Six months on in the UK and I haven’t been able to feel entirely settled.
Each day is a mixture of love and hate with living here. My industry has such a wide pay scale and competition that good pay to work was much harder to come by than I expected. The first couple of months were tough and while I worked on one production early on (a post for entirely different time) I finally got a full time job working for a equipment hire house as a tech and driver. While I was convinced I could help on the technical side later, I have missed out on that chance and now just prep and deliver kit like most people at the job. I do miss working on broadcast but I also realize in helping with a London 48 Hour team and their side productions over the past few months that I also miss working as part of a team on something in production as well. My inabilities to decide on one specific area of work has really stopped me from zoning into a certain area of work here as well, being that I am still interested in camera, post, and film production. Combined with the pay and need to cover our living costs, I can’t gamble on taking contract work or having to work for next to nothing in order to climb the ladder here at this time so instead I just continue to enjoy what I can.
This isn’t supposed to sound entirely like a bummer. I do enjoy my weekends and seeing what I can around the city with my free time. While driving I also enjoy seeing parts of the city I wouldn’t see and seeing some crazy things now and then. There are lots of things to see and do and so many interesting areas. Over the Christmas/New Year I also got to see other parts of England which was amazing, and I’ve also got to go to several events that just wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.
Driving for my job has also had me visit some amazing places like Elstree Studios (where the original Star Wars and The Shining were filmed among others), Abbey Road Studios, the O2 Arena, Pinewood Studios (007, most of the Marvel films in the UK, etc.), and more. Every day has been interesting and because the company is small enough even the more experienced kit room people still drive around a reasonable amount. Plus I am still certainly learning new skills or adding to the ones I already had previously by being there.
But I think, barring seeing and getting some other work, in June or July I probably will be moving again to Budapest, Hungary to spend at least another year living there instead. My partner Rebecca is heading there at that time and it just isn’t cost effective or probably great for my sanity to stay in the UK at the kit room for up to another year before she comes back. Once we finish in Hungary then we will look at our options which may include returning to the UK where Rebecca can work and I can look into my options in the industry here where possibility the pay won’t be as big a deal at first but we will have to wait and see.
Until such time as I leave I will just continue to make the best of the opportunities I have in London and to learn as much in the kitroom as I can.