Alex Parkinson

Aylsham High School: Achieved B’s in English and C’s in most other subjects, with the exception of Business Studies and ICT where I achieved distinctions in both. 

Paston Sixth Form College: A in Law and B’s in both Psychology and Film Studies. 

University of Lincoln: 2:1 

Who do you work for? 
I am currently a producer and editor for London based documentary production company Uncle Baby Productions. I addition I am a freelance videographer, editor and interning at a graphics and animation based Film Company. 

What projects have you been involved in? 
I work for a London based documentary company, which primarily focus on freelance work for exterior clients, but we also created our own projects with the help of outside funding. More recently a feature length documentary about Louisiana has been pushed into production. We also do work for a lot of London based organisations including online magazine The Chiswick Calendar. I also work with Harvey House Films, a production company that works with computer graphics and animation for, amongst others the BBC. Recently I have just completed a video for a London based restaurant called Man vs. Food, taking inspiration from the television show of the same name. While at university I also worked with the FA and produced a series of 11 videos for them during my final year of university. 

What is a ‘typical day at work like? 
It depends completely on what I am doing that day, I could spend the full day working from home editing, or I could be out from very early in the morning till late at night filming and meeting clients and associates. Typically I spend a great deal of my life looking at a computer screen editing videos either for myself, Uncle Baby or The Chiswick Calendar. While it is nice to work from home, I find it a lot easier to concentrate when working in an office to edit. But my day can also be divided, I can film in the morning and then move on to the edit and complete the video the same day. As I said it depends entirely on what I am doing from a day to day basis. 

How did that courses you studied at Paston Sixth Form College help you progress upon your career path?
I studied Law, Psychology and Film Studies. It’s safe to say the films studies aspect helped me a lot, it was a subject I originally took as more of an easier option to take the pressure of my other courses. However I ultimately found out that I really enjoyed it and wanted to take it on at degree level. I had always enjoyed watching films but never though that much about taking it to the practical level until I took on the film course at Paston. It became obvious to me that it was something I enjoyed and wanted to pursue. 

What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to be successful in your job? 
I have had to know how to talk to people, in my line of work I have to be able to sell my product (the product being me and my services). I can produce, shoot and edit and video but before I can do that I have to convince people that I am able to do this for them to a professional standard. But before any of this I had to learn the tools of my trade, I had to learn how to shoot, how to edit and how to produce. I have a great mentor who has taken me under his wind and taught me so much. Every shoot I go on and every video I edit I learn something new. Whether it is a new technique or a better way of filming, with all the experience I gain, it helps me grow and increases my skills in these key practical areas. 

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston? 
Not at all, at Paston I still had no idea what area I wanted to go into, whether I would go into the production side of things or more the administrative side. I was even torn whether to do Law at degree instead, as my area of work is far more uncertain. But ultimately I decided to go for it and so far it has worked out. It’s something I don’t regret doing and something I would tell anyone, do what you love in life, if I doesn’t work out then you tried, but if you never do it you will always think about what you might have been able to do. 

What did you do in the year immediately after leaving Paston? 
After I left Paston I went straight to university and then after a summer off I started my job and have been working full time for the company since mid-august. I had previously worked for them part time during my last year at university.

Check out Alex's Youtube Channel for a chance to see his work:

"Films studies helped me a lot, it was a subject I originally took as more of an easier option to take the pressure of my other courses. Ultimately found out that I really enjoyed it and wanted to take it on at degree level."