“The knowledge and access that the NFTS gives is remarkable, and I'm very grateful to be part of this year's cohort.”

Minco van der Weide

We caught up with current NFTS Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Exhibition MA student, Minco van der Weide to find out more about his work placement at Universal Pictures. All students on the course benefit from work placements with others experiencing work at Bankside Films, Picturehouse, Altitude, MUBI and the BIFAs.

What were you doing before applying to the NFTS? My background is in producing. I founded a production company in the Netherlands, and after having attended the Producing BA at the Netherlands Film Academy I co-founded another production company in Stockholm. My interest in the distribution side of the film industry grew, and I applied for the Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Exhibition MA course at the NFTS. Since my acceptance letter, I never really looked back. The knowledge and access that the NFTS gives is remarkable, and I'm very grateful to be part of this year's cohort.

Tell us more about your work placement? After having worked at the London Screenings for Film London for a week, I am currently working at Universal Pictures International UK in London as part of my course's work placement module. I work across the Marketing, Publicity and Theatrical Sales teams, helping them with tasks for the releases of: Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, The Dead Don't Die, The Mustang, Downton Abbey and Bond 25.

What has been the most exciting part of your work placement so far? It has been a fantastic experience from day one. Being able to attend senior executive meetings gives you a clear picture of how the film industry works. This placement made me able to have insightful conversations with the people who work on some of the biggest releases of the UK, which has been helpful in many ways. One of the most meaningful conversations was one about sustainability within the company. I mentioned my interest in sustainability and this resulted in a meeting with an executive that deals with the food and waste management of the building that is shared by NBC Universal and Google. Talking about the difficulties of recycling, decreasing single-use items and ways to improve the companies' environmental impact was something that meant a lot to me. Apart from this, I found it especially interesting to connect with people across different departments within Universal Pictures, but also meeting companies and agencies that Universal works with. It feels like a perfect balance between hands-on work for Universal's film slate while still leaving time for meetings, conversations and questions; I couldn't wish for a better experience!

For more information about the NFTS Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Exhibition MA, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/marketing

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