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Graduate profile: Marcus Brooker, BA (Hons) Film
Film graduate, Marcus Brooker, tells us about what he’s been up to since leaving Kent in 2019, which includes a very personal documentary following his father’s illness.
What are you doing now?
I am currently studying Directing and Producing Television Entertainment at The National Film and Television School. After graduating, I took a year out of education to work on a very personal documentary about my father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. I have also been continuing to build up my business (Gideon & Sydney) I started at University with fellow class and house mate Jordan Phelps. I have been working on numerous short films and projects since graduating in my spare time, whilst also working as a freelance videographer and editor.
What attracted you to your course, and to Kent?
I did a lot of research before picking Kent as my top choice University. I had heard great things about Kent and the high standards within the film department and the School as a whole. After a couple of open days, I decided Kent and the Film, BA (Hons) was for me. The course attracted me as it was a great mix of practical and theory study, with the option to choose certain modules, which really appealed to me! I’m from Suffolk, so I am use to the country and feel most at home in the countryside, so Kent’s beautiful campus and city (Canterbury) really appealed to me. The fact Kent was a campus uni was also a deal maker for me!
Which aspects of your degree did you enjoy the most, and why?
I absolutely loved so much of my course, it’s hard to pick (and remember; feels like ages ago now!) which modules I loved the most. I really enjoyed the practical module, Intro to Filmmaking, I think it was called. It was good to have a break from theory and focus on practical work. I had a great class, and met some lifelong friends. Lawrence Jackson was also a great tutor, and I learnt about the world of film making from him. It was great working with like-minded people and was nice to mix with people who were as passionate as I was, and still am, about film and television. Having said that, I really enjoyed the theory classes and the discussions which came about from those modules, but the practical assignments really stood out to me.
What impressed you most about our academic staff?
Kent has such a wide area of expertise when it comes to the film department, and I really did learn so much from so many. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I learnt and from whom, but I have fond memories of being impressed and learning so much from the academic staff at Kent. Not only were they helpful, but they also really got involved in the conversations and you could tell they were passionate.
Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now in your career?
I learnt a lot about how to approach film both theoretically and in practice. Planning, research, and planning once again, I learnt, are the most important things when it comes to both filming practically and when planning for an essay. The ability to research and know how to research well is a key skill I use every day.
Are you still in touch with any of your fellow students?
Yes! Of course! We are all at different stages but I still keep in daily contact with my friends and fellow course mates. I’m really happy to see how they are all doing and love helping in any way I can. It’s nice to have a network of friends and colleagues who all help each other out. I also run the wedding videography business with fellow class mate and housemate Jordan Phelps.
Did you undertake any work experience whilst at Kent? What did you do? Did you find it was helpful in your studies and has it benefited your career to date?
Kent offered a lot of opportunities whilst I studied. One of my most notable experiences was when I was given the opportunity to be a runner for the BBC. I learnt so much on that course and it was my first time running, and I got paid which is always a bonus! I was also put forward to be a director/ producer for this short film in Margate by my tutor Lawrence Jackson. It was an amazing experience but I was very new to the world of film, so I had big shoes to fill. I had to hire my own crew, got my own budget, and had to organise shoot days, all whilst studying! Absolutely loved it and am very thankful to Lawrence for the opportunity.
Could you describe a typical day in your current role?
In my current role as a freelance videographer, I work with many different people and organisations. A typical day would be talking to new and existing clients, and working out what they want/need. It’s a very varied role, and you meet lots of different people! I am also currently studying, so I have a good mix of work and education. It’s all very full on but I love being busy!
What are your future plans/aspirations?
My future plans are to continue to grow my business, whilst also working towards building up more clients for my freelance work. My long term goal is of course to get into the industry, and studying at the NFTS has taught me a lot so far already. I would like to get into the television industry after graduating, whilst also working on producing my own feature length film.
What is your favourite memory of Kent?
I have way too many to pick one as the best, but I will say in general it’s meeting so many great people. I loved living in my student house and having the freedom to do what I want. I met great people, had so many laughs and learnt a lot, so I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
What advice would you give to somebody thinking of coming to Kent?
My advice for anyone considering Kent is to just apply. I had an amazing time and it truly is a great uni. Also, the campus is huge and everyone is really welcoming. It can be a bit full on to start with. I found this, but by the end I didn’t want to leave!
How would you describe your time at Kent in three words?
A. Right. Laugh.