Published: 14 February 2024

A BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre student's professional training year

Ashleigh-Ann French is on the BA (Hons) Applied and Contemporary Theatre course at the Guildford School of Acting (GSA). She is currently on her professional training year working as a Junior Content Producer/Director at CFI Media and has sent in a report of what she's been up to so far.

I had worked with CFI Media previously after gaining the role of Isla in ROMEO. HOTEL. ELEVEN. When I started researching placement opportunities, I decided I wanted to develop my practice and transfer my theatre-making skills into filmmaking.  

Ashleigh-Ann French behind a camera

My learning

At CFI Media, I am developing my writing and directing skills as well as learning new skills such as videography, editing, and producing.  I am being trained through a mixture of practical, theory-based work and hands-on experience on set and on location. 

My previous projects  

So far on my placement, I have worked as an assistant producer on the short film Only One Six, set hand as well as an actor on the series ROMEO. HOTEL. ELEVEN, and assistant producer developing the British Cultural Film Festival. I have filmed and edited three videos for Wyld Mothers Fire, a mother and babies’ group in Brighton and Crawley, and one video for Manor Green College a school in West Sussex for children and young adults with special educational needs. I have also produced a campaign video to support the finishing of ROMEO. HOTEL. ELEVEN

Ashleigh-Ann French behind audio-visual kit

My current and future projects  

Currently, I am working on producing another video for Wyld Mothers Fire as well as writing some funding grants to support various projects. In the next few months, I will be working with Dance Hub to produce two evaluation videos for the annual Forward Motion and Let's Dance Crawley showcases at The Hawth Theatre.  

My advice 

Working with CFI Media has provided me with incredible opportunities to up-skill and develop myself as a multi-dimensional creative. To be able to incorporate film into my theatre practice and combine these skills has been vital to the development of my own personal practice. 
I would encourage everyone who has the option of a professional training year to take that opportunity and work with any companies or practitioners that you admire. It is not only an opportunity to get the support and skills necessary to work in the industry but also a chance to network and build connections with other creatives which is vital in this industry. 

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