Media students get film career kickstart
15th April 2011
Five media students from the University of Lincoln have been cutting their teeth in the film industry as part of an innovative scheme to provide internships with professional production companies.
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.
The interns have been working in production and technical roles on set in order to gain valuable experience before they leave university this summer.
Hannah Cook from Old Warden in Bedfordshire 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’).
She began her internship as a runner and production assistant but was promoted after just one week to production secretary.
Darren Mitchell from Worksop spent three weeks in North Yorkshire working as a production assistant on Entity, a low-budget horror film being made by Nexus DNA and starring Dervla Kirwan.
Rishi Hindocha from Harrow spent his internship observing the post-production process on the film Grabbers – a sci-fi movie by Forward Films – at the Molinare editing studio in Soho.
Two other Lincoln students, Natalie Sawyer and Michelle Walsh, are currently working in London on two Wellington Films projects: Man's Story, a film about Savile Row suit tailor Ozwald Boateng, and Cold Warrior about a 14-year-old Romanian gymnast.
Hannah Cook says she found the experience invaluable. “To begin with I was a runner for the whole production and assistant to the producer but a week into the internship I got 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.”