Oscar-winner Rachel Shenton is aiming to put the focus on the pottery industry in her next project and wants to ensure women workers enjoy the limelight.
Rachel is currently developing a drama series looking at the pot banks from the 1970’s to the present day and is looking to speak with female workers who worked in the industry during this time to help add true reality to the script.
Every year Creative England announces their CE50, an annual celebration of 50 of the most exciting, innovative and disruptive creative companies and individuals across the country.
This year Platform, and three of its members, Carse and Waterman, Enlighten and Rachel Shenton all made this exclusive list and increased the spotlight on the regions Moving Image quality, diversity and talent.
Heres what the report had to say about them….
Carse and Waterman
Since its inception in 2009, Carse & Waterman has grown in size and stature and has produced a number of award-winning projects, working with a variety of acclaimed names including Richard Ayoade, Simon West and Keith Lemon. Carse & Waterman’s service gives brands a way to tell personable stories to their audience in a uniquely engaging way.
Recent successes have kick-started further growth this year with the purchase of a new 4-storey studio (4,300 sq ft), an increased staff team of up to 20, and the facilities to deliver a new animation school supporting routes into the industry.
Enlighten is a truly inspirational company which has grown rapidly over a short period of time to become an authoritative name in the world of augmented reality and e-learning.
Enlighten is addressing the gap in quality online learning resources, reducing the need for face-to-face time when learning and transferring skills, reducing the monetary and environmental costs. By embracing and leading innovation in the sector Enlighten is improving the learner’s experience at a streamlined cost.
Enlighten’s co-founder and CEO Suzanne Edwards is a highly regarded female entrepreneur and “woman in tech”, who regularly speaks at high-level business and technology and is one of only seven people globally who sits on the executive council of CompTIA’s Emerging Tech community, encouraging more women and girls to consider tech-based careers through the “Power of 1” campaign.
Rachel Shenton brought the issue of profound deafness to the public’s attention when she wrote and starred in short film The Silent Child, which then went on to win Best Live Action Short Film at the Academy Awards. Leaning on her own experience to portray the loneliness and isolation of children who are affected and the attitudes of society, Shenton crafted a touching screenplay which resonated with audiences.
Shenton is now working on turning the film into a feature and has lent her voice to promote her hometown of Stoke in its bid to be the new home of Channel 4.
This year’s cohort highlights the move towards technology and creativity merging to create meaningful solutions to real-world problems, with many of the companies championing diversity, and giving a platform to unheard voices.
The list was hand-picked by Creative England, along with nominations from regional partners including The Growth Company in Greater Manchester, Cultivate Cornwall, Stoke City Council, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative and Tech Nation.
To support the growing film and television industry in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Platform, the moving image cluster, hosted a creators’ showcase at the House of Commons on Tuesday May 8, 2018. Local MPs, filmmakers and Oscar winners explained how creators in film, tv, animation and more can benefit from working in Staffordshire.
A bright future for Stoke
Stoke-on-Trent is establishing itself as a vibrant city with many opportunities for creators to build a successful business. Platform was formed to build a foundation for students and creators in the region, changing the reputation of the area from a run-down city to a thriving, creative area. Platform is also supporting growth of the industry by backing the bid to build one of the new Channel 4 creative hubs in Stoke-on-Trent as it moves its headquarters out of London.
“Platform was created to be an advocate for the thriving digital creative talent in this region,” explained Peter Rudge, associate professor at Staffordshire University and Platform Chair. “Platform’s aim is to drive the growth of the moving image economy in the region, to encourage collaboration and innovation and to develop Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire as a destination for production, investment and real creative talent.”
Cooperation is key
Stafford MP, Jeremy Lefroy and Damian Collins, MP and chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hosted the event to showcase Staffordshire’s creative industry and prove to creators that Stoke-on-Trent offers the support of cluster groups, from start-ups to established companies.
“Cluster working is so important to the creative economy, particularly in film,” explained Collins. “It helps to create a network of young people working together — the foundation of a vibrant film sector. How the industries in Stoke-on-Trent collaborate is a perfect example for how a decentralised Channel 4 could operate.”
Local talent showcased
Event attendees also heard from successful filmmakers in Staffordshire, including Stephen Saunders. His recent documentary, The War Above the Trenches, starred Staffordshire University students and was filmed in many locations across the county. Saunders relocated his business from London as it meant he had better access to large, outdoor locations and talent without going over budget.
Attendees also had the opportunity to see the Oscar winning short film, The Silent Child, directed by Chris Overton and written by and starring Rachel Shenton. At the event, Shenton and Overton expressed that Staffordshire was instrumental in creating the film by offering perfect locations and a talented creative team.
Members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council also attended to show the Council’s support of Platform. “Our city’s profile and aspirations are rightly rising,” explains deputy leader councillor Abi Brown. “We are a confident, forward-looking city that is building on its success of being shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021, a city that Heathrow airport is considering for one of its national logistics hubs, and a city that has secured HS2 services that will further transform our infrastructure.
“Stoke is on the up, and our bid for a Channel 4 creative hub shows our strength and ambition.”