Students work with film crews on Amazon, Apple and Netflix productions

Barking and Dagenham College students had placements at film studios in the borough

Barking and Dagenham College students are Demar Bellamy-Foster, Afridjan Bracaj and Jasmine Mustafa on the sofa being interviewed by Joshua Rodwell. - Credit: Hollie Young

Barking and Dagenham College (BDC) students gained an insight into Hollywood this summer, helping out film crews working on productions by Amazon, Apple and Netflix.

Their placement with the media giants was thanks to an education and training endowment fund set up by Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group (HCP-MBS), the new owners and operators of Eastbrook Studios in Dagenham and The Wharf Studios in Barking.

One of the students, Mohammed Hussain, 20, from Ilford, said: "We had a fantastic time at Warner Bros and were put up in a hotel for six weeks on a salary - pretty good going for a summer job!"

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, with students on a film set.

Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell, visited the students during their placement. - Credit: Jimmy Lee Photography

His classmate Demar Bellamy-Foster, also 20 and from Ilford, added: “We were super excited and we’re super proud to be a part of an experience like this."

Dagenham 18-year-old Carla Kelleher said: "We had a great time on a new show for Apple TV - we worked for over a week and got paid.

“The production company seemed pleased with us and we also got the opportunity to work at the Tate when the production company filmed there."

Film LBBD, which coordinates filmmaking in Barking and Dagenham, helped place the students. 

Its head Lisa Dee said: “I am delighted the students had such a fabulous time working on the productions and I am very grateful to Apple, Netflix and Amazon for their time and generosity.

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“The fantastic support from HCP-MBS has been phenomenal. 

“They absolutely get why we want filming and studios here - it’s about benefiting the local community.”

BDC chief operating officer Jason Turton said it was an exciting time for young people in east London to be training for and entering the film and TV industry.

“With the new studios opening up locally and the amazing media facilities at the college, including the industry-standard Idris Elba Film Studio, there is no better time for them to choose to study media,” he said.

“Our close links with Film LBBD mean that our students get amazing real-life work experience.

“It’s the perfect combination to get them into a great career.”

Location manager Georgette Turner, who worked with the students during their placement, studied performing arts at the college 20 years ago.

She said: “The group of students I worked with were a great bunch and I wish them well in the future and hope to see them out there on set soon.”