A career in film tourism

Uxue InurritegiSeen the film, now want to visit the location? Uxue Inurritegi is an intern at Film London and works on a project to promote film tourism. She spoke to icould about what her job involves.

Tell us about the job you’re doing now.  What does it involve?

I work on a European project called EuroScreen, run partners from nine different European countries, including Film London. The project focuses on “screen tourism”, which happens when we watch a film, a TV series or a commercial, and it makes us want to visit the places we see on screen. There are many film location guided tours nowadays in the UK because of this, such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones’, etc. But this phenomenon is still quite new and we try to stretch the collaboration between screen and tourism sectors.

 What is the most exciting aspect of your work?

Before I started to work on this project, I had never thought of how big the effect of a film can be to the viewer. I learn new facts and figures related to this phenomenon every day. It’s fascinating to see how important it is for a country like the UK that major Hollywood films choose to shoot here instead of in California, for example. As an intern, I also help other departments at Film London with different events they organise. Film London works to make London one of the world’s best film, television and commercial centres.

Would your classmates from school be surprised at what you’re doing now?

My classmates from school are still my best friends and they see that I am doing what I have always wanted to do. They say they are proud of me because I moved to London to pursue what I like and continue with my career in the film industry. It is important to know what we want, but I find it even more important to get to know ourselves and be willing to change paths if we have to. After university I started to work in production and I was surprised to learn I really enjoyed this aspect of film-making, and that I was actually good at it.

Was there a teacher who had a particularly strong influence on you and if so in what way?

I had many teachers in school that encouraged me to be creative, but there were two who had a strong influence on me. The first one would be my literature teacher, who made me read my stories out loud in class, and was specially demanding with me, which helped me believe in my writing. The second teacher that has had a strong influence on me was my theatre teacher, who showed me how to understand characters in a story.

What school subjects were you good at and have any been surprisingly helpful later on?

Apart from subjects like literature and theatre, I liked history classes very much, and this has been surprisingly helpful when researching for a couple of international documentaries I have worked on.

How did you decide what you wanted to do after school?

Now that I look back to my school years, I think I was meant to end up doing a creative job.  I started to write stories when I was six, soon I also began to draw and add images to these stories, and when I was eight I joined the theatre group. But when I was 14, I had the opportunity to take an audio visual communications class at school and I used a camera for the first time. I learnt the basis of film-making and I loved it.

And how did you get into your current line of work?

I started to work at Film London in March and I came from a film production environment. I was fascinated by how dynamic the British film and television industry was becoming and I wanted to be part of it. When I saw that they were offering a six month internship position at Film London, I saw it as the perfect opportunity for me to learn everything about the British film industry from an institution.

Did you take a gap year? Did it influence any decisions later in life?

No, I started university straight way. But I did have a small gap of eight months after I graduated in 2007 to come to London because at the time I wanted to do a Masters degree here. I improved my English while working in various hospitality jobs. Those months I realised I did not want to learn more film theory but I needed to do some hands-on training, so I went to Los Angeles and I attended a full-time film-making course at Universal Studios.

If you went to university what was your university experience like?

I studied what we call in Spain ‘audio visual communications’, a four-year BA degree, like media studies. We learnt the basics of journalism and publicity in the first year, but focused on the work of radio, television and cinema after the second year. Those were the best four years of my life. I shared a passion with my classmates and I learnt all I know about media and filmmaking. Outside the classes, I also participated in everything that interested me, like theatre and short films. Today, some of the teachers, classmates, and people I met then are still good friends of mine.

What are you proudest of achieving?

Well, I guess I am proud of knowing what I want and being able to do what I like. I am determined and try my best to achieve what I want, but I am realistic because I know what I can or cannot do.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

This is always a difficult question because I try to make the most of what I do at a time. However, I do have some goals , and I will try my best to achieve them. So I see myself working in any of the screen industries and enjoying my job at the fullest, because it was once my hobby, too.

What advice would you give someone still at school who wants to do what you’re doing now?

My advice is to do all the things that you enjoy doing. If you like writing, this will be a hobby for you and you will write in your spare time, because that is what you like doing.  In some year’s time, you will realise how much you learnt without even knowing you were learning. A hobby could one day become your job, so I would listen to myself.

Can you give us any links for more information?

Film London


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