0:00:02 We essentially are shown films by all the individual distributors. We then decide where we want to play them throughout the UK at which sites specifically and we help to negotiate with the distributors how much we’re going to pay for the right to show those films.
00:00:17 Each day of the week is quite different in film buying because everything sort of focuses around our Monday booking, or holdover date we call it. That’s when we essentially sit down and have the last minute negotiations with the distributors and everything sort of focuses around that Monday.
00:00:33 Without question, the most enjoyable part of the job is actually watching the films. Anyone who loves films in any way, shape or form would, you know, would absolutely revel in that aspect of the job and we do get to watch quite a few films, whether it’s in work time or out of it. You know, I’ve had to sit through some awful films but I’m glad that I had the experience of them ‘cos it’s helped to inform, you know, what I know makes a good film.
00:00:56 Yeah, I think when I was at school, I always knew I wanted to work in some field in the arts, you know, per se. But at the time, I thought it was more in line with playwriting and directing which is what I actually then went on to do at university. I studied a Bachelor of Arts in drama at Queens Anne University so it’s probably slightly different to here. It was a very hands-on course. There was a lot of, you know, good practical work so we got out there and actually worked with directors.
00:01:22 My university career kind of declined over the space of two years as I was working for my student union which I’d been elected to and that was kind of became like a full time job. So working in student union politics was really my first proper job and it was a very good grounding for working with people and working out how to negotiate with people and help them but also, you know, help yourself to get what your goal was as well.
00:01:48 Straight after university, I came to the UK for a holiday with my family for Christmas and as it turns out, I never went back and that was 11 years ago, over 11 years ago. So since then, I’ve worked in a variety of jobs, initially because I was only on a…what I thought was a short break, I started off in part time jobs and was working two jobs at once in a wine shop and in a body shop as well. And from there, I kind of got into management and cinema management from there which is how I ended up in this field as well.
00:02:19 Cinema management is great, it’s a good buzz but it certainly wasn’t me. I didn’t feel like it was fulfilling me in every way that I knew I wanted to. In a matter of a year and a bit later, two years later, a position came up which, you know, I thought well thoughts my chance because these positions come up so rarely in film buying. Once people get the jobs, they often tend to stay in them for a long time. So I thought right, I shall apply. I didn’t know how I’d go, I really didn’t have 100% belief I would get it ‘cos I knew that lots of people who would apply have potentially more film experience than I did. But yeah, I was lucky enough to get the role.
00:02:54 My family were quite happy for me to stay in the UK and in London because my mum’s English originally and on both sides, we’re of Irish descent and English as well so there’s always been a very strong link to the motherland type thing. So I think it gives them a good excuse to come over and stay in the spare room, they’ve got somewhere to stay and they’re happy for me to be here and they’re all quite familiar with the country so. It’s a long way to go but as long as I get home for holidays, it’s okay.
00:03:24 Certainly I’m very new in the position I’ve been doing now in terms of it’s been a year so I’m happy to keep mastering what I’m doing now and being, you know, hopefully being a success at that. But, you know, it’s not all about work as well, there’s lots of travel I haven’t done yet. I’ve certainly travelled as widely as I could up til now but, you know, in my personal life, there’s lots of travel that I still want to do so.
00:03:43 Aside from film, I also really enjoy opera, you know, and hi-arts and that kind of thing as well and a bit of comedy so London’s fantastic for all of that because you can see, you know, anything almost any night of the week so, you know, I love living in London.
00:03:57 You can always look back and say I wish I’d done that differently and with hindsight, it’s always a marvellous thing. Certainly years ago when I wasn’t quite 100% happy with what I was doing, I wished that I’d done something a little bit more practical and not quite as followed my heart so much in terms of doing drama studies, a drama degree. But these decisions, you know, you’re meant to make mistakes so that you learn from them so it’s not a problem.
Sophie D is a Film Buyer for Vue Cinemas. She enjoys her job of negotiating with distributors to put together a programme of films for the Vue chain. “Each day of the week is quite different in film buying because everything sort of focuses around our Monday booking, or holdover date we call it… Without question, the most enjoyable part of the job is actually watching the films.”
More information about Buyers and procurement officers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Attends trade fairs, shows and demonstrations to research new product lines and suppliers, checks catalogues;
- Keeps up with market trends and chooses products/services;
- Assesses budgetary limitations and customer requirements and decides on quantity, type, range and quality of goods or services to be bought;
- Assesses bids from suppliers, finds suppliers and negotiates prices;
- Helps negotiate contract with supplier and specifies details of goods or services required;
- Looks at ways to improve supply networks, presents new ideas to senior management team;
- Ensures that delivered items comply with order, monitors quality of incoming goods and returns unsatisfactory or faulty items, monitors performance and makes sure targets are met;
- Supervises clerical, administrative and warehouse distribution staff, deals with recruitment and training;
- Works closely with merchandisers who allocate stock and develop sales forecasts;
- Maintains records and prepares reports as necessary.
Related career stories
From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way