We’ve participated in the University of Kent’s Employability Points scheme since 2017, offering a two week work-experience placement to one successful candidate. This year we welcomed Joey Quan, a 3rd year Film student from the School of Arts to join us for the summer, here’s her diary.
Published: September 2023
Throughout my academic journey, I had never believed in simply being content with having only university coursework as part of my experience. I have filmed countless zero and micro-budget student genre films, live performances and sports events, but never really touched on real-world client-facing shoots. Realising an opportunity to change that through the Digitom placement was a wonderful and eye-opening journey.
On the first two days, I tagged along to help with shoots at an accountancy firm Maslins and Horder Healthcare. I had the chance to familiarise myself with the company’s production gear, two professional Sony video cameras, tripods, lighting and sound equipment, which was great for a tech geek like me. My tasks were varied but I was essentially a Runner, helping Production Assistant Nick to adjust the height of the tripod, swapping out lenses on the camera, setting up lights and the boom mic, and setting marks for contributors.
I was enthralled by the way the Founder & Creative Director Tom Chown interacted with clients, as I had never actually liaised professionally with clients in a business setting. He always managed to elicit the best from the contributors confidently and effectively. I found that the company grew through word-of-mouth. People trust others they know, or at least the judgement and opinion of those people.
The second week’s placement was spent mostly in the production office, which is one of the nicest environments that I’ve seen for an edit suite. As someone who has only ever used Adobe Premiere Pro for editing, it was a great learning experience for me to observe the use of Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve editing software, as I watched Tom’s fingers flying deftly over the keyboard as he pieced together different soundbites, music, and graphics to form a well-polished film. Tom gave me the chance to undertake the sync pulls of footage myself, where I basically took on the role of an Assistant Editor, cutting out the unusable parts of interviews and footage in order to streamline the editing process.
I also attended production meetings with clients, both through Teams and in-person for a forthcoming recruitment campaign for British Transport Police, a Zero Tolerance dramatisation for Stagecoach South East and a TV Commercial for Horder Healthcare. The meetings were more relaxed and informal than I expected, and it was definitely interesting to see how Tom’s years of experience working with various executives and clients translate tangibly.
With exposure to real world professional shoots and sitting in on client, this entire experience has been quite a stark difference from the type of filming one would get up to in a university film course and has been absolutely invaluable. It offered me a glimpse into a world where creativity and professionalism coexist harmoniously, reinforcing my passion for visual storytelling. I am filled with gratitude for the Employability Points team, and Tom especially, for this learning opportunity that continues to fuel my pursuit of a video production career.