Luke Roberts is a Film Production Assistant and Editor based in Somerset. He works for Yogcast, a media production company which has a network of video channels that reach over 20m gamers each month.
Elaine: So straight in, what got you into your love of filmmaking and editing?
Luke: I’ve always loved films and video games. I got pure enjoyment analysing film and special effects. When I was younger, I used to make short films and put in my own effects and I was completely obsessed with James Bond!
Elaine: Are you inspired by any particular filmmaker?
Luke : Edgar Wright is a favourite – he made Hot Fuzz and many others. He used to live near me when I was younger so I always took a keen interest in his work.
Elaine: Favourite Film?
Luke: So many! But most recently, Last Night in Soho and About Time.
Elaine: How was school for you?
Luke: It was pretty okay. I have dyslexia so my parents got me into a school that had great facilities and support for additional learning needs. Without that school, I think my aspirations might have been very different.
Elaine: So you went to college after school?
Luke: Yes, I got my GCSEs, realised that A levels wouldn’t have been for me and decided to do a BTEC in Media production which I really enjoyed. I learnt so much including to question things, question everything, it’s a great way to further understanding in learning but also in life! I love the combination of creative and technical and the course really provided that.
Elaine: Did you have any careers support whilst in education?
Luke: Not that I can remember. After college I just thought the next step would be to go to uni and do a degree in Media Production. To be honest most of what I did at uni had already been covered at college although it was a time of personal growth for me and I was involved in some very interesting practical projects that have been useful in building my confidence in my work, particularly around networking, pitching, debating and being able to voice my opinion more which I struggled with.
Elaine: What happened after uni?
Luke: I thought I would get a job straightaway – how wrong was I! I did some travelling, worked in bar which helped with my confidence. To be honest I don’t think I was mentally prepared for it nor did I feel I had sufficient social skills. I worked in healthcare for a week and realised that it was so far removed from where I wanted to be. I got promoted at work (working as a bar supervisor) and thought maybe this is it but I felt quite trapped. I still had a yearning to get into the business. I had applied for probably 100 jobs and had not really got anywhere and felt like I was in a rut.
Elaine: How did you cope with that?
Luke: I kept my personal stuff going such as interviewing stand up comedians for a podcast, working at weekends as a Camera Assistant shooting events and business videos.
Elaine: I think it was about that time that you got in touch with me?
Luke: Yes – I needed someone to show me what to do and how to do it. You helped me make my CV and covering letter authentic to me which was really important. Until then I had tried to be the person I thought companies wanted to see. Wrong! Once I sorted that out, I felt that when it came to interviews, I could be prepared rather than scared. It really helped that I now understood what mattered to me, I had a much better sense of self which made me feel more motivated to do what I really wanted. That was a real gamechanger!
Elaine: So now you have a great new job!
Luke: Yes! I remember getting in touch with you when I had the dilemma of two job offers!! But yes, I’ve been there nearly 6 months now and continue to learn loads and make progress. I’m loving what I do and they are a great team; inspiring and producing impressive work. I’m now planning to move to Bristol to be closer to their offices.
Elaine: What would you say to someone wanting to get into the industry?
Luke: I would say understand what drives you, what you want from a job and to make sure you really look at what a job might involve. Try and dive deeper into your values as a person and always be authentic. Research all the time, ask lots of questions and keep that passion alive by being involved in your own projects.
Elaine: Would you say it's important to go to Uni for a job in media production?
Luke: I don't think it's necessary to get a degree in creative subjects. There are plenty of online courses, alternative courses and internships out there these days... But uni is a great experience, it makes you grow up but it's not for everyone.
Recommendations... Be open to learn! Find creative things going on and network with creative people... Make your own stuff... be easy on yourself, persistence and patience are your friends.