Nick's Story

Name: Nick
Course: MA Postproduction with Sound Design
Graduated: 2011
Current role: Sound Engineer and Composer at Smoke and Mirrors, London

It's a course full of intense practical experience and tuition that will sharpen your intellect in terms of cinematic language and creative rationale

What did you do before applying to the Department of Theatre, Film and Television?

I graduated with a BEng in Electronic Engineering and Music Technology from York - my second bachelors degree as it took a while before my passion for sound and music took over!

Why did you decide to do a Masters degree?  

Quite early on I realised that starting a career in sound and music was not an easy task.  So I decided to prepare myself, and invest time and effort, before I found myself in the job market. I saw my masters in Sound Designas the preparatory stage before trying my luck getting a job in the industry, and hoped that by the end of it I would have a decent body of work to showcase.

Why did you choose the Department of Theatre, Film and Television?

I graduated from my bachelors degree at the same time as this department started its masters course. I loved the idea that I would be part of something new, and the more I read and researched I sensed the scale of the investment that was going ahead. Quite often universities get stuck in the way they do things, and are not be very open to change. But when you're part of something new, you inevitably get to shape the culture and the environment you're in, whether that’s work or a classroom. I liked that idea!

How did you become aware of the University of York?

After graduating from my first bachelors (in Civil Engineering from Coventry University) I was looking for a place to start all over again. It was a very big decision in every respect - was I too old? Did it make sense financially? I meticulously researched every department of Music Technology in the country and ended up only applying for York after visiting and seeing a few other universities across the UK.

What are your career goals?

I don't have the habit of placing any fixed long term goals. Short term I just work hard to make sure I keep improving and growing. From long hours in the studio during the week, or music theory lessons over the weekend, I want to be ‘ready’ for the next creative challenge and I guess ultimately I want to do work I am proud of.

What would you say to someone thinking about studying at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television?

The postproduction industry still works with the old fashioned way of starting at the bottom and working your way up. Competition is fierce. It makes sense that the more equipped you are when you're trying to find that first job the better your chances are getting it. A masters degree alone (no matter what some universities claim) will certainly not get you a job. However, a course like this one, full of intense practical experience, tuition that will sharpen your intellect in terms of cinematic language and creative rationale and all within a ’safe’ environment where you can make mistakes and learn from them will certainly improve the chances of getting one. I found this to be a course that worked well for me in all those respects.

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