31 January 2020

Ealing Studios features large at BAFTAs 2020

By Niki Khoroushi | Categorised in News, Film Festival Diary, Film News, Graduate Stories

The eyes of the film industry were on London on Sunday 2 Feb, when the 73rd British Academy Film Awards took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, hosted by Graham Norton and broadcast live on BBC1.

Amid the row over the lack of diversity in the 2020 BAFTA nominations, we are pleased that a wide range of our students from across all our courses, worked on films which did make it into the shortlist for this year’s awards.

As well as the usual categories, covering best Film, Director, Actors etc, the BAFTAs also celebrate the very best of British talent in the additional categories of: Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer; British Short Animation; British Short Film as well as the EE Rising Star Award, which is voted for by the public.

MetFilm School students worked on many of this year’s British favourites, 1917, Rocketman and The Two Popes as well as Hollywood blockbusters The Irishman, One upon a Time in Hollywood Knives Out and The Lion King. They worked in a variety of roles from co-producer and production support to the assistant camera and assistant location manager and were from a range of our courses from BA and MA across all disciplines to short courses, Story to Screen in Eight Weeks and Four-Week Directing and Cinematography.

As well as celebrating our students, MetFilm School has another connection to this year’s Awards though the prestigious Outstanding British contribution to cinema award. The Award, which is presented annually is in honour of Michael Balcon, the UK film producer known for his work with Ealing Studios, where the MetFilm School London campus is based.

This year the Award will be presented to actor and filmmaker Andy Serkis.

Serkis, best known for his pioneering performance capture work, portraying Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit films as well as the lead role of Caesar in the Planet of the Apes franchise, founded performance capture company The Imaginarium Studios, with producer Jonathan Cavendish, also based in Ealing Studios.

Founded in 2011 The Imaginarium Studios has contributed to blockbuster franchises such as Star Wars, Spider-Man and Men In Black. MetFilm School Students have had a long-standing relationship with the performance capture studio.


BA Practical Filmmaking 2013 graduate, Jose Nieuwstad, has racked up an impressive set of credits since then, working on titles including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A number of these opportunities have come via The Imaginarium Studios. Now a full-time employee of the company (as the Lead of Facial Capture and 3D Scanning no less), Jose’s relationship with The Imaginarium started whilst she was still studying.

“The Imaginarium were looking for volunteers to do some camera work, they have a good relationship with MetFilm School and offer students a variety of opportunities. I was keen and wanted to seize every bit of experience I could get, so I put myself forward.

“After the first time, I continued to volunteer for them as a reference camera operator and runner, and after I graduated they offered me paid freelance work; my first feature film with them was Star Wars Episode VII at Pinewood Studios.” Said Jose.

Students on our, Six-Month Acting for Film receive an introduction to motion capture as part of their course, which is delivered through our relationship with The Imaginarium Studios.

Huge congratulations to Andy Serkis and well done to all our students, involved in the nominated and winning productions. Here are all the 2020 BAFTA nominations and winners.

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