The great thing about film and television drama is that it takes all sorts of people, with different passions and different skills to make a film or programme.
Linda Fraser is a Scottish BAFTA award winning producer and has worked extensively in television and film. Her many credits include work as Production Co-ordinator with: The Key, Taggart, Man to Man and Field of Blood 2 and on films such as: Gregory’s Two Girls, Dear Frankie, The Last Great Wilderness and Entrapment.
I always wanted to make films, but I had to build up a show-reel and background of related qualifications to get into university to study film-making. It was a very practical degree and although I initially specialised in camera and editing it became apparent quite quickly that my talent and my passion was for production. I made sure to get everything I could from my time at university and produced four graduation films, as well as working in a variety of roles on more than twenty more.
In 1998 I won Best Producer and Best Production at the BAFTA New Talent Awards for a short film I made after graduation. It was incredible to receive such recognition so early on but the real key career moment, which came at about the same time, was getting my first proper job as a runner on a feature film which and then becoming the NETS Production Trainee. I spent 18 months working hard on a variety of film and television dramas, taking all opportunities to learn the role and build contacts. To this day, I still work with some of the same people I met on that very first job.
I couldn’t possibly pick out any one person in particular, rather I am inspired by the dedication, professionalism, creativity, teamwork and sheer hard graft of the freelancers I work with. These are people who really care about the work we do, working long hours and in challenging situations, to make sure it is done right.
Spreadsheets! I’m a Production geek and an Excel enthusiast so I believe that behind every great film there has to be a number of well-crafted spreadsheets. That’s the great thing about film and television drama is that it takes all sorts of people, with different passions and different skills to make a film or programme. I really enjoy being part of a crew and working as a team – I’ve often thought it’s like being part of an orchestra where everyone does their own expert part, to create something collectively wonderful together. As I am also now a trainer for the industry, one of the best parts of that job is giving people the tools they need at the very start of their career and seeing them go on to use that knowledge to progress through the industry.
Get a driving licence – if at all possible. Although you may not need to drive as part of your job, you often need to get locations that can be in obscure places at unsociable hours. Other than that, work hard and do the best job you can even if, at the start of your career, it’s just making a cup of tea – make it the best cup of tea!
I wish I’d had the opportunity to do Hit the Ground Running whilst I was a student and I could have learned in a day all the hints and tips it’s taken me 17 years to gather! In particular, I would have liked a better perspective of the how the professional industry operates and how important it is to start at the bottom as a runner, learning and working your way up.< Browse All Profiles