By Julia Belle Issue 113 - May 2016
How do you become a Hollywood Film Producer?
Or a Second Assistant Director?
Or a Gaffer?
Truth is, they’re not particularly straight-forward questions to answer. But that doesn’t mean you should give up there and start working in a jam factory as your school careers advisor recommended.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with that, jam is delicious... just not so relevant here.)
‘Breakthrough’ is a project that sets out to answer the toughest of all career questions: ‘How do I get a job in film and television?’ Our YouTube channel will be offering loads of quality video uploads where we ask successful individuals to describe their journey to success and to outline any advice they’d give to those who are just setting out.
We’re not just talking to actors and directors, we focus equally on people who hide behind-the-scenes; jobs like writers, editors, producers and camera operators are just as interesting and important. Think about it, how often do you get to hear from the Director of Photography or the Set Designer in a ‘making-of’ video? Never, right? Well, we want to get you access to them and everyone else.
I’m Julia Belle, the project’s founder, and I came up with the idea just after I left university. Knowing I wanted a career in media, but clueless as to how to go about it, I was sitting with my mum watching a film and as the credits rolled up at the end I found myself fascinated by the list of hundreds of names.
“Look at all the people it takes to make a 90-minute film, mum. I don’t even know what half of these jobs are!”
“What’s a ‘Gaffer’?” My mum said, having spotted it in the list.*
“Exactly!” I shrugged. “How does a Gaffer know he wants to be a Gaffer! And then how does he become a Gaffer?”
That’s when the idea of Breakthrough dawned on me: A YouTube channel where this information is free for everyone and anyone to access.
I met James Copson, the director of Manchester-based film production agency, Anattic, through a mutual friend. I saw that his work was of an astounding quality, and that he had worked with clients such as Kellogg’s, Eon and The British Council. So I pitched the idea to him and as it turns out, I was in luck since he had only recently expressed an interest in searching for a passion project.
James said: “With Julia’s natural presenting techniques and rapport with the camera, Anattic take the lead in the creative direction of the content. We focus on quality, style and narrative in our approach to production. My stubbornness ensures we utilise high quality equipment and production techniques. We also respect traditional filmmaking techniques and disciplines such as writing and pre-production, sound design and lighting, so the project really relies on a network of talented filmmakers to both create and feature in our films. We also like to practice what we preach and have long term plans to provide quality work experience to students and passionate individuals, giving them an opportunity to work with equipment and filmmakers, as well as meet some of the amazing people within the industry.”
Over the past year, James and I have built up a small and innovative team including two creative designers who go by the company name ‘Tucano’ - they handled our web design, graphics and photography. Additionally, we have a social media team and of course, a network of filmmakers to create our viewing content.
So, now I’ve got the project off the ground with guests lined up, a production company on standby, and a small team of very motivated individuals who totally back this idea, I’ve turned to the crowdfunding site, Indiegogo, to rocket launch the web series. If you wish to help us get this project going and in turn, offer guidance to thousands of ambitious viewers, then please visit our crowdfunding campaign site and make a contribution. We are offering some very tempting perks in return. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/breakthrough--6/#/
We’re also keen to hear from practised professionals with stories to tell, so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, last but not least, SUBSCRIBE to our channel, and we’ll help you BreakThrough.
*Gaffer - Head electrician, responsible for the production’s lighting setup and rigging.
Anattic website: http://www.anattic.tv/
Tucano website: http://wearetucano.co.uk/