Who said unpaid work doesn't pay off?

By Christina|June 12, 2015|Blog, MA Scriptwriting|0 comments

Back in April, I started a three week internship for Boomerang, a production company based in Gloworks in Cardiff Bay. I worked there for three days a week and waitressed and studied around the full days.
It was an amazing experience and I will most likely always be grateful to Stapes for putting me in contact with Wil Edwards, head of production. The placement afforded me with a great look into the post-production process. It opened my eyes to the varied roles and demands of non-fiction TV. 
I spent three weeks working on post production transcripts for series one of Posh Pawnbrokers, a daytime spin-off of Posh Pawn, which is currently airing on Channel 4. For the first time since finishing my language degree, I actually used my linguistics background to create transcripts of entire episodes worth of dialogue. My fancy symbols, as the the production secretary, Hannah Hoskins, up it, made her job easier because I apparently missed nothing and made her job easier. 
During my last week, we actually caught up to Gorilla. We were transcripting faster than they could edit the footage and lock the content, apparently. So my next task came from Posh Pawn series three. My job: find the most extravagant thing (I don’t think I’m allowed to say what that thing was as the photos haven’t been released) for a shoot promoting series three. It was an interesting research job that had my emails bouncing between sports clubs around England. I even got referred to someone who had already been in contact. It just shows how small communities are. 
Anyway, there was a point to this post other than updating on my work experience well experience. 
As a result of my limited time at Boomerang (and a little bit of eavesdropping at one point or another), I received an email from Wil 3 weeks ago offering me a rather last minute 4-5 week job with Boomerang.
He emailed on the Thursday. I started on the Monday. 
Of course, I dropped everything and jumped at the chance. I was on the phone to Hannah (see above) and all confirmed to start within 30 mins of receiving Wil’s first email.
And just like that I got my foot in the door and gained a paid job as a logger on a new Channel 4 documentary pilot… All by doing the one thing every person with experience in the film and TV industry rants about: I worked for free. I gave up my own time and proved that I was worth something to people who were actually willing to reward me for my effort. 
Something to remember whether you’re established or starting out. 
Somehow I feel like this quote is relevant right now. Even though I’ve only taken a small step, it’s a huge achievement in itself. 

People keep working in a freelance world because their work is good, and because their easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all 3. – Neil Gaiman

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