Susie Holm is an aspiring Producer, and a member of the EVCOM Shadow Board. After graduating from Brunel University London she worked as a freelance runner for a few months before joining The Edge Picture Company, where she works as a Production Runner, assisting in all stages of the production of short corporate films. She loves bringing creative and inspiring ideas to life, and she always has a strong focus on celebrating diverse perspectives. Her personal interests include knitting, reading, and tap dancing. We spoke to Susie about building your network, accessibility in the film industry and building confidence.
Tell us about where you are now, and what you love about your job/ course.
Currently I am working as a full-time in-house Production Runner at The Edge Picture Company. I joined The Edge in October 2022, and since then I have worked on over 35 films, attending over 9 shoots.
My work at The Edge ranges from pre-production: organising crew, cast, locations, raising PO’s and editing budgets, to post-production: budget reconciliation, attending edit days, and assisting with final delivery. Being able to sit in on pitches and contribute creatively to unique film concepts has taught me valuable production skills.
It has been incredible to learn from the people in this industry and how everything works. I am always looking forward to my next challenge.
Tell us a bit about your journey to get there.
After graduating from Brunel University London with a first class degree in Film Production and Theatre, I knew I wanted to find a way into film production. I had various meetings with producers and HR directors, but most places weren’t able to house a permanent runner, so I began looking for on-set freelance work.
I found it incredibly difficult to secure any roles in such a competitive industry, so I had to take a part-time position at Odeon Cinema. I made sure to make the most of my time at Odeon, learning about the projectors, their ordering processes, recruitment systems, and actually thoroughly enjoying it whilst brushing up on my customer service skills! However, trying to balance a last-minute rota with freelance production work wasn’t easy, so after a year, I left Odeon and put all of my energy into freelancing, networking, and building up the skills I needed to break into the industry.
From joining various Facebook groups, I got short term work as an Audience Coordinator, and then I got an opportunity to run on an internal corporate film for a day. Shortly after this, and after various job interviews with Editing companies and Film premiere companies, I got an interview at The Edge. I was hired freelance to work on a project they needed an extra pair of hands for. The experience was amazing, and although I enjoy being on set, I loved how while working at The Edge I got to experience pre-production and all the hard work that goes into making the shoot happen. It seems my passion showed, as shortly after I was offered a permanent position, and I have loved it ever since!
For those readers still considering whether this industry is the right place for them, tell us what you most love about it. What appeals to you about this industry?
It is so exciting to be able to watch an educational, gripping, or clever film and know that you helped create it. I love being able to use all the skills I have and work as a team in order to produce a film or commercial which is thought provoking, educational or simply entertaining.
When I meet new people and they ask what I do for work, I am always excited to explain what it’s like to work in the creative industry, and they’re always enthused by what I do. A lot of people have a longing to work in the film industry, but I think it’s important to explore all the different routes, as there is so much more to it than meets the eye.
While one might aspire to be a director, they might not know about other roles that stem from that, such as 1stAD, Director of Photography, or Intimacy Co-ordinator. There are hundreds of roles within the industry that many people do not know about. Always be willing to learn and give everything a go and you could discover a role that you love that you didn’t know existed.
Looking forwards, what do you think the future of the industry is going to look like? What changes are you excited to see?
I am looking forward to seeing how the rise in diversity and inclusion will impact the films we create. For a long time, with so many people not having access to certain roles, many amazing ideas and stories have not been told. I’m looking forward to seeing how the filmmaking process develops as we develop, and the changes that we make for the better.
If you could say one thing to the wider industry right now, what would it be?
My message to the wider industry is to remember to enjoy it! I know it’s stressful sometimes, but you are doing what you love and that is amazing. Remember to open yourself up to networking, and always respect those in entry level positions. To those trying to break into the industry, don’t give up. I know how you feel and I know it’s not easy, but you will get a chance. It is easy to doubt yourself when you don’t get the chance to practise or show what you’ve been working towards, but I am only one year into my chance and I’m feeling so much more confident about my skills. Keep going, keep applying and updating your CV and it will pay off.