So I’m Olivia Young. I’m 22 years old and I’ve just moved to London to take part in my second placement within the BBC Design Trainee Scheme.
The BBC Design Trainee Scheme is a great internship that runs every year, taking on a few applicants for train for a year in Art, Make Up, and Costume departments on a variety of projects. I was one of the lucky 4 to be picked to be in the Art Department.
This is the site if you wanted to take a look.
My application was 3 parts - I had to complete a brief that was set by the BBC. Along with this, I had to submit my portfolio, and once accepted into the final 10, I had to have an interview and assessment. All of which wracked my nerves and tested me, and at some points I questioned whether I should even be entering. I think anyone who submits art or design work of their own questions their work and standards constantly - if we didn’t, we would never improve or get better, but it’s hard to submit your work to be critqued,no matter how long you’ve been doing it for.
I had studied Art and Design and Media Studies at college, then moved onto Film and Television Design at University. Although I thought my uni course was too production based and not enough design was taught, I made use of the free studio spaces, workshops and photography studios, experimenting with prop making, set building and basic design work. As a lot of this was self taught, I’m the first to admit my skills were not as sharp as students who attended more prestigious courses. I thought this would hold my application back, but, apparantly not.
It’s hard to know what any employers want of you, especially in art based careers as everyones skills and expectations are so different. I genuinely thought that what I lack in technical skills (draughting etc) would seriously hold me back. But so far, I have just been honest about the level of my skills (or lack of) and people have generally been understanding. I’m learning what I need to get me by and to understand drawings, but as I don’t want to be a draughter, I’m not throwing myself in head first.
My first placement was in Manchester, for BBC. It’s a new drama coming out this Spring I would think called In The Flesh. The script was just brilliant, and working with the designer, Sami Khan, and the amazing art department and props team was such a great experience.
I’m now in London, at Pinewood Studios, working on the new Muppets movie that’s been announced recently. Obviously I can’t say anything about the details of it, but so far it’s been great. Our designer is Eve Stewart, the designer of The King’s Speech and Les Miserables, so obviously, it”s incredible that I’ve been placed here and I’m very grateful. The scale of eveything is huge - the studios, the teams, even the props! But I’m learning a lot along the way and making some friends. Hopefully, these two brilliant placements are a sign of my placements to come.