(12) My Week At Vertigo Films

As part of my Practical Project, and to enhance my CV, I’ve spent all of this week in London working as a runner/office assistant at Vertigo Films, a film production and distribution company. They did Streetdance 3D and the recent Gareth Edwards film Monsters. They’re currently working on a 3D film of the successful kids books Horrid Henry, and from what I’ve seen, it’s going to be brilliant!

Over the course of the week I feel that, although I was just a runner doing odd jobs and errands, I’ve learnt a lot about how a company like Vertigo works, and the sort of job role I should expect for after I graduate and actually have to work for a living! There’s such a mixture of people who work there, from accountants (yawn) to producers, to web developers to music supervisors, to editors and beyond. So it’s really interesting to see how they work and watch what they do.

There were three other runners there at the same time as me, (they get new runners in for work experience every two weeks) so it was nice to be a part of that group and get to know a few people, learning about their backgrounds, where they went to uni, what they studied (all film and media related of course) and what their aims are for the future.

Some days were absolutely manic, with runs all over London and back again while other days were pretty quiet and slow, with not much going on. On those days I tried to busy myself around the office, helping out with stuff for various people. There was one occasion where I found myself wearing waterproof trousers and some very large walking boots  and standing in front of a green screen doing a photo shoot for some low budget horror film that’s currently in production. I also got the opportunity to go to a screening of Fred Cavayé’s new thriller Point Blank, a fantastically tense and captivating film about an ordinary man who finds himself in an extraordinary situation.

Midweek I got to go to the Broadcast Video Expo at Earl’s Court, where there were countless companies trying to sell their products, including Sony, Adobe, FujiFilm and Canon, just to name a few. At the Expo there were also loads of seminars, workshops and demonstrations to go to – I went to one about 3D films by a guy who works at visual effects company Framestore (who did Avatar).

Overall I’d say that this work placement has been a pretty positive experience. It’s been great to be surrounded by industry professionals and has made me all the more excited for the future. And I may even have a job to go back to after graduation!

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