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My work placement with Tate Liverpool

BA (Hons) Art and Design student, Oliver Dupont, spent his work placement making a documentary film for an exhibition at Tate Liverpool, alongside professional videographer, Chris Keenan. The documentary was exhibited last year, to compliment artist Mikhail Karikis’ newest film, “Ferocious Love”. Oliver tells us about the filmmaking experience, what he learned, and how the placement helped him realise his true career aspirations!

What did your placement involve?

My role involved filming, sound recording, interviewing and editing the documentary, "The Making of Ferocious Love", alongside Chris. Mikhail’s film involved students from BCU so, not only did I get to speak to them about their experiences with him, but I also had great conversations with Mikhail himself. There was a lot for me to learn on the placement and at times it could feel intense because of the shots I needed to get with the camera and the audio that needed recording. However, it was very academically stimulating. I was involved in interviewing both Mikhail and the BCU students, as well as filming on location and editing the documentary.

What was the most valuable thing you learned?

I enjoyed learning about the start-to-finish filmmaking process, from storyboarding, to creating a coherent narrative, to different camera techniques. I gained extremely valuable knowledge from Chris, and first-hand experience of using specialist filming equipment, including a large rig Canon camera and boom sticks for audio recording. Using this equipment on location really helped with my confidence and I was able to achieve professional looking results.

What was the highlight of your placement?

When interviewing Mikhail, it was incredible to see a very successful artist talk about their work in such detail and with so much passion. It really made me reflect on my own practice and the work I produce. You create your best work when it’s personal and meaningful to you, and this was made apparent to me when talking with Mikhail. 

How did BCU support you in finding your placement?

My original intention was to find my own work placement but BCU promoted this opportunity during a lecture, as part of a variety of placements they had arranged. All I needed to do was apply through the university - it was made easy for me! 

Did your placement affect your career aspirations?

The whole experience made me realise I want to work within a filmmaking practice - cinematography, interviewing/journalism and post-production - working with video editing software to create fully functioning videos.

Do you have any advice for students considering a work placement?

Never take the easy route and really push yourself to the limits. If I’d played it safe, I don’t think I would’ve realised this is what I want to be doing as a career. It’s really important to stand out in these placements and show initiative within the working environment.

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