Finding your way in the media industry through City, University and Harlow College.

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We all wonder what we want to do when we are older and want to find something that we are really passionate about. Spotlight reporter Rebecca Edwards explores some of the possible pathways that you could go down in the media industry.

WHEN we were younger we were always asked two major questions: what do you want to do when you’re older and where do you see yourself in five years time.  This is when we tend to explore different subjects, to find out about our true passions, and one of those subjects that sparks that flame for students is media.

There are multiple pathways you can go down with media when it comes to careers and one that is the most well know is film.

MEDIA: Equipment used for filming.

This pathway has a large variety of career options for people, ranging from director to producer to editor but there are more roles that contribute to the success when it comes to creating big blockbusters movies.

Gemma Pecorini Goodall, who works freelance on film production, described life in the industry: “When on films, I mainly work in the office – doing paperwork and filing as well as making calls ensuring that our cast and crew have everything they need for when the camera turns over. The hours are very long, with eleven hour days being the absolute minimum but I do love it. The film industry is definitely not glamorous but if you enjoy it, there’s truly nothing you’d rather do.”

How do we find the thing we really enjoy in the film industry and figure out what we really want to do while keeping all our options open? Well, the best way to do that is to maybe enrol for a vocational course at a college.

MEDIA: Lorraine Love principal tutor of Harlow college’s media course getting ready to teach her class.

Lorraine Love the principal tutor of Harlow college’s media course said, “We do film and creative media. In the first year, they get introduced to lots of different skills, so they do editing, film making and 2D design that sort of thing. And in the second year again it’s developing on those skills. So extending their editing, film making, producing directing and you tend to find that students find their little niche.”

However, this course doesn’t just explore the world that you tend to normally see. You can also experiment and explore movie prosthetics. From creating deep cuts, and more, this allows you to venture into other elements of movies.

Lorraine added, “We did prosthetic, and I’ve got one student who’s really engaged with creating makeup and stuff like that for the film world. She was quite creative and hands-on anyway, but that bit of experience has made her have added interest. And she’s going to explore this progression for her career.”

On the media course, you get the opportunity to discover what you are passionate about in areas of the film industry alongside dipping your toes into other areas. But what if as a result of this you find that you have a passion for more journalistic based work?

One pathway you can explore is taking a journalism course at a university. For instance, you could do a BA (Hons) Journalism course at City University, London, which offers students the opportunity to find out the history of journalism as well as giving them hands-on experience as a journalist in the industry. Students are also offered the opportunity to learn abroad in places like France, Hong Kong, America and Australia.

Richard Evans, the programme director of the BA course at City, said, “It’s a very practical course, there’s an academic side as well. However, from day one really you are going to be out there in the street talking to strangers, finding stories in the local area.

“Some of our students are working as well as studying at the same time. They are working for national newspapers or broadcasters, where a lot of them end up getting jobs.”

He added, “The skills we’re providing are what employers are telling us they’re looking for now, which is a range of skills. You need to be able to edit video and audio. You need to be able to design print pages. You need to be able to prepare material for the web. As well as the old reporting skills, you need to be able to use to: find out stories, how to write, how to go an interview people, how to research.”

This is just a snapshot of what they can offer their students. On top of this, as a result of taking this course, 85% of graduates were employed in professional and managerial roles, within six months of graduation.

Media: microphone to record voice-overs.

But what if you are interested in something more technical? One aspect you can explore is gaming and this can be done via gaming courses which enable you to learn a variety of skills including design, research, idea development and much more. In addition, to giving the students an idea of what it’s like working in the gaming industry, they get to design and make their own games and apps.

One of the gaming students from Harlow College  said, “There so much behind the scenes that people aren’t able to see when it comes to development and publishing a game and what I like about the course is that everyone is there for you and the teachers are always there to support you and everything.”

These are only a few of the many options available for students wanting to break into the world of media, but the question that remains is: where do you see yourself in five years’ time?












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