Well, when I left Lincoln I got on a train to London with a bag of clothes bright eyed and bushy tailedand started living on a friend’s sofa. After a little while I got a job as an office runner working for a very small computer games producer.
I very quickly was given more and more responsibility and was not only making the tea and testing games, but was the technical artist for a DS game (I’m not going to say which one as I don’t want to give away the name of the company). After a few months of this it became clear the job was not for me. The boss had made it clear to what extent he hated me, usually by throwing things at me, swearing at me in front of the whole office and not getting round to cashing my invoices. (For the record I did get paid after several months of pestering, a lesson there for all I think.)
At this point I had moved into a place of my own and found myself penniless and unemployed in London. So dole money and a massive overdraft kept me afloat for 4 months before I landed my current job. I would like to point out that this was by far the most depressing 4 months ever, and I had the urge to give up on the industry and building a career many times, but it is important to stick it out no matter how many bad interviews you have. Sometimes companies don’t even reply to you or they tell you to stop calling them every day.
But a fellow Lincoln graduate had been working for the Sit-Up TV shopping channels, and there was a Floor Manager position going. So I got in touch and got an interview. After getting lost around an industrial park in West London and showing up late this was not looking good. However, after and hour and a half grilling by the head of production I was given the chance to go in for 2 days and see if I could pick it up and gel with the team. So I went along a few weeks later (still unemployed – longest 2 weeks ever!) and did some training.
Unfortunately during the second day of shadowing a Floor Manager someone called in sick and he had to run off to manage a different studio for a few hours leaving me to manage a live show for this time. Obviously I freaked out like never before; there were presenters with broken mics, camera operators asking what needed to be shot next, directors asking me to move the set around, but I got through and it was being able to handle those things on the fly that got me the job.
And now I have been working there for a few months and although shopping TV doesn’t spring to mind when you’re sat in the Jackson watching film screenings or writing how you want to be a BBC director in Working in Media Industries it is very challenging and I work on live TV for 6 hours in a working day and have to do everything quickly and efficiently to make it work.
Also, as an extra point, if you think the equipment at Uni is a little too damaged or you can’t get hold of it for long enough or you’re told how to use a piece of software properly, wait while you work in the industry. The cost of production has been cut all over and everything seems to be made with a sheer force of will and the talent of good crews industry wide.
The most memorable moment like this for me when I was asked to find a free equivalent of Photoshop online, download it and ‘do technical artistry’ on the game we where working on. For the record, I did it!