13 August 2015

BA Graduate celebrates rising career working on blockbuster film sets

By Danny Kelly | Categorised in Alumni Interviews, Student Stories, Industry Interviews

While recently sitting down with our Met GO team to discuss his blossoming career since leaving Met Film School, BA Practical Filmmaking graduate Leopold Hughes was asked a particularly short, but vast question – “What is your goal?” For many of our alumni sitting in front of camera, such a question could potentially catch them off guard. However, Leo’s answer came without a hint of hesitation when he coyly replied;

“My goal is to be the youngest ever Bond film director. I know it’s very specific, but if I could do that, I would be a very happy man”.

Ambitious? Of course. Impossible? Never say never. Looking at the list of projects Leo has worked on over the last five years, you’d be inclined to agree that he has certainly started his career in impressive fashion. His credits include RED 2, The Gunman, Serena and the recent Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. Across these high budget features, Leo has mostly operated as an assistant to either a producer or the director.

His upward trajectory can only be further emphasised through his current involvement on Star Wars VIII, the second part of the upcoming trilogy, which is slated for a 2017 release. Behind closed doors at Pinewood Studios he is Assistant to Director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) in a role where his responsibilities include speaking to the different Heads of Departments, making sure we have storyboards, looking after the script and scheduling to make sure that when we get to shooting, the movie gets made.”

Watch Leo’s graduate profile video here

In the quest towards achieving future goals, this type of experience is invaluable. To be able to shadow accomplished Directors on colossal franchises is an eye opening experience, one that Leo explains requires three things: hard work, a lack of sleep and a never say no attitude”.

The latter of these three titbits of advice is a point that was frequently brought up throughout the interview, particularly in regards to finding those all-important first industry roles. Leo discussed the importance of taking any job offered, and striving to make a good impression to secure gradual progression. Reminiscing upon his first lucky break he said,

The job that really started everything came through Met Film School and it was a 2nd AD role on a short film. There was no wage but I made lots of contacts, which helped me get work on other short films, and then paid jobs on low budget features. Eventually I was production coordinating for Endemol and the Olympics…”

By our calculation, the youngest Bond film director currently stands as Marc Forster, who was 38 years old on the release day of 2008’s Quantum of Solace. We think there’s still good time to change the history books. Good luck, Leo!

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