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BA (Hons) Modelmaking student H. Carter with his current final project on a table in front of him.

Harvey Carter – My two weeks at BGI Supplies


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On one of my trips driving from my family home in Surrey to Bournemouth, I noticed a huge green screen through a clearing in the trees on the M3. When I got home and googled the area, I came across Longcross Studios and discovered BGI Supplies Ltd. BGI Supplies specialises in the manufacture of props and vehicles for film and television with their most recent works including Napoleon (2023), Dune: Part Two (2024) and Masters of the Air (2024).

I have always had a passion for designing and making from a young age, and through adolescence this has tailored more towards film. I usually find myself watching films getting distracted by the scenery, sets, props, and other visual elements then having to rewind to focus on the dialogue.

Claire Holman, one of the Senior Lecturers on the BA (Hons) Modelmaking course, really encourages the importance of seeking work placements during the time of the course. This was something I had not actively sought during the first two years, so I set aside four weeks over the Easter break devoted to finding work experience. After finding BGI Supplies, I called them up and expressed my interest, followed by three emails, a direct message on Instagram and even filled out a contact form on their website, after which they offered a two-week placement.

During the two weeks, I worked on a project alongside specialised experts in areas including design, steel engineering, carpentry, mould making, modelmaking and painting. They operate like a huge production line, with component pieces moving through every area of the workshop in stages. It really runs like clockwork and it's super impressive to see how quickly things come together when everyone collaborates.

A reassuring part was seeing the same CAD programmes taught on the Modelmaking course being used in industry and meeting employees who were graduates of AUB. I was lucky enough to experience a little insight into each of these areas throughout my placement, working for a film that is set to be released soon. Everyone at BGI was so welcoming and hospitable, allowing me to borrow their tools and offering me cups of tea. They really made me feel like part of the team from day one and even offered to take me for a pint on my last day – something that would be rude to refuse!

On the third day of my placement, Stuart Heath, the Director of BGI Supplies, came to see how I was getting on and told me that everyone said I was doing well. He asked what my plans for summer were and whether I would like to come back to BGI Supplies full-time. I think the look of shock and excitement on my face was apparent, but I honourably accepted. He referred to one of the employed designers and told me he was also a graduate of Modelmaking at AUB who had been working at BGI Supplies for the past 15 years. He said he would like to position me in a similar role in the design department, collaborating with art directors and production designers to bring concept art into fabrication.

My advice for students considering a placement is to really throw yourself into it and to try and find a work placement you truly find interesting. I think when you are really passionate about something, it shows. I found I was asking questions through genuine interest rather than just for clarification.

Also, something my dad told me is: even if you have to sweep the floor, be the best floor sweeper they’ve ever seen. Doing every task with attention to detail demonstrates your work ethic and helps make a lasting impression.

Looking back, I am incredibly honoured by Stuart for giving me a chance and everyone at BGI Supplies for making me feel so welcome. I cannot wait to join in summer and see where this journey takes me. It is something that I have dreamt of for years, so I really do feel like I’ve won a golden ticket. So, hopefully you’ll see my name in the credits of a blockbuster film very soon!

Something to think about

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