A mandatory part of my Media Production degree was to complete a 4-week industry placement and mine was at Sky TV in the Digital Entertainment department. In July 2018, I joined the Social Media team and helped them plan, create and upload content for their various online platforms, however, my main responsibility was to help kickstart the launch of the new channel, Sky Witness.
Sky Witness was created because of some audience research conducted by Sky TV. The study taught them that consumers like watching programs such as Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder because it gives them entry into different ‘real-world’ lives, ones that they would never experience themselves. Audiences enjoy watching a life they aren’t apart of and therefore gain insight. This is what drove Sky TV to rebrand their channel Sky Living and launch the new channel Sky Witness.
Along with the rebrand, Sky commissioned three new TV programs to debut on this channel with the celebration of the launch. These programs were 9-1-1, For the People and Instinct and they all needed to be promoted. This is where I come in. I helped the social media team create a backlog of content so that they could readily upload assets for these programs when needed.
I watched the first seasons of all three programs, took notes of funny pieces of dialogue and scenes and then created memes out of them. I mainly used Adobe Premiere Pro and Illustrator to produce boomerangs, GIFS, videos, and images. I ensured the assets correlated to the team’s social calendar and I received good feedback on all the content I made.
See below to view a selection of the assets I made:
After my Fast Forward Internship in the SPS Department at Sky TV, I spent 3 months training to become a freelance editor for Sky Sports news. I’d had experience with this team previously and really enjoyed my time there and they were happy to welcome me back.
I trained 5 hours per day voluntarily and spent my time learning how to use the editing software Quantel. I was taught on a 1-1 basis by a very kind colleague. He gave me his time and taught me everything I know now which I am very grateful for.
Eventually, I became confident enough with the workflows of the team and the work they created that I was taken on as a freelance editor. I was 19 at the time so this was a fantastic achievement and something I am still proud of today.
The team didn’t hesitate to throw me in at the deep end though. My first professional 12-hour shift happened to be on the day that Muhammad Ali passed away. This was one of the biggest pieces of sporting news in the world and I was the main editor on shift having to handle the obituary video and convert 4:3 footage of Ali’s past fights. I stayed calm and managed to do what was needed but it was definitely a memorable experience, to say the least. Looking back, the time flew by so I must have been having fun!
My other shifts didn’t quite compare to that first one but I still loved them all the same. I mainly created teasers, highlights packages, and news features for football, tennis and upcoming sporting events. I gained invaluable experience working with top Sky Producers and became adept at fast turn around editing. It was such a fast-paced, buzzy and exciting environment and I really felt like I was part of something important and doing what I loved. I really enjoyed my time as a freelance editor.
See below for a couple of examples of the short-form work I cut together (both of which went out live on Sky Sports News):
From August 2015 – 2016 I completed a year-long, paid, full-time internship at Sky TV through their Fast Forward Programme. The programme is open to students who have just finished their A-Levels and think they may be interested in a career in the media industry. It was the perfect opportunity for me to gain experience of the working world, learn about the industry, discover what type of work I enjoyed, and meet new contacts. At the time of application, there were five departments offering positions; Sky News, Sky Sports, Sky Creative, Sky Production Services (SPS), and Sky Entertainment. I took on the role in Production.
The internship was structured in a way that allowed me to spend time with every single team in the SPS department. Over the 12 months, I worked in three main areas; Live Studios, Post-production, and Content Handling, all of which gave me a fantastic insight into the process of content creation from beginning to end for broadcast TV.
My time in Live Studios was spent shadowing different crew members and learning about the Studio and Gallery environment. On the studio floor, I worked with Camera Operators, Lighting Engineers, Sound Engineers, Floor Managers, etc. and in the gallery, I worked with Directors, Directors Assistants, Producers, Vision Mixers, Autocue Operators and Technical Directors. By the end of my three months there, I knew everyone who worked on the Studios rota and had experienced the filming of most shows including, Soccer Saturday, Soccer AM, Monday Night Football and the F1 Show.
Since the Studios was a live and busy environment it was hard for me to develop my practical skills. This is why Post-production was my favourite department. I got to shadow offline and online editors, the graphics team and the promotions team, and they often let me get involved. They taught me the basics of editing and I had access to the edit suites to practice. I helped out on a few of their real-life edits and even got given my own fictional briefs to complete. I learned an incredible amount just by watching the editors and designers and I actually really enjoyed seeing the dynamic between these teams. The end goal of their work relies heavily on collaboration, shared opinions and feedback so this area of my internship taught me a lot about professionalism. I gained an understanding of the importance of clear communication, consistent, high-quality work and the meeting of deadlines. They are, in my opinion, the pillars for success when working in a team on a creative project.
Content Handling is the department where quality control, scheduling and content distribution takes place. I did everything from checking sub-titles to ingesting old physical tapes for back-up and even watched a few early episodes of Game of Thrones to ensure there were no glitches. I enjoyed working with people my own age (this type of work is usually good for those looking at entry-level positions) yet I knew the day-to-day work wasn’t creative enough for me. The department showed me just how much work goes into distributing high-quality content that is accessible and enjoyable for all but it made me realise that I wanted to be part of that process from an earlier stage, in a role that has more creative autonomy.
Towards the end of the internship, my fellow interns and I were set the task of creating a promotional video for the programme. We had two weeks to create a video that explained what the internship was, what roles were on offer and what type of work we got up to. It had to be from our point of view and we had free reign to go wherever we needed across the Sky site. It was a fantastic couple of weeks. Not only was I working with my peers for the first time, but I was also putting my new skills to use. The video was presented at school assemblies around the borough and displayed on the Sky Careers website.