Bridge+Tunnel Adapting to Remote Production

Bridge + Tunnel Productions were delighted to welcome our first remote work placement students from Newcastle University this November and over the past five weeks they have engaged in a variety of tasks and projects under the guidance of BAFTA nominated Bridge+Tunnel Creative Director Tina Gharavi and production office manager Victoria Nunn.

Our students Katie, Rosie and Melynda have not been able to work from our Newcastle HQ, but through the power of Zoom and other electronic social and file-sharing technology we have still managed to create a supportive and collaborative environment which is both safe and captures the most important parts of the experience of working in our office.

One of our placement students, Melynda said that “although the situation had made it impossible for me to meet the other students and the Bridge + Tunnel staff members face-to-face, we are still able to see each other and experience a real feel of working in a team virtually.”

We asked Rosie, Melynda and Katie to reflect on what they had learned in their time with Bridge + Tunnel and how they felt about this adapted way of working, which they will undoubtedly encounter in other production and creative experiences as they go forward into the post-pandemic film and media industry:

Rosie: “I am currently completing a six-week placement with Bridge + Tunnel as part of my final year university studies. My main responsibilities have been to proofread scripts, carry out research to aid the development of a new project, and to create presentation slides to be used by my placement coordinator in a lecture about writing a TV pilot. I have really enjoyed my time at Bridge + Tunnel so far, and feel that I have learnt and experienced a lot despite completing my placement remotely. Having never studied film or media before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started my placement, but feel that I have learnt a lot about the film creation process despite my lack of experience. Even though my placement is nearly at an end, I am excited to see what my final two weeks with Bridge + Tunnel will bring…”

Katie: “The Best bit of the Bridge + Tunnel placement was that we got to see how a professional film company functioned, taking theory we had learnt throughout are degrees and putting that into practice. I now have learned how to use software such as Adobe In-Design and how to formulate a directors vision to be used in pitches and to get them ready for filming. Remote placement working wasn’t the easiest, but during these testing times with Covid, it was the best way to do it. It meant we could all keep in contact and collaborate the best way that we could. I think we all missed having that office atmosphere and It would have been lovely to meet everyone in person, but sometimes, for the sake of people’s health, Virtual is the only way to do it.”

Melynda: “Bridge + Tunnel have given me an opportunity to learn and see for myself what it really feels like to be working in the film industry. As I have always wanted to work in the film industry sector, the placement was indeed very meaningful. I worked on various creative and administration tasks and learned how to manage websites by using the WordPress. More than anything, I enjoyed experiencing how Bridge and Tunnel operates and get to where it is today. Though it is such a shame to not be able to meet everyone in person, our weekly virtual meet-ups and meetings have allow me to experience how it truly feels to work collaboratively in a team.” 

While the Bridge + Tunnel production office has largely been remote working since March, that hasn’t slowed the pace of creativity with several projects, including our exciting feature documentary Tribalism is Killing Us*, still ongoing and a few exciting new developments in the works.

Production office manager Victoria had this to add about the adapted way of working and this new way of working to support emerging filmmakers and young talent:

“Bridge + Tunnel has always been about creativity and innovation, telling important stories despite the challenges and risks, so the pandemic was no different in many ways. We have adapted ourselves to remote working very effectively, but nothing can replace the feeling of energy and comradery we experience in the production office, especially when the students are present on their placements. We have been very impressed with the positive approach Katie, Rosie and Melynda have taken to their placement with us despite the challenging circumstances and wish them all the best in the future.”

While things may have been different to work differently this year due to the pandemic, we are looking forward to continuing providing placement opportunities for students who are looking into working in the industry.