Prime Video is once again increasing investment in the UK creative industries, announcing the second phase of its Prime Video Pathway training initiative. Prime Video has added the London Screen Academy (LSA) and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) to the growing list of organisations receiving funding as part of an initiative designed to open up access to jobs in the TV and film industry across the UK.
LSA, the UK’s only free sixth form academy for students wanting to learn all the skills required for a career within the film and television industries, will receive £750,000 over the next three years, beginning this academic year (from September 2022). The funding will support the Academy in offering University of the Arts London (UAL) Level 3 and Level 4 courses to approximately 700 students at its state-of-the-art north London campus. The mission of LSA is to diversify the screen industries and make sure that all young people, regardless of background, have access to opportunities within the screen industries. Extensive outreach work is carried out to ensure the Academy reaches young people from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in film and television.
The RCS will also receive funding from Prime Video for the next three years to support four students on its BA production programmes. Established in 1847 and celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2022, RCS is consistently recognised as a global leader in performing arts education. Based in Glasgow and with students from 63 countries internationally, it offers specialist training across music, drama, dance, production, film, and education. From September, two Scottish students on the BA Production Arts and Design programme and two students on the BA Production Technology and Management programme will receive financial support for the duration of their studies at RCS.
Growing and diversifying the UK’s film and television talent pool is a key focus as we continue to produce more Original projects in the UK.
Announced earlier this year, Prime Video Pathway is a first-of-its-kind, multifaceted training initiative designed to open up access to jobs in the TV and film industry across the UK. Committing to spend £10 million across three years, Prime Video previously announced a flagship collaboration with the UK’s leading TV and film school, the National Film & Television School (NFTS) to open up access to careers in film and television as part of a new Prime Video Craft Academy, which is open to applications via the NFTS website until midnight on 15 September 2022.
The Academy is initially offering up to 25 people able to travel to either its Beaconsfield or Glasgow campuses a paid traineeship in a craft specialism within physical production (production, art department, location scouting, camera, sound, and accounting) through the opportunity to work on either a UK-produced Amazon Original series or on another Prime Video or Amazon Studios production, as well as world-class training at the NFTS.
Integral to the Academy is its commitment to investing in training across the UK, with at least 50% of participants coming from outside of London. A key sponsor of the NFTS, Prime Video is also funding and co-programming two courses being delivered by the NFTS as part of Prime Video Pathway. The Prime Video Directors Workshop, designed specifically to increase the number of people from underrepresented groups working in screen directing, welcomed a new intake of six students in May 2022 due to this funding, and the Post Production Supervision Certificate, which now runs twice yearly thanks to this funding, will see a new intake of 15 students starting on the course in September 2022, with applications now open via the NFTS website for the January 2023 intake.
“Growing and diversifying the UK’s film and television talent pool is a key focus as we continue to produce more Original projects in the UK,” said Dan Grabiner, Head of UK Originals, Amazon Studios. “It is a privilege to have fantastic collaborators like the National Film & Television School onboard for Prime Video Pathway, and today we’re delighted to add the London Screen Academy and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to the programme. I encourage all those with a passion for storytelling and the craft of TV and film, regardless of your background or experience, to consider Pathway as you plan your next step in the industry.”
"The London Screen Academy was born out of a desire to address the need for a more inclusive and diverse industry,” said Charlie Kennard, Principal, London Screen Academy. “What sets LSA apart is the partnerships we build with organisations embedded within the industry, and the commitment from Amazon will be transformative to our students. This three-year partnership will allow us to continue to grow a school unlike any other in the UK, building the next generation of storytellers."
“This is such an exciting time for the film and TV industry, with enormous career opportunities for artists and creative producers from across the performing arts,” said Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. “We’re delighted to be working with Prime Video to nurture the next generation of technical and creative talent through the Production Arts and Design and Production Technology and Management degree programmes. In recognising the critical importance of highly skilled technicians and creative producers to the future success of film and TV, Prime Video is opening the door of possibilities and world-class training at RCS to a diverse range of young people who might not otherwise have this opportunity.”
The £10 million Prime Video Pathway programme encompasses the new commitments outlined today as well as the first phase of the scheme which was made up of the above-mentioned NFTS projects along with a variety of different initiatives, including the establishing of stepping-up schemes into UK-produced Amazon Original Series.
The first phase of the scheme also included Prime Video becoming the lead sponsor on ScreenSkills’ recently announced flexi-job apprenticeship project, funding half of the 40 apprentices now recruited and already in placements, with the remainder starting in industry roles as broadcast production assistants, assistant production accountants, production coordinators, and assistant editors later this year. Prime Video also increased its commitment to apprenticeships in-house, with more than 30 apprenticeship roles now open, including content producers, broadcast assistants, and marketing executives, as part of Amazon UK’s 2022 expansion of its apprenticeship programme.
Prime Video Pathway aligns with Amazon Studios’ strategy of expanding its production footprint in the UK whilst ensuring a diverse talent pipeline is developed and sustained for long-term industry need. This announcement follows Prime Video’s first long-term commitment to studio space in the UK through its landmark deal with Pinewood Group to take production facilities at Shepperton Studios as production on Original series ramps up across the UK, with 2022 and 2023 seeing the largest number of UK Original series launching to date. These include The Devil’s Hour, a six-part thriller series produced by Hartswood Films starring Jessica Raine and Peter Capaldi; Jungle, a grime and drill music drama series from first-time TV producers Nothing Lost; The Rig, Wild Mercury’s six-part epic thriller series starring Martin Compston and Emily Hampshire; and Mammals, a six-part comedy-drama series written by Jez Butterworth and starring James Corden and Sally Hawkins.
Read more about Prime Video’s investment in the UK.