As a third-year Television Production student from CSU in Wagga Wagga, I recently took part in industry placement with FremantleMedia, Foxtel and Channel Ten. These collective five weeks gave me huge insight into the television production industry as I had the perfect balance of chosen companies to do placement with.
FremantleMedia is one of the three big production houses in Australia and produces content like Family Feud, Australia’s Got Talent, Grand Designs Australia, and many more.
Where FremantleMedia produces the content, Foxtel’s main role is to distribute that content to Australian audiences, maintaining strong relationships with networks and production companies to acquire that media.
Channel Ten, is largely a mix of both companies, focusing on live studio productions and distribution of content through their three channels; Ten, Eleven and One.
Here are five reasons why I did all three:
1. Hands-on experience
Lectures and workshops are great but there’s absolutely nothing that can beat hands-on, practical experience. In the TV industry and for many other industries, you can learn and read from textbooks as much as you like but actually getting in and controlling a camera or observing a director, will teach you tons more about the psychology of industry professionals and the equipment they use.
When I was with Channel Ten, I had the opportunity to go out with news crews and collect footage and stories from around the Sydney CBD, which were then ingested into Channel Ten’s servers for the editors to cut together packages to be used for the 5:00 news.
A lot of the television industry is who you know, not what you know. During my time at FremantleMedia, I met some really amazing people who helped me understand the industry I was about to delve into. Even though the internship was over four months ago, I am still in contact with them via email and they even recommended me to a potential future employer.
At Foxtel, I met many people and tried as hard as possible to make a good first impression. This paid off as I recently had a job interview with Foxtel and BOTH of the interviewers were people I had met on the internship. Score!
The TV facilities are AMAZING at CSU in Wagga Wagga and allow us to enjoy a simulated industry experience. However, as I said earlier, there is nothing more important than real experiences. These three internships changed my perspective on the television industry and gave me a great understanding of what goes on.
Fun fact: Channel Ten, Seven and Nine are actually really close friends and share news footage more often than not.
Before the internships, I thought that all the channels created their own content. That is in fact a myth. Most companies in Australia have really great relationships and work together very often. For example, while I was at FremantleMedia, I worked as an edit assist for the Great Australian Bake Off. Two months later, while at Foxtel, that same episode was being quality checked and ingested into the Foxtel servers. It was incredible to see this piece of media travel through the networks and eventually reach distribution.
The only way you know about any celebrity is usually because there’s someone behind the camera making them look pretty. Luckily for me, I was involved in an episode of The Project at Channel Ten. Even luckier for me, that was the episode where Chris Hemsworth (the mighty Thor) and Mark Ruffalo (the incredible Hulk) came into the studio for an interview. While I was busy fan-girling, they walked less than a metre from me! I also had a chat to Waleed while he was there. Definitely a highlight!
That’s it! There are five reasons you need to take as many work opportunities as possible. They aren’t all relevant outside the TV Production course but hopefully that encourages you to take some risks and work extra hard for the job you want to get. Good luck and happy interning!