Silverback Films extends placement for Leah Hale



Leah Hale’s journey towards a creative career took her across Bristol, from Whitchurch, to boomsatsuma’s level 3 TV & Film Production Diploma, based at The Bottle Yard Studios, to be accepted for a six-month placement, which has now been extended, at Silverback Films in central Bristol, January to July 2021.


Leah studied with boomsatsuma between 2018 and 2020, graduating impressively with three Distinction stars, when the Covid pandemic made getting on the career ladder even more challenging than usual. boomsatsuma’s Head of Student Experience, Elliot Lamb, assists students beyond the scope of their courses into careers and put her forward for a role with Silverback Films. The Company is best known for its award-winning natural history and wildlife films: David Attenborough: A life on Our Planet, Perfect Planet, and the Disneynature series. After a successful interview, Silverback offered Leah a six months contract with them, which began January 2021 and has extended her placement following its success.


Silverback Films Office Manager Gina Shepperd comments:


“Given covid-19 protocols, it was not an easy time for a new runner to start work, but Leah has really got stuck in helping with so many different tasks whether technical or administrative. She has such enthusiasm, is proactive, eager to learn and has been a huge support to the skeleton staff working in the office and the teams working from home.”


Silverback is committed to embedding equality, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of production and aims to establish an inclusive culture, that celebrates diversity. Gina continues:


“We have collaborated with boomsatsuma and other local creative youth networks to help us widen our talent search and create opportunities for young local talent within the Natural History Television Industry. We have collaborated again recently in the search for two junior technician roles and hope that now we have established a link, we can work together going forward to help create more opportunities for young talent and provide a bridge in to the industry for graduates.”


Leah started with the basics in the office, she explains:


“This was a great opportunity and I was happy doing anything I could to observe, learn and support the team. That starts with making the tea and keeping the office running. As my understanding grew, they have introduced me to a wider range of tasks.”


That has included locating equipment for shoots, laminating documents, to prepping equipment for shoots, within the space of a few months. Leah continues:


“Silverback (Films) have been fantastically flexible in fitting me in and supportive in showing me the range of careers that lie behind the making of a film. I had no idea there were so many roles and just how much planning, creativity and effort goes in to getting even a 30 second scene.


“I’ve gained an appreciation of what it means to work for a good company, with a kind supportive team of people. They are passionate about the quality of what they produce, threading climate change messaging into what they produce to protect the planet. One of their production coordinators took an hour out on a zoom with me to explain just what they did in that role; it was fascinating and it was amazing that they took the time to do that.”


Leah also has fond recollections of her time with boomsatsuma, stating:


“boomsatsuma was great a great launchpad. I really enjoyed my course, which was great in making me understand the process of a production which turned out to be a great asset now that I’m involved in the TV/Film industry. There were only 20 people on it, which gave us the time to get to know each other and our tutors, who really gave me a sense of self-belief that has carried me into the workplace environment.”