Manny dreams of an exciting and bustling career in film and TV production, inspired by the sets he’s visited during his work experience. With a catalogue of skills developed alongside his increased confidence, it’s safe to say that Manny is fully prepared for a life of lights, camera, action!
“Our media course drops you in to all sorts of different areas of media, so not just television production. You do a bit of radio, film, television, podcasts, and you just get a real taste of everything. It’s a good place to start and find out where you want to go with your career. Some people don’t know at first, they just know that they want to do something in the creative industries. For me, I want to go into film and TV production. Other people on my course are also finding out what their true passion is. So, if you want to go into the industry and are unsure of what you want to do yet, I think coming to Banbury and Bicester College is a good idea.”
It comes as no surprise that Manny feels prepared to progress when you learn more about the various creative mediums he’s explored at college while studying his Filmaking (UAL) Level 3 Diploma. With the relentless support he receives from his tutors and friends, he’s not afraid to make mistakes and try new things, no one is.
“You get a lot of creative freedom here, no one holds you back. If you want to do something, they’ll let you do it. The only thing stopping yourself, is you. The teachers give you the kit, the industry-standard equipment, and these include lighting, cameras and sound equipment, so there’s nothing stopping you from making something great. It’s a really good place to experiment and try something new. I think if you want a career in the creative industries, doing an entire course based around media is a great idea instead of say studying A Levels, where only a third of your time is dedicated to it. Here, you get to dedicate all of your time and energy into something creative and really build up your portfolio.
Having an extensive portfolio is imperative in the creative industries. A strong portfolio highlights your work and is a sure-fire way to impress potential employers, be it for full-time job roles or work experience with big brands.
“I recently did a short five-minute radio show for BBC Radio Oxford. It was about reality TV and was part of the Banbury and Bicester College takeover. It was a really good experience and we got to meet loads of the presenters and get an insight into their lives. It’s not what I’m really into but it was good to see how they gathered information to translate from radio into film and television production.
“I also had the opportunity to go on the television set for Endeavour, which is the Inspector Morse prequel. It’s a big show, so I saw Shaun Evans, the director and the actor. He’s the main man and I met loads of other actors that I knew. I talked to them to get an insight into how they’ve got to where they are and how everything comes together to make the final product. It’s not just all in the execution, there’s so much planning and I think for someone that wants to go into that industry, it’s eye-opening and you see it so differently. You see it behind the scenes and when you’re actually there and everyone is on set, it is completely different. I think getting opportunities like that set up by the college, you’re really not going to get that anywhere else if I’m being honest.
It’s evident that Manny’s variety of experience has cemented his decision to pursue a career in film and television. He now fully understands how his broad range of skills and experience will benefit him in reaching his ultimate career goal.
“I just think that when, or if, you’re going off to university or onto work, doing work experience like that is so important. You see how mature everyone is and that everyone is very serious. I think you only get that by being there. The Endeavour set was simply brilliant. Universities will look at all the stuff I’ve done including the work experience and they’ll go, ‘he’s got a broad spectrum of work’. So, you know, a lot of places don’t just look for you to show loads of films, they want a bit of art, a bit of radio, a bit of film and television. They want you to show you’ve got a broad idea, that you’re creative in every way, and not just in television, that’s what they’re kind of looking for.
In being able to try his hand at all creative mediums with access to industry-standard equipment from day one alongside his experience on set, Manny knows the demands and professionalism expected within the creative industries.
“I think the TV studio is brilliant, you get access to really good equipment and you can do some really cool stuff with it. Joe, Steve and everyone know what they’re are doing with the equipment, so if you need some help, they are always there to help you. You’re never not given access to it and you know they’re never going to not have what you need. The iMac suites are brilliant. If you want to do some editing for a few hours you can sit and put your headphones in and just grind it out. I just don’t think you get the kind of facilities for film, television production of media anywhere else than here. When I first came here, I was like ‘bloody hell, this is insane’. It’s just brilliant and it’s really good here.”
Manny continues to enjoy college and hopes to perfect all he has learnt. He commends the community spirt at the college and all the new people that he has met. On completing his studies, Manny hopes to progress to university.
“After this course, I will hopefully go to University of Westminster and study film production. I want to do film production; I like when I went on the set of Endeavour and it inspired me. I really liked the feeling of being amongst it all. To see Shaun Evans in power, I’d like to be somewhere like that eventually in my career. The University of Westminster is highly regarded, and I think coming here I’ve built such a big portfolio that when you compare myself to a person who has done a media A Level, I’ve done a lot more than they have. So, I think you stand more chance coming here if you want a media career. You have a much better chance if you come here than doing an A Level course because you just build up so much here.
“I’ve learnt about myself a lot more, not just with the work I’ve done but I've built myself as a person. I’ve become a better person; I am more mature within my work and I think going to university now is going to help me massively. I’ve always been quite a confident person, but I think that having all this equipment laid out and the fact that it’s just you who makes all the decisions, means you gain a lot of confidence. I was a bit nervous when I came here to make new friends and stuff like that, but everyone's been brilliant. There’s a really good comradery about the place, everyone gets on with each other and there’s a mini community in creative industries, not just on the media course but all courses. It’s a really comfortable place and you feel at home, you don’t feel nervous or anything.”