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From Film Bang to Filming Boom: Fifty Years of Career Development Strategies in the Scottish Screen Production Sector

Correia, Nelson



This paper demonstrates how the Scottish film and television production sector has evolved during the last half-century and discusses the strategies of Scottish-based freelancers to sustain and advance their careers. In the mid-1970s screen production in Scotland was limited and the local freelance workforce consisted of no more than seventy individuals across creative and technical roles. Keen to venture into bigger budget projects, freelancers came together to launch the Film Bang manifesto, campaigning for more funding and institutional support. This ignited a series of transformations in the local sector. Since then, screen production in Scotland has significantly expanded and diversified, with the country experiencing an unprecedented boom in filming activity in recent years thanks to the increased demand for high-end television content for the global streaming market. Based on analysis of career biographies and historical data from the annual Film Bang directory of Scottish-based freelance crew personnel, the paper describes how particular policies and developments over the years have helped with the training, skills diversification, and expansion of the Scottish-based freelance pool. The paper also draws on data from oral history interviews with freelance technicians employed in the local sector in the last few decades to understand how they managed to establish long-lasting careers while negotiating the challenges and opportunities of the times, brought by changes in sectoral policies, funding, and institutions. Overall, the paper will contribute to broader understanding of talent development strategies and career sustainability in screen production sectors of small nations and regions.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 12th BAFTSS Conference (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies) 2024
Start Date Apr 3, 2024
End Date Apr 5, 2024
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2024
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