After graduating, what were your initial steps?
I worked in a nightclub, call centres, banks and made Subway sandwiches. I managed a photography studio and I was a wedding photographer. I tried every job and never felt settled. I got my first creative job at a company called GMAC Film as an online content developer, this entailed creating footage for the company website, social channels and running events. The director of GMAC Film, Beth Armstrong, completely changed my life. Towards the end of my contract at GMAC Film, Beth informed me of a programme she was project managing called FIND Scotland – an initiative to help all-sorts of underrepresented groups get into the TV industry.
My socio-economic background meant that I qualified for the programme and it changed everything. I was invited along to a bootcamp, where myself and others were given a one week course with masterclasses in all aspects of the industry. I was also given £1000 to create a short film with my good friend, Hollyoaks writer David Shields. After this, I was assigned a six-month internship at IWC Media in Glasgow where I worked on Location Location Location and loved it. I’ve worked in television ever since. I don’t think I’d be where I am now if Beth hadn’t seen my potential and pushed me to keep going.
What made you switch from freelancing to TV production?
Technically I am still freelance, but TV work is a different kind of freelance – it’s PAYE and processed like any other regular wage, so you know which day of the month you’ll be getting paid. Photography was different: I recently had to threaten a magazine with legal action because I did a job for them in January and they didn’t pay me until June and, to be honest, if I hadn’t threatened them, I don’t think they had any intention of paying me at all. This is no way of life, it’s stressful – you end up in debt and having to ‘repay’ yourself. It’s just horrible. I’ll always do photography work as well, but I wouldn’t allow any company to treat me in that way again.