On Tuesday 26 February, we were very pleased to welcome Jon East, BAFTA-winning Director, to ScreenSpace at MetFilm School for a masterclass. During the insightful sessions, Jon discussed his 35-year career in the film and television industry and his diverse and extensive collection of credits, from beloved British shows such as EastEnders and Downton Abbey, to recent International hit-productions Killing Eve and Lost in Space.

Speaking with, Steve Pinhay, MetFilm School Deputy School Director, Jon recalled experiences from his various roles, which have included film editing, story-boarding, writing & story-lining, producing, executive producing and commissioning for the BBC.

ON BREAKING INTO THE INDUSTRY…

“I made lots of short films, with as much drama reconstruction material as I could, because I wasn’t in drama, I was in the factual department. Eventually, I could composite enough real drama material that I could then send it over to soap producers. Eventually I wore them down and after about two years one of them goes “oh god just give him a job and shut him up.” I’m not kidding, you’ve got to just blitz them and not take no for an answer. Then you’re in.” 

Jon-East_Masterclass_ScreenSpace_Killing-Eve_London

ON GETTING WORK…

“I used to sync up rushes. The sync room is literally sound rushes come in, pictures rushes come in and you just spend all day syncing them up. That was pretty good because I watched an awful lot of rushes. So you see what’s the coverage on that shot, and have you got this. You can absorb something from everything. All jobs are useful.”

ON THE RECENT BRITISH ‘INVASION’ INTO THE FILM/BROADCASTING INDUSTRY…

“There’s always been a porous membrane between the European and American industries and movement of talent both ways across the pond, with Brits making great contributions there and Americans doing the same here. I think to characterize it as an ‘invasion’ makes it sound like it’s about territoriality, which it isn’t for those collaborative artists at the creative end of the business, where I exist.”


Interested in a career behind and in front of the camera?Book now for our next Undergraduate Open Day on Saturday 16 March, or download our prospectus today.

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