ABOUT US

We are an independent membership organisation serving full breadth of the screen sector in the West Midlands. The organisation has grown and developed over the years as Screen Central has a vision to be the connector and enabler for the screen community in the region. If your work involves telling stories on a screen, whether it be a mobile, a laptop, a TV, a cinema screen or a games console and whatever role you do. Screen Central welcomes you as a member to join our community and together we can help it grow into the vibrant and sustainable sector we all want to see in our region.

We are a fully independent, not-for-profit organisation and are run by volunteer Board members. Screen Central supports all screen creatives making all types of artistic content from film, TV and short form, to animation and games.

Our membership includes producers, writers and directors as well as a good mix of DOPs, editors, art directors, and composers and many more. We began as just a handful of producers trying to help each other out back in 2003 and have grown to a much stronger, established organisation. Our three pillars are training, lobbying and connecting.

Connecting is all about joining the dots up, getting people together and getting the conversation going. It is important that we do this within the region both with our members as well as key sector organisations. It’s also important that we are here to connect with those looking to move to our region for work and ensure they connect with us while they are working here.

Lobbying is about working on behalf of our members to ensure that we lobby policy-makers to ensure that policy supports and enables us to deliver our work in the best way we can. To do this most effectively we must be listening to you, our members, so that we know what the temperature of the water is out there and where the issues and challenges are for you. So please, talk to us. Come to our events. Get in touch.

Training is about building a robust and sustainable talent pipeline in the region. We want to be developing individuals and companies for the lifetime of their work. We want to ensure that our members know what training and funding they can access for their work or their company. Where there are gaps in training provision, we will look to fill these. So, whether you are new to the industry and trying to find your feet, looking to step up to the next level or running a creative business that wants to grow Screen Central is here to support you.

 

Join for just £25/year

With over 120 members, Screen Central is the largest screen sector membership organisation in the West Midlands. Join today and become part of a growing and collaborative network.

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OUR CEO

 
 
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Alison Grade

Alison Grade is the fourth generation of her family to work in film and TV. She has been a professional freelancer all her career. Writing in The Guardian Mark Lawson described her as being one of the most influential people in TV when, as a schoolgirl, she persuaded her father to repeat Neighbours at 5:35pm so she and her friends wouldn’t miss it.

Alison describes her key skill as transforming creative concepts into a business reality. She accomplishes this with the films she produces, the creative entrepreneurs she mentors, SMEs she advises and in her soon-to-be- published book.

Alison has formal academic training (INSEAD MBA) as well as being an entrepreneur who has established her own businesses. She has worked at senior level in many media companies - predominantly in international television and film production, rights management and strategy.

Currently Alison owns Mission Accomplished, a consultancy offering training, mentoring and strategic advice to start-ups and established SMEs in the Creative Industries. To date she has assisted over 200 SMEs via these programmes. As a Nesta accredited Creative Enterprise trainer and mentor Alison has delivered international programmes in association with the British Council.

During her career, Alison has produced over 7,000 minutes of film and television and has worked on documentaries, animation, drama, feature films, factual and entertainment productions on both high and low budgets. More recently she concentrated on the commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights in media content across a wide range of platforms through distribution and licensing.

Her non-media experience includes founding Girls Angels, a motorcycle training school that specialised in training women, which she took from idea to profitable business to trade sale in under two years and a highly successful business bringing hands-on media training into schools.

 

Specialism and Interests

  • Producer / Line Producer / Production Manager

  • IP Exploitation

  • Creative Enterprise Mentor and Trainer

  • Professional development for creative freelancers

Activities & Affiliations

  • CEO of Screen Central

  • Owner, Mission Accomplished

  • Board Member, West Midlands Screen Bureau

  • Visiting Fellow – Birmingham City University, Faculty of Art Design and Media

Our Board

 
 
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Board Member

Daniel Alexander

Daniel Alexander is an award winning Filmmaker and Director from the UK, producing an array of content for a variety of television and online platforms. His latest works include Directing and Producing the official film for the Commonwealth games, bringing in a world-wide televised audience of over 1 billion people. Daniel was also selected to be on the BAFTA crew programme for 2018, and is also the producer for ‘Back In’, a film development program in collaboration with BBC Academy and BFI to tackle the issue of BAME representation in the industry. 

With over 10 years in the industry, Daniel has been commissioned to make films all over the world and has worked with an impressive caliber of clients including Commonwealth Games, Sony, BBC, BFI, Nike, Apple, Channel 4, BBC 2, MTV, BET, Virgin Media, Mike Tyson, Barclay Card, EA Sports, and many more. 

Daniel has worked professionally in most areas of the film production industry with a variety of films under his belt as Producer, Director, DOP, Editor/Colourist and Writer. Daniel developed his own popular colour grading look pack ‘CINEPRE’ which has been used heavily among independent filmmakers. Daniel is also deeply rooted within the community and frequently provides training and educational workshops/ resources for young people and adults. 

 
 

Specialisms and Interests

  • Director/Producer/Writer

  • Feature Film, Shorts, Music Video

  • DOP

  • Post Production / Colour Grading

Activities & Affiliations

  • Board member, Screen Central

  • BAFTA Crew 2018

  • Back In Film Training Manager

  • Owner of Daniel Alexander Films

  • Creator of Cinepre


 
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Board Member

Lee Kemp

In 2003, while serving in Afghanistan, Lee was handed a video camera and asked to produce a short film explaining an ongoing operation that was later used in a Prime Ministerial briefing. When Lee left the Army, he became a filmmaker. He’s now a producer/director of commercials and documentary features and the Managing Director of successful production company Vermillion Films.

In the past few years Lee has produced and directed promos for global brands. He has directed promos all over the world including Oregon, Cape Town, Barcelona and San Francisco and has produced work for Polar, Team Sky, Chivas Regal, Jaguar Land Rover and Fruit of the Loom.

Lee has Executive Producer credits on feature docs Bicycle, War of Words and A Queer Country, about cycling, the British battle rap scene and the gay scene in Palestine, respectively.

He sits on the board of Screen Central and Flatpack Film Festival.

His army career included operational tours of Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan and he’s a keen snowboarder, qualified BSAC and PADI SCUBA diver, RYA powerboat driver, squash player and unrepentant movie bore. He’s completed numerous endurance events, including marathons, Tough Mudder, Tough Guy and in 2014 made a really, really unsuccessful attempt at the 156-mile Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara desert.


 

Specialisms and Interests

•Director/Producer/Executive Producer
•Docs/features/shorts
•Commercials/content

Activities & Affiliations

•Board member, Screen Central
•Trustee, Flat Pack Festival
•Owner, Vermillion Films


 
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Board Member

Sima Gonsai

Sima Gonsai is a digital artist and independent filmmaker with a passion for artistic storytelling. For the past twelve years, she has directed and produced drama, documentary and digital installations with both regional and international communities.

Originally starting out as an amateur dancer, Sima trained in ‘Bharata Natyam’, an Indian classical dance. She then went on to study a Masters in Visual Communication. Currently she is an established Screen Dance Director and has received international acclaim for her groundbreaking work with learning disabled dancers Freefall Dance Company in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet.

Sima is launching a new company specialising in screen dance training and programming, which will open up collaborations between film, dance and music. She is also developing a new dance film exploring the physics behind Indian Folk Dance.

Sima joined Screen Central board in 2015 and is focusing on event co-ordination.

 

Specialisms and Interests

  • Disability on screen

  • Archives and heritages

  • Director and Programmer of Screen Dance

Activities & Affiliations

•Board member, Screen Central
•Board member, Rosie Kay Dance Company
• Owner of Sima Gonsai


 
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Board Member

Mark Pressdee

Mark Pressdee is a Writer/Director/Producer with many years’ experience having worked initially in television across projects for the main terrestrial channels and many satellite channels. He has a passion for short film and has produced many for TV, online and festival campaigns. He has also worked as a PD internationally.

Mark has had considerable success with his last two comedy dramas: Titanic Love and The Final Scene. Both have been screened at prestigious film festivals around the world and have won awards; both films have been broadcast and a distribution deal has been offered for each. In the past two years, Mark has received five RTS (Royal Television Society) Midland nominations.

Mark works as an indi filmmaker, and he has diversified into touring live comedy in the UK and overseas. His company Macoy Media also specialises in educational projects. Mark works regularly as a creative producer and shooter/editor in the region. He is also in demand as a creative consultant and recently worked on the feature length documentary Bunch of Kuntz which has had an incredible run with a UK cinema release and screenings at festivals and cinemas around the world. The film recently won the Q Award for Best Documentary and was nominated for an NME Award as Best Documentary. The film was also screened on ARTE in Germany.

 

Specialism and Interests

  • Producer/Director

  • Shooter/Editor

  • Drama, comedy and documentary films

  • Educational Training & Consultancy

  • Scriptwriting and Story Editing

  • Creative Consultant

Activities & Affiliations

•Board member of Screen Central
•Full Member of The Writers Guild Great Britain
•Owner of Macoy Media
• Consultant/ Visiting Tutor/ University of Birmingham/BCU/University of Liverpool/Birmingham Theatre School/Birmingham Library
•Compere & Jury Member for Ringerike International Youth Film Festival hosted in Norway since 2016.


 

Board Member

Caroline officer

Caroline is an award-winning television producer and teacher. 

As a producer, she spent 6 years at BBC Birmingham before moving to London to become the first series producer of Ready Steady Cook. She also helped devise the award winning Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook, working closely with presenter, Ainsley Harriott. Caroline returned to Birmingham to open Endemol Midlands and led the production of over 1000 hours of television content.

In addition, she was appointed Endemol’s Head of Live Events and successfully adapted Changing Rooms and Ready Steady Cook into live formats.

In 2005, Caroline launched her own digital media consultancy, working regularly with charities, individuals and companies to create online video content, recognising the potential of the internet as a key promotional tool.

She became the MA Television Production Course Director at Birmingham City University in 2009 and successfully led the accreditation of 11 courses to Creative Skillset’s ‘Pick the Tick’ list of approved courses. In 2015, she became the Degree Leader for the BA Media and Communication Television pathway and the module leader for the final year BA professional development module.

In 2017, she won Birmingham City University’s Engaging and Inspiring Teacher of the Year and gained a Master’s in Education.

Throughout her career, Caroline has embraced the opportunity to help support aspiring production professionals and her extensive experience provides her with a unique insight into the skills, knowledge and experience required for a sustained, resilient and satisfying career in screen production.


 
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Non-Executive Board Member

Drew Roper

Drew Roper is a multi-award winning animation director/producer and the founder of Yamination Studios – an animation company specialising in stop-frame animation, based in Birmingham, UK.

Taking its name from yam yam, a term referring to Black Country folk and their crazily cryptic vernacular, the studios are the embodiment of founder Drew Roper. A proud yam yam. 

Since its creation (2009) Drew and his team have been up to their ears in developing shorts, pilots/promos and TV commercials for clients including Roald Dahl, Coca-Cola and Walt Disney to name but a few. In fact, when it comes to bringing little things to life, Yamination does it with buckets of passion, character and – most of the time – plasticine. 

Drew’s earlier industry experiences range from Hollywood blockbusters such as Fantastic Mr. Fox  (2009) directed by Wes Anderson and Walt Disney’s Frankenweenie (2012) directed by Tim Burton to children’s TV series such as the renowned Shaun the Sheep, Aardman Animations Ltd (2012).

Specialisms and Interests

  • Stop-motion animation

  • Traditional animation

  • Director

  • Producer

Activities & Affiliations

•Advisor, Screen Central
•Owner, Yamination Studios
•Animation Steering Group Advisor: Wolverhampton,Worcester and Teeside Universities.