So, it’s been 1 whole year since I started working at Napoleon Creative! It’s also 1 year since I started working in the video production and animation industry.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting observations, things that I’ve learnt and things that I wish I’d known back when I started looking for work and eventually started working.

I’ve learnt a huge amount over the last year so it’s difficult to know where to begin. My role has steadily developed since starting work so I think it’s best to start from the beginning, what I needed to know at the beginning, and then work through the year.

Be ready to WORK and use your knowledge

I started at Napoleon Creative a few months after graduating from UCA Farnham in Animation. In terms of generating ideas and presenting them, we were prepared well. When pitching, I knew to come up with a creative idea, write a synopsis or even a full script, present some designs and provide a taster of the animation. This always seemed like a lot to get ready and for some unknown reason I didn’t know whether to believe that you’d need to do all of that work just for a proposal in the ‘real world’.

Well if you’re thinking the same thing, believe it!

The only difference is that rather than the 6 weeks or more you get to stew over the ideas at university, you’ll only have a week or two at the most to do this in the ‘real world’.

This isn’t meant to sound daunting, I think you’ll actually find the moments of real pressure in this industry are the most fun. But if you’re looking for your first job in the industry or you’re just about to start one and you don’t know what to expect then all I’d say is that you need to be prepared to work hard and make big decisions quickly. You’ll also need to use everything you’ll have learnt at university, any courses you’ve been on or even online tutorials. Go through your notes or just look back on the processes and make a note of all the steps you were told to take during a project. If you’ve refreshed your memory when you start a job then it should avoid the nasty surprise you get when you realise how hard you’re going to have to work.

That’s it for now, hope this has been useful. The next post will be on the differences between creating personal projects and creating client projects.

– Lewis

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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