By Lewis Allsopp (Digital Media Producer)
Hello! I’m Lewis and I was employed as a Digital Media Producer within the Digital Learning team while studying at the University of Derby.
To be honest with you, I’ve absolutely loved working as a Digital Media Producer (DMP) over the course of my studies. I was told about the job in my first year, and jumped at the chance, mainly because it sounded like a cool opportunity to play with cameras and get paid for the privilege! Of course, the job entails more than that, but being able to gain on-the-job experience, whilst working for real clients, was a big draw for me.
Pardon the cliché, but it’s been a hell of a ride! I’ve learned so much over my almost three years as a DMP. From simple things which are important for the world of work like how to deal with clients, understand their needs, and pitch them your ideas; to more media-specific understandings, like how to mic up a man who’s talking to you from the other side of a lake.
As I started, Matt and Charlotte (Media Adviser and Learning Technologist within the Digital Learning Team) were so supportive of me. As an 18-year-old, working for a huge organisation like the University of Derby is daunting – I come from Langley Mill, down the road half an hour, and although we do have a pub AND a shop, coming to university was a big thing for me. But both were excellent at guiding me through the university’s processes and getting me started with my first clients.
Digital Media Producers work on projects, which is brilliant for me as someone who isn’t particularly good at sitting still for any amount of time. And my first was a brilliant one. I got to work with the Built Environment team, creating educational explainer videos for students who were stuck in every corner of the world due to Covid. This took me into lots of muddy fields and allowed me to meet some lovely people who were all so up for taking me under their wing and listening to my ideas. I even went to the National Watersports Centre, to watch the Team GB Canoe team training for Tokyo 2021, whilst measuring the curvature of the Earth with their conveniently long lake.
Being able to work on these real-world projects really backed up what I was learning in my studies and allowed me to gain invaluable experience which I’ve carried forward into projects I’m working on today.
Another personal highlight of working in the role is my work with the Burton Addiction Centre (BAC) and the University’s Substance Misuse module. Working with the academic we arranged unique access into BAC for one of the first times in the UK. Working in such an environment brought its own challenges, with safeguarding and privacy, but working with social workers, we were able to create a series of videos which explain the 14-week rehabilitation process, and film what goes on behind the doors of the BAC for Derby students – something which really has never been done before. As the interviewer, it was a proud moment to gain the trust of some of the BAC’s clients and allow them to share their stories openly with us, on camera.
I am now moving on from the role here at the University to take up a job at New Broadcasting House for BBC Radio 4, but I couldn’t go without telling you about how much fun I’ve had in this role. Being a DMP has been amazing for my personal development. It’s allowed me to understand the processes behind the scenes of projects, and I’m under no illusion that the experiences I’ve gained through the role have helped me gain my new job. Being able to walk into the interview and tell stories of times when I’ve fixed problems on the fly, created innovative solutions to unique shoots and worked with vulnerable people was a massive bonus for me – and I really couldn’t have done it without the experiences that being a Digital Media Producer has given me.
If you would like to find out more about our Digital Media Producers (UoD staff only) or would like to work with one of our students to create educational media content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.