Epsom student Sophia Mindus is looking forward to covering the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton this April for American TV after returning from a ‘life-changing’ opportunity to spend two weeks working on a movie set in the US.
Sophia, 18, who is studying film and media at Nescot College in Ewell, got in touch with producer Julie Richardson, of Imaginarium to request a job and was offered two weeks as a runner on the set of horror sequel The Collection, helping with everything from special effects make-up and stunts to production office work and even filling in as a body double.
‘It’s been an amazing experience,’ she said, ‘The attention to detail and creativity is astounding. The special effects people were making fake corpses and they were so lifelike – they even sew the eyebrows and eyelashes on by hand!’
But for Sophia, the more sensational sights and sounds on location in Atlanta, Georgia were the least impressive aspect of her work.
‘I was most surprised by how smoothly things were run,’ she says. ‘You have this image of a movie set being quite a crazy place but, while it’s very intense, it’s also quite precise,’ she said.
‘I most enjoyed helping the 1st Assistant Director. You have to micro-manage so many different things, you’re a real jack of all trades but it was inspiring seeing so many creative people working together. It sounds a bit pretentious but it really was life-changing’
And it was while working on the film, a follow up to gory horror The Collector, penned by the creative partnership behind the successful Saw films, that Sophia heard about the position at TV news channel CBS for an assistant during coverage of the royal wedding in London this April.
‘I was completely taken aback at how fascinated the Americans are with our royal family,’ she said. ‘They can’t get enough and it’s seen as a lot more glamorous over there, so it will be interesting to see how their coverage of the wedding will differ from British news. ‘
‘I’ll mostly just be carrying stuff around and making life easier for the team while learning how things work but I’m expecting it to be a lot more unpredictable than the movie set, where there’s more control over everything.’
‘I think they’re interested in me for the job as a Brit because, as well as understanding the culture and society, I know my way around London – if they need a driver, I know the back roads, ‘ she laughed.’
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