LFS Stories: An interview with Creative Skillset Editor Trainee Louisa Hawkins

Creative Skillset's Trainee Finder has helped place trainees on UK Feature Films, Children's TV and High-End TV Drama across the UK. Some of the great work trainees have found through the initiative have included roles on ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘God's Own Country’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Lady Macbeth’, and on High-End TV Dramas such as ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Peaky Blinders’ and ‘Poldark’.

We sat down with London Film School (LFS) graduate Louisa Hawkins, who was accepted by Skillset as an Editorial Trainee to discuss her success so far and how she found her niche and established a solid foundation for the future during her time at London Film School.

Before LFS, Louisa studied Psychology and Screen Studies in the US. She moved to the UK after completing her degree, hoping to find work in the industry. However, feeling as though she needed more hands-on experience in filmmaking, and the opportunity to meet new people in London, Louisa applied for LFS.

“I was attracted to LFS because it offered a well-rounded approach to filmmaking, one where students were taught all the major roles and not pigeonholed into one particular thing. I had wanted to be able to study somewhere where there were no limits to what was possible creatively. When I toured the school, I was given the opportunity to see a shoot on one of the sound stages. The students had built the interior of a spaceship! I think it was the spaceship that sealed the deal in the end…”

Louisa is very clear about the fact the multi-disciplinary approach of the School turned out to be very advantageous, as she managed to utilise much of the knowledge she learned across departments in her later work as an edit assistant: “It has been hugely beneficial to understand what is happening on set. To have a more in-depth understanding of continuity sheets, camera sheets, marked-up scripts and the on-set process generally.”

That said, the work in the editing department itself has been priceless to Louisa regarding furthering her career and employment prospects: “So many students are taught on Premiere or Final Cut, and although that is helpful with commercial/online content, you won’t get into drama or features without being able to use Avid. The fact that LFS teaches editing on Avid has proven invaluable.”

Since graduating, Louisa has been working as a runner at Molinare, a post-production house in Soho, and has been editing short films on a freelance basis - a practice she says keeps her creatively stimulated while she looks to the future with her Skillset success.

“I was thrilled to be selected for Skillset because they give trainees a way into the industry. They pay 50% of your fee as a trainee, which gives the production an incentive to hire you. I’m still waiting for my first placement, but most of the productions kick off in the summer, so I’m hoping to get something soon”.

We asked Louisa to give a few words to those thinking about studying filmmaking and her approach was to-the-point: “It sounds cliché, but just try everything. Do everything. Don’t say no to people when they need help on a shoot, especially as a student. You never know when an experience could lead to something”.

We can’t wait to see what the summer brings for Louisa, we’re are sure she has great things coming her way…

…aaaaand cut!

Photo Credits: (top to bottom) Ahmed El Lozy, Louisa Hawkins

Written by Adam Robinson