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TV trainee Siwan swaps Isle of Dogs for Caernarfon

A television production company in Gwynedd has recruited a trio of high-flying trainees including one who has already worked on several Hollywood blockbuster movies.

All three said that the recent decision to turn Cwmni Da, based in Caernarfon, into a staff-owned company had attracted them to the award-winning firm which prides itself on “nurturing talented young people”.

The new starters include trainee editor Tomos Morris Jones, 22, from Tregarth, near, Bangor, and trainee multi-skilled sound technician Dan Jones, 27, who hails originally from Cardiff but now lives in Tudweiliog, on the Llŷn Peninsula.

Also, among them is Siwan Cati, 25, from Llanfair PG, on Anglesey, whose credits already include the animated science-fiction adventure film, Isle of Dogs.

It was written, produced and directed by Wes Anderson, and features the voices of Breaking Bad star Brian Cranston, Oscar winner Tilda Swinton and top comedy actor Bill Murray, of Groundhog Day and Ghostbusters fame.

Siwan, who’s now training to become a post-production technician at Cwmni Da, has also worked on the live action remake of the Tom and Jerry cartoons by Warner Bros and Maleficent 2, the Disney film starring Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer, that will be having its European premiere in Rome on October 7.

Last year she went to New Zealand where she worked on the children’s animation series, Kiri and Lou, which is about the friendship of two prehistoric dinosaurs and their adventures in the forest.

According to Siwan, she was thrilled to have secured a job with such a respected and progressive television company in her native North Wales.

She said: “I originally wanted to be an editor but after leaving university I was offered a job as a camera trainee in London on the Isle of Dogs which was being made by Wes Anderson.

“I stayed for two years and I learned a lot. It was a fantastic experience and gave me a lot of skills.

“It was a wonderful feeling to part of such a famous and important film.  We had like a little family unit and it was very sad when everyone went their own way at the end of the film.

“But it’s great to be back home after being in London and New Zealand.

“Post-production is what I really want to do and I knew Cwmni Da had an excellent reputation and the change in the company structure was also part of the reason I was so keen to get a job here.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Dan Jones who was on his second day with Cwmni Da.

He said: “I am joining the company at a very exciting time in its history as it has become and employee owned trust.

“Cwmni Da makes an incredible range of programmes here, everything from children’s shows, to entertainment programmes and documentaries so there a lots of opportunities here.”

Tomos Morris Jones, who gained a first class degree in journalism and media at Bangor University this summer,  said: “I’m very proud that I have been chosen to get a job here straight after graduating because I’ve been watching Cwmni Da productions for years and I came here on work experience when I was at school.

“I knew they were a good company and I am sure I will enjoy working here.”

Managing director Dylan Huws was delighted to welcome all three to Cwmni Da.

Last year he made history when he announced he was turning the £5 million a year company, which employs 50 people, into an employee owned company in a move that’s believed to be a first in the UK broadcast industry.

He said: “The company has been built on young talent over the years. There are a number of people who work here now who started with the company and have developed and come up through the ranks, from being researchers, to being directors and producers.

“We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent that can bring new energy and ideas to Cwmni Da.

“We also think it’s the duty of a company like ours to offer training to people who want to work in and contribute to the industry, especially in this part of the world.

“The company has changed in the last year to hand over ownership to the workers, and we are trying to expand our markets.

“We are trying to work internationally as well as for our main customers S4C, and there are great opportunities for young people like Siwan, Dan and Tomos to develop and grow professionally here.”