Hammerlake Studios is hosting a public information night tomorrow night, Tuesday, September 13, for local residents who may be considering a career in film production.
The public information evening will take place at the Mullingar Library at 6 p.m.
Hammerlake Studios has received approval in principle to build what will become Ireland’s largest film studio campus, on a 25-acre site at Lough Sheever Corporate Park, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. When completed, it is expected to create a minimum of 1,000 production jobs.
The management team at Hammerlake Studios aims to recruit around 30% of all studio production staff from the wider Mullingar area, which over time is expected to increase as Mullingar becomes a center of expertise cinema in Ireland.
Leading figures from the Irish film and television production industry will be on hand in the evening to provide career information on the wide range of entry roles and training opportunities now available to the local Co community. Westmeath.
For new entrants, a range of short-term training programs are already available through Screen Ireland, with the help of the newly created regional training centres. (Information available at: https://www.screenireland.ie/skills)
During the public information evening, newcomers will be encouraged to identify the area or department that interests them the most. They will then receive key information, including points of contact, working conditions, pay rates and potential next steps.
Put a foot in the door
Speaking ahead of the info night, Tom Dowling of Hammerlake Studios said:
“There are several reasons why we have seen such an explosion in the development of film studios in Ireland in recent years. A change in the way films or programs can be viewed – in cinemas, on television , on your phone or on a tablet with streaming platforms like Netflix, Apple or Amazon. You can have a family of five who simultaneously watches five different shows in the same house. This has led to the need for more content. Plus, changes in camera technology mean that editing and releasing new content is processed much faster, so we need more film studio campuses to produce that content and there’s a greater greater demand for skills in the industry than ever before.
Career change and transferable skills
According to Mr. Dowling: “It’s well documented that one of the hardest parts of getting started in the film industry is getting that first job. The general perception may be that the film industry is inaccessible to most people. The good news is that some professional roles lend themselves to a transfer to the film industry. For example, administrative work can be transferred to production management roles. If you’re a carpenter, painter, or rigger, there are roles in set construction, and you can transfer to the art department if you’re trained as an architect. Accounting technicians, even with limited qualifications, could easily fit into the accounting department.
“Directors in theater roles are very similar to assistant directors in film. We also aim to encourage stay-at-home moms or dads who left a profession in the early years of childcare and are now ready to re-enter the workforce.
“We have not yet started construction on Hammerlake Studios. However, for the time being, part of our attention will now be focused on how we will find the team for the various roles in the new studio. Therefore, we look forward to welcoming people to our careers evening next Tuesday and providing some introductory information on the type of roles and career training available to people at Westmeath.