Ellen Brookes on taking part in a screen apprenticeship

Ellen Brookes on taking part in a screen apprenticeship

As part of the Flexi-job Apprenticeship programme pilot, Ellen Brookes had an apprenticeship with Amazon Prime as a production coordinator. Since taking part in the programme she has joined Plum Pictures as a production secretary.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
I initially tried the traditional university path, pursuing a year in business management. However, I quickly realised that it wasn’t the right fit for me, and I hadn’t considered alternative paths until then. It was during this time that my sister began an apprenticeship in finance, sparking my curiosity about whether there were similar opportunities in creative fields. This realisation led me to explore apprenticeships further, ultimately discovering the ScreenSkills Production Coordinator apprenticeship. It seemed like the perfect combination of hands-on experience and educational components, providing a practical route into the industry I was eager to explore.

Why did you want to join the screen industry?
While running a food blog, I found I enjoyed creating the videos to accompany my recipe content. As I delved deeper into video production, I decided to take on a role at a creative agency specializing in this field. Reflecting on my fascination with the behind-the-scenes magic of films and TV series since childhood, pursuing a career in the screen industry felt like the natural and compelling choice.

What were your highlights from the apprenticeship programme?
There’s been many highlights on the apprenticeship. Firstly, the friendships formed with fellow apprentices have been invaluable. The collaborative nature of the programme allowed us to share experiences, learn together, and already start to build a supportive network within the industry. Additionally, the opportunities gained from the placements, to make industry contacts, and gain insights from seasoned experts has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of the field. The broad range of experiences has been both fulfilling and educational, contributing significantly to my growth and curiosity in the screen industry.

Has this encouraged you to further a career as a production coordinator?
Absolutely. The apprenticeship experience solidified my passion for the screen industry and, more specifically, for the role of a production coordinator. I am now an in-house production secretary at Plum Pictures, where I support both current productions and the development team, I have the chance to apply the skills and knowledge gained during the apprenticeship. The role allows me to be actively involved in the dynamic world of TV production, and I am enthusiastic about progressing further in my career as a production coordinator.

Would you recommend apprenticeships to others looking to start their screen careers?
I wholeheartedly recommend apprenticeships to those looking to enter the screen industry. Unlike traditional education paths, apprenticeships offer a hands-on approach that allows individuals to gain real-world experiences from the offset. The opportunity to meet industry professionals, make valuable connections, and build a network is unparalleled.

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