During my third year at university, I had the opportunity to undertake a placement year with RSPB Scotland, which involved directing, shooting and editing films highlighting their work.
Mikey Sneddon, BA (Hons) Television graduate, shares his placement experience at RSPB Scotland, Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity.
This was one of my best experiences at university. The placement explored every avenue of filmmaking, and gave you the freedom to learn and progress. It was also very rich in creative and knowledge development – I don’t think anywhere else could have provided me with a more valuable professional development experience.
The TV lecturers at Edinburgh Napier University genuinely care about you and will go to lengths to help you pursue and nurture your passions and creative aspirations. It was amazing to have my passion for wildlife filmmaking taken seriously and to be given the opportunity to develop this interest in a professional setting.
The biggest highlight was being contacted by ‘Springwatch’ through RSPB in order for them to use some of my footage on their show. Seeing my work broadcast on a popular BBC wildlife programme was an incredible achievement, which really validated my hard work and showed me I had the capabilities to produce industry-standard content.
One of the best lessons I learned during my time on placement was that, as a student, you should always ask to learn. The team at RSPB Scotland were always more than happy to teach me about anything I wanted to know, so the more I asked, the more I learned, which provided me with invaluable personal development and experience.
Since finishing university, I am now, on a voluntary basis, responsible for the entire process of any films that need created for RSPB Scotland, from the research phase to the final phase. My future aspirations are to continue to pursue wildlife filmmaking, combining my experience of filmmaking with my passion for wildlife.
I would recommend this placement opportunity to everyone. There is so much scope to learn and develop your skills in a very unique field, whilst getting to travel and explore Scotland. Whether you aspire to be a researcher or an editor or a camera operative, the experience is rewarding like no other in the filmmaking landscape.