Working in film production after university in the UK
Mariana Nascimento, from Brazil, studied a Film Production degree at UCA Farnham following Advanced Level Foundation at Kings Oxford. Now working in the film industry, we caught up with her to find out about her job, and what she gained from her degree in the UK.
Hi Mariana. What course did you do at university and how did it feel when you graduated? Was it worth all the hard work?
My course was Film Production and I was in a mix of feelings when I graduated. I loved my uni and my course, despite there being some moments where I was exhausted and lost, going a bit crazy with all the work and pressure. The hard work was definitely worth it and by the third year, I just didn’t want it to end.
Graduating was really bittersweet. I was glad to have completed this phase of my life, but at the same time I wasn’t ready to let go of my routine, my friends and my life in Farnham.
What was the highlight of your studies at UCA Farnham?
Tough question! I think I have to say the people, both the staff and the students (well, the dedicated ones). I think they made the course even better than the programme planned for us. Also, there was a real sense of an artistic community, which gives you a sense of belonging and creates a great atmosphere for you to be creative.
In general, what was your highlight of university life?
Again I must say it was the people around me. I met the most wonderful lot and they became my home away from home. I learned and still learn a lot from them and I am so happy to say I am friends with these amazing people (that includes some of my tutors, who we had a great relationship with).
What are you doing professionally now? Is it the path that you hoped to take?
Now I work at one of the biggest and most well-known production companies in Brazil, Gullane, which produced films like Carandiru, The Year My Parents Went On Vacation and The Second Mother (these last two were shortlisted for the Oscars and had good careers internationally).
There I work in the development department, which is the part of the film process I have always wanted to work in. So, so far, I am in the path I was hoping to take on when I decided to work with Film.
Are you still in touch with many friends from Kings?
With the ones I was closest with, yes. Unfortunately, I haven’t spoken much with the others or seen them in a while. But we keep up with each other on social media and it's fun to see that each of them is in a different part of the globe doing their thing.
What would you say to your teachers at Kings if you met them again now? How much do you feel your time at Kings Oxford prepared you for university life?
I think I would thank them for insisting on things I would never have guessed were essential for university. And also, maybe, have asked why they didn't insist on me taking Economics. Nowadays I see how much those classes would have been useful.
In terms of preparation for uni life, Kings played a very important role. I felt like I was ready to take on the assignments and was very comfortable doing presentations (which we did a lot for film) and writing essays. I felt like I was a step ahead in those terms. To be honest I still use some of the tips for the presentations at work.
What advice would you give to other people from your country who are considering studying at Kings?
I think I'd say choose well your subjects and enjoy every minute. It was a great experience and it prepared me really well for the 3 years that came after.
What advice would you give to international students hoping to study media and arts related degrees at a UK university?
Do it! It is an experience that will open your eyes and will give you repertoire that you could never get staying in your own country. Art school is great and will give you the best environment to create and get to know people likeminded. I say that because in the UK you get to meet people from everywhere, with so many different experiences, and the more you know about this and the world, the better prepared you will be to shape your opinion and express it through your work.
In case of film, more specifically, the British film industry is a reference worldwide and, in my opinion, does really well both commercial and more auteurist films, and that is reflected in the way they will teach you. Plus, the industry is really well established and you have the best resources to create and understand the different fields within.