very young, but the potential for growth is beyond transparent. It has culminated a community of talent and expertise, for you to join when you are ready.
Whether its Lights, Camera or Action, Walsall College can provide you with the qualifications AND experience to make your mark in the industry. We have a full media suite complete with industry standard cameras, a green room and more.