Our current Sixth Forum work experience student’s thoughts on Film and Northants.
“I have been massively interested in the film industry for as long as I can remember and after visiting a set in 2011 I knew that I wanted to be on set or in a studio when I was older, with my mum saying I just wanted to be in the credits and I didn’t care where. All my choices have be based on this dream, with me taking Media Studies and Drama at GCSE, and taking Film and Media Studies at A level. After asking someone who works in the film industry how they got there, they came up with one answer, “sell your skills for nothing and get experience.” After hearing this I was more determined than ever to find somewhere that I could do work experience.
Work Experience at a film company in Northampton… trust me, I know what you’re thinking, the phrase alone seems so distant and contradictory. How could Northampton possibly house a film company, and furthermore how and where do they film?
When I first stumbled across Screen Northants I had an overwhelming sense of confusion as I tried to figure out ‘why Northampton?’. However, as I researched further and further into the company, I started to realise how amazing their ideology is. The idea is simple: producing short and feature films all shot in Northampton, whilst also acting as a social enterprise group that uses Film to help the community; running workshops for disadvantaged young people as well as bringing the community together through the production of films. Reading this gave me so much excitement and I knew this was a place I wanted to be involved with. Firstly it meant I would have experience within a film company, which will ultimately help when applying for University and jobs in the future, but secondly it meant that I was given an opportunity to help within the community, a point in which I had not previously considered until discovering Screen Northants.
I emailed straight away. However I didn’t think I’d get a reply; given the excitement of the film industry, and the dream of so many young people to work in Film. I thought the place would be so busy with work experience students that they wouldn’t even consider me. However I checked my emails the next day to see I had been offered a place, and it was organised for me to start in two weeks. I’m not going to lie, I actually screamed, and texted my mum so she could share my excitement. Work experience at the moment seemed to be gold dust with a number of my friends struggling to find placements so I knew I was incredibly lucky, which only added to my excitement.
I didn’t have high expectations for what I would be doing, making teas and general admin would’ve been fine for me. That’s generally what you expect when you sign up; but from the second I arrived I knew that wouldn’t be the case. Since day one I have been very active in what they’re doing here at Screen Northants and have been kept busy. I was even given one of their cameras to film a short video to help promote the release of a song from an upcoming movie.
Now that I have experienced what it’s like here, I’m even more confused as to why there isn’t a line around the corner of people wanting to work here. The experience I have gained, and the opportunities I have been offered are amazing, and to be able to go into University saying I have experience will help massively. I am gutted that my week is over and on Monday I have to go back to school. However I have managed to convince them to let me come in every Wednesday, so they’re not getting rid of me that easily.”
We are very excited to be having her back – and glad that she won’t have to “sell her skills for nothing” because she will have gotten valuable experience while still being in Education. That’s why we exist, to level the playing field and make sure people can get industry experience without bankrupting themselves. Please support us: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/non-profit-feature-film-studio-screen-northants-community-diversity/x/15295438#/