We speak to shadow board member Marlijn Hegge about her journey in the corporate film industry so far: Marlijn came over from her homeland of the Netherlands to study Film & Television in the UK, and has never looked back. From a young age equality and diversity have been topics of interest to her, which she has woven into both her academic efforts and her career in corporate film so far.
Tell us about where you are now, and what you love about your job/ course.
I’m a Production Coordinator at DRPG, having joined the team in February 2021. My job is incredibly varied, and I love working at a big agency because there are always exciting projects happening for a range of different clients. As a coordinator I support the film team across every stage of production, from location research and permissions to call sheets and helping out on shoot days. At DRPG personal growth and development is really important, so we’re able to try out different things and explore other parts of the business to find out which path suits us best, which I think is very valuable at the start of your career.
Tell us a bit about your journey to get there.
My journey into this industry started when I realised that I felt very passionate about media, and the way people engage with things like film and television. I decided to study Media & Culture back in the Netherlands, where I grew up, but I soon found out the industry was quite small there. After a year abroad in the UK through the Erasmus programme, I decided on a postgraduate course here, the MA Film and Television at the University of Birmingham. My undergraduate course was quite theoretical, so I chose this MA because of its focus on hands-on experience and the opportunity to do a 12-week placement as part of it. I struck gold with a fantastic placement at a small video agency called Tinker Taylor, who offered me a job at the end of the 12 weeks. During my time there I was introduced to some of the DRPG team, and when I was ready for the next challenge this company seemed like the logical next step!
What do you wish you’d know when starting out in the industry? What advice would you give to young people starting out in the industry now?
I think it’s important to know there’s no one perfect way to get into this industry. Growing up I was always taught you have to choose what you want to be, study that subject at university or college and then get a job, but there are plenty of people working in film and events who have come in by working as an apprentice or by building a network as a freelancer. For me, having moved to a different country where I didn’t know anyone, university was the perfect way to start networking and get the experience I needed to get my first job. To anyone starting out, I would recommend trying to make it work for your situation: do you maybe already know some people that could get you work experience or freelance jobs? Or would a course at a university or college help to kickstart your career?
For those readers still considering whether this industry is the right place for them, tell us what you most love about it. What appealed to you about this industry?
I love how fast-paced and varied this industry is: no two days are the same! This means you always have to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions to keep everything running smoothly, and I think that’s a great challenge. One of the things I love most about this industry is working closely with so many different people, from the crew and production teams to the clients enjoying what you’ve made at the end of the project. Wherever there are people there are stories, and I think it’s a privilege that we get to tell those stories!
Can you recommend one resource for young people starting in the industry to check out?
https://www.screenskills.com/ has really useful info for anyone starting out in film and tv, explaining what roles are available and how you can get there.