Finishing university is such a daunting and scary prospect and it really is quite a shock to your life. I spent the lectures in my third year listening to the many wonderful graduates that came in to talk to us about life after university and I would always walk away thinking how did they do it and how would I be able to do that? I honestly did not think it was possible for me to do until I worked out the thing in common with everyone that came in; they all made their own luck and opportunities.
After the final hand in and a much needed rest, all I could see was the blank few months leading up to graduation in September and the countdown to moving back home to Hull. I started to feel a little lost so spent a lot of time updating my CV and applying for any job that I saw. It seemed like months of hard work, applications and the odd interview here and there had not paid off until late July.
A media company in Hull, Eon Visual Media, who I worked with before and also did my R&D group project on, contacted me to say that Channel 5/The Garden Productions were about to film a documentary series in Hull and were looking for runners so they put me in touch. Everything seemed like it all happened at once and was offered a marketing internship, a frequency festival internship among other things all within the same day. The decision I made was to take on the part-time internship at a brilliant award winning communications company, H&H, as well as being an ad-hoc runner for The Garden Productions, this was to keep my options open and to gain as much experience in as many areas as possible. After a while, my internship was in the last stages and was offered a full-time Runner role.
Being an on-location Runner was so much fun and it was such a great experience to work in my home town. The documentary series is about East Yorkshire Motor Services, based in Hull and I spent two and a half months meeting and working with a bunch of fantastic people, both film crew, employees and members of the public. Everyday is different working as a Runner and it is an essential role if you want to work in TV or film so you can really figure out what you want to go into.
I got to experience and see so much of the production, as I was part of quite a small filming team. My duties ranged from wireless boom mic operation, getting personal release forms signed to public relations work and driving crew around. I even got to experience what researchers do by casting people to appear within the programme, securing locations as well as finding other runners to help out, specifically Lincoln students/graduates. As well as the actual work, I took the opportunity to talk to the directors, the series producer and other members of crew about how they got into this job and any advice they might have. All of the stories were so varied and helped me personally get to know everyone, which has resulted in great references and recommendations to other industry people. I also was given opportunities I would never have had, such as being trained and using one of the Canon XF305 cameras as well as learning about observational documentary production and the use of Go Pro cameras. As we had spent so much time with the bus company and made some great friends, towards the end of filming they arranged for their driving school to teach us how to drive a bus and set some challenges.
Now the series is in the post-production stage, I am back to being unemployed (the downside of freelancing) but more hopeful and confident than I was in May. I am going to be coming into the University of Lincoln on 9th December, in EMMTEC from 5pm-6pm, to talk to 2nd years about work experience, gaining opportunities and hopefully sharing some invaluable advice which I wish I had when I was still in higher education.