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Headshot of Will Aloul


United Kingdom
All the course tutors have great industry contacts and do everything they can to help you when you’re starting out. I got my first graduate role through a connection of one of my tutors.

More about William

Will graduated from Design for Film & Television BA (Hons) in 2022 and he now works as a junior draughts person on a big-budget action movie for Amazon Studios. We are grateful that Will has taken some time out to talk to us about his studies at NTU and his career.

Why did you study Design for Film & Television BA (Hons) at NTU?

I made my decision based on the quality of the course and the enthusiasm of the lecturers. I visited for an open day and was amazed by the standard of work on display, especially the concept art. The students I met were all loving the course and the lecturers genuinely seemed to care.

The other persuasive factor was the course’s links to industry and the vast amount of work experience available on some of the biggest productions around.

What did you learn on the course?

I learned so much over the three years, both in terms of acquiring completely new skills and developing existing ones.

I had virtually no understanding of concept art at the start of the course. It’s a challenging area but my confidence and skills improved hugely. It now makes me laugh (or rather cringe) looking back at the visuals I submitted in my first year and seeing just how drastically inferior they are compared to what I could produce when I graduated.

With model-making, where I had some prior experience, I was encouraged to experiment and push the boundaries of what I already knew. My model-making skills therefore became far more advanced.

Importantly, I also gained an understanding of the world of freelance work in film and TV, this was embedded into the course and it was invaluable to me when I graduated.

In what ways did your degree help you to develop your creative skillset?

I was encouraged to generate unique ideas but also produce creative work to a deadline. There are always strict deadlines in this industry and the course prepares you for this. In hindsight, the course deadlines were generous even though it didn’t necessarily feel like it at the time; in my current job, every task needs to be completed yesterday!

The course also gave me the confidence to design for many different genres. My main interests were in film and high-end dramas, but I got experience of light entertainment and children’s television too. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I became a more rounded designer.

Did you take part in any placements? What did you enjoy about these?

I did three different placements and all were great, even though some of the time was during the pandemic. They gave me an insight into how the art department functions in a real production environment. My placements also made me appreciate that everything taught on the course is completely relevant to what is actually happening on the ground in film and TV design.

How did your degree prepare you for the process of finding work after University?

All the course tutors have great industry contacts and do everything they can to help you when you’re starting out. I got my first graduate role through a connection of one of my tutors. My tutors have also continued to support me since I left.

Finding a first job can be hard – there’s not really a way to sugar coat that. However, the work is out there and NTU and the course tutors prepare you to be able to find it. You’re taught how to get in contact with people in the industry as well as the importance of joining relevant social media groups where job postings might appear. Work experience, as a part of the course, is also a great way to find work through the contacts you make while on placements.

Talk us through your career since you graduated

Once I found my first job, it progressed from there. My initial two-week contract became 15 weeks, and from there I moved onto another production through contacts I’d made on my first job. Within six months of graduating, I was working consistently.

I’m now working on a big-budget action movie for Amazon Studios. I got this through cold calling (repeatedly) every supervising art director in the Kays directory; I was initially called back for an assistant role and was then moved up to junior draughts person.

Can you take us through your “typical” day at work?

It’s very hard to describe an average day as it varies so much. On one day, I might start in the production office at  around 6 am and I could have concept images or storyboards to produce in the morning. I could then get asked to go down to one of the studios or locations to survey the space. In the afternoon, I could be producing technical drawings for a new set, making props for an upcoming storyline or designing graphics.

A day could be made up of any combination of those activities and countless others besides.

To give an idea of just how different it could be, the next day I could be in the prop stores at 6.30 am gathering a list of items for the art director, then driving out to location and set-dressing before filming begins at 8.30 am. Then I'll be assisting the props and special effects crews by standing in front of a wind machine and chucking debris at actors all day - yes, days like this really happen!

In my  current role, everything is crazy busy all the time and it’s a scramble to stay on top of things – so a bit like the course really! It’s all good though and I love it.

What are your future career plans?

I’m planning to stay in this industry. I aim to continue as a junior draughts person for now, before hopefully being offered a step-up to the next role whenever I’m ready.

I would love to continue working in London on blockbuster-scale productions – that’s always been my ambition.

My very long-term goal is to become a production designer, hopefully on the sorts of sci-fi films that have inspired me as a viewer. That goal is a long way off though and I’m still really enjoying what I do today.

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