My personal growth over the last few years – the very growth that began during university – has been monumental to say the least and I never want to overlook that.
More about Laura
Laura Savage graduated from NTU in 2019, with a BA in Media with Film and Television. Laura has done various fantastic things since kicking off her career, leading up to her current role as a Cake Artist and Creator of Flavour of the Film. In our catch up, Laura reflects on her time at NTU and shares more about what she's been up to since graduating.
Why did you choose to study at NTU?
NTU was my first choice university for a few reasons: I loved the fact that I could apply to study film and TV; I already had friends attending NTU, and it was far enough from where I grew up to feel independent but still close enough that it wasn’t a trek to see my family (or for them to visit!). One of my closest friends from school had already started her degree when I was applying, and I knew that she was absolutely loving her time at NTU so I was keen to look into it. NTU was actually the only university I visited for an open day and when I walked around Clifton Campus, I could see myself there – it felt right.
What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures?
I learnt so much about myself, as I’m sure most people do when they attend university. The important things that I gained were self-love and complete belief in my abilities, especially when it came to academia. Both halves of my degree provided me with an incredible amount of information in all relevant industries. My favourite kind of lectures and seminars were those based around contextual analysis of a film or television show. Plus, the incredible range of film and TV shows that we studied still makes me giddy. The history side of the subjects was also what drew me to the degree I obtained and I found it so utterly interesting: being able to see the progression of these art forms from the beginning up to present day (at the time of my degree, of course) was truly thrilling.
What does your current day involve?
There is definitely no “typical” day for me, but most days involve dreaming, planning, designing, baking, photography & filmography, and writing for my site Flavour of the Film. I start most days with a workout and always finish my days with a meditation session to re-centre myself.
What have you been up to since graduation?
I have done a lot of different things since graduating, including moving to Japan and later Austria to teach, working in a bakery, teaching online, editing freelance for the High-Performance Podcast social media pages and working as a Marketing Director for an independent film company. Flavour of the Film combines all of my favourite things and all the forms of work that I have pursued since graduating. I create recipes celebrating various films and television shows and write long form posts for each one, with my older sister running the social media pages (@flavourofthefilm) posting my photos and videos. I’ve always loved film and TV so I knew I wanted to find a way to of working with the art form in a way that suited me.
How has your degree influenced your career?
I wouldn’t have been able to work in Japan had it not been for my degree and that move is still the best decision I have ever made. The content of the degree allowed me to gain my first film credit (I’m on IMDb!) working for DeCantillon Films – the independent film company that hired me to promote their latest feature length film at the time.
All of this wouldn’t have been possible (or would have been considerably more difficult to do) had I not graduated from NTU with the degree that I have.
Anna Dawson was one of my tutors for the full three years and she was also my dissertation tutor. She was the most supportive and encouraging tutor that I could have asked for and never once tried to deter me from my more obscure ideas. I like to push the limits of things and Anna did nothing but encourage me in that. She was always great to talk to about anything, and her lectures and seminars were definitely my favourite. I really feel that my university experience would not have been as impactful had she not been my tutor. I’ll always be grateful to Anna – she’s a queen.
What challenges have you faced?
Coming back from Japan prematurely really knocked me down. Obviously, the pandemic affected everyone in various ways and I found it especially tough considering I had started a life there and wasn’t due to return to the U.K. for at least another six months. My return was such a traumatic and quick turnaround that I felt completely lost and shaken for well over a year. It wouldn’t be dramatic to say that I felt truly broken.
However, I discovered ways to find myself again (I will forever recommend meditation for this reason) and realigned myself to what I love – film & TV and baking being the top two. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing the improvements, despite the pandemic. Taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically was my top priority – this was crucial considering I’d just been ripped away from my life abroad and was struggling to find work in the height of the pandemic. When in doubt, always return to yourself and your centre. It’ll never fail you. You are your own best cheerleader.
More recently, I’ve been in and out of the doctors with endometriosis symptoms – something that has affected me for years and has just gradually got worse. This was the main reason for me to pursue something in my career life that would allow me to work for myself and not fight employers on menstrual leave (I was put under review in one of my previous jobs because I needed the time off due to excruciating pain). Working on Flavour of the Film means I can work when it suits me and work around my cycle while I search for a way to manage the symptoms.
What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?
Challenges would include battling with others telling me to pursue something else or looking down on me for not focusing on something different (including family). Other challenges would include self-doubt and not always trusting myself. You can’t always control how those around you react to your decisions but as long as you trust yourself and know deep down that you’re doing what’s best for you is all that matters. We’re not here to live life based on what everyone else says.
Highlights would definitely be living in Japan, thriving in my baking career, and getting my first ever film credit: I saw my name in the rolling credits at the end of a film! My personal growth over the last few years – the very growth that began during university – has been monumental to say the least and I never want to overlook that.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future include continuing work on Flavour of the Film; travelling (especially returning to Japan), working on film sets where I can, and even potentially moving to the USA. I don’t know what exactly the future holds but I completely trust myself and my path so whatever is in front of me, I know it will be extraordinary and incredibly fulfilling.
If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?
“You always know what’s best for you. Trust yourself because dreams do come true, and miracles are natural.”
Take a look at Laura's site: Flavour of the Film
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