Media student gets film career kickstart
15th April 2011
An innovative internship scheme has given media students from Lincoln the experience of working on professional film shoots before they graduate.
Hannah Cook from Old Warden in Bedfordshire was one of five media students from the University of Lincoln who have benefited from placements arranged and part-funded by EM Media, the screen agency for the East Midlands.
She has just completed a six-week work placement in London with The Bureau Film Company working on The Comedian, a feature film debut by writer/director Tom Shkolnik starring Edward Hogg (Bunny and the Bull, White Lightnin’).
Through its Kickstart scheme EM Media, the screen agency for the East Midlands, and the Lincoln School of Media chose five final-year students to work as crew on productions shooting between November 2010 and May 2011.
“It was fascinating to be involved in shooting The Comedian,” said Hannah. “At no point was there a script; the actors did improvisation workshops with the director to build the characters’ relationships and the whole shoot was completely improvised.
“That made scheduling locations quite difficult as every day we got our next location from what had just happened on set.”
Hannah, who is about to graduate from Lincoln with a degree in Media Production, found the experience invaluable. “To begin with I was a runner and assistant to the producer but a week into filming I was promoted to production secretary,” she said.
“I really enjoyed it. It was very useful to see how the industry works and the placement has given me loads of great contacts too. It was very hard work but well worth it! It was the kind of entry level position that’s really hard to gain once you’ve left university.”
Marcella Forster, Senior Lecturer in Script and Screenwriting at the University of Lincoln, came up with the proposal to place students on feature film productions after six Media Production students worked as runners and sound assistants on her award-winning short film The Lamb and Flag.
Working with colleagues Janice Kearns, Dr Sarah Barrow and Dr Tony Daniels, Marcella successfully bid for £10,000 from the university’s Innovation Fund to cover expenses and mentoring for up to five interns. EM Media then secured match funding from Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative industries.
Dr Sarah Barrow, Head of the University of Lincoln’s School of Media, said: “We’re committed to providing as many opportunities as we can for our students to gain experience of working in the media industries.
“Kickstart offers students a fantastic chance to work with top film-makers, to develop their creative and technical skills and to get their foot in the door of an increasingly competitive world of work.”