A Hollywood movie maker gave tips to students on a visit to Barking and Dagenham College

This article appeared in the Barking & Dagenham Post on the 8th November 2023.

An image of the Barking And Dagenham Post news article as it appeared in the paper. Kristin Ellingson appears in a colour photograph with two students outside the college.

Gave 300 students an insight into film industry

Kristin Ellingson, who co-wrote the Nineties movie Hackers starring Angelina Jolie and Jonny Lee Miller, gave insights to a packed conference hall of 300 students at a careers event on the Rush Green campus, organised by The CyberHub Trust education charity.

“I grew up in a very small town in Montana and knew I loved movies, but didn’t know how to get into the industry,”

Kristin told the audience.

“I just knew about acting and directing, not all the other roles. It was when I was acting on a set that I saw all these other jobs.”

She went on to be the writing partner of Rafael Moreu and worked with him on Hackers.

Kristin now works with MetaLVX virtual reality specialist studio to create special effects for film and television.

She pointed out the opportunities “right on the doorstep” to start careers in technology with Dagenham’s Eastbrook film studio complex opening nearby.

It was standing room only in the conference hall to hear Kristin and other experts in cyber security, like Ben Franklin, chief technology officer at BIT Group.

Ben explained the tricks fraudsters use to hack into things like smart phones, musing on when he was younger and his Motorola was only capable of calls and basic texts.

He said:

“Young people have grown up around technology — for my generation it was new.

“It’s now part of the everyday life, on technology all the time. It’s important to teach them how to be secure now and the future.”

Art and design student Zoe Glover, an 18-year-old from Marks Gate, found Ben’s presentation especially interesting. She recalled:

“The standout bit was the cyber security — I learnt things I didn’t know.”

Fellow design student Maisie Moore from Ilford, also 18, enjoyed the whole “eye-opening day” and was “still figuring out what to do” for her career.

The event careers attracted students from courses including digital technology, cyber security and from creative programmes in film, e-sports, media, design, and fashion.