Lights, camera, action!

"The sessions I've been involved in have been very practical so you know that students are going to come across to industry with useful, tangible skills."

Barry Hart, Executive Producer

A top television producer is working with students in Staffordshire University's start-of-the art TV Studios this month.

Barry Hart, an Executive Producer currently working for BBC Studios, is spending two weeks helping students as they produce and shoot programmes for their Television Studio module.

Over the past 15 years, Barry has worked on a variety of major entertainment shows for ITV, BBC ONE and Channel 4. This month, Barry is producing ITV's primetime Christmas studio quiz show with the Coronation Street and Emmerdale cast.

Gemma Robinson, studying BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology, is acting as Floor Manager on a music quiz filmed live with a presenter and contestants for the assessment.

She explained: “This is the first time that we've worked in the TV studio so it's reassuring that we've got people around who we can ask questions. It's great to have someone like Barry who is actually in the industry to give us feedback.”

“Doing this feels professional, it feels real. Working behind the camera is what I want to do when I graduate and I think this really helps.”

Staffordshire University's Cadman Studios opened last year as part of the £40m campus transformation and features an industry-standard TV studio and production gallery.

Barry said: “The resources here are fantastic - the facilities that I've seen marry up to a lot of the facilities we use in industry. The sessions I've been involved in have been very practical so you know that students are going to come across to industry with useful, tangible skills.”

“I think to make these early connections is beneficial both to students and to industry. Lots of graduates who come to us don’t have industry experience at all and they don’t have the practical experience like Staffs graduates do.”

This is the second year that Barry has joined classes with Associate Professor of Film Technology Fiona Graham who introduced the Television Studio modules to Staffordshire University over ten years ago. Fiona has worked with the BBC in London on programmes including Crimewatch and as a Producer at ITV television studios including Glasgow and Nottingham.

She said: “Barry helps students refine their TV studio work and perfect what is wanted from television commissioners today. His input direct from industry shows how we aim to help our students learn from the very best.”

BSc Hons Film Production Technology graduates have gone onto work on top series including BBC Strictly Come Dancing, ITV's Britain's Got Talent, ITV's X Factor, ITV's Cold Feet and a range of BBC programmes including drama with Merlin and various entertainment series.

Fiona added: “I believe our practical style teaching and learning has a direct impact on student employability. It's real world teaching and we hope to continue collaborating with Barry and others in the future.”

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Amy Platts
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