TVFutures : Bouncing Back


Jane Lawrance TV-Bay Magazine
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When I arrived at the University of Portsmouth three years ago, I would never have thought in my wildest dreams I would end up where I am now. My time at university has been eye opening, informative and fun. Of all the lessons I have learned in the past three years, resilience is the one that has taught me the most. Starting out in the television industry is hard. Like many others, I’ve applied for graduate job after graduate job and been pipped to the post and rejected many times. I have also started projects and been faced with a variety of unexpected setbacks. Yet, my drive to enter this industry remains just as strong because bouncing back is the joy of resilience.

I recently applied for the graduate advantage scheme at IMG, and from thousands of applicants I got past the phone interviews and made it to the top fifty, all fighting for just four jobs. Now, it might shock you to find out, seeing as I’m writing an article about resilience, that unfortunately I didn’t get that job. However, this hasn’t stopped me from applying for jobs and it hasn’t disheartened me. If anything it has given me the confidence to apply for more jobs because of how far I got.

But resilience doesn’t just apply to getting a job though, oh no, the confidence I have gained during my time here has helped me immensely as a professional. Within University projects it has helped me to find stories that may not have been found otherwise and continually bounce back when I have faced setbacks during production.

In our final year as Television and Broadcasting students we are set the intimidating task of creating our very own documentaries to be broadcast in front of our peers in May (Nail biting stuff I know). We start this project in September and have until the end of April to plan, film and edit. Mine started off pretty well and then, out of nowhere, the client decided they had too many filming crews and they couldn’t have us anymore. Apart from a bruised ego and some wasted time the blow wasn’t fatal and we attempted to find another subject. After exhausting all contacts and being knocked back a total of three times, we found ourselves at the end of February with no subject, no footage and little to no hope for creating a documentary. So what did we do?

Although we were feeling that this documentary would be an impossible task, we stuck with it and we asked around for any ideas or contacts anyone might have to help us out. Luckily, our course leader, Charlie Watts, had heard of a local project going on in Portsmouth, Mandela 100, A celebration of the would-be 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela.

Over the past two months I have been working on this documentary, filming workshops with children as they learn about African culture and filming a final performance. Despite this documentary having a tight turn around and a looming deadline I am so thankful for the chance to create it. All of which would not have come about without the strength of my group and our ability to continually bounce back when faced with setbacks, rejection and a near loss of hope.

My course has taught me many things over the last three years; from setting up a camera, to editing and all manner of technical things but the most important lesson I have learned in my time is to not allow myself to be defeated by setbacks because what comes from a setback could be better than what was lost.


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Contributing Author Jane Lawrance

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