As part of BBC’s Bring the Drama Festival: Careers Behind the Scenes, we welcomed aspiring filmmakers to Close Up Cinema in Shoreditch to hear from filmmakers working in the corporate and brand film space. We welcomed our panellists Lucy Jelbart (Plastic Pictures), Jermaine Allen (Brunswick Group) and Ilan Lampl, and introduced them to our packed out audience.

We kicked off the event by asking each of the panellists to share reels of the sorts of films they work on on a regular basis from business documentaries to social media video campaigns to fashion films. They then spoke about their own journey’s, how they’ve built up their skillset and what their day to day looks like.

Lucy fell in love with filmmaking watching the extras sections of DVD’s. Two years into her journey in the industry, she has just been promoted to a Junior Editor role and her sound design work has earnt her a trophy at the EVCOM London Film Awards. Jermaine has worked behind the camera and in post-production, and is happiest working in the documentary space, helping people tell their stories. Ilan began his career filming raves and music events, and when he decided he wanted to make his way into fashion he volunteered his time on a friend’s shoot so he had a portfolio to show and now shoots for major brands such as Louis Vuitton and Mulberry.

All of them recommended building up skills by practising as much as possible. Make films with your friends, watch ‘how to’ videos on youtube and learn as much as you can independently, they said. If you want to build up a specific type of portfolio, try to create work in that vein. Whilst employers will look at CV’s, your showreel is space to show off what you can do.

Something that resonated across the panel was the importance of asking, whether that’s asking a company about job opportunities or asking an individual in the film industry to have a coffee with you and share some insight into what they do. The worst that can happen is they say no, they best that can happen is they offer you advice or an opportunity that helps you progress your career.

They also spoke about the importance of building a community you can work with and learn from, whether that is at a workplace or through a course, or more self-grown through connecting with like-minded people at events and through social media.

The panel shared invaluable tips and insights and it was a pleasure to have them with us. Thanks to our panellists and to all of our attendees for joining us!

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