Want to get your foot in the door in the film industry? Julia Nottingham, head of documentary at Pulse Films, could be your new career mentor
Julia Nottingham, 32, began her career as a runner on shows like Banged Up Abroad and C4’s Blackout. More recently, as head of documentary at Pulse Films, she’s worked on The Possibilities Are Endless, which premiered at the SXSW film festival last year, and Arcade Fire: The Reflektor Tapes. Here, she gives her top tips on making it in the industry…
‘I’m always thinking about film, but I don’t mind that. Every day I get to work with creative people who love it just as much as I do. As a producer, I’m focused on theatrical release films, so every time I read an article I’m thinking, ‘Could this be a documentary?”
‘Be patient. Finishing a film is not rocket science but finding funding can be difficult: we’re up against big Hollywood movies, so it’s competitive. You might start out your career making tea and running errands but that passion is what will help you rise up through the ranks.’
‘Find a mentor in every job, because you always need someone who can offer a different perspective.’
‘Take time off to feed your creativity. Seeing your friends or going on holiday enables you to have the energy to do your work. Before I go to bed, I put my phone in a cupboard otherwise I’ll check my emails all night.’
‘Build solid relationships. I try to meet two or three directors a week. Most documentary directors make content for TV, which is great, but it’s my job to encourage them to think big. It’s challenging, because film and TV are such different landscapes. However, our BAFTA-nominated 20,000 Days On Earth made it to the big screen, so all the hard work was worth it. Despite the difficulties, this is the job I’ve always wanted.’
WANT TO BE MENTORED BY JULIA?
Email your CV, cover letter and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 November 2015 and make sure to include the following information…
What is your ambition and what have you done so far to achieve this? (in 200 words or fewer)
Let us know in 200 words or fewer what you’d look for in a mentor
Let us know in 200 words or fewer why you’d be a brilliant mentee
The successful applicant will get an hour-long mentoring session followed by two further half-hour sessions.