Penny Cobham recently graduated from BA (Hons) Film Production,

“The courses in Scotland are all very theory based and I wanted to get out there and make films.  So I did a bunch of interviews down in England and Bournemouth just stood out. Moving makes you grow up really fast.  I was really lucky; I’m now best friends with the people I moved in with. One of them did Make-up for Media and Performance and one did Modelmaking so we could have had a mini film company in our flat.  We met pretty much when we moved in and we became best friends.  They come up here all the time in fact they’ve just left, they love Edinburgh.

We finished our grad film in May and I did work for a production company last year and they said we’ve got a job so I came up to Edinburgh to do that.  Then our final hand in was June so I still had a bit more work to do on that and the work continued after I graduated.  Then I sent my CV out to everyone and it turned out that Heehaw in Edinburgh got back to me.

It’s great it’s totally different everyday; like today I was up at Edinburgh castle to meet a client who wants work done up there, last week I was out in Stirling.  It’s just always different and that’s exactly why I like it, it’s awesome, I just don’t want it to end.

It’s a three month contract.  It’s the first time they’ve ever had someone in my position so they are just working things out.  There are six of us working there, but there used to be a website department for a while but now they are only focused on film production. It’s quite small but they have commercial contracts with big companies.  There’s a wide variety of work, so you become a mini expert on things.

In the interview they were talking about maintaining social media and this is an area of work which I’m not so sure about, so I thought I wouldn’t get it. But I did.  My main role as Production Assistant is to support the Producer and Director.  When a project comes in one of them will take responsibility for it, so what they need is somebody who knows what’s going on across the board, to be a central point for all the projects and know what the deadlines and schedule is. Everyone’s just trying to find their feet with this new role.

Last week I had to leave early but there was a deadline due, so before I left I made sure they had the details and the email address of where it had to go.  It was my responsibility to make sure it happened.

They are training me up so eventually I will be able meet with and take on new clients, so I’m learning so much from them. Its good being back in Edinburgh too because I can stay with my parents and I don’t have to pay rent. I was away for four year so my parents are glad for me to be back. It was hard to move away that far, even to find a house.  I have to either fly or do an 8 hour drive but I got used to it really quickly.

The guys at Heehaw are really open and there’s never a stupid question, if I need to know something I just ask and they respect that I need to know to do a good job. When I was at school I was thinking about acting and I had auditions set up at RADA, but then I just didn’t want to do it anymore.  I was literally in my last year at school doing media, I decided I wanted to be involved in production.”

What is your One Piece of Advice?

“You definitely have to be committed and strong; you have to be prepared for people to ignore your emails or phone calls, and just keep going with it.  I literally spent weeks emailing and calling and sending my CV, you just have to get into that mindset to do that. I used to work in bars to make money whilst at AUB and just after. When you come home after that you don’t feel like doing work but you have to make yourself do it otherwise all your training and the time you spent learning and building your skills go to waste.  You have to work for it if you want it.”