We caught up with recent Cameras, Sound and Vision Mixing Diploma graduates, Ellie Utting and Fiona Donald, both of whom have been working at BBC Studioworks on EastEnders since graduating.

Fiona: Since graduating from the NFTS, I started as a camera trainee for BBC Studioworks, predominantly working on EastEnders. I was responsible for setting up equipment and ensuring everything was prepared for the day including laying track and focus pulling. I learnt from senior operators and have now progressed to a junior camera operator. I have also had the opportunity to assist on other shows including Ride London, Children in Need and Pointless

Ellie: I've been working for BBC Studioworks as a staff vision mixer.  I've mostly been vision mixing EastEnders, and I've also had the opportunity to cut a BBC Prom and several news programmes.  I've also been lucky enough to shadow lots of light entertainment programmes made at Elstree and Television Centre.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
Ellie: I love vision mixing - there's a lot of teamwork involved, you're always in the moment and you have to make decisions very quickly.  There's also a lot of scope to be both creative and technical, depending on the genre you're working in.

Fiona: My favourite thing is the buzz you get when you create a few awesome shots or when you are doing scripted scenes; the fast pace to move onto your next shot and get them all in the scene correctly. It can be very quick and exciting. 

How has the NFTS Cameras, Sound and Vision Mixing Diploma helped you with your career?
Fiona: The skills I learnt at the NFTS really helped me when starting my camera trainee role. It gave me a great grounding for the fast paced ped work that they use on EastEnders. My understanding of shot sizes and various technical knowledge really help when I am asked to do something. I met a lot of industry contacts during my time at the School which gave me opportunities for work experience and meeting new people. 

Ellie: The NFTS Diploma was amazing!  We had a huge amount of hands-on training in the studios, and all of our tutors were brilliant and hugely experienced.  The course included a fantastic six-week placement at Sky, and a week shadowing EastEnders, which is how I was lucky enough to be considered for a job at Studioworks.

Why would you recommend someone apply to this course?
Ellie: If you want to be a vision mixer this course provides very thorough training from incredible tutors, and unparalleled work experience opportunities.

Fiona: I really enjoyed my year at the NFTS because my course was mostly practical which is why I would recommend it. We did bits of sound, vision mixing, cameras and lighting for studio and then specialised in our chosen area. Collectively across all specialisms including the directing and production courses, we would work together to create many pilot shows in our TV studio. This was great as you were put in a position that was as close to a real working studio essentially. You would also learn from ex industry professionals who can teach you first hand. 

If you would like to follow in Ellie and Fiona’s footsteps, check out the one year diploma www.nfts.co.uk/CSVM