Cobham Hall again welcomed television cameras this week, having been chosen as a filming location for a pilot show for a new ITV series. The show’s Senior Production Manager, Jo, very kindly took time out of her busy schedule to give a group of our students unique insight into the television industry, the roles available within it and rare advice on how to get a foot in the door in this highly competitive area.
Having worked as Production Manager for ITV for almost 20 years, Jo’s credits include everything from documentaries to high profile music projects, the latter including two recent seasons of The Voice. There was a definite frisson of excitement in the room when she told students she worked on Love Island After Sun last year.
Asked what she most loved about her role, she cited the huge variety of its content, the opportunity to travel the world and the enormous fun of working so closely with such wonderful people on set – ‘you become like a family’. When it comes to finding a way into the industry, her advice was clear cut: the only way is to start at the bottom as a runner. She gave our students some helpful tips on how to do so, as well as describing the skills and attributes they would need to demonstrate if they were to make it to the next stage. Not least among these was being ready for anything – as in the case of the runner on shoot this week, who at that very moment was driving to Bluewater to buy the plates they needed that afternoon and which until then had been forgotten.
We would like to thank Jo for giving up her time, especially given her very tight schedule, and for sharing with our students so many gems of inside knowledge and experience.