The Beginners Youth Film Academy was founded in 2018 by Gary Rogers and Sharni Tapako-Brown, who had a vision for equal opportunities, and resources, to help kickstart a young persons film, acting and writing career. From having a background in education, it became apparent that filmmaking encompassed many elements of the creative arts. We became aware that working with students from a range of backgrounds and abilities, sparked an interest in learning and engaging with all aspects of the filmmaking process. 

  • Our Mission - We believe that the arts provides a way for children to express themselves and grow in confidence and should therefore be paramount in bringing together people from every walk of life.

  • Growth - Expand, Encourage, Evolve. We support the development of young minds, through practical, and fun activities, that develop creativity, problem solving, and working cooperatively. Our programmes are tailored to provide growth in existing curriculum subjects, such as English, Drama, Art and Music. 

  • Professional Start - We work with industry professionals, using industry standard equipment, such as Red Digital Cinema, Arri Lighting, along with trained actors, directors and teachers (Some you may have seen on TV!) 


Gary is a Midlands born freelance Director of Photography. From an early age Gary always had an interest in photography stemming from the hours spent in a dark room with his father developing black and white film! As he got older the fascination with the movies started to grow as films like Star Wars hit the big screen an interest in how they were made also began to grow.

Gary’s early working career in electronic engineering and software design helped develop a technical background which would prove useful in later years.
After this Gary became a qualified teacher of PGCE status spending around 10 years teaching ICT, DT and Media whilst developing his filmmaking career. As he got more involved in indie filmmaking the demand also grew to a point that it became his full time career, starting his own company ‘Pixel Perfection Media’. Since then and after forging strong relationships a new production company was started with Sharni Rose Tapako-Brown called Country Star Productions with an aim of producing high quality films.

Since then Gary has worked on a wide variety of projects including Music Videos, corporate, commercial and a wide variety of short and feature films.
Some recent credits include shooting a commercial for Sony Pictures and feature films such as Wuthering Heights, Absolution, Abatement, and Rise of the Footsoldier 4.

Born in Dudley, Sharni aspired to become an actress from an early age, taking part in local drama and dance clubs. After completion of her First Class Degree in Acting, alongside the Martin Lawrence Award and Scholarship, she set out to gain as much experience and knowledge about the industry as possible; getting involved with stage, and screen productions nationally. 


From working in the industry professionally, and drawing on her teaching experience in Private Drama Academies, and schools; she wanted to expand and share her knowledge: "Drama and Film helped me to express myself, giving me the confidence to succeed, and so I want to implement that to all students I teach."   

Sharni has now expanded her profile, in also becoming a Producer and Writer for, "Country Star Productions", alongside Gary Rogers. As a woman in film, she believes that there is no limit of what you can learn from others, and thus no limit of what you can achieve for yourself. 


Sharni's credits include: 'Abatement' (Writer/Country Star), 'The Great Fire' (ITV/Jon Jones), 'Macbeth' (Screen Northants/BBC) 'Off To Work' (JME/Daniel Alexander), 'Julius Caesar' (Hannah Perrin/Stratford on Avon), 'A Christmas Carol' (Blue Orange Theatre), 'Wind In The Willows' (Looking Glass Theatre), and many more. 

Gary's cinematography reel



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