Waterloo Film Studios- Day 1

Day One- Monday 17th February Today was the start of my two-week placement at Waterloo Film Studios. It was pretty much everything I wasn’t used to and something that I would quickly have to adapt to- a very early morning, the London Underground and rushes of people. I left for my journey to work with a bit of extra time to make sure that I could turn up early. Luckily, I had planned to be in London the weekend before I started before I had applied for the work experience, so I had already had a run through of the journey to be extra prepared. When I arrived, I had to sit on reception as both the receptionist and studio manager were running late. Although all I had to do was answer phones, I straightaway felt completely out of my depth. I was told briefly about the company upstairs, who people were, how to use the phones, what to say when answering, who was using what studio today and that I must not leave the reception area. It felt like I had already been fed a bit too much information and was dreading for the phone to ring. I thought I was getting used to it, but I made a mistake and someone from upstairs had already come to give me a telling off without even being there an hour. I can officially say from that moment on I was already dreading the next two weeks. It wasn’t a surprise when I was whisked off reception and given a tour of the building. Walking round I was shocked at how small the place was and how little people they had working. Well, the studios themselves were of a decent size (there’s four, Studio One being the smallest and then each number being smaller than the last), but the building and space wasn’t very big, which meant that they couldn’t have live audiences watching any filming. Because of the nature of the studios being green screen or painted solid white, it meant that they had a lot of music videos and adverts shot there, with some of the biggest clients being Game of Thrones, Disney, Tiger Aspect and ITV. I was then shown upstairs, where I got slightly confused. Above the studios is another company which Waterloo Film Studios is a branch off from. They are called Spectrecom Films and are a film making company. They had offices full of producers, scriptwriters, creative directors, editors, cameramen, soundmen and directors. It seemed odd that they used completely different names although they were the same company, but I soon learnt the reasoning is to not put off other film company competitors filming in the studios. After the tour I had a meeting with my manager for the next two weeks who wanted to know exactly what I wanted from my time here. In all honesty, I hadn’t thought about this on my way to work this morning or in the days leading up. Although my purpose for being here is to build myself professionally, all I knew that I wanted to do was learn things and have fun. I have never worked in a film studio before today, so this whole experience is definitely going to be one I can take something away from. I asked if it would be possible for me to spend a few days on some shoots and maybe even spend a day upstairs with the editors. Although I know the basics of editing, I have never really been able to tell if I’m a good editor or not (which probably means I’m not). Anyway, the meeting definitely gave me something to look forward to. Throughout the rest of the day I filled in invoices from previous clients and sat in the office talking to the studio manager and bookings maker. It was interesting hearing them talk to new possible clients on the phone, trying to sell the facilities to them, making first, second and third pencil bookings and seeing the cost of everything on the invoices! As well as studios they also have an amount of camera and lighting equipment that people can rent from them instead of having to rent them from another source. Lets just say, I’m really glad I’m going to have the Media Loan Shop for the next year! The last hour until I left I shadowed one of the lighting technicians on a shoot for a company called City Scape who I was told I would be running for the next day before I left to go home. If I’m honest at that point I wasn’t that interested in the lights because they weren’t having to be moved much, but I was more absorbed in the such different working manner that the company had to any I had seen. As a student, the only shoots that I had seen are student shoots that I have been in, quite laid back but unorganised and very time consuming. However, as you would expect from a paying company they were all on the ball, organised and still raring to go when I left to go home. My first day didn’t really involve too much but I’m really looking forward to going back tomorrow. Although, I am absolutely petrified for my first time being a runner! It’s going to be really exciting for me and I feel like I’m going to learn a lot in these next two weeks.

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