Published: 18 April 2016

Why study Film and Video Production Technology at Surrey?

Neil Garner, Surrey graduate and Director of broadcast training company Training for TV, explains the benefits of Surrey’s new Film and Video Production Technology degree and shares his top tips for those wanting to get into the broadcast industry.

As an industry, film and television can offer many exciting production engineering careers.

Surrey’s new Film and Video Production Technology degree unites the three vital streams of learning you’ll need to succeed in this competitive line of work - rigorous technical and scientific study, professional operational knowledge and experience, and stimulating study of the creative arts.

Industry endorsement

Neil Garner began his professional career as a Tonmeister student at the University of Surrey in 1981. He now works with a wide range of international broadcasters and runs a broadcast training company -Training For TV - that provides bespoke training to the broadcast and media industries.

Neil says that it is essential to have both technical and creative skills in the film and video production industry, "especially if you intend to be involved in the creative process." 

Filling the skills gap

He also believes there are increasing opportunities for highly skilled production engineering graduates, thanks to a large knowledge gap in many areas between industry experts, who are nearing retirement age, and the thousands of graduates who have entered the field over recent years.

Explaining how Surrey's new Film and Video Production Technology degree programme could help bridge this gap, Neil said: “Currently, the education industry has not fully realised the needs of the industry and has produced tens of thousands of graduates who have little idea of what the industry is about or the knowledge and skills they lack. I believe that the Tonmeister philosophy, if applied to this new course and the broader creative media business sector, will go a long way in addressing this.” 

Top tips for a career in film and video production

Neil Garner offers his top tips for students hoping to succeed in the broadcast industry.

  • Be realistic about where you want to go and how you intend to do it

  • Find opportunities that will allow you to watch, learn and develop your skills

  • Choose one or two of the basic craft jobs and aim to become an expert in one of them to get your foot in the door

  • Develop your skills and learn from those around you - at Surrey, an integrated Professional Training placement year provides students with first-hand experience of working in professional film and TV and helps you to make important contacts in the industry

  • Develop your network and future opportunities will follow 

  • Remember, you may not end up going where you had planned, but you may find something that suits you better along the way. Not everyone can be Steven Spielberg, but there are lots of jobs out there within film and television which can still provide equal satisfaction

Explore our new Film and Video Production Technology degree and learn more about the Surrey student experience.

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