We had a chat with Joff Powell, Entertainment Executive for Lion TV about how he got into TV and his tips for those starting out in their TV career....
1. How did you get into TV?
Via a friend. She was a PA and got me in for an interview with the MD’s of a company. I had tried for ages to get through the door but struggled with cold-calling people. Having someone help introduce me got it all rolling.
2. What was your first job?
Personal Assistant to 2 of the creative directors of a company. I was not great at the gig but I think they liked my personality. They moved me on to researcher after a couple of weeks which was much more suited to me.
3. Was the first job what you expected?
Not at all, if you’ve studied journalism or media related courses, you leave feeling like you can direct and straight away make programmes but you soon learn that you only have a foundation knowledge which isn’t enough. It was tough starting from scratch, you do long hours and often feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over but if you stand out and persevere, it pays off.
4. What did you find particularly hard when you were starting out?
Relentless tasks that do not challenge you creatively. What you never learn in studies is that there is a huge amount of administration within television production and that’s something you are often underprepared for and when you’re in your early 20’s, you want to be out on location filming something exciting, not stuck in a library researching facts and figures for other people to use out on a shoot.
5. Did you get any advice at the beginning of your career that particularly helped you? Please share!
I think the best piece of advice I was ever given was to persevere, work hard and be polite to everyone you come across regardless of their position.
6. What things do you know now that you wish you knew then?
How to juggle a personal life and a work life – I still don’t think I have the answer!
7. What’s been a standout experience in your TV career so far?
Far too many – to succeed in our industry you have to be passionate, if you love what you’re doing then every experience is stand out but to contradict myself briefly, having just finished filming with American comedian, Rob Riggle, was probably the most rib tickling experience I have ever had.
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The Network Team