THE new season of hit US show Outlander has helped 25 young Scots get a leg-up in pursuit of a career in TV and film production.
The group of trainees were picked to work on the production of the second season in a programme supported by Creative Scotland, and they have been praised for their efforts.
Based on a series of novels from American author Diana Gabaldon, the TV series follows the story of Claire Randell, a nurse from 1946 who is swept back in time to Scotland in 1743.
Broadcast on US channel Starz and Amazon Prime, the show is filmed at various locations across Scotland and has helped boost visitor numbers to the likes of Doune Castle, Stirling.
The trainees worked with the cast and crew for 18 months on location and in the purpose-built Cumbernauld studios, filling roles including costume designer, assistant director and carpenter on set.
Camera trainee Josh Rowe said: “Working on one of the biggest productions in the country has given me invaluable experience that I can now take to any set I work on in the future.
“Most importantly, working for an extended period of time, and in the conditions we faced, means I have accumulated knowledge, experience and work practices that could have taken years to pick up, had it been on several smaller shoots, commercials or dramas.”
Nicki McCallum, Outlander’s supervising art director, said: “The ability to immerse someone within the department, in order to establish the area in which they excel, and to encourage that over a decent period of time has proven invaluable.
“We cry out for people to have decent draughting, model making and graphic skills. To have the time and space to nurture these skills has been fantastic.”
Outlander has been used by tourism bodies to encourage more people from the US to visit Scotland. The production spend has also been welcomed in Scotland’s creative industries.
Natalie Usher, director of screen at Creative Scotland, said: “The strength of the screen sector relies on a continuous flow of skilled and creatively ambitious craft and technical crew.
“The Outlander trainee placement scheme is one of a number of valuable initiatives taking place across Scotland to develop a skilled and diverse workforce, an ambition outlined in our Screen Strategy.
“The young people engaged in the Outlander scheme have not only gained first-hand experience of working on set and learning from the talented crew, but have also made those all-important contacts that are essential when competing for their next career move within the sector.”