Success Stories

Diana Cooper

Edit Assistant - Sky

"Be prepared and pro-active!''

What were you doing before MAMA Youth Project?

I grew up in Hayes in West London. When I was about 13 I discovered Windows Movie Maker and I spent hours making movies, from then I knew I wanted to do that for my career. I did creative A-levels and then went to Brunel university to do Broadcast Media. It didn’t really teach me about the reality of the industry. However, I did get a year out on a work placement and it was through that, that I got a job after university working for the company I did my placement for. It was in Henley where I worked on 2D animation and composing music, it wasn’t what I wanted to do, I wanted to be part of a bigger company, so I was there for a year and then I got a role in the BBC archive. When I was at the BBC I saw on LinkedIn a friend of mine from university had done season 8 of MAMA Youth as an Editor, so I asked him about it and he helped with my application and finding out more about what it involved. I remember I was coming home from the BBC, Bob rang and told me I’d got the role as a Trainee Video Editor, I remember being speechless, that’s how I started at MAMA Youth.

What have you been doing since MAMA Youth?

I finished MAMA Youth in December 2016, and I got a six-week placement with the Editors in Sky Sports News. After that I got a job in the Bookings team, I knew there was the MAMA Youth Edit Operations placement role coming up at Sky so even though Bookings wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, it was a great way to stay at Sky. I did six months with them and then got a one-year placement with Edit Operations which I’m now doing.

The transition from training to work would have been really scary if I hadn’t done MAMA Youth. When I started I felt fine, I wasn’t nervous because I could use what I’d learnt at MAMA Youth in a TV environment.

Describe a typical day in your role:

Jobs come in from Bookings, and I ingest / back up footage, send out viewing links, send out Harding tests, help Editors with anything they need. A lot of the job is trouble shooting. I work a lot with the MAM – the central hub for all Sky footage to make sure everything is in the right place and in the right format. 

What would you like to do next?

I’m hoping to get a permanent role at Sky, and I plan to keep learning, I also want to be doing some more long form projects. In my spare time I play around with different effects, I shadow different edits and I’m currently working on an F1 promo in my spare time which I’ll then show to Editors and get their views on and also my new showreel. I hope to never be in a situation again when I’m knocking on doors and nothings happening. 

What did you do at MAMA Youth?

I trained for three weeks to use Avid, they literally taught me from scratch which has helped a lot with my role in Edit Operations. I learnt how to work with different clients and to tailor your style as an Editor. I also learnt how to conduct myself in an editing/work environment. I worked on a range of edits including ones for Ellie Goulding, Charlie Mcdonnell and I did an edit for an external client, Sam Brown, an experienced camera woman.

What was the best thing about MAMA Youth?

One of the best things about MAMA Youth was the people. The staff are so willing to help you, they believe you can do it, even though there are times when you feel stressed out, they are always there for you. It was great making new friends, coming in every day was like coming in to your family, it was so nice.

What was the worst bit about MAMA Youth?

The 12 hour shifts and being so tired, although you get used to it. It was challenging learning the new software in such a short space of time and turning everything around in the short time but that was thrilling too.

What were you surprised by at MAMA Youth?

I was surprised by how much you must set up for a TV interview. I had low expectations about the opportunity, but I was blown away about how much they teach you. All the other things you get as well as the editor training, such as Steph Coleman who really helped me come out of my shell and the interview training, it was all excellent. 

At Sky I’ve been surprised about how helpful everyone is, no matter how high up, they’re always asking what you’re up to. 

Why do you think you’ve been so successful in getting into the career you want?

Networking is really important. At Sky, I used to come in on my days off and get to know everyone. I always remember MAMA Youth in the back of my head saying ‘just go for it’. I found out about the role in Bookings because through MAMA Youth I’d meet a woman called Rachel in the Recruitment team, she sent me a list of the current roles and I applied. I then found out about the Editor Placement from a guy who was on the placement, I shadowed him and showed my face to be interested. The interview wasn’t too bad, thanks to the training I’d had from MAMA Youth and Sky I wasn’t too nervous and their tips really helped.

What advice would you give to new trainees?

  • Be prepared and pro-active. MAMA Youth like to see someone proactive and willing to make the most of it.
  • Learn additional editing skills in your spare time such as after affects or music software. 
  • Shadow an editor, because you’re on the campus you’re surrounded by so many professionals so make sure you network.
  • Whenever you meet new people it’s always important to ask questions and show you’re willing to help