Two days full of industry guest speakers and skills workshops

Careers Day is all about giving our young people valuable insights into the working world and inspiration for their next steps in life. We explored University as a progression route, the types of Apprenticeships you can get and how they can get themselves meaningful work experience.

We also invited in some amazing industry guests to share their experiences and wisdom on succeeding in the creative industries, and to deliver some exciting skills workshops.

We’d like to say a big thanks to everyone that was a part of our two fantastic careers days – we couldn’t have done it without you. Below is just a flavour of some of the guests we had in and what we learnt from their sessions. 

Careers Day 2018

Adam Sheldon, Big Egg Films – Running your own business and being self employed

Adam is the co-founder and director of Big Egg, a full service production company in Brighton. Adam and David have a combined 15 years or so in the film and TV industries and have worked with Sky, Disney, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Nowness, BFI amongst others. Their most recent projects include a homelessness awareness short film for Brighton Housing Trust released this month. 

See Big Egg’s work here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Big Egg gives work experience placements.
  • Adam recognised that videos and narratives need to be shorter.  Find your niche and unique selling point (USP).
  • Owning a business is scary but liberating.
  • You might have your own team that you need to then pay wages to.
  • Learn about invoices. It’s easy to forget about these kind of things.
  • People like having fluidity when they’re self employed. The opportunity to have different roles on different days for different companies. 
  • If you’re working in media and entertainment and unsure what to charge your clients, BECTU can help and will make sure you don’t charge too little or too much. 
  • Charging too little for your services can be just a put off as overcharging.
  • Brighton Film Makers group has loads of opportunities for (you guessed it) film makers.
  • Also check out Mandy, Shooting People, Talent Circle.
  • Don’t work or surround yourself with arrogant people or those that just want to moan. It sounds obvious but you don’t need to surround yourself with negativity. 
  • Don’t be afraid to turn work down if you don’t think you’d enjoy working on it. If you do accept, you won’t produce your best work.
  • Do get your foot in the door. It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than no ladder at all.

Sam Watts – Make Real

Sam has been working in the games industry for the past 15 years for a variety of global development and publishing studios. He’s worked on MMOs like Guild Wars with NCsoft, casual Facebook games for Zynga and a range of agencies creating promotional gaming titles for the likes of Sony PlayStation, BBC, Channel 4, Sky and more.

More information on Make Real here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • 45% of the games industry is made up from Europe.
  • There are 145 million active steam users.
  • Unity and Unreal software make games development accessible to everyone.
  • There are so many different roles in the industry, particularly in big companies. Find what your strengths are, you don’t need to be a master at everything.
  • Learn new tools, meet new people wherever you can; game jams, networking events…
  • It’s important when in a big studio to have a diverse team with lots of different backgrounds. 
  • There are 35 game companies in Brighton.
  • Sam wants to help develop more work experience and internship opportunities for young people and make it so that there are less game development degree led routes into the industry. 

Sarah Perryman – Brighton Fringe 

Sarah Perryman is the Participation & Development Manager for Brighton Fringe, and works with over 5,000 Participants, Venue Managers and Arts Industry Professionals each year. She started her career as a performer, before moving into arts, marketing and administration. Sarah has worked as a stage manager, a production manager, tour manager and front of house manager. She was a freelance theatre producer for 10 years, taking shows to Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes as well as touring nationally and internationally.

Click here to check out Brighton Fringe.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Learnt about how Brighton Fringe works
  • How they could put on their own shows for Brighton Fringe
  • Came up with their own fantasy shows including emo-burlesque and drag-con
  • Brighton Fringe put 1000 events on in 2018 (4000 shows!)
  • Over 160 venues across Brighton
  • The festival is about celebrating creative freedom. There were events in really abstract places, like in someone’s bathroom!
  • There are lots of support for artists.
Careers Day 2018

Nick Ford Photography

Nick has studied photography and has worked in the field for 10 years. His background has included working as Senior Photographer and Photo Manager on P&O Cruises & Cunard. This has enabled him to travel the world, to some amazing places including Sydney, Hong Kong and Dubai. His work now is portrait, wedding and commercial photography.

Click here to see Nick’s work.

What we learnt from this session…

  • It’s important to maintain relationships with client and people you meet. You can end up with a lot of return business.
  • You don’t want to create more work for yourself so make sure you plan ahead, including all of the little details that make the bigger picture. Be strategic.
  • Don’t miss opportunities! If you need to get up early or stay up late for that perfect shot, do it. 
  • A good rule when out and about shooting is to have two camera bodies each with a different lens.

Sam Hannah – Small Pond Studios

Sam is the Booking and Promotions agent for successful Brighton record label and recording studio Small Pond. Sam books and promotes shows and tours all over the UK and Europe. Sam studied music at university before joining Small Pond. He has worked with The Physics House Band, Delta Sleep, Mogwai and Syd Arthur. He also runs his own promoting business called “Slippy H Presents”.

Click here to check out Small Pond.

What we learnt from this session.

  • Learnt how to put on the perfect gig – how to choose the right band and right venue. What forms of marketing to use to reach your audiences, how much to charge for tickets, etc
  • How to calculate a budget for a show. 
  • General insights into the world of promoting (and specifically in Brighton).

Leon Holder – Audio Engineer at Hope and Ruin

Sam is the Booking and Promotions agent for successful Brighton record label and recording studio Small Pond. Sam books and promotes shows and tours all over the UK and Europe. Sam studied music at university before joining Small Pond. He has worked with The Physics House Band, Delta Sleep, Mogwai and Syd Arthur. He also runs his own promoting business called “Slippy H Presents”.

Click here to check out the Hope and Ruin.

What we learnt from this session.

Jac Mills – Elev8 Careers

Elev8 was here to help with the important decisions student need to make in their career journey. This could be anything from practical decision making (such as what GCSEs to take), to knowledge building (for example where you can take the courses that interest you) to skill building (such as CV writing and interview techniques) and some of life’s bigger questions along the way.

What we learnt from this session…

  • Professional online profiles are essential in helping you to promote yourselves and be more discoverable.
  • How to present yourself well in an interview – what to talk about and what not to say.
  • The different progression options available to young people.
  • Plan ahead, 
  • Find employers your want to work for and approach them. Look up specific contacts on LinkedIn. If you don’t get a response, email them again. Persistence is great as long as it’s not annoying.
Careers Day 2018

Lee Brighton – Label Manager for BBE Records Hastings 

Lee Bright has been with Record Label BBE Music for 18 years now, joining them in their infancy, now part owner and label manager. BBE is globally renowned for releasing quality Hip Hop. Jazz, Disco, Rare Groove and Funk, and has represented artists such as; Mark Ronson, Masters At Work, J Dilla, Will I Am, Bilal, Paul Weller, John Morales to name but a few.

See BBE’s catalogue of music here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • You might not think it but it’s really important to get a good level of English and Maths as there’s lots of data to handle and communication to be had.
  • Lots of people don’t know how their royalties work and there is a good chance that some people will exploit that.
  • Make sure as an artist you know about the royalties and money you can tap into.
  • You don’t go into the music industry to make money – not a good mindset to have. You need to be passionate and it needs to be a lifestyle choice as you need to be switched on 24/7.
  • The internet gives everyone a way to broadcast themselves.
  • Try and get as much experience as you can as early as you can.
  • Engage with local labels and artists you like listening to. They love social media interaction.
  • Record Labels often offer internship placements. If you’re looking for experience, Lee might be able to help…
  • If nobody gives you the opportunity to do it, do it yourself! 
  • You need to have a bit of hustle in this business.

Simon Newbury – Photographer 

Simon runs his own photography business serving Hastings, Bexhill and Eastbourne. He specialises in people, pets and places. He is the winner of the Guild of Photographers’ Overall Image Of The Year (Member’s Choice) 2015 and 2016 and 6th in the Guild of Photographers’ TOP TEN wedding photographers 2017.

Check out Simon’s work here

What we learnt from this session…

  • Simon works a lot with Photoshop – lots of time spent in post-production.
  • Photoshop layers will change your life!
  • Trying to follow a complex line with your mouse is near impossible – get yourself a drawing tablet, you won’t regret it!
  • Challenge: Take a photo every single day – you’ll never be more productive.
  • The flash on a camera gives you complete control.
  • Don’t pay for an expensive camera body. They can all take great photos and you can pick them up on ebay. Spend your money on different lenses as that’s where all the detail and control comes from. 
Careers Day 2018

Ed Frith – Head of Live Programming at De La Warr Pavilion 

Ed joins De La Warr from his role as Music Events Manager at the Roundhouse, Camden where he delivered a diverse range of music events from Radiohead to David Byrne, Patti Smith to Chic, Snarky Puppy to BBC live music events. He was involved in its many festivals including the Apple music festival and Roundhouse Rising – a platform for emerging musicians.

See the De La Warr Pavilion here.

What we learnt from this session…

  • It costs thousands of pounds to open the auditorium doors for a show. Equipment needs to be hired, staff hired, marketing and advertising, ticketing,etc.
  • DLWP could help some students out with opportunities such as photographing live gigs.
  • They wanted to know what young people would want to see put on at the DLWP.
Careers Day 2018

Martijn Van Der Meulen – Snap Finger Click Studios  

Snap Finger Click was founded by Martijn van der Meulen and Ed Gladwin in November 2015. Ed and Martijn originally met many years ago whilst working together at Sony PlayStation, and they both have long careers in gaming and technology, including stints at Yahoo! and Electronic Arts. The team at Snap Finger Click largely consists of the people behind the BAFTA-winning Buzz! quiz franchise and are experts at creating innovative multiplayer experiences.

See the Snap Finger Click Studios

What we learnt from this session…

  • Martijn had a go at making a PS4 game by himself and set up Snap Finger Click Studios. 
  • He made a game in 3 months with his friend.
  • You need to find a way to effectively communicate the ideas in your head with other people around you – a really good skill to have.
  • The way you write things down gets interpreted really literally.
  • Get yourself a Twitter account and engage with the gaming community. 
  • You need to stand out when applying for games. Martijn once had 200 applications for a role.
  • Build an online presence as early as possible. You need to have a stand out portfolio of work. Be discoverable.
  • Just go out and make a game! 
  • If you want to do a degree, make sure you study the right one. Don’t just pick the first course that has “games” in, find out what’s involved and compare it to other uni courses. 

Vicky Speirs – Higher Education Programme Coordinator at East Sussex College  

In this interactive session, learners explored University as a potential progression route. They discussed the pro’s and con’s to Higher Education as well as busting some myths along the way! 

If you’re looking to start your journey into the creative industries, apply to join us in September 2019!

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