Aine Carlin
Online Producer / Director

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… I appreciate what’s around me and where I am in life. Friends, family and the outdoors mean a lot to me.

I’m Online Producer / Director here at MakeMatic. In an average week, I review scripts, create animatics, oversee edits, interview teachers and direct shoots. I’m in awe of everybody here and what they do, and I learn so much from them everyday.

I was an active kid, constantly drawing or dancing. I went to an integrated school and I loved it. There were students from all over the world and I learned a lot about different cultures, drinking Chinese green tea one week, taiko drumming the next.

One of my teachers told me to study science at university, so I choose sports science and I loved learning about the body. I got a first in my degree from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh but I found it really hard to find work after graduating. There was nothing available at the time.

When I got home, I attended a Women of the World conference in Derry. There were five amazing women on the panel and when the Q&A came around at the end, my body just took over. I told my story and asked for advice – and a few different people offered me work on the spot, including the woman who ran the conference. My career really started from there.

My first job was as Youth Coordinator in a town called Dungiven. I was able to take the kids hover crafting, surfing, everything. It was an amazing summer, and because I then had industry experience, and a First Class degree, I made it onto the North West Regional College part-time lecturer list, teaching sports science.

I loved teaching, especially when I found my feet in the second year. But there was no lessons over the summertime, so I started working on a feature film set as production assistant, and any job that was offered, I kept on putting my hand up.

I wanted to learn as much as I could, and when they needed a new second assistant director, they offered me the job. It usually takes a good couple of years to get to that level, so I felt really grateful.

I find that the industry is all about who you know. Straight after the feature film, my name was passed on to another production, The Secret, a television series starring James Nesbitt. It was cool to work in Belfast with a local crew. It was very long hours, quite tough physically and mentally, but I learned a lot.

Then I started as researcher with MakeMatic back home in Derry. The company had only just started out, so there was a lot to do. I spent my days talking with teachers, researching the education industry, finding new presenting talent and writing up call sheets.

I was also able to shadow Catherine as director and producer too. Everything was very new and fresh and I was able to progress at a steady pace. I never felt that I was thrown in at the deep end. I was trained properly throughout and I’m very grateful for that.

I appreciate what’s around me and where I am in life. Friends, family and the outdoors mean a lot to me. There was a point when I thought I wouldn’t be able to live and work in my hometown, and I’m just so thankful that I have a job that enables me to do that. It’s special.