ACCLAIMED director and screenwriter Mark Herman has opened a film company in York to help graduates get their first step in the film industry.

The writer and director of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, Brassed Off and Little Voice, who lives in central York, said he started the business after thinking back to his early career when he left college.

He said the industry has become more and more competitive and the new venture Parashoots, based on Pavement, York, will provide training and work experience for budding filmmakers.

Film graduates will work with professional crews on short films for the public and private sector to hone their skills and to provide a fresh creative approach to corporate videos.

In October, it will also start offering training courses in screenwriting and filmmaking.

The business is not trying to make a vast profit, said Mark, but he hopes it makes enough money to be able to support making some short films for cinema and stimulate filmmaking in the area.

“The corporate films are our bread and butter. It pays the rent and gets the company moving,” he said.

Mark is a fellow of film and television at York St John University and teaches film techniques at a number of film schools. He said: “I see a lot of talented film makers coming out with their degrees and the search for jobs usually takes them to London.”

He said the courses he teaches get bigger and bigger every year as the industry gets more competitive. “When I went to film school there was only about a dozen graduates, now there seems to be courses in every town. It’s a very crowded area of people coming out of college and trying to find work.”

Mark, who was born in Bridlington and studied film at what is now Leeds Metropolitan University, is currently working on a number of independent projects alongside overseeing the new venture.