Into Film Alumni Focus: Molly Harding and Gabriel Brown

12 Jan 2021

7 mins
Subjects of an alumni N&V
Subjects of an alumni N&V

Following the journeys of our alumni as they continue to develop their passion for film and launch themselves into their chosen lanes within the film industry is always incredibly exciting for us at Into Film.

These stories can also be very useful for your students though, whether through offering a specific opportunity to explore or simply by providing a framework that can make those first steps into university or a career feel less daunting. In this edition of 'Into Film Alumni Focus' we catch-up with two brilliant former young reporters, Molly Harding and Gabriel Brown, who delve into their many lessons and projects below. 

Molly Harding

I found out about Into Film on a whim when I was 14 and in the 10 years since, I have benefited immensely from being on the Young Reporter Scheme. Having grown up in a small, sleepy seaside town, being whisked up to London to report on premieres and press junkets made the industry feel more tangible. It made me realise that there was no reason I couldn't carve out my own future in the creative industries with enough hard work. Even since becoming an alumni, Into Film has connected me with opportunities to attend film festivals, events and even the chance to be a film festival juror in Qatar just when I needed a boost of inspiration in my final year of university!

After finishing my degree in media practice, I knew I wanted to work in factual TV, working my way up the ranks whilst figuring out how to pitch and make my own films independently. I previously had completed a documentary course in Cuba, making a film about an LGBT couple who performed drag shows, and knew the satisfaction of making films about topics I was passionate about was what I wanted to strive for in my future.

I felt my personal experience with Into Film had solidified my ambition and grasp of what was possible. Since graduating, I got my foot in the door with a production company called Raw TV where emptying bins and making teas for 10 months paid off and landed me my first researcher role on a Netflix series. After completing that project, I worked in development for a documentary company across their feature documentary slate, and have also worked on productions for BBC, Channel 5 and Discovery ID.

In terms of what next, in the immediate future I think the most important thing for lots of people is just to get through the pandemic. Once everything feels a little more back to normal, I think it's important to take stock of where I'm at and give myself a break to go traveling. Working in TV can be very all consuming, and it's important to take a step back and remember what else in life is important. I hope to travel around South America, looking for opportunities as I go, and then work out which steps to take when I get back. Many people working in film and TV end up working as freelancers, which means it's fairly normal to take some time out to see new corners of the world!

Gabriel Brown

My time with Into Film first started back in 2015 when I succeeded in becoming a young reporter, and my first assignment was a great one. I attended a press junket for Brooklyn, and was able to interview the director John Crowley and lead actress Saoirse Ronan. 

Another memorable assignment was being one of three reporters covering the Edinburgh Film Festival. Whilst there, I watched documentary The Farthest and interviewed director Emer Reynolds. I was also lucky enough to interview the Cars 3 story supervisor/storyboard artist Scott Morse, who drew me as one of the Cars while we spoke. Being a young reporter really opened my eyes to the journalistic side of the industry and it massively improved my confidence.

In 2018, I started at Northumbria University studying Film and TV Production. I have completed two short films there and am currently in the middle of writing a feature screenplay for my chosen pathway's final hand in, which will be my second feature screenplay.

I wanted to make sure I was progressing outside of university, as you're not always making things and the holidays are very lengthy. I helped on third year students' films, both from my course and once on a production from another university. I also immersed myself in videography work, creating several business promos, editing showreels, and more.

As an extra role, I became the Film and TV Assistant at the Pauline Quirke Academy (PQA) Sunderland location in 2019, where I helped document the evolution of their High School Musical Junior show by creating three separate promotion videos.

I've recently been working on a short documentary film promoting the importance of PSHE/life skills lessons in schools, which has been funded by the Virgin Money Foundation through the #iwill Take Action Fund for the North East. This has been a huge eye opening process for me for many aspects of filmmaking, and I am in the project's final stages now, even though the editing was slightly halted by the virus.

My current large project is a feature film, Finding Your True Self. I wrote the screenplay and will be directing, and the screenplay has already picked up a few awards and selections from festivals. We recently launched our crowdfunding campaign, which you can check out here.

I hope to do more things with Into Film at some point soon but for now I aim to keep working on my videography work, finish my degree with the best grade possible and smash this debut feature out of the park!

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