A peak behind the scenes of major BBC drama



Image of male actor from a scene in Peaky Blinders

A group of Level 5 Media Production students interested in forging careers in television production were given the chance to take a behind the scenes look at the making of BBC drama, Peaky Blinders as it was being filmed in Liverpool.

The production is now in its third series and Liverpool Screen School alumnus and producer on the show Simon Maloney, gave the students rare access to the production process. 

Students Lorna Gibson, Ethan Woodroofe, Scott Adamson, Sarah Bigby, and Michael Haffenden spent a week on the set shadowing members of the crew, talking to staff and cast members about their experiences of the industry and getting a feel for high-end production. 

Scott, who is an aspiring director of photography commented: "Peaky Blinders was one of the best and most invaluable experiences I have had. The fact that I was able to work alongside the camera crew gave me a great insight as to how the drama industry works and how much effort goes into the making of each of the scenes."

Lorna Gibson added: "Aside from working with the Assistant Director’s department I was able to shadow the Art Department too, which meant I was physically on set, seeing how everyone worked together to create a high quality drama. The skills I learnt during my week are invaluable and I feel a lot more confident about going to work in this industry after I graduate."

Since graduating, Simon Maloney has risen through the ranks and gone on to work as Assistant Director on a range of productions, from Emmerdale and Coronation Street to Luther, The Honourable Woman, Fortitude, and An Adventure in Space and Time. The new series of Peaky Blinders, which is a Tiger Aspect production, will be aired on BBC1 later in the year. 

Commenting about his experiences of LJMU and how his degree helped him achieve his ambitions, Simon said: "My tutors were incredibly supporting and nurturing. The course ran a work experience placement in conjunction with Mersey Television (now Lime Pictures) for second year students. I was lucky enough to be chosen and once I had experienced a television set for the first time there was no real doubt for me where my ambitions lay. It became very obvious very quickly that I wanted to pursue a career as a runner with ambitions to become an assistant director."

Simon gave current and future students a top tip when entering the industry: "You’re going to be working long hours and often away from home so you have to love and enjoy what you’re doing. Some of the best jobs have had the lowest budgets and resources and that’s when the sheer passion to make something happen really kicks in. When everyone is working towards one common goal it’s fantastic but it’s the love and desire that gets you there sometimes so make sure it’s your passion."


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