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Caitlin Donaldson

Caitlin Donaldson
Course studied:
Media (Film) Production
Year of graduation:
2014

TV Production 

Caitlin has worked on some of the most popular TV shows broadcasting across the UK – including Top Gear, Grand Designs, Gogglebox, Geordie Shore, Supervet, Gold Rush and many one-off documentaries. She is an Online Edit and Grade Assistant at one of the most decorated post production companies in the UK, Envy Post Production.

“I eventually want to get into the film industry but I’m currently working in TV and documentary film,” Caitlin said. “It’s definitely the best start for anyone wanting to get into post-production due to the fast turnaround and quick pace. It’s a lot of information but it’s a big array of knowledge that you can gain very quickly. It makes for a great learning curve to progress your career.

“Even now, my degree from Staffordshire University helps me in post-production, with understanding camera formats and how to process footage correctly. The lectures and editing software, as well as each aspect of the video, audio and delivery, definitely gave me a leg up in getting my current position at Envy. It gave me a head start against other graduates.”

Studying Film

Caitlin moved to Stoke-on-Trent from Essex to study Media (Film) Production at Staffordshire University after going to numerous opens days at other institutions around the country.

She said: “Staffordshire was the one that really stood out for me on so many levels. I knew a film and TV degree was the best decision for me, as it’s something I could throw my heart and soul into. At Staffs, the standard of the equipment, the lecturers’ vast knowledge and industry backgrounds, the inviting campus and everything within close proximity, all appealed.

“Also, when researching courses, I found Staffs had high standards that were, and still are, always driving students to produce award winning shorts. I knew I was going to get the right amount of creative assistance and freedom to do what I wanted and be entirely hands on.”

For her dissertation, Caitlin took inspiration from her mother’s nursing career, producing a film on the relationship a nurse has with her patient. She explained: “It was a tough one, both emotionally and physically. My film was based on a true story from my mother, a nurse of 30 plus years. It was about a patient with a brain tumour and her friendship with a nurse, my mother, and the impact of the patient’s death on her.”

Envy Post Production 

After graduating, Caitlin started working freelance for an independent company in Staffordshire. She then moved back to Essex and continued working freelance, this time as a runner for entertainment company Goldcrest Films, alongside being an assistant editor at The Editpool, a film trailer creative agency. A short time later she joined Envy.

She said: “Within a month, I was assisting the editors and producers for Geordie Shore, Grand Designs, Gogglebox and Gold Rush as a runner at first. It was just five months before I started working in the tape library, as Media Logistics Assistant, and then five weeks later I secured a job in the online machine room and have been there ever since.

“I now work on the programmes I ran for (Gold Rush, Grand Designs, Gogglebox, Tattoo Fixers, just to name a very small handful). I’m just about to start a six-month stint on the night shift solely supporting work on some of our bigger client jobs, like Top Gear and The Voice.

“My main roles are conforming, pre-grading and quality checking the programmes, making sure everything is up to TV standard. At Envy, I’m learning a lot on a practical level with the graders and other assistants. We’re constantly working together in order to progress and help the company evolve its workflows, expand our knowledge and move onto bigger and better projects. My personal goal is to be a colour grader for blockbuster films and, although it’s a long process, I’m getting the best start here.”