“NFTS gives you the foundation, experience and network you would otherwise take years to get”
We caught up with National Film and Television School Directing and Producing Television Entertainment MA alumnus, Andre Sousa to find out what he has been doing since graduating. (If you are interested in following in André’s footsteps, sign up to our TV Entertainment open day on April 19th – more info here!)
Andre is a Producer - Director at Potato, an ITV Studios label. He did his work experience at ITV Entertainment while studying at NFTS and was snapped up by Potato as soon as he graduated. “The work placement element of the course is key; do the best you can to prove yourself as it could influence your early career. "During my work experience at I got to work on Beat TV, an ITV magazine show, which was broadcast live every day during the 2012 Olympics.
My NFTS graduation project, The Big Steal got a Warner Bros option deal (since then, every year all NFTS Directing and Producing TV Entertainment students pitch their graduation projects to Warner Bros and they have first option) which was a fantastic experience and after graduating in 2013, I was invited to join ITV as a Development Researcher. They saw The Big Steal and loved it so I worked on lots of quizzes when I first started!
My work now mostly consists of bouncing back and forth between entertainment and factual entertainment development, where I produce, direct and edit taster/sizzles and pitch decks that have led to a number of commissions (highlights include Ninja Warrior UK, Devon and Cornwall Blues, An Hour To Catch A Killer, Cannonball) and Producing/Directing and Edit Producing on entertainment, fact-ent and reality shows. I'm also keen on non-broadcast TV. I've previously launched first UK concert release straight onto YouTube (for The Big Reunion), which has now amassed over 2.5 million streams and I'm working on launching a brand new online channel for a very famous and much loved entertainment brand that's been off air for a couple of year (fans, rejoice!).
My most recent credits include Producer/ Director on Ninja Warrior UK and Edit Producer on Bear Grylls Survival School and Sam and Billie Faiers: The Mummy Diaries. I'm just about to start Edit Producing on Ferne McCann: First Time Mum. I’m actually quite proud of all this, what a journey it has been since I landed in the UK 7 years ago! Also, bonus points for when my mum goes all mellow when I send her screenshots with my name on it!
I particularly enjoy working in TV Entertainment. I love the thought of the audience on the other side of the screen and love the idea of taking the viewer by the hand on a storytelling journey. It really warms me up inside to know I'm contributing so someone can have a good time at home. That's why I'm in the business. I see myself as a behind the screen entertainer! In the end, it's all about the viewers, isn't it? Whenever I'm working, especially in the edit, I always think "how will this increase the viewer's experience?"
I would advise anyone interested in studying at the NFTS to get experience beforehand. I worked as a Runner on Dancing on Ice and on Secret Story (a Big Brother on steroids!) in Portugal where I’m from. In fact, I was rejected the first time I applied to the NFTS and think that if I had been selected the first time round, I wouldn’t have learned as much.
NFTS gives you the foundation, experience and network you would otherwise take years to get. In the first six months of the course, you go from being a student to directing or producing your first show; it escalates very quickly. I have built a great network of NFTS peers who I speak to every day and it’s fantastic when we catch up face-to-face from time to time. I absolutely loved my time at NFTS and would never have been able to work in this country as I am now if I hadn’t studied there.”
To find out more about the NFTS Directing and Producing TV Entertainment MA and to book onto the upcoming open day on the 19th April, please visit www.nfts.co.uk/TVEnt