Insights from Hollywood: My experience of the Future Creative Programme

Charlie Scott Dawson, a contemporary filmmaking graduate from the Seaboard villages near Tain, shares his experience of taking part in the FutureCreative programme last year.

Provided through a collaboration between XpoNorth Digital and UHI, the programme connects creative, heritage and digital students with professional networks and opportunities.

Why did you sign up to the programme?

Ever since I was a kid my goal has been to become a filmmaker. I’ve been studying filmmaking since high school. I’ve got a GCSE in film, a Foundation Degree in digital arts and recently completed a BA (Hons) in contemporary filmmaking with UHI.

It often feels like opportunities within the film industry are few and far between in the Highlands so, when I saw a chance to not only get my foot in the door but also to develop my skills, relationships and career, I knew I had to take it.

What did you gain from it?

The programme really effective at reassuring me that it’s good to have your own ideas and to make yourself stand out as an artist. I found it to be informative and thought provoking.

I realised the importance of communication, of being able to communicate my ideas or intentions clearly and I also gained a level of confidence. I used to be unsure whether I could call myself a filmmaker, even after graduating. The programme has helped me establish that I can.

How did you find working with Hollywood producer Jason Lust?

Jason is a really interesting artist with a unique train of thought. He’s honest. He explained that he doesn’t have the secret answer to get into the industry. I liked that honesty. I like listening to what he thinks of the industry and how it works. He doesn’t tell you how to think as an artist, he wants you to find your voice. I found that to be so refreshing in an industry that, to me, prioritises already established intellectual properties over original works. He’s an artist for the artists.

Would you recommend others to sign up?

Absolutely. It’s an opportunity worth taking to learn new skills and meet new people. Take the chance, join the programme and get out there!

Do you have exciting plans on the horizon?

Yes, I’ll be continuing to produce films and taking part in the Jason Lust mentorship programme. I’m excited to develop my filmmaking skills and confidence as I move out into the industry. I also hope to continue my studies at a later date.

Find out more about the Future Creative programme here


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