Jennie Shearman (2016) on post-FEC opportunities

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Leaving the comfort of a master’s level degree is pretty terrifying.  The ending of FEC was rather abrupt for myself – just two weeks after having just finished an exhausting final project I headed home to Essex to conserve my funds and figure out what to do next. This initially led to a few months of home-town boredom, relaxation and unemployment but shortly after my second month at home things started to pick up from all around. Initially I gained a role at a design agency in London which turned out not to be the perfect fit, however, during this period I found the time to explore some of my own projects.

After having spent a few months without writing or engaging critically with much I realised that I felt like writing again. I searched across the Internet for a few days to see if there was a journal, website or blog that I could see myself contributing to. Whilst there are a myriad of brilliant film journals out there, currently I found that none fitted with my exact interests or aesthetics. I was keen to write about moving images of all kinds, not just film, so I decided to create my own journal. I was also keen to have a journal that was feminist, but that provided a different kind of feminist aesthetic. This lead to creating DISPATCH (www.dispatchfmi.com) a feminist moving image journal that looked to provide an intersectional feminist perspective on all kinds of moving image, be it film, TV, artists moving image or anything else that moves. Insofar DISPATCH is going very well thanks the work from my co-editor Laura (also FEC) and the continued support from other FEC alumni and the wonderful contacts that I made in Edinburgh. Running DISPATCH has provided me with a great opportunity to exercise a variety of skills including writing, editing, design, marketing and project management. dispatch-bw-2-2

Briefly after starting DISPATCH I also gained a part-time 3 month internship with Terracotta Distribution, a far-east-Asian distribution company working within the UK. Terracotta aims to bring Asian cinema that has been ‘missed’ by big distribution companies to the UK. Terracotta has a wide portfolio of titles from horror to comedy to martial arts and works primarily by targeting fans of Asian cinema. I was particularly drawn to the role as I am a huge fan of Asian horror films and was keen to gain the opportunity to understand how these niche types of cinema are distributed. Currently I am working on the social media campaign for our latest title Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell (2015) otherwise known as the Japanese Evil Dead. During my internship at Terracotta I am tutored by Joey Leung and Clare Dean who take me through the process of bringing a film to cinemas and/or DVD which has provided me with all kinds of wonderful film-world insights.

 

320px_x_332pxAt the start of this year I gained a new full-time role at UCL as an Events Assistant in the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS). The IAS is a research department in UCL which hosts many researchers and research groups and boasts a regular events programme of film screenings, seminars, conferences and public lectures. My role involves coordinating, producing, marketing and managing live events as well as managing the department’s social media presence and room booking services. This role has given me the opportunity to further expand upon the management skills that I fostered during my time on FEC. Additionally this role also lets me engage regularly with a variety of academic discourses and allows me to continue to develop the critical approaches that I developed during my time in Edinburgh. So far I have worked on events with Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Daniel Levitin and Joy Gregory. Being able to both produce and enjoy the events that I work on is a great benefit and I am continually exposed to new ideas and schools of thought. I’m thrilled to be working in such a politically active, creative and research driven environment and I’m pretty excited about where the skills I learn in this role might take me.

Currently I’m juggling all three roles at once which at times proves challenging, but the varied workload fits well with me. The variety that I am now faced with reflects the way I have learned to work through participating in MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation at Edinburgh. I’m extremely grateful to have been able to study this course under the tutelage of the wonderful Jane and Susan whom have continually shown me the utmost support and provided guidance. Overall I’m pretty thrilled with the opportunities I’ve been given and I’m very much looking forward to a future with DISPATCH, Terracotta Distribution and UCL.

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