Creative Studies and Media postgraduate student at Bangor University, Rory Farmer has taken advantage of film making opportunities to turn his passion into a freelance career.
Rory’s Creative and Media studies helped him to develop the skills and confidence he needed to put himself forward and having access to cameras with which to experiment was fundamental in developing these skills. Throughout university Rory took opportunities to become more proficient by working on short films. A Bangor Employability Award internship allowed him to explore his camera skills on a more corporate side. ‘This was ideal for me as it allowed me to learn a lot about business whilst also working on the camera skills. It was also really flexible with my studies which is ideal when you're in the thick of work. This gave me the opportunity to duck my head into some B-Enterprising workshops on freelancing and these gave me a great insight into what freelancing entails’. Rory is currently immersed in a Santander Universities internship alongside other students creating some visuals to help to promote a new book 'A Dog Lover's Dream' to be published by IGilda.com.
An opportunity to go and work on a BBC documentary out in Korea was pivotal for Rory in that having broadcast screen credits and seeing his work aired on BBC One gave him additional confidence and credibility. He has had films appear at a number of film festivals across the country which helped to demonstrate his abilities but he retained an overarching desire to excel in the profession.
‘my Dad was self-employed so I guess the prospect has always been there. For me personally I don't think I'm naturally cut to be self-employed but I'm working hard to address this by working closely with a cameraman who's given me lots of great advice and great opportunities. I think it's when people suddenly take an interest in you and invite you to come and shoot their projects and events that you realise... hang on, I could do this’.
On the back of working for the BBC Rory was determined to use it as his opportunity to keep a foot in the door whilst being mindful of his commitments to his course. Rory says ‘I was lucky that the work I did in Korea managed to keep me around some of the key people and get me more work on the back of it. Since this I've been able to build it up and it's been a great part time source of income alongside my studies. My short documentary, 'Sofia's Eyes' has been screened at four festivals and at the time of writing has won an (currently unspecified) award at one of these. It certainly gives you extra credibility as a filmmaker as you want your work to be seen by an audience and you want to share what you do. So for it to be deemed worthy to go into festivals is a great source of pride and validation.
I would say to anyone wondering about start up, if you have an idea then go for it. Doing what I love for a living is an absolute privilege; I can't recommend it enough! I hope to work on more documentaries for television, get some more equipment of my own and see where we can go from there! I'm still at a very early stage, so everything is still so new and exciting!’