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TV star called to action with new film school

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 04, 2012

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A group of Westcountry filmmakers including actor John Nettles have formed a film school offering a range of courses for the next generation of programme makers.

The Midsomer Murders and Bergerac star, who lives in North Devon, has launched the venture, called Film School, in conjunction with production company PugFilm.

The idea grew from a desire to share years of experience in documentary and drama production and to pass on creative and technical skills to "keen young minds" new to the profession.

It is the brainchild of Somerset-based John Loveless, founder of PugFilm, who first worked with the actor in 1996.

Mr Nettles will play a big part in many aspects of the course, including script and treatment, location skills, acting for the camera and sound mixing.

He told the Western Morning News: "It should be a whole bunch of fun. The courses cover pretty much everything and people will really learn on the job.

"I'm looking forward to talking to people and seeing where the discussion goes. I was asked to take part by John Loveless because I have some small knowledge – if not skill – in the field. He and I are both keen to give something back."

He said that those taking part on the course could employ him to act or do a voiceover in their short film "if they think I'm good enough."

The first course will take place in November from Berkeley in Gloucestershire, with plans to hold future workshops in the Westcountry if there is sufficient demand.

John Loveless, founder of PugFilm, said: "John is not only internationally recognised as an actor, but also as a documentary maker, writer and historian.

"It is rare to be given the chance to work with such a figure without many years of experience, but the confidence resulting from being able to do so can underpin a blossoming career."

Mr Loveless said the courses were competitively priced and "affordable" for the industry, working out at just under £200 per day. He said they were in discussion with several organisations about gaining an industry accreditation for the courses they will be providing.

In addition to John Nettles and Mr Loveless, teachers will include Steve Briers, an award-winning cameraman from Dawlish who has filmed in war zones such as Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, and visiting lecturer Paul Roberts, a sound specialist from Kingsbridge who has worked on shows including Only Fools and Horses and The Two Ronnies.

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