The plasterer needs the technical skills and the creative ability to be able to construct realistic props and materials which blend in with the surrounding period details and must be able to understand and interpret technical drawings.
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My journey as an apprentice ornamental plasterer in the film industry has been an enjoyable and rewarding one. So far I have learned a variety of different skills which I know that I can fine tune over my career.
I attended Acton College beginning with the basics of solid plastering and then, during my second year I was introduced to a different form of plastering – fibrous – which opened a whole new aspect of the world of plaster! I immediately felt that I’d found something which stretched my technical and creative capabilities and which I could envisage myself doing for life.
I was introduced to this field by Charles Green, a plasterer in the film industry and my mentor. He came to the college and chose six boys to participate in a short movie set building course.
This short course taught me so much more and then Charles chose three boys, including me, to have a go at working on a film set so I went on to work for Ken Barley, Head of Department Ornamental Plasterer on ‘Prince of Persia – The Sands of Time’ which was an amazing experience!
This film acted as a stepping stone and the start of my career in the film industry. Since then I have worked on ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘John Carter of Mars’ for Doug Allen, who has also been very influential – and I am currently working again for Ken Barley on ‘Hugo’ – so he must have thought that I did a good job on ‘Prince of Persia’!
On this film I will finish my apprenticeship and within a year I will have completed my improvers training. Working hard on the initial training process is essential.
The plasterer needs the technical skills and the creative ability to be able to construct realistic props and materials which blend in with the surrounding period details and must be able to understand and interpret technical drawings. Above all, we need to work with the team, be punctual, pleasant and willing to do what is needed to finish the job on time and within budget.
I’m now looking forward to a long and fulfilling career in the film industry.