Stephen - Sustainability and Programmes

Sustainability is something that is on the ever-growing conscience of the greater populations mind; but that doesn’t mean we know as much about it as we think, a category I certainly fall into. What (I like to think) I know a lot about however us the world of practical film making and digital media. This is a topic that I have many years of experience in, and my skill set is ever growing. These skills, and a successful interview, netted me a Micro-Placement with the Sustainability team at the University of Suffolk. As I will elaborate on below, promotional media isn’t my strong point making me initially hesitant to take this Micro-Placement up. Well, put simply, I am glad I did!

My Micro-Placement has been a journey of education and enrichment. It has (positively) taken me out of my comfort zone and I have been forced to develop new skills, and hone existing ones, with relative speed. In the context of sustainability, my knowledge was limited. It was a topic briefly covered at high school and something I’d spent a few hours learning about when on a trip to a sustainable campsite in America. So, my knowledge was really lacking in that department. That is not to say I am a sustainability knowledge bank now, far from it in fact, but my eyes have been opened to that aspect of our world. In terms of development in the film industry, this was my first real foray into advertising/promotional visual media, I had written newspaper articles before and done some basic graphic design, but this was a true deep dive into the sector. Being a Digital Film Production student at University of Suffolk, this is not an area you would typically investigate, so it was great to have that opportunity. Furthermore, my advertising module was cut at college due to COVID, so it really was new!

As earlier stated, I have been forced to adapt and learn, fast. Not because of the nature of the placement, but more so the nature of the world of film. Problems arise that you have never experienced before and you must solve them there and then or you miss the shot, simple as that. Your problem-solving skills are really put to the test and developed because of that. When you work alone on a project of this size, your personal management skills really come into play. As I didn’t start my placement until November, all the wonderful wildlife at the University was looking a bit worse for wear. We had to sit on and plan the project for a couple months until spring. This leaves you more and more pushed for time. By the time Spring rolled around, there were a mere 3 months left of the academic year to get this project complete. I was in contact with numerous parties about shooting at any given time, on top of my studies. Diary management and effective communication was needed, and I was taught the importance of that. To summarise; this opportunity has allowed me to develop in not only the world of film but my general day to day personal management too, which is perfect for my degree!

Whilst I may have shot and edited this piece, it was something that I truly could not have done alone. It sounds like a cliché but is 100% true. My thanks go to Noah, Michael, and Jake, all of whom helped with the physical production- really couldn’t have done it without you. And to those otherwise involved- Nigel, Thomas, Vi and no less Justine. You have all been amazing to work with! If you end up on a placement with the sustainability team, no issue is too small, they will find a way to support and help you. It will be an amazing experience! My thanks go to Annabelle and her team too, the co-ordinator of the Micro-Placement scheme, without whom, this wouldn’t be possible. Further thanks go to Alex Gooch and Helen Langton, for you allowing us to interview you, Sophia for allowing me to capture you in the lab and James for his wonderful acting with the electric car.

An extra special thanks goes to Justine; she has been so supportive from the first step and has co-ordinated and facilitated so many shooting opportunities for me to make this possible. Whilst she won’t accept the title, I would be proud to call her the executive producer of this project.

Are you considering a micro-placement and are unsure if it is right for you? Ask! Hours are flexible and there will be something that takes your fancy.

Having on final read of this page before submitting your application/accepting an offer? Do it!