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Sophie Piedallu

Sophie Piedallu
Course studied:
Film Production Technology
Year of graduation:

Life through a lens

She only graduated in 2013 but Sophie Piedallu has landed her dream job – and says her experiences at Staffordshire University helped her stand out from the crowd.

French-born Sophie, who lives in London, now works as a full-time camera assistant on television dramas, but during her student days she founded the award-winning StaffsTV with her partner Matt Brading alongside her Film Production Technology degree course.

They recruited and trained 50 crew members from scratch and put together 50 shows in their first year, including NaSTAvision, a three-hour national live music TV show that included live links to other TV stations.

Award-winning channel

Sophie’s hard work was rewarded when StaffsTV won the Tim Marshall Award for Special Recognition at the National Student Television Awards just eight months after its launch – as well as coming second in the best live show category at the same ceremony.

“One of my favourite memories of Staffordshire University was winning two national television awards,” says the 23-year-old. “This allowed me to be different when entering in the industry and stand out among the hundreds of applications. It was good proof that I’m hard working and work well under pressure".

“Without the facilities and all the students and staff involved, this would never have been possible.”

Having started her career working on budget film, Sophie impressed colleagues on set who then took her on to bigger projects.

She now works in the BBC’s Elstree Studios, and has a wide range of top television programmes on her CV, including Holby City (BBC), The Enfield Haunting (Sky), The 4 O’Clock Club (CBBC), Je Vous Ai Compris (Arte) and an Agatha Christie series for France 3.

“The experiences have been really instructive and great to get to know the most up to date kit out there,” says Sophie, who plans to continue working in television drama and eventually move on to feature films.

Building connections

Sophie and Matt continue to work together as business partners in Head Space Productions, which specialises in weddings, music videos, event coverage, corporate videos and photography.

“Staffs is a great place to create those links,” says Sophie, who chose the university for the equipment available and the studio facilities. “The lecturers and staff were all a great support.

“The University facilities gave me the tools I needed to practice shooting, and the projects we did also helped me have a showreel to present at interviews.”

Sophie, who hopes to become a Director of Photography in the future, has been back to Staffordshire twice since graduation and is proud of the ongoing success of Staffs TV.

“It’s great to see that Staffs TV is still running and has received best society of the year two years in a row,” she says. “We are very proud of how they’ve developed Staffs TV and how important they have become to the University.