Day One at Sky – 7th July 2014

This summer Sky Production Services has opened its doors to keen students and TV enthusiasts, like myself, who want to get an insight into both Sky and the industry.

I completed an application back in January, along with about 250 others, and was delighted to receive the email to say I was one of the 25 that had been selected.

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The production department is huge and deals with an unbelievable amount of people and projects. I’ve worked part-time in radio for 6 months now, and a couple of years ago I was a runner for CBBC. This place, however, is a much bigger broadcasting facility than those I have worked in before because large departments such as Sky News, Sky Sports and Sky Entertainment all require collaboration with production services & need studio space, production galleries, editing suites, quality control rooms etc etc…

Sky Studios is a 20 minute walk away from my sister’s flat so I was lucky enough to have a relaxed morning eating breakfast, sipping green tea and doing a bit of research before strolling down the road ready for a 10am start.

My first impressions of Sky

It seems like a busy, bright and inspiring environment to work in. Ginormous eye-catching photos, actually they’re more like billboards, cover the walls boasting the vast amount of content Sky produces and has available to view on it’s channels.

For a moment it felt like I was back working at Disney Land as life-like Mike and Sulley (from Monsters Inc) were stood ready to greet you after walking in through the revolving door. To the left, above the reception desk, are 9 extremely large TV screens, each showing a different channel. Posters ensure you are made aware of Sky’s initiatives such as the Sky Academy where youngsters with potential are offered mentors and media practice.

Once upstairs in a glass walled meeting room we were handed freebies (students’ were of course delighted at these coffee vouchers and nice notepads – including 27 year old students like me!) Then we had an induction with health and safety, form-filling and advice on about how to get the most out of this week. The videos that we watched solidified my enthusiasm – it is such a privilege to know that I’ll be able to see behind the scenes of incredibly popular Sky shows.

After the induction, which took just over an hour, all 19 work experience newbies separated and we went off to our different departments. There are two of us in production services, myself and a lovely girl, who has just finished a MA in international journalism.

I felt welcomed and put at ease by our placement supervisor who is a North-Western-girl like me. She was extremely warm and friendly. She handed us an itinerary which is jam packed with different tasks, different people’s names and their roles.

Our itineraries reveal that we will get an incredible overview of production this week. We’ll get to work in the studios, with cameras, learn about scenery, graffix, sound, content, post production, scheduling, finishing, colour grading, editing and shaping. It’s invigorating to see the variety of roles.

The last part of the day gave us the opportunity to meet three different people who were energetic & enthusiastic about their work: L gave us an overview of Studio work, B explained content management and finally D from post-production fascinated us with the way he transformed the appearance of an image on the screen. L told us that in his first week at Sky, which was two years ago, he wandered around with his mouth open recognising so many faces and in disbelief that he would be working with them!

We did a lot of observation and listening today which was extremely interesting and eye-opening, but we are both looking forward to getting to do some hands-on work.

Bring on tomorrow!

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