After competing my MA at Birmingham I saw an advert online looking for runners at The London Studios. I crossed my fingers and applied and to my delight I got the job . Initially I worked for the building rather than ITV itself which meant I got to work across a whole range of shows (and clean a lot of dressing rooms) including Loose Women and The Alan Titchmarsh Show. I quite quickly found my feet in breakfast telly and I switched to working for ITV which are housed in the building. I initially worked as a Programme Assistant (runner to you and me) on Good Morning Britain and Lorraine and now I’m settled specifically on Lorraine as a researcher. I’m not sure what my future holds but I love my job and the experience and etiquette that FTV taught me served me so well in the early months of my job. If you keep your ears open to people who know their stuff and if you’re willing to make a few sacrifices it all comes good in the end!
Since leaving FTV I’ve been working on various projects at Wall to Wall, a production company in London that makes programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are?(BBC1), The Voice (BBC1) and Drugs, Inc. (National Geographic). After finishing my 3 month placement I worked primarily with the development team on proposed factual series and dramas (which I loved), before I was lucky enough to land a role on the ITV series Long Lost Family, presented by Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell. The series finds and reunites long lost relatives that have been separated for years, and in some cases, may have never even met. It has been an amazing experience and I couldn’t have hoped to work on a better programme for my first TV production role.
Read more about Rosie’s experiences here.
Since graduating, Parul has developed a portfolio career, working in both Europe and Asia as a filmmaker and economist. His films have been screened at several international festivals and in this guest blog he shares his thoughts on the connections between cinema, life and spirituality.
I started my very first career in Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA), the College of Continuing Education shortly after my graduation. With necessary film-making knowledge and management skills, I am involved in training programs such as ‘STA Short Film Production Training programs’ and multiple film production projects.
One of my latest film projects, also my favourite, is A Voice. A Voice is the first short film made by hearing-impaired students in Chinese Higher Education field (Shanghai Theatre Academy(STA) – art design program for hearing-impaired people). It is much more than a film project. Firstly, we gave courses about story-telling and scriptwriting to them, which was not always easy. We always needed the assistance of sign language interpreters but after 10 weeks’ training (one day a week), they were still struggling. So, we changed our strategy. We talked to each one of them and their friends, teachers and parents, and collected stories from those conversations. Then, in order put the project into production, we seek funding from schools, government, companies and the public. Finally, with volunteer help from teachers and students at STA, industry professionals, and Xuhui District Disabled Federation, this short film became possible. With a segment narrative style, A Voice is able to present 23 hearing-impaired students’ lives in 25 minutes. A Voice will be shown on 3rd March 2015, at the 16th International Ear Care Day in Shanghai Hengshan Cinema.
I felt very lucky and grateful that I was able to study FTV at the University of Birmingham. Thanks to that, I am doing things that I am really passionate about.
I had already worked in the media industry for a few years, being involved in production work as well as being an anchor for a news channel, before I enrolled in the MA. The idea was to pursue an academic career along with freelance filmmaking and leave the corporate sector behind. Since the completion of the degree, I’ve worked my way to being an Assistant Professor, in the Design department of a University in Pakistan, where I am now responsible for the cohesion of illustation, digital design and photography with film. The core idea that I’ve introduced, as I’m the first filmmaker in this department, is to be able to use film in any form e.g. fictional, experimental, time-lapses, stop motion, television commercials etc., as a core element in the students Design Thesis presentation. This adds to their portfolio and has successfully led my students to pursue careers in advertisement agencies making television commercials/ campaign. I’m looking to start a PhD next year, before which I hope to complete a film project for entry into festivals. Wish me luck!