Epic Studios at ‘How to get a job in TV’ BBC Academy Session – what went on?
Epic Studios’ TV and video production coordinator, Lou Clegg, and technical assistant, Ben Bailey, were contributors at the BBC Radio 1 Academy on Monday and we’ve been a bit curious here in the office, about exactly what they got up to! I had a chat with Lou about how the day went and can now spill the beans to our readers.
So, the session was a ‘speed meet’, entitled ‘How to get a job in TV’ and Ben and Lou were asked to go along to talk to local teens hoping to find work in the industry. They shared information about the work they do at Epic Studios – with a view to providing helpful insights to attendees – and answered direct questions put to them about their roles. I wanted to find out what it was like taking part, what sort of questions came up the most and which experiences they had shared.
“It was great to take part at this event. I know exactly what it’s like to have a real passion for media but be unsure on which direction to take, so I could relate to many of the attendees,” explained Lou. “Interests were really varied at the session which was good to see. Some wanted to work in front of the camera, but most were hoping for behind the scenes roles – like researcher or editor.
“The most frequently asked questions were about our typical daily routines and how to prepare for various media positions. The advice I gave was to be as proactive as possible in gaining some experience – either through further education and training, or by just plain getting out there and doing it, or a bit of both! For example, if you want to get into filming or editing, it is possible to gain valuable experience these days, with devices, online tutorials and software etc. that just weren’t freely available, or as affordable when I was younger. So, I think it’s a great idea to take advantage of that and get feedback from others to help you improve.
“Personally, I’d also recommend that school-leavers determined to get into TV work, take up some kind of Further Education that leads to an FE qualification and helps to give them direction. Locally, for example, both Access to Music and Norwich City college offer level 3 Diplomas (2 year courses resulting in the equivalent to 3 A-levels) that can help prepare you for work or higher education, in Creative Media and Media Production. Or you could ask your careers advisor about relevant apprenticeships in your area, which is how Ben came to join us at Epic Studios – via Access to Music.”
I asked how Lou progressed into her current role and what she told attendees about a typical day here at Epic Studios.
“My progression into this role was pretty different to Ben’s, but for the vast majority of it, I really enjoyed the journey,” she said. “I studied music/media at Access to Music, City College and the UEA, volunteered as show producer/co-presenter at Future Radio for a while and worked in several other employed or freelance media roles (such as music marketing, independent radio production and even photo-editing) before being offered employment at Epic Studios. I love the autonomy, diversity and constant opportunity to learn something new that I get in my position here, so I consider myself very lucky.
“A typical day for me at Epic Studios wasn’t straight-forward to summarise! It could involve communications with clients, creating call sheets for events, taking part in meetings with designers, or production and post-production work (such as vision-mixing or editing). Yesterday I was in the studio taking a TV wall apart with our technical manager, so, as you can imagine, I never get bored!”
Lou is also taking part in a UEA/BBC smartphone journalism workshop at the Academy, so you can catch her back at Open for that, between 12:00-14:00 on Friday 15th May. Or, if you’re interested in local Further Education opportunities, why not take part in her Creative Media ‘Taster Session’ at Access to Music on 27th May (contact Access to Music Norwich for details).