Ten Stories for Ten Years: Careers

13 Feb 2024

3 mins
A young student being taught practical filmmaking techniques.
A young student being taught practical filmmaking techniques.

Thanks to funds from the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, our ScreenWorks programme launched in 2019. Young people in Northern Ireland aged 14-19 were given hands-on work experience across all five screen sectors: film, TV, animation, gaming and visual effects. Students could discover specialisms like production design, prosthetics, production accountancy and camera operation. 

Below, Matt Doherty, 21, tells us how the programme gave him the motivation to pursue a career in animation.

"I was always into cartoons growing up and I loved drawing, doodling on the walls and ruining my parents' day! But it wasn't until I started doing an A-level in moving image arts that I really got interested in animation. One of my teachers in Derry heard about ScreenWorks and recommended that I go for it.

She could see I had a deep passion for animation and thought this would be a good opportunity for me to get some experience, working alongside the professionals. I liked learning about everything to do with filmmaking - all the ins and outs - but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed being behind the camera. That real hands-on approach helped me grasp how films are actually made.

ScreenWorks helped me develop a concrete idea of what I want my future to be.

Matt Doherty, former ScreenWorks participant

ScreenWorks reinforced my desire to go into animation. When I finished my A-Levels, I went on to graduate in animation at the University of Central Lancashire. I'm now applying for junior roles and I've just finished a four-week internship with TT Games, who make The Lego® Movie video games. I got more into gaming at uni, so that was great.

I'm now focusing more on 3D animation. I work part-time in an Odeon cinema because I want to be around films, and when I saw the new Ninja Turtles and Spider-Verse films, I was blown away by how good, how artistic, they were. I was really happy to see those titles pushing the boundaries of film and it made me even more determined to work on something like that in future.

Doing ScreenWorks helped me develop a concrete idea of what I want my future to be, so I'd encourage any young filmmaker to apply. The opportunities are there and Into Film do their best to help you, so definitely give it a shot. When I'm a successful animator, I'd love to come back and even run a ScreenWorks programme or two!"

Young filmmaker Matt Doherty, a graduate of our ScreenWorks programme.
Matt Doherty, aged 21, a successful former participant in our ScreenWorks programme

The ScreenWorks programme is currently only available to those aged 14-18 in Northern Ireland, but we offer careers activity across the UK. Check out our recently-updated Careers page to find all of our careers resources, events and opportunities in one place.

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