Jonny Paterson graduated with a degree in English Literature and History (Joint Honours) in 2010. He recently gave a great interview to Pam Stucky for Huffington Post about life as a Film Producer and how he got in. The interview is well worth a read if this is something you’re interested in and you can do so here.
In addition to this, we also asked Jonny for his top tips for other students or graduates interested in film production. Here’s what he had to say:
Get an internship
My first two jobs in the entertainment world were internships where I was essentially an assistant to an assistant! Not the most fun job in the world, but undeniably beneficial to me in that they taught me about company politics, expectation levels, how to communicate with industry professionals etc. They were also great networking platforms that led me to meet a lot of people I still talk to and work with today.
Consider post-graduate opportunities
Following my degree at Leeds, I studied a Masters at Carnegie Mellon University, which introduced me to a lot of the technical and formal intricacies associated with the film world. I learned a lot about the economics of the industry and how the various different strands (TV, film, video games, theatre, sport etc) correlate with each other. It is a very insular industry that has it’s own ‘language’ and learning that before immersing yourself in it, could help expedite your career and help you really grasp opportunities from those you are up against. Post-grad opportunities are also a good way to ease you in to the harsh realities of trying to hustle in Hollywood, which I found to be no bad thing.
Network, network, network
The film industry is so much about ‘who you know’ and the only way to know anyone is to get out there and meet them. Being pro-active in sourcing networking opportunities is one of the best uses of your spare time. Preparation for those events is also key; have business cards ready and be able to talk about who you are and what you’d like to do pretty much on command. We call it an elevator pitch in ‘Hollywood’ and it’s essential to start practicing yours as soon as possible.
Remember, we are here to help you whatever your future ambitions – or even if you need help figuring them out. Talk to us to find out how we can help you.