Donnie graduated from the University of Bradford after studying MA Filmmaking. He is now enjoying the career he’s dreamt of since he was a teenager, helping to produce top shows for companies like the BBC and Netflix amongst other exciting freelance work.
This is his story.
“I studied television production back home in Budapest, before moving to the UK to do my Master’s."
"I always knew I wanted to work in film and TV. My father used to make family movies and I was fascinated by what he was doing with his camera and how he’d edit the pieces together.
"When I was 15, I started making music videos for my friends, and it was this that really sparked my love of filmmaking. It gave me the ambition to study it at university and make a career out of my passion.
"I started out in factual TV, working at a TV channel in Hungary for a few years, but soon realised that I wanted to improve my skills in the direction of drama.
"That’s when the University of Bradford course really came onto my radar.
“I knew that if I wanted to get into drama in Europe, I had to be in the UK.
"There are lots of production companies here and it’s just the best place to be if you want to work on really good TV and film dramas."
The course at Bradford stood out because of the connections with the TV and film industry, so I was delighted to win a place on the MA programme.
My university experience
“Moving here was a blessing.”
"I lived on campus at The Green student village during my Master’s, where I quickly made friends with people from all over the world.
"To this day they are still my friends and always will be. I grew so much as a person during that year. I wasn’t lost at all."
In my eyes, Bradford has a huge reputation in producing great filmmakers.
"The course is very practical, you learn on the job."
"There were more practical modules than there was theory, and I loved that we could just get stuck into making a lot of films and learning as we went along, either individually or working as part of a team.
"The assignments were always flexible and you could choose the topic of your film, so I never felt restricted and could let my imagination run wild.
"The films I made could then be used in a personal showreel, which has been so useful when I applied for jobs and freelance projects.
"The tutors are real experts and just nice people to be around, they’ve worked in the industry at places like the BBC, so it was a dream come true to be taught by them.
"I had access to a TV talk show set and green screen studio on campus, and all the latest industry equipment at my disposal. My favourite camera to use was the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K camera.
"I learned so many new skills during that year, but I think the main takeout for me was the ability to think about ideas without restrictions, along with editing and camera operating skills."
Creative projects added to my experience
"My final MA project was an amazing adventure."
"A music video commissioner, who was a guest lecturer at the University, gave me the opportunity to produce a music video for a London band called PEAKS. It was such an honour and an amazing project to be involved in."
“After graduating, the University helped me secure a job making corporate films.”
"I went back to Hungary when I finished my Master’s, but soon received a call from the Working Academy at the University, which gives students work opportunities, who asked me if I’d like to help out with producing weekly films for Bradford Teaching Hospitals. I jumped at the chance.
"After that, I worked with local companies as a freelance camera operator and editor, mainly making corporate films. Bradford Film Office then helped me get my first work experience in drama, where I worked on a BBC show called Better.
"Then, it all happened! The contacts I made during making that show have called me back when they’ve needed an extra pair of hands, and I’ve also had the chance to work as a camera trainee on a Netflix show."
I met the cinematographer of Games of Thrones through the University, who has become like a mentor and idol to me.
"All of my contacts and work have come through the University."
"The cinematographer of The Game of Thrones started out like me, working on corporate films, and then moved into drama, so that really inspires me.
"My big ambition is to be a director of photography on film and high-end TV productions, here in the UK.
"I also recently had the chance to document the visit of Dr. Venkata ‘Murthy' Renduchintala when he officially opened the Bradford Centre for Space at the University.
"Seeing what he’s achieved since leaving Bradford gave me a lot of motivation to achieve my own goals, and has made me grateful to have studied here."
Take advantage of all the amazing opportunities Bradford gives you to practice making brilliant films and improve your skills with people who’ve worked to the top of the industry. You’re learning from the best.
Networking is key
“Our industry is very much about networking.”
"Always be open, kind, and try to get to know more people.
"If you’re helpful and nice to work with, you’ll make an impression."