186x186

My name is Steven Priest. I studied the BSc in Film and Television Production in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television and graduated in 2013.

 

What did you do after graduating?

After only a short time at York I knew I wanted to pursue a career as a multi-camera studio director. With this in mind it's not surprising that I took a great interest in the TV side of the course. Upon graduating I followed the 'traditional' route into television; working first as a runner before becoming a researcher. During this time I worked on shows including Big Brother, Great British Menu, Gordon's Chrismas Cookalong Live and The Jump to name a few. When talking to my peers it became clear there is no right or wrong path to get to your dream job within television. As much as I loved my time as a runner and researcher, I knew I needed to get professional experience with the technical elements (cameras, lighting etc.) required to produce a show, as well as experience working in a gallery if I wanted to be a director.

Side view of the gallery from Radio 1 Big Weekend - Steven directing

It was the desire to get this experience that lead to me working at QVC as a director's assistant. In this role I sat next to the director in the gallery and was responsible for the show running to time,  all onscreen graphics and VT playout.  This job gave me invaluable experience of working in a fast-paced, live gallery; experiences which ultimately lead to my current job and first director's credit.

What do you do now?

I am currently working as a technical operator at Bloomberg news; and a freelance multi-camera director.

In my multi-skilled role at Bloomberg I am responsible for robotic, handheld and Jimmy Jib mounted camera operations, vision engineering and floor managing for live programming. It has been a fantastic introduction to everything technically involved in producing daily live studio shows with regular changes and challenges to overcome.

York has both theoretical and practical elements and you have the added bonus of learning the tech' behind the cameras.

In January 2016 I got my first directing credit on a fixed rig reality show for ITV 2 called Prank Pad. With this credit to my name and having learnt an awful lot, I was asked if I wanted to work as a director on the summer 2016 series of Big Brother/ Celebrity Big Brother. In this role I was responsible for covering the day-to-day action in the house - everything from filming the housemates as they sat in silence to wild arguments, tasks and live streaming on Channel 5. As nothing is scripted you have no idea what is going to happen and in that house it only takes seconds for what seems like a mundane chat to turn into a full-blown argument that hijacks that day's/week's story line. I'm convinced the lessons learnt while directing this show will continue to show themselves in the coming years.

In doing your degree what has helped you in your professional life?

As an aspiring multi-camera director the most important lesson I learnt was the terminology used in the gallery along with how to read and write camera scripts, running orders and camera plans. These are documents I encountered on my first day as a runner on my very first show and knowing what they were, who needed them and what they meant helped me greatly. Knowing the work load of each person needed to make a TV show was also an important lesson. 

Gallery shot from behind for Radio 1 Big Weekend - Steven directing

Why did you choose the University of York?

When I was looking at universities I didn't know what I wanted to study. I knew I wanted to work within broadcast media but not exactly what. When I first heard about the Film and Television Production course at York it was exactly what I was looking for. Lots of courses were just theory based; York however, has both theoretical and practical elements and because it's a BSc you have the added bonus of learning the tech' behind the cameras. It might not seem important if you want to be a producer or script writer but believe me, increasingly you don't just have to just be a cameraman to need to use a broadcast quality camera. Producers regularly shoot along with researchers and sometimes even runners! 

The equipment on offer was also a massive draw for me. Colleagues to this day are still surprised when I talk about the facilities at York, there aren't many universities that have two TV studios! 

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

You won't find a Film and Television course better!  No matter what your dream job within the Film and TV industries, the skills you'll get from this course will help you get there!