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Commentaries Emma Hay. Freelance production assistant by Emma Hay I ’m very nostalgic. Blame it on too much Austen and Bronte at a young age. I love photographs, how they pinpoint a moment in time that you can never reclaim. Especially spontaneous photos that capture just how you were feeling, (no matter how unflattering it is!). I also have a habit of reflecting on the past, looking at where I was, what I was doing, and how that has shaped where I am now. I was incredibly fortunate and excited to be involved in the stream of the release of the new Call of Duty game, MW3, for the second year running. Last year I was a location manager for the stream in the Game store on Oxford Street. We had a Skype link running on a Mac Mini in the stock room back to the ‘HQ’ at Battersea Power Station. I was the contact for the producer and stream director, and then liaised with the crew filming at the store. I had only begun work experience with a media company 2 weeks earlier, and previously to that had no experience, so I was very much chucked into the deep end! But I loved it, and I learnt so much. Beats University lectures hands down! ;) November 7th 2011 was the release of MW3, and I was on the team again. But this time as the assistant producer. This involved a fair amount of pre- production, working closely with the Producer, the (lovely) Lindsay Barker, MD of Mediakinetic. The majority of the work involved using the most hated implement of my generation. THE TELEPHONE! Er what? I thought all my generation ever did was sit huddled in a ball shut away in a dark room with our thumbs moving quicker then our heartbeat, as our hair gets longer and our eyes get darker? Well maybe. But we’re texting, not calling. I very rarely call people, and if I do, it’s because that person doesn’t have a mobile at the time, or I can’t 40 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE get to them through Facebook or Twitter. I don’t like making phone calls, especially to people I have never met or spoken to before. And don’t get me started on answerphone machines. But phone people I did. A lot. I donned my best ‘telephone voice’ and rang the crew members about everything from tshirt sizes to transport to whether they would prefer the meat or vegetarian option for lunch. One thing that happened a lot at the event was that people would introduce themselves to me and then not register me of anyone particularly important. Then they would go and ask either the Producer or one of the Directors for something, and were told to ‘go and see Emma’. Sometimes the realisation still didn’t dawn, and so they would be pointed in my direction. To which I would be greeted with ‘oh you’re Emma’! ‘Yes we spoke on the phone’. I was in the building from 5:30am until 3am the following day, but it felt quicker than a normal 10 hour day. There was always something to be done. And I was so grateful to have a team of production assistants who were on hand to help. These guys did a brilliant job. I’m a bit of a control freak, often I am reluctant to assign jobs to people when I know that I can do exactly how it needs to be done. But I guess it something you have to learn, (and I certainly didn’t have the time to do it all myself!) and these guys did a brilliant job. Because I needed to be in contact with the runners we were all kitted out with a set of comms. But I also needed to on the same set of comms as the producer, directors and camera crew. Thank goodness I brought my tool belt! I stashed the packs in there and then had one set of comms running to an earpiece, that went under the other MASSIVE headphones. By the end of the day, my hair was a complete mess! Another word about the tool belt - brilliant for keeping a stash of kitkats! Especially as I didn’t have time for dinner. (Not recommend. Especially followed by a glass of wine at the after party) Now the music acts were PHENOMENAL. I’m a bit of music junkie, so a set by Example and one by the mighty Chase and Status? So exciting. Amazing. Incredible. But the highlight? Being waved at by GRAEME SWANN!!!!!!!!!!! Again, a bit of a love for cricket. This event was the best job of the year by far. The team were lovely and the buzz is incredible. I loved it, being more involved in the production side of things really made me feel like I had a part to play in how the stream turned out. Now obviously I could have gone to University. But I struggle to believe how the training I would receive in a lecture would be superior to the experience and teaching I receive by working on a job with such talented people. Though I am academic (a nerd) and enjoy studying, no inspiring lecture or essay will ever come close to feeling of that job. I don’t regret my decision to give up my hard- won place at the most desired media journalism course in the country. Sure, if you want to a doctor or a lawyer then University is necessary. But I’m getting brilliant training on the job, and I don’t believe that University would make me more creative, only enhance my knowledge of how things work. Creativity is not something you can learn. I know what I’m capable of and having worked with outstanding editors, directors and producers, I would never claim to be their standard, I am not an editor, or a director or a producer, but maybe I will one day. And I am going to get there without needing a degree. As always, I love to receive feedback - tweet me @emmabeanies. MERRY CHRISTMAS!