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Case Study

Isaac Johnson

Malton, UK

BA (Hons) Digital Film Production

Isaac Johnson originally began studying a computing-based course at the University of Sunderland, but switched after his first year upon discovering a love of media and film production. Having graduated, he began working as an intern at the University and has now landed a role as a full-time Videographer at media company, Remember Media.

I chose the University of Sunderland for multiple reasons. Firstly, my brother studied here previously and had a large influence on my decision to study here. Secondly, the equipment, facilities and campus, plus the accommodation on offer all seemed so fantastic, it felt like an obvious choice to follow in my brothers footsteps.

Before University I was studying at college in York. I was doing a Software Development course, and my first year at Sunderland was spent on the Games Software Development course. I chose to switch to BA (Hons) Digital Film Production after coming to the realisation that a computer-related job wasn’t for me. I had no prior experience with film production or media-related study, I just knew how to do some basic editing, however it ended up being the best decision I ever made with my life to pursue this new path, as I fell in love with making films and creating content. I honestly couldn’t see myself doing anything else now.

The course gave me the skills and confidence I needed to be in the position I am in today. The lecturers are dedicated to helping the students get the best out of themselves, and supply all of the necessary training and equipment for us to go out and be the best filmmakers we possibly can be. My supervisor was brilliant; they were patient, understanding and encouraging when times were tough during our many productions, without their help I would not have made it through the course. I also received some scholarships during my studies, which gave me additional support. It gave me the opportunity to invest in some film equipment that helped launch my freelancing career, as well as give me some financial security which allowed me more time to focus on my studies and not have to think about working throughout my degree.

I would thoroughly recommend the University of Sunderland to other students and would say be prepared to work incredibly hard. Whilst there is plenty of room to have fun and learn some independence, as a student you’re paying a lot of money to be at university – don’t throw that away, work hard, apply yourself to your degree and you will reap the rewards. The hard work and dedication is completely worth it in the long run.

My career has progressed in a variety of ways. I initially picked up a job as a graduate intern, through the Intern Factory at the University, working in the Access to HE and Scholarships Team. This was an educational and influential experience as it has allowed me to get my foot in the door of building a career and I have learned some invaluable skills about the world of work. I have since successfully landed a role as a full-time Videographer for a media company, Remember Media, who are based in Team Valley. This is a huge step in the right direction of where I want to be in my career. My eventual aim is to be a full-time freelance Videographer, focusing on documentary production as well as short films and music videos.

There was many highs and lows to studying at the University of Sunderland. So many stressful, sleepless nights, so many excellent memories and valued friends for life were made. Overall, it was by far the most influential experience I have ever had. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. It matured me into a better person and instilled a work ethic in me that I will carry with me into my future career.”

Published 3 April 2020

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