Work experience in the summer holidays?!

I am on my last day of two weeks at Screen Northants doing work experience, and I am quite sad to be leaving as I have had a great time and learnt so much.

Over the two weeks, I’ve researched the gender gap in the film industry, written nearly 100 tweets for Screen Northants Twitter, gone out of the office to take photos and been on a film production set and so much more! It’s been a great insight into what the film industry is really like and not just the idealised Hollywood version. It has made me realise that the film industry and working for a film company (like Screen Northants) is not just filming or editing, it’s a lot more than that, it’s applying for funding, finding filming locations and the list goes on and on. This doesn’t mean work experience is not fun or beneficial though: the work you do, whether it’s researching grants, taking photos of buildings for the Location Database or even filing paperwork, helps Screen Northants and it is greatly appreciated.

The skills and knowledge I have learnt in these two weeks will definitely help me with my A Levels, UCAS application and university (where I plan to study Film Studies). The main reason I came to do work experience is because universities are now looking for work experience to get onto their courses. The limited film companies, organisations and opportunities in Northamptonshire meant that I struggled to find anywhere to go, that weren’t in London, so when I found Screen Northants, it was a godsend. I’ve completed the work experience now and this means I stand a better chance at getting in to my preferred university. However, my time at SN has been much more than just turning up to say I turned up – I have genuinely done work that will help SN and I have learnt about the UK film industry. For example, I already knew about the UK film funding system from AS Film Studies, however I could apply this school-knowledge to real-life, as I have found grants that apply to SN. This has widened my knowledge and makes my studies more real, which is beneficial for me in the long-run.

Paul, Becky and Hayley, and all the volunteers at SN, are extremely passionate about film and Northamptonshire, it is lovely to be surrounded by people with the same passions as me. The environment and atmosphere is fun and interesting every single day – the conversations can vary from the latest films and favourite films to what Paul is having for lunch! It is truly a casual and loving place to be. I have loved coming here everyday and I haven’t minded getting out of bed early in my summer holiday’s to come down here!

I am planning on coming back in September to do a couple hours of volunteering a week, which shows how much I have enjoyed my time here. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in film industry or studying it. Screen Northants is a real film company in the real film industry making real films, and this is an experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the county and the understanding you won’t find in educational studies.

Alicia

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