Graduate Spotlight: Adventures on the silver screen with James Pearce
17 November 2022
School of Film & Television graduate James Pearce’s latest TV gig saw him return his old stomping ground as he casts for participants for upcoming BBC Three talent show Project Icon.
After graduating from BA Television, James found himself immersed in a number of temporary roles as the pandemic took hold. Eventually, he came across an opportunity to enter the world of Locations in high-end TV and feature films, and it was there that James encountered many more exciting opportunities to work on high-profile TV and film projects.
I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to tell Phoebe Waller-Bridge that I wrote my dissertation on her and her work, which she was very humble and kind about!
James’ new role as a casting researcher with production company MultiStory involves finding talent for a recently announced music talent show, Project Icon, due for release next year on BBC Three.
“I have recently gained my first researcher credit and I'm scouting for music artists across the UK, going through calls and auditions to determine who is right for the show. Of course, I couldn’t forget to reach out to Falmouth to look for some incredible music talent, which I know there is plenty of in AMATA!”
James credits his course for preparing him for the sometimes-challenging world of TV and film, where competition can be fierce.
“I don’t want to deter anyone from the TV or Film industry, but I do believe the course showed me how intense and high-pressure the industry can be, and it helped teach me how to cope in any stressful situation...”
With a foothold in the world of unscripted TV, he’s got his eye on another career goal: working his way towards being a Producer/Director...and he has a few highlights which put him firmly on track.
Achieving a “bucket-list” opportunity with his “absolute idols” in the studio department of Disney/Lucasfilm’s blockbuster Indiana Jones (due for release in 2023) is no small feat. But the project was still a learning opportunity, says James.
“There were huge physical and mental challenges on this job...I think one big takeaway from this project was knowing your boundaries and limits and making the most of any given situation. I’m so proud of being involved in this project due to it being one of my favourite franchises as a kid.
“To have that opportunity and credit under my belt helps put me in good stead for future positions. I also had the wonderful opportunity of being able to tell Phoebe Waller-Bridge that I wrote my dissertation on her and her work, which she was very humble and kind about!”
Trust the process and where the industry takes you and ultimately, flipping enjoy it!
While James’ career journey so far hasn’t exactly been linear, it’s clear his link with Cornwall is still strong. When he looks back on his time in Falmouth, what does he remember?
“I enjoyed the vibe and environment that we studied in. I always felt at home and never had that homesick feeling you often get in new surroundings. It felt special and it felt like somewhere I’ll always see as a home away from home. This made life so much easier for me when studying here...”
How about a final word of advice to other aspiring undergraduates looking to make themselves knows in the world of TV?
“Make yourself known! Put yourself out there to any and all links you have and make it known you are ready to join the industry and would love the opportunity to prove you have what it takes. Whilst I haven’t ended up where I expected, you find your feet eventually, so trust the process and where the industry takes you and ultimately, flipping enjoy it!”