Archie has been in the film industry for two years, working at prestigious SFX company Artem.
Ever since being a small kid I had dreamed of being a director, when I first started watching films it was like an escape. I just loved stories, writing my own, watching others and taking inspiration. I researched directors and how they got into film; a lot went to film school some university etc, but I found a few that happened to be my favourite up and coming directors started in other industries particularly special effects so I had to take this route.
My uncle was head of the Mould Shop at Artem. The guy who was in my current position was going to move to another place, so the spot opened up. I was studying for my final year in A Levels when my Uncle told me about the position. I was working part time at McDonald’s and I had made no plans for university. Originally I was thinking of going for ‘Runner’ jobs over the summer and hope to start working my way up in the industry, so I knew I had to take the opportunity, I’ve been there for over a year now and here I am.
Currently I work in the hire & sales department of Artem. My current responsibilities Include helping out around the workshop at anytime like emptying bins, cleaning, fixing and maintenance of tools. That’s usually what happens for the first two hours and occasionally throughout the day. The rest of the time I work in hire and sales and mainly there I have to build the Artem smoke machines, maintain all of the equipment that Artem hires out and takes out on set for many jobs, I help with shipping and logistics of thing we sell and transport too. In my spare time I try to learn skills that will benefit me such as, rigging equipment, welding, a few bits of building etc.
My first film set experience was actually probably the best first experience anyone could have.
I got to help out on a big pyrotechnic job which was being filmed for a new feature film. It was superb. We were of course up very early for prep I think it was around 3am to rig the charges, then we were on set by about 4:30, and done by 12. It was a lot of fun and a great thing to see and experience, very busy and manic, but great to be a part of and I can’t wait to see the final thing.
Special effects is a superb industry to work in because no two days are the same, everyday is something different because there are always different projects and jobs going on and we get to see many people ideas and pitches come to life. The variety of work is what makes it great, I may be positioned in hire and sales however I do get to help out and experience and learn things in the workshop which after some more time in hire and sales I will hopefully progress too.
I’ve only worked in hire and sales for just over a year but my advice would be you have to stay determined and be yourself and always make yourself better and try to learn everyday and progress. Keep pushing and working and while your young you can get up much earlier than anyone else and keep going, its sounds cheesy but never give up.