The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), in partnership with Creative Skillset and the Wellcome Trust, today announced the launch of BAFTA Crew Games, a skills development network which aims to help support the careers of the brightest talent in the games industry, throughout the UK.
Based on the success of the BAFTA Crew skills programme for television and film practitioners, BAFTA Crew Games will recruit up to 100 games professionals from across the UK to benefit from access to top industry talent and an exclusive programme of masterclasses and livestreamed Q&As featuring BAFTA award-winners and nominees. Applications are now open at http://bit.ly/BAFTACrewGames. The programme is funded by Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Funds, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust.
Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “BAFTA Crew has had great success within the film and television sector, so it’s the perfect model to equip a new generation of games makers with the skills and networks they need, helping to ensure that the UK’s games industry continues to punch above its weight. BAFTA is at its best when it’s celebrating creativity and connecting talent, and BAFTA Crew Games will do exactly that.”
Kate O’Connor, Executive Director of Creative Skillset, said: “BAFTA Crew Games is a step change in the games Industry and will help provide the crucial links for emerging talent to the top industry creatives. I’m delighted that Creative Skillset is supporting this important initiative in addition to our successful Trainee Finder scheme through which we have placed 120 new trainees in games companies across the UK.”
Iain Dodgeon, Creative Partnerships Manager at the Wellcome Trust said: “The Wellcome Trust is a great supporter of creative talent across science and entertainment and we believe in the benefits of collaboration and ideas exchange. BAFTA Crew Games will provide opportunities to hear how this has benefited some of the leaders in the field with fresh perspectives for the rising stars of the games industry.”
Over the course of the year-long programme, BAFTA Crew Games members will gain access to tailored content including: live masterclasses with some of the game industries most established talent held across the UK; interactive livestream Q&A sessions focusing on a range of subjects including story & narrative, games design, music & sound design, and game art; and downloadable podcasts of all live events in the programme. In addition, members will benefit from industry networking events with speakers and BAFTA members, and an online social networking group to share ideas, skills, opportunities and experiences with their colleagues across the country.
Speakers at previous BAFTA events for games professionals include: David Cage (Fahrenheit, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls), Rhianna Pratchett (Overlord series, Rise of the Tomb Raider), Christopher Brookmyre (Bedlam), Jennifer Schneidereit (co-founder of independent games developer Nyamyam), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone), David Braben (Elite series) and Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid series).
In partnership with the Wellcome Trust, BAFTA Crew Games will also shine a spotlight on the creative interchange between the games industry and science community. Masterclasses will offer participants the opportunity to engage with scientists and other researchers who have worked with the games industry and will make new connections through events aimed at exploring sources of inspiration for game design.
The BAFTA Crew Games programme is open to game practitioners who have at least two years professional experience and are actively making a creative contribution to games produced and/or distributed in the UK. Participants will be selected by a jury including heads of departments from BAFTA-nominated and award-winning games titles, chaired by a representative of BAFTA’s Games Committee. The deadline for applications is Monday 17 November 2014 at midday.