Mat Appleton - Head of Client Services at Envy Post

How did you get your first job in the TV industry? What was it like?

My first ‘proper’ job in TV was with ENVY Post Production, 4 years ago. I read an ad for a ‘runner’ in a paper, so applied. I had studied media ‘A’ level at college, but spent some time doing random jobs in Somerset while deciding how I was going to get to London.

When I moved to London, I worked as a waiter in a members club while all my friends were in University. After two years waiting tables the novelty wore off and I suddenly thought, ‘Oh crap, I came here to work in TV, better get a move on…’

I was interviewed for the job in a pub because Envy was a building site at the time. I bought the interviewer a pint, which he later revealed was the main reason he gave me the job. My first couple of weeks was spent moving all the sofas, computers and desks into Envy. I questioned my decision to move into TV a lot in those early days!

So you had always planned on working in the TV industry?

Yes, but I had no idea doing what. Throughout college I did work experience 3 days a week at my local TV station and BBC radio. I did a bit of acting and presenting, but hated that. All I really knew was that I wanted to work somewhere in shiny TV land.

What is your job detail as head of client services at Envy?

I look after everything which has nothing to do with the technical side of Post Production basically! I employ and look after all the runners, choose what coffee we buy, create ad campaigns, plump cushions, hug clients - the list is endless...

How do you choose the runners that end up working at Envy?

I’m looking for common sense and drive. I didn’t have a degree but I had a developed work ethic, and that’s what I’m looking for simply put.

How many applications do you get from people looking to get running work at Envy? And in what way do they apply?

I get about 50 e-mails a week. At the end of the academic year this shoots up a lot, but it’s too late then, I will have already chosen my summer starters at Easter.

E-mailing is the most common way, but also the least effective I’d say. Hand delivered CV’s always get my attention.

What is the key to surviving a running job and why is running so important do you think? 

Running teaches life skills. You could have 15 degrees, an MA and an IQ of 200, but if you can’t read a client or understand the work flows involved in any situation, you’re doomed. Running teaches you these skills. 

What advice do you give to the new runners who start at Envy?

You’re a runner, so run.

And what advice would you give to someone looking to get a running job in post production?

WORK EXPERIENCE!!! Get to know people and the industry. Get practical experience and show people you can be useful. The fact you once edited a commercial promo for you local town council on FCP is not enough...

Tell me about the Envy Academy?

The Academy was set up so that I could go into Universities to find talent and give honest advice to people looking to get into the film industry. It’s basically a resource for young people to get practical experience and advice. All of the runners who start at Envy now are part of the Academy somehow. It’s my baby!

For more information about the Envy Academy, please click here:

http://www.facebook.com/postproductionlondon 

 

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