TVFutures - Location Assistant


Maddison Young TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

Hi, my name is Maddison Young and I am an undergraduate on BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting at the University of Portsmouth. If there is one consistent message being given to students these days it is ‘move out of your comfort zone, and get real industry work and experience’! It’s a scary message, and my first year saw me take mostly internal and ‘safe’ experiences within the realms of the university. I was determined to change this approach as a second year student.

The thought of meeting actual industry employers from beyond the city of Portsmouth makes me a little anxious. I panic and ask myself, ‘what will they expect me to know and do?’ and, when push comes to shove, will I actually know how to do whatever it is they require? Well, I'm pleased to say that since the Summer of 2018 I've changed how I feel, and it was all because of an opportunity that came my way.

I managed to make contact with a location assistant from Shepperton Studios, who was looking for a location marshal. A location marshal for a new major film. A location marshal for central London. A location marshal position which, once the initial (starstruck) reaction faded, scared me to death!

From the minute I received a confirmation email from said location assistant, I knew this was reality. I was asked to meet the locations team at St Paul's Cathedral. Me being me, I arrived 2 hours early so resorted in the comfort of a McDonalds meal and free wifi. Free wifi, to check up on the details of the evening's events, but mostly to contact my mum in my nervous state!

On the first of my two days in London, I met my fellow marshals at ‘the truck’ (what I learnt was the hub for all location materials and our beautiful high-vis vests!) To my surprise, there were only five others. My over thinking on the commute convinced me I would be a tiny fish in a huge pond of marshals… I was wrong.

Between the six of us, we were set a huge range of responsibilities to prep for the next day, when the team were shooting. Admittedly, I have never been so physically tested. We were carrying heavy matting and safety equipment back and forth from the truck to St Paul’s Cathedral. Trust me, the walk was far. Alongside this heavy lifting, we had to organise the ‘crowd holding’ area, where the other cast members are held. Having called them ‘extras’ in the first ten minutes of my shift, I swiftly learnt they prefer the term ‘supporting artists’, oops!

Despite my role being explicitly a ‘location’ marshal, I was naive to the fact a production company can truly hire out one of the biggest tourist attractions in London. This was a huge feat, in both setting up the barriers to ‘lock off’ the location and managing to work around the general public (especially on a friday night whilst people are sporting their dancing shoes!)

Once the preparation had finished, leaving me mentally and physically exhausted, I prepared myself for the following day of work! The following day was in fact one of the craziest days of my life. My role included stopping angry members of the public entering the set, speaking to some incredibly talented people, and making a, now, very good friend. I assisted in the movement of the director and producers seats on the set; Very cool!

The number of marshals on this day was significantly higher which put me at ease knowing there were some other newbies among us. However, I was a proud, but temporary owner, of a radio pack over some of the others which made my responsibility a little more important! It was as if I had to, to those without a walkie-talkie, ‘tell them what to do’. ‘How exciting’, I thought, before realising how much location lingo I was yet to learn! Remind me never to mistake a ‘10-1’ for a ‘10-2’ again...

Beside the toilet breaks, the shoot itself included stunt vehicles, famous faces and a large team of like-minded, successful creatives; I could not have asked for a greater experience! What was I anxious for? Simply spending two days working for a real company opened my eyes to how every cog in the engine of making a film counts, and I was one of them!

Maybe my nerves were heightened as I was doing work on a film rather than in a snug television studio like our one at university. Even so, these apprehensions have lessened immensely as I write this article, on my way home from another shift as a location marshal! Seeing more emails from the location assistants, and being able to work on the same production must mean I am doing something okay? I can’t wait to one day sit in my local cinema to watch the film I was actually a part of, even if it was just a small part.


Tags: iss135 | portsmouth university | location | training | education | Maddison Young
Contributing Author Maddison Young

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • Autocue at NAB 2013

    Autocue at NAB 2013

  • Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

    Pinknoise at BVE North 2012

  • Datavision at BVE 2012

    Datavision at BVE 2012

  • Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

    Real Life Kit at ProVideo2011

  • SADiE at IBC2011

    SADiE at IBC2011

  • Training and education within the broadcast industry

    Training and education within the broadcast industry

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

    Cambridge Imaging Systems at BVE 2014

  • SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013


Related Shows
  • Dick Hobbs talks to Charlie Watts from Portsmouth University about courses, Covid-19 and more

    Dick Hobbs talks to Charlie Watts from Portsmouth University about courses, Covid-19 and more


Articles
The Importance of Audio Production Systems
Tom Knowles Large-scale entertainment programming presents a unique set of challenges for broadcasters. Often extremely high-profile keystones of a broadcaster’s schedule and increasingly billed as live ‘event television’, as well as delivering the very best audio quality they demand a huge degree of flexibility and agility in terms of their production. With music being such a core component of their appeal to growing audiences, in both linear broadcast and online, nowhere is that more important than their audio production systems.
Tags: iss142 | ssl | solid state logic | system T | tempest engine | binaural encoder | Tom Knowles
Contributing Author Tom Knowles Click to read or download PDF
How to engage students with live projects
Martin Andrews For many employers, how and what we teach at university is sometimes considered to be very mysterious. The responsibility for creating the structure and content within the curriculum is the responsibility of academics. In my experience, the best method for making sure that students and staff are kept up to date with current working practices is to regularly engage with ‘Live’ projects and ‘Real’ clients.
Tags: iss142 | ccitv | university portsmouth | charles haskell | vlogs | Martin Andrews
Contributing Author Martin Andrews Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation and Virtual Social Distancing
Dick Hobbs - new Under normal circumstances, I usually make my plans for NAB in November time. It’s when the airlines tend to have sales. This year, for personal reasons, I did not get around to booking back then, and it was only at the end of February that I could start thinking about it.
Tags: iss142 | nab | kitplus show | iabm | darren whitehead | warner media | streaming | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
The Business Case for Hybrid TV and AI
Oliver Botti Video on demand (VOD) and OTT live services have come a long way since their introduction and, rather than solely competing with traditional broadcasting, they are becoming more important than ever in helping to keep broadcast TV networks popular, in particular when combining TV broadcasting with online TV into Hybrid TV models, thanks to convergence standards such as HbbTV and Atsc3.0. In the UK, the average weekly OTT viewing minutes shot up from 60 in July 2015 to 152 in September 2018. Meanwhile, OTT TV and video revenues are expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2023 in the UK and $61 billion in the US.
Tags: iss142 | fincons | ott advertising | vod | ott | hybrid tv | augmented overlay | faang | Oliver Botti
Contributing Author Oliver Botti Click to read or download PDF
CLASS Is Remote Cloud Working the New Norm
Bruce Devlin - new The Tuk-tuk driver has just dropped us off at the hotel in Jaipur. The guard has let us through the gates, past the dogs and the obligatory cow rummaging in the garbage. We wash our hands, head for the bar and before the first Kingfisher beer arrives, I am connected to the virtual Mr MXF compute kingdom where a million unread emails, Slack messages, requests for help with broken workflows and rejected files are waiting on a collection of virtual servers somewhere in cloud-land.
Tags: iss142 | mrmxf | mr mxf | covid-19 | remote | gotomeeting | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read or download PDF