Breaking into the media industry can be a frustrating and sometimes degrading goal. My hopes were that through applying for a structured, university-supported internship with a film production company would help me get my foot in the door and now I’ve reached the end of that programme, I’m happy to report that it has certainly delivered!
My internship with Sheffield’s well-known film and video production agency Sort Of…Films began post-degree and with a little apprehension around what was expected from me as a Production Assistant with no real prior experience. I quickly learned how diverse the tasks can be, and how much initiative is required. This opportunity has been my crash-course in practical skills as a runner and assistant, which is an experience university doesn’t necessarily prepare you for.
There is certainly no room to be reserved in a job like this. Whether it be helping a stranger feed a radio mic down their dress, or cringing as you try to make acceptable-tasting coffee for office guests because you’re part of the 1% minority that have never made a tea/coffee in their life, an internship here teaches you to have a go at everything and it’s been amazing.
I even stood in as an extra for shoots on a few occasions, which is slightly unnerving for someone with zero acting experience and a lack confidence when in front of a camera rather than behind it. But again, I had the chance to try things I wouldn’t usually, and that made it all the more enjoyable!
My confidence has increased an unbelievable amount, and I feel like my industry knowledge has increased massively. My time here has equipped me with so much more knowledge, some of which never even occurred to me I would need in this industry.
Ed Cartledge (Managing Director) has been a great mentor throughout my time here, never making me feel underqualified or embarrassed for not getting something right first time, and encouraging me to improve in many areas of production. The internship has been very much tailored to me and the areas I am interested in. From creating spreadsheets and invoices in the office, to second camera assisting on shoots, I feel like I have gained a firm understanding of how a small production company functions. As a result, I feel much more employable, and assured that I now have the skills for further employment.
This internship has already opened many more opportunities for me. I have met so many people and made quite a few contacts in my time here, and I couldn’t be more grateful for such a friendly and entertaining yet stimulating first-step into the world of media.
Author: Ellie Hague