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Calling all gamers & designers: Webinar with Ash Denton, Explosive Alan Productions

By UCL Careers, on 18 May 2015

Careers in the Creative Industries Webinar: Wednesday 03rd June, 1-2pm

Ever considered working in film, gaming, editing, motion graphics, design, scriptwriting or presenting? Or setting up your own company?

When? Wednesday, 03rd June, 1-2pm

How? Register using this link:


Join our webinar to listen and contribute to a Q&A session with Ash Denton, Creative Director of Explosive Alan Productions.

More about Ash…

Since graduating from the New York Film Academy, where he produced 16 shorts and worked on well over 100 others, Ash has worked in technology and gaming media for some of the biggest brands in the field, including CNET, Gamespot and Xbox.

At Gamespot, Ash was pivotal in the creation of Start/Select, a light-hearted videogames news digest show. It rapidly became the site’s flagship sub-brand, hitting the number one spot in the iTunes gaming podcast charts.

During this time, Ash kept his toes in filmmaking waters, writing and directing mind-bending short The Hollow Men which was bought by Shorts International and went on to be screened worldwide.

In 2010 he was recruited by Xbox, and picked up a Games Media Award in 2011 for the mailbag-show-with-a-difference SentUAMessage. In 2012, he co-founded Explosive Alan Productions with former Inside Xbox members Dan Maher and Gareth Wild.

Organised by the Careers in the Creative Industries team for students from across the University of London, this webinar will give you the chance to learn about careers in film, gaming, editing, motion graphics, design, scriptwriting and presenting and will give you insight into the world of work in the creative industries.

Careers in Theatre Round up

By UCL Careers, on 28 April 2015

As part of University of London’s Careers in the Creative Industries webinar series, we invited Jethro Compton – a writer, director and independent theatre producer – to come in and answer your questions.  Jethro

Jethro had five top tips to share with aspiring theatre professionals:


  1. Don’t talk about doing it – just do it!

When you’re networking with people in the industry, it helps if you can talk about work you have actually done, rather than saying you ‘haven’t got started yet’.  Jethro pointed out that lots of people starting out are too scared of failure to take their first steps into the industry – but he stressed how important it was to start doing something, and not to be put off by the few people who find success in the industry with little struggle.  For example, whilst Jethro was an undergraduate at the University of York, he started his network at the Drama Society.  Your college may have one, and maybe even a separate society for technical theatre folk!


  1. Let your work speak for itself (and you).

Jethro is an advocate for concentrating more on making good work that makes an impact, rather than worrying too much about promoting your professional self.  But he recognises it’s also important to build contacts and network – even if this doesn’t come naturally to you.


  1. Aim high – don’t be afraid of failure.

Tied into the above points, don’t be afraid to have goals that push you outside of your comfort zone.  The important thing is not to get disheartened if things don’t go to plan immediately!  Measuring yourself against others is a waste of time – set your own realistic goals and use them to evaluate your progress – that might just mean asking yourself at the end of a long week: am I happy?  Have I made it through the week?  A positive mental attitude is extremely important – it shows…


  1. Always be nice!  Never feel entitled.

The theatre industry is a small world and word gets around if you have a bad attitude, making you difficult to work with.  Like any industry, it is important to nurture positive relationships by being enthusiastic, willing and happy to help.  Recognise that everyone in the industry is struggling, and remember that you never know when you might need this person on side.  Obviously you should never be so willing as to be exploited – but use your judgement and avoid sounding like the world owes you a favour.  This means making your own opportunities rather than wondering why the phone isn’t ringing with offers of work.


  1. Be patient – it’s all about the long-game. 

When you’re networking (and networking can happen by email or even Twitter – it’s not all about schmoozing at drinks receptions), try to treat it more like a connection between two like-minded people, rather than immediately assessing who is going to ‘get something out of it’.  Jethro told us about cups of coffee he’s had with people in the industry that are initially just about sharing what you do – and then, a few months down the line, these connections can turn into them helping you out with last minute props, them coming to see your show, or more.  Try to see the long-game when you’re making these connections and nurture them over time.

The financial struggles of the industry

Although he now runs his own independent production company, Jethro has worked with a lot of freelancers.  His tip for those of you who are considering freelancing, particularly if you are looking at acting or writing, where it can be difficult to get longer-term freelance jobs, is try to supplement these by using your skills in the technical aspects of theatre.  Lighting technicians and stage managers etc are always in short supply in the industry, so if you can develop skills in this area you can diversify your offering.

On the flip side, Jethro has also had a salaried role working for a West End producer – in some areas like production, one year salaried posts are more common.  Obviously whilst this was more financially secure, Jethro didn’t have so much time or freedom to pursue his own creative agenda.


Jethro’s pick of resources:

For aspiring producers: Stage One awarded Jethro his first bursary and, if you’re interested in the technical side of theatre, they offer paid apprenticeships , workshops and seminars.

The Stage

Twitter – Producers, directors, agents and casting directors will put out the majority of their calls for actors and other staff on Twitter.  Twitter is a legitimate networking tool in the theatre industry, so use it well (and wisely)!


Look out for Jethro’s productions, as well as his workshops and seminars, at the Edinburgh Festival 2015.  More webinars from the Careers in Creative Industries group are coming soon.


See also: Wannabe Creatives – Have You Considered the ‘Passion’ vs ‘Security’ Trade-off?


Careers in the Creative Industries Webinar: 22nd April 1-2pm

By UCL Careers, on 14 April 2015

Ever considered going freelance?  Getting a job in the arts?  Working in theatre?

Join our webinar to listen and contribute to a Q&A session with Jethro Compton, Writer, Director, Independent Theatre Producer and co-Artistic Director.  Jethro will be taking your career questions.

When? Wednesday, 22nd April, 1-2pm

How? Register using this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3226718446927832322

More about Jethro…

Jethro Compton is a writer, director and independent theatre producer. His most notable productions to date have been the world premiere of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance in London and the internationally acclaimed WWI triptych, The Bunker Trilogy.

As the Producer and co-Artistic Director of Belt Up Theatre, Jethro has worked on The Boy James, Outland, A Little Princess, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Metamorphosis, The Tartuffe and The Trial.

In 2010 Jethro received a bursary from Stage One to support his development as a commercial producer. He was Associate Producer of Southwark Playhouse for three years from the start of 2011.

Organised by the Careers in the Creative Industries team for students from across the University of London, this webinar will give you the chance to learn about careers in theatre, including advice for writers and actors, and will give you insight into the world of work in the creative industries.