Laura Payne, class of 2010

In September 2010 I graduated with a 2:1 in Media Production. In the midst of rising graduate unemployment, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a job in television. Little did I know that a year later I would achieve my first TV Credits as ‘Offline Editor’ for a new children’s TV series: Cartoonito Tales.

Show Reel from Laura Payne on Vimeo.

Since graduating I’ve completed two very exciting Media internships; a Creative Media and Design Internship at Cope Seeds Ltd and a Creative Internship at Turner Broadcasting. Here is my story…

In May 2010 I’d finished all my university degree work and was anxious to find work straight away. I found a Creative Media and Design Internship that was advertised on the Enterprise@Lincoln Careers website. With some help from the Enterprise Careers team (in particular; Mark Stow and Lesley O’Donnell) I was able to be fully prepared for the interview.

After successfully getting the job in June I worked for around 4 months making corporate films for Cope Seeds Ltd; an agricultural seed company. This involved travelling around the country with the company filming interviews with farmers and then editing together films for a DVD that was sent out to 2,000 customers. However, the internship didn’t come without various difficulties. For a start, I didn’t live in Lincolnshire and the company was based in Sleaford. The salary was minimum wage so I wasn’t able to afford accommodation. Luckily a very kind friend of mine who was a 2nd year student at the university was able to offer me her room in Lincoln for the summer whilst she was staying with her family. I also didn’t own any filming equipment but I managed to get permission from David Sleight to borrow a camera, boom microphone and tripod free of charge from Media Loans. The internship involved a lot of hard work, I still have bad memories of lugging the very heavy camera and tripod every morning to Lincoln train station to catch a train to Sleaford and then having to carry it to the Cope Seeds offices! But it was worth it!

We travelled to the most beautiful picturesque farms that were situated in places like Northumberland, Shropshire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Norfolk. One minute I’d be filming some crops in the wonderful summer sunshine and then the next I’d be playing with kittens on a farm. I also learnt a lot about Organic farming and met some very friendly and interesting people.

After all the filming came the arduous job of editing A LOT of footage into individual videos for a DVD and online. For this I self-taught myself how to use Final Cut Pro. The internship was absolutely fantastic and its huge credit to everyone at Cope Seeds for making it so enjoyable!

You can view the corporate videos I made for Cope Seeds here

When this internship ended I feared that I wouldn’t be able to find work in Television. To be honest I wasn’t even entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life and where in Television I’d like to work, it was quite a confusing time! After an unsuccessful interview for a Media KTP for Lincolnshire Co-operative, I left Lincoln and returned home to Cambridgeshire to live with my parents.

I spent 4 months in unemployment on JobSeekers allowance. If any graduates who are unemployed are reading this I sympathise entirely because it was very bleak, boring and frustrating. Despite it being only 4 months, it felt like eternity. During this time I was applying for Runner jobs, TV internships and pretty much everything and anything. I probably applied for over 100 jobs. I had a handful of interviews at Post Production houses, Ideal World and then just random places like Debenhams and Hollister. Looking back now, I am incredibly glad I didn’t get any of those jobs, because each one of those interviews were horrible and I knew I wouldn’t be happy working there.

In the end, I applied for the position of ‘Creative Intern’ for the UK Creative team at Turner Broadcasting, which would mean working for children’s channels; Cartoon Network, CN Too, Cartoonito and Boomerang. I wanted to do something a bit special to make me stand out from all the other applicants. Luckily I am quite good at drawing so I drew birds on my CV just to show I was creative! Some people may think this is unprofessional and idiotic but I got an interview!

For the interview I had to bring 3 things – something that made me laugh, something that inspired me and a piece of my own creative work.

The interview was fantastic, I knew within seconds that this is where I wanted to work because for once instead of only being asked standard HR questions like; ‘What are your strengths and weaknesses?’ ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?’, I was asked things that were relevant to the job and how I work creatively. But also I was able to SHOW them the work I did and how I did it. The interview enabled me to be completely myself, which was great!

I successfully got the job and started work January 2011. I’ve just finished the internship and it has honestly been one of the best years of my life!

The first couple of months of the internship I was completing small tasks such as editing together small packages for monthly meetings and making trailers for On Demand services. Then after a while I was given more responsibility, such as being Producer for some On Air content:  Boomerang’s Pet of the Week competition spot, Boomerang Continuity, reposting promos for Cartoonito, Cartoon Network and  Boomerang. Eventually you are given opportunities to make promos from scratch.

The job involves mostly video editing, but you are also scriptwriting, and attending creative brainstorms and audio sessions. In the audio sessions I got to work with a variety of wonderful sound engineers and voice over artists. You also get to go to a few film shoots, which is always fun!

One of the first jobs I did was filming/producing/editing a Behind the Scenes video of a shoot for the Cartoon Network website:

In October 2011 I was extremely lucky to be given the opportunity to be Offline Editor for Cartoonito Tales. Cartoonito Tales is a new TV series on Cartoonito which was filmed for 5 weeks at Malcom Ryan Studios in Earlsfield. I had the very unique experience of editing the whole thing on-set which also gave me a fantastic insight into all the production work that went into making the series. Whilst waiting for footage to render or transfer I would often go and help out with the Art Department in constructing the sets or speak to the crew.

The TV series has been a great success and I’m incredibly pleased and privileged to have been part of it. Hopefully series 2 will follow shortly next year!

You can watch the Behind the Scenes footage of Cartoonito Tales here (n.b. I didn’t make this!), to give you an insight into how it was made, although I only feature for about 5 seconds!

You can also see the Promo I made for the TV series here

I have to give huge thanks to the Producers who work at Turner who have taught me so much during my internship and been so patient with me. In particular Doug Murchie, who also coincidently also graduated from University of Lincoln with the same degree in 2005.

Not only have I really enjoyed the Creative work but I’ve also made some wonderful friends, it has been an invaluable and unforgettable experience. If you are seeking work in Media – keep on applying and don’t give up!