If you make a good impression like Sam Holding, 2017 BA(Hons) Film graduate, connecting with industry professionals during university can kickstart your career.
Two days after handing in his final dissertation, Sam was already starting work as a video editor at Beagle Media, an international content production studio with bases in London, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Since then he has worked on commercials and a series of films for clients including Amazon, The United Nations and The Prince’s Trust.
Rewind the clock and you’ll find it all started with a placement in his second year, where Sam was part of the crew for Night Rose, a short film shot by Beagle Media in Cornwall.
Sam recalled: “The project involved two calls with the company CEO and producers to establish the scope of work and the filming of three shoot days. From our time on set I got to know the company director well, who was impressed by the footage and our professionalism on set.”
He made such a great impression that from that connection, Sam “was offered three days of freelance work on a pitch film for one of Beagle’s clients, UBS.”
When Beagle Media established a new studio in Newquay in 2016, Sam was “first pick for the position of editor”, having kept in touch on a freelance basis during his third year of study.
“It was a great feeling to know the pay-off for the past three years was coming, thanks to the placement and my work throughout the third year,” Sam told us. “It certainly took some of the stress out of the final semester and allowed me to focus on getting a First.”
Sam is now Beagle’s Post Production Supervisor, working across both the London and Newquay bases. He manages post-production scheduling, a team of editors and all aspects of the company’s post-production workflow. In his spare time, Sam has also cut a number of music videos and shorts for festival and online release, and is editing his first feature.
Sam told us: “The lessons and research of fundamental theory throughout my time at university has proven one of my biggest assets coming into the cutting room and working with directors. The appreciation and understanding of cinematic language and story has been able guide me through situations where in every other aspect I was out of my depth.”
“Whenever I am struggling to diagnose the problems of a scene or am confronted with creative roadblocks,” Sam added, “recalling the words of editors and film theorists I had researched during my studies, in addition to the words of lecturers in crit sessions have always guided me through with sound logic and intuition.”
Sam’s advice for new practitioners is: “Work hard. Be kind. Be humble. Say yes. Investigate all the small avenues and connections you have at hand, even if they appear unlikely to yield anything at first sight. One fortunate connection is all it takes to get in there, then it’s over to you and your work ethic.”