Read our 2010 graduate Paul Rook’s frank insight into job-hunting, freelancing and striving for a dream job. Paul and another LSM graduate, Joseph (Joey) Fallon, have been nominated for The 48 Hour Film Project “a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and your team have a blast making a movie. All writing, shooting, editing and scoring must be completed in just 48 hours.” In the London 48HFP 2013 competition Paul and Joey are up for two awards for their entry “Disconnect”:
It wasn’t long after my previous post on the alumni blog that I went full steam trying to find a new job. My company had tied me down to a contract that required 3 months’ notice. This caused a bit of a dilemma. If I didn’t hand in my resignation immediately I would never be able to leave for another job as no where would wait 3 months, but if we did part ways then I could find myself unemployed down the line. Never let yourself get into this position, no company should ever put a low earner in this position.
As the football season ended I let my boss know I’d be leaving and set about working out what I’d do next. It was quite liberating knowing I wasn’t going to be comfortable any more, which really pushed me to look for work. I carried on freelancing here and there, went to a few trial days with post-production houses in London. I realised the experience I had at the time wasn’t enough to get me in anywhere higher than a runner.
After getting rejected by Sunset + Vine for a Junior Editor position one of my friends suggested making use of the contacts I had through my current job. The first email I sent was to someone in the marketing department I knew at Liverpool F.C. It just so happened they were looking for a VT Editor for their club channel LFC TV so I sent my C.V. over and got offered an interview straight away. After a couple of long trips to the north-west I was offered the job and even though I was desperate to move to London I couldn’t turn down a full-time editor position for the team I support.
Now just over a year into the job, I’ve been given the title, FCP/Adobe editor, got some great contacts and am finally getting paid to do what I enjoy. However, this hasn’t stopped me getting more experience. I’ve been down south countless times to work on projects and always try to learn more. On top of this I’m already looking at moving jobs again and finally get that dream job in London. This is hard when you live so far away. It can get demoralising when you start shelling out £50 a train ticket for an interview only to be rejected at the final hurdle. All you can do is keep applying. Further more, you soon learn it’s easy to get pigeon holed. Sport isn’t the worst area to pursue but if you want to move to music videos or short films you have to effectively work your way from the bottom again.
Full-time freelancing is another area I’m considering right now. With some good contacts already and a growing list in the north it’s looking like I may take the leap. After meeting freelancers through my current job and some studio-camera shadowing I did for BBC Sport I’ve learnt it can be stressful and risky but very varied if you have a broad enough skill-set. As such, I’m getting back in to Avid Media Composer, improving my online-editing, and doing as much camera work as possible.
I don’t regret moving to Liverpool as I have improved hugely as an editor, even if I’m far from my family and friends. However, I have quickly learnt that in the real world of the media industry you must deal be able to deal with equipment that doesn’t always cut it, work insanely long hours and know how to handle producers/corporate clients who don’t know what they want. You must work incredibly hard outside of your normal hours to hone your skills and if you want to move on and improve then continue to do free/low paid jobs. Most importantly make sure you have some good friends at work so you can go to the pub and let off some steam.
You can find links to some of my work for LFC TV below, as well as some recent freelance pieces.