It’s been a great summer in Tatton TV & Film world! A big part of this has been down to the inspiring work experience students we’ve had with us. Us dinosaurs sometime forget but often the hardest bit of working in a creative industry is actually getting into it so we were over the moon to help some young’uns get that first line on their sparkly new CVs. Brilliant Clara was our fourth and final student, and she has crafted a blog to tell everyone what it’s like to hang out with us lot for a week.
“I love TV and film productions, and I always have. I mean, who doesn’t love a bit of Netflix after a long day? I’ve always been interested in how the shows on TV are produced and filmed, how the sets look so realistic and how the production crews find such perfect places to shoot in. That’s why Tatton Locations was the perfect placement for me. Over the course of this week, I’ve toured a disused part of a factory, been to the set of CBBC’s The Worst Witch and watched Hollyoaks film a new episode on location.
It was a really good week. I’ve been up on my feet every day, going all over the Tatton Estate and seeing new places I wouldn’t necessarily be allowed in on any other day. For example, on my first day here, I was taken around a factory with Abbie from Tatton Locations and a Location Manager for a veeery big film franchise. The factory itself was still working as per usual, but part of the site was disused and so would be perfect for filming. The place was huge! There were big bronze and silver pipes everywhere you looked, massive yellow domes and ladders scaling it all. There was even steam spurting out of some of the pipes – it was straight out of a dystopian fantasy about humans on Mars. As well as the actual location being so awesome for me to see, it was really cool for me to see Abbie and the Location Manager in action; I hadn’t realised just how much work is put into TV and film productions, even before a place to film has actually been found!
I was lucky enough to come in on a week when CBBC’s The Worst Witch were filming. The car park has been packed full of trailers and vans, people running from one to the other, desperately trying to avoid the rain. Seeing all the child cast members in their costumes ready to go and film was so cute! The studios they were using are on site at Tatton Studios, so we were right next door. They’ve nearly finished filming the series but we got to go in and have a look at the studios whilst the sets were still up and the props in place (I was lucky to see it when I did!). It was so impressive. Being able to see a set up close and wander through it was definitely a highlight for me. The attention to detail was incredible. Seriously, everything was so carefully thought out, from the labels on the jars in the potion classroom to the papers on the desks in the bedrooms. Everything had been meticulously put together and placed. Just the thought of all that planning made my head hurt, but it was 100% worth it because it really did look like a school for witches!
Although I’ve loved this whole week, my favourite part was getting to watch Channel 4/Lime Pictures’ Hollyoaks film on the Thursday. If there was any doubt in my mind that I wanted to have a career in TV and film before, it’s gone now! I was fascinated by the whole thing. I absolutely loved getting to watch the inner workings of a production like this. There was just so much going on! You had the art department brushing away puddles, moving hay stacks, securing open gates and keeping hold of props. You had assistant directors running all over set, chatting to the actors, calling “Moving on!” and “Rehearsals, quiet on set!”, handing out biscuits and warning the crew not to start shooting until the clouds overhead had passed. There were directors for lighting, sound and acting all huddled together in a van, crowded around a tiny screen to see what how it all looked on camera. There were caterers in the food truck getting lunch ready for the crew and cast. The second there was a break in shooting the hair and makeup department would flood in around the actors and desperately try to secure a bright red wig from flying off an actress’s head in the wind. You’d hear the same sentence repeated multiple times as everyone’s walkie talkies went off, calling for the actors to come to set or for the cameras to be moved an inch to the left by someone on the other side of the set. By this sound of all this you’d think it was quite hectic, but it actually wasn’t; people just got on with what they needed to, and then waited, primed, for the next time they were needed. Because of the waiting around everyone was chatting with eachother and having a laugh. It really felt like everyone there cared so much about what they were doing and wanted it all to go well. It’s clear that you couldn’t do their jobs if you didn’t genuinely enjoy it!
It was so interesting for me to see how an actual production work, from so early on in the process to so close to the end. It’s clear to me after this week that this is definitely the industry I want to work in in the future and I’ve had a great work experience here.”
Thanks to Clara and all the other students who we have so enjoyed spending the summer with! Good luck to everyone with their new university or school year, we’re looking forward to seeing what you achieve.