Alumnus gains vaulable work experience on local film set

Class of 2013 alumnus and university member of Staff Finn Drude, has a credit in one of this summer’s best films, Swallows and Amazons, mainly filmed locally in the Lake District, Cumbria. Finn is no stranger to the film set after having gained experience working on a ‘small’ production called Star Wars Force Awakens! Not only that but Finn is a talented film maker himself, scooping the 2016 Royal Television Society’s Regional Student Award for Drama for his film Funkenflug – Chronicles of a Catastrophewas.

Finn graduated from the university’s Brampton Road campus in 2013 with an upper second class degree in Film and Television Production. He enjoyed his time at university so much that he stayed on to work in the department as a Media Assistant. Originally from Germany, Finn followed his sister, a photography graduate, to Carlisle to take up his place on the course. “When I came over to attend the open day, the film course was exactly what I imagined it to be” he exclaims. “It is very different to how they are run in Germany, I was particularly impressed by the amount of practical work the students are encouraged to do”. 

The practical film experience and the skills and knowledge learnt on the course were also boosted by the members of staff in the department, staff who have a lot of industry experience themselves. “They are always willing to give you help and feedback” says Finn. “I think that the university has made me a more confident person”. 

Finn has always wanted to work in the film industry and should be extremely proud that he has achieved his career ambitions only a few short years after graduating. Working on Star Wars-The Force Awakens, which of course was arguably the most anticipated movie of recent years and a major Hollywood blockbuster, Finn says “was a very surreal experience. I was lucky enough to get the work on set for a couple of days. It was just great being a small part of a massive Hollywood franchise that I love.” 

Following his experiences on Star Wars he secured a role on the set of Swallows and Amazons, the motion picture based on Arthur Ransome’s 1930s novel about a group of childhood friends’ adventures one summer in the Lake District.  The film was shot on location on Derwent Water and Coniston and came out in UK cinemas in August 2016. The world premiere of the movie was in fact held at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. 

“Swallows and Amazons was the hardest I have ever worked in my entire life, but actually looking back it was the best 8 weeks of my life. I was incredibly proud of watching the finished film at the cinema” explains Finn. “seeing my name in the credits at the end was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had” he adds.   

“I was officially in charge of one of the camera trucks on set, that meant making sure the equipment was at the locations every day on time and it was all locked safely and securely away again over night.” Finn also worked as a camera trainee, supporting the camera operator and the team with a diverse range of tasks from charging the batteries to making cups of tea.  “Being on set all day everyday was a great opportunity to get an insight into all the different departments” explains Finn. 

For anyone wishing to work in the film industry Finn states that “you need a lot of patience, a lot of determination and a healthy portion of luck.  Make use of the resources whilst studying and do as many projects on the side as you can.”  And looking towards his own future Finn would love to work permanently in the film industry. 

Look out for Finn’s name in the credits of Swallows and Amazons when the DVD comes out on 12 December. You can also keep up to date with Finn’s movie career on his IMDB page here.