What’s waiting for you after film school?
Met graduate Tom Kissock studied on our BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking programme. He has gone on to work in a variety of different roles within TV, Film, Commercials and more to develop his career within the world of production. We caught up with him to find out what he is up to now
Tom says: “The industry is changing at such a rapid pace which is a great thing as there are more and more opportunities for recent graduates.”
- Why did you choose to study the BA (Hons) Practical Filmmaking programme at Met? I was working as an Actor when I met a Director who had been to Met Film School and they told me about it. I needed a bit of a change and decided to give Directing a go.
- What were the highlights of the course? The main highlight I had whilst studying at Met Film School was being taught by Chris Bould, the man’s a genius! I had the time of my life learning the in’s and outs of how a live production works and directing magazine shows in the multi-cam studio. Any module which was taught by Chris was brilliant because he really cares about each student and their education. I went on to make a live short film for my Grad project with Chris’ mentoring. Another highlight was the fact that I built friendships and relationships with tutors and fellow students I still work with today.
- What was your experience of Met Film School? As I spent time there I found it very difficult to find my voice as a Director and actually started to realise that I was a lot better at Production and putting people together. I soon realised that I could either be an average Director or make a good career within Production. I really capitalised on my strengths, as did everyone on the programme with different abilities. This made it a great environment to learn in as it empowers you and you’re treated like a working professional, not just a student. In my experience the Met encourages students to really own the job they are doing.
- What projects have you worked on since completing your course?
Whilst on the course I made sure to spend any free time I had working within the industry as a runner and by the time that I graduated I had already worked on a feature film called ‘Tower Block.’ Then things got even more exciting!
I shot my grad film and decided I wanted to work in New York. I sent the DVD to companies over there, sold all of my stuff and brought a plane ticket. I had my foot trapped in a lot of doors trying to get meetings and finally Hungryman Inc offered me a job. It all paid off as I ended up working on commercials (including the NBC Superbowl commercial) with some of the best Directors in the Industry!
On returning back to London, it was hard at first to find my feet but I soon built up my contacts again and ended up Producing Bafta-Winner Pier Wilkie’s Short Film ‘Beginning’ staring Daniel Kalluya. I then got back into commercial and promo production, producing for companies like Unit 9, Riff Raff Filmsand Rokkit/Stink. I also Production Managed for a variety of TV shows for Channel 4. The following year I got a phone call from someone I had worked with whilst at Met Film School who told me to contact a Line Producer who was making a feature film.
The very next week I was Production Manager on a feature film by ex-Working Title exec Tammy Riley Smith, called ‘Delicious,’ starring Shelia Handcock and Louise Brealey. It’s available to view on LoveFilm for anyone who wants to check it out. After the job wrapped I landed a senior position at NTSH London as an Executive Producer for branded content. I would generate new commercial business and look after the roster of 19 Directors, where some of our clients included Sony and Lakme.
I also signed an old friend of mine as a director, an ex-Met student called Jon Olav Stokke, who I Produced for whilst at film school. On the success of this venture a year later I relocated to Australia where I’m now at Filmgraphics looking after the business and careers of 10 Directors. We produce everything from 30-second TV Commercials, TV Shows, Interactive Films, Feature Films and general branded online content.
I’ve been extremely privileged to work with such fantastic people since leaving film school on a multitude of shoots all over the world. I’ve had a terrific time since leaving film school and I carry everything I learnt there into each venture I undertake. The industry is changing at such a rapid pace which is a great thing as there are more and more opportunities for recent graduates.
- Would advice would you offer a new student? Shoot everything whilst at film school where it’s a safe environment to fail! Build up your showreel and start connecting with people before you leave. You are only as good as your last job and this is an industry based around relationships, so network, shoot anything that moves and most importantly have fun!