… Second year of college, that’s when I knew I could handle a career the media industry. When I play football with my friends and I sky the ball over the bar, that’s pressure.
I’m Assistant Editor here at MakeMatic and I really like the creative energy among the tea. My role varies from week to week. I could be editing one day and colour grading the next. We shot an education conference recently and I got to be creative in the edit, cutting it along to my own style, so I’ve enjoyed that most since I’ve been here.
I was an adventurous kid. I always went on hikes with my friends when we weren’t supposed to. I was interested in creative writing at school – I loved Roald Dahl – but I got into cinema and when I was 18 started messing around with equipment and software making little shorts just to pass the time.
A few years later, I realised that I could apply the skills I had developed as part of a creative hobby into getting a job and that was a bit of a revelation. I had my own kit – any money I made from part-time work, I spent on cameras – so I fell very naturally into the media industry that way.
I attended North West Regional College in Derry, where I studied Creative Media Production. At the end of my second year, some of the fashion students were organising a steampunk-themed catwalk show and they wanted to open with an atmospheric film, which I scripted and directed.
It was live action, with a delivery boy handing out invitations to various characters. I had twelve models on set, hair stylists, actors, crew – the whole works – and I was in control of them all. That’s when I knew I could handle a career the media industry. When I play football with my friends and I sky the ball over the bar, that’s pressure.
It was a great experience. There were three hundred people in the audience on the night, so I was able to get that immediate feedback, and they all seemed to love it. That spurred me on to continue in media and thankfully employers from Pie Communications in Belfast saw the film and offered me a job.
I spent six or seven months of my final year in college actually working as an editor on e-learning videos. I was able to leapfrog the university experience and go straight into the workplace. Being proactive and doing things, rather than talking about doing things, fast-tracked my career, in a way.
I moved back to Derry the following year and built up my portfolio, making short films and working on various freelance projects to keep my skills sharp. And then I was very lucky to get a position with MakeMatic.
I like every genre of film but psychological thrillers would probably be my favourite. I love Alejandro Iñárritu, director of Birdman, and Darren Aronofsky, who directed Seven, The Social Network and played a big part in the making of House of Cards. I like creative writing as well. I do a lot of journal writing.
Meditation is also something I’m interested in, and psychology. One of my favourite books is Waking Up, by Sam Lawrence. It’s about being in the moment, stopping your mind from wandering. That resonates in my running, too. I’m a middle distance runner with Derry Track Club. Running helps to clear the mind and keeps me balanced.
What could I not do without here at MakeMatic? Final Cut Pro is the software I use all the time. I enjoy using Final Cut more than other editing software – it’s what I learned on. In the future, I would like to spend some time with After Effects, which is more animation-based. Also coffee. I can’t do without good French press coffee. It’s excellent.