A Place For Placements - TVFutures

Luca Di-Maio

Author: Luca Di-Maio

Published 3rd November 2019

A Place For Placements - TVFutures

I've been interested in media all my life… making short films with my mates in Windows Movie Maker when I was little... I never really knew where I wanted to go career wise, but I knew I always liked video production. So it will come as no surprise that I chose a degree that would provide that outlet, and I hoped that dedicating three Years to studying BSc Television and Broadcasting at the University of Portsmouth would turn my fantasy career, into reality.

Learning to operate and use industry standard cameras has been interesting, and working in a television studio environment was educational, but it was when I began editing on AVID Media Composer that something magical clicked. I’d used other software before, Premiere Pro is a great NLE don’t get me wrong, but AVID was something else, It seemed to set the rules. Difficult from the offset, but through an initial phase of sheer frustration, followed by a brief love/hate period, I was sold. This program became so enjoyable to me to use, the intricacies of it, that, when learned, allows you to do pretty much anything, and it reminded me of my initial love and passion for editing.I had fallen in love with editing all over again.

Most University of Portsmouth courses offer a ‘sandwich’ placement year option, but I was never interested. Why? Honestly, I just wanted to get on with the course, but one fateful morning an email came through promoting a years placement as an editing technician within the University. I tried to imagine myself in the role, but then I laughed it off, could I really do this? I'd be guiding students just like myself around the labyrinth that is AVID, helping them learn to love it like I did, and I began to wonder why couldn’t I do that? Well, it turned out that I could.

After applying for the job, going for the interview, and successfully landing the job, I felt I became a different person. I'd got to learn the software at a far deeper level, but the other responsibilities taught me so much more. The social skills that came from working with adult colleagues, and the responsibility of being present and available from 9 to 5, really changed my priorities. I swapped laziness for opportunities, and being in this “work-mode” spurred me to try and excel at everything I did. The daily routine helped me alot. I found myself in a better sleeping pattern, I was going to the gym every evening, and finding time for activities that might normally be lost to a late-morning lay-in. I was now working where I’d spent two years studying! If I had any fear of how I was going to be treated I needn't have worried, and the respect I was shown as a colleague has created friendships that will no doubt last me beyond my time studying in Portsmouth.

I’d be the first to admit that I may not be hugely academic, but vocational courses and work experience like my placement offer a real chance of learning life-long skills. The joy that I experienced helping others with AVID issues and giving video editing advice in general was second to none. The more experience I gained from the job, the better I was able to identify these little issues, down to the tiniest problems to the last minute deadline stress. I pride myself in that I could always (mostly) help find a solution, and I’ll always cherish the feeling of accomplishment, proudly walking back into the office knowing I’d possibly saved someone’s day. Like a savvy bartender, I came to know the “regulars”, the hard workers, the serial editors who would always be there, heads down, focused on a frame of footage, or giving the perfect look for a shot.

So the real perks of the job as they say, even though it sounds a little bit cheesy, is the friends and professional colleagues you make along the way. Beyond the friendship is the life skills, work experience, the sheer professionalism of performing at a high level, the list is endless! To sum this all up I’ve got to say that I’m relieved I didn’t delete the original email informing me about the job opportunity, because my applying for the job has been life changing, and to have missed that opportunity would have indeed been a tragedy.

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