Maternal was given a four star review by The Guardian
Students and industry experts sat down to watch episode one of the new ITV drama.

On Thursday the first episode of ITV drama “Maternal” was showcased to students and staff of Liverpool John Moores University.

The students were joined in Redmonds Building by executive producers from ITV, the head of Liverpool Film Office Lynn Saunders and former students who took part in the ITV placements.

After the screening, the guests took part in a Q&A answering questions from an audience of people hoping to work in the TV industry. 

Students from LJMU were able to be involved in the production of Maternal”. This was because of a placement at ITV over the summer and which gave participants valuable experience to help them with their careers.

‘Taking on 30 trainees was a huge commitment  

Speaking about the placements to MerseyNewsLive, executive producer Kathryn Pugsley said:  “We had 30 trainees who were all placed in different departments throughout the shoot.

“It was tailored to whatever area the students wanted to go into whether that’s script supervising, locations, being a runner, working in the camera department or working on costume and makeup.

“Each student spent two weeks with each department and then a new set would come in.”  

The Liverpool film office is a part of the Liverpool City Council that attracts commercial film and television to Liverpool. 

Lynn also manages The Depot, a new 14,000 studio space used by high-end film and TV productions.

She said:  “Taking on 30 trainees was a huge commitment from ITV. You would normally expect a production team to only take on five.  

“The feedback was incredible, the attitude of the students was brilliant and a lot of them were kept on.” 

Industry experts then sat down to give advice to the next generation.

Speaking about the impact the placement had on his career, former LJMU student Aidan Walsh said: “It’s been very useful. Once you understand the way a TV set works you start to understand the language used around the set.

“This helps you to start speaking their language and communicate with people in the industry.” 

“I also think there is a bias in film studies with how people attribute everything to the head or the director. From the outside you don’t really understand how much work everybody puts into each scene.”

‘I’ve never known the industry to be as busy’

He added: “Something I noticed when I watched ‘Maternal’ was how they get the most out of their set. This makes me think about the way I use sets in my work and how I can get more out of each one.”   

Lynn said: “The British film commission published figures on the performance and film TV industry. The figures showed that the industry is now worth £7bn a year. 

“I’ve never known the industry to be as busy as it is.

“If you want to work in film and TV production now is a great time to do that. In the past advice from lectures would be leave Liverpool and go to London but now you don’t need to.” 

Kathryn Pugsley agreed: “I’ve always lived in Manchester and worked in Manchester I never want to go to London.

“There are so many TV shows being made that people are always looking for new filming locations. What tends to happen is that opportunities come along once a year.  

“I think once you’re in the business of doing it you can find jobs and plan your year. This tends to work best for people.

“If you want to work in the North stay here, you don’t need to move to London.”  

Featured image (c) Matthew Oliver Welch


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