Shaping the future of filmmaking – a placement story

Elena Dirstaru on her placement at Learning on Screen.


What kind of work have you been involved in with Learning on Screen and what did you enjoy the most?

My work at Learning on Screen has been quite varied, as I had a number of different tasks. I started by researching newsreels and newsreel cameramen both online and in the physical Learning on Screen library, and then moved onto listening to magnetic audio tapes with interviews with cameramen about their careers. I then moved on to digitising these tapes and archiving them in the Learning on Screen data collection database. I also worked with film reels, which was definitely the most exciting part for me, as a filmmaker. I used a Steenbeck editing table to watch film reels and digitise them, which was a really fantastic experience, and quite unique as well, as not many places own this kind of equipment.

What skills have you developed during the placement?

I have developed skills like learning how to work with film, which is something I never had access to before, and it can be a very useful skill. I have also learnt how to properly archive audio and video files, as well as summarising their content in a useful manner.

How do you feel the placement has helped you enhance your future career?

I believe this placement has helped me gain some invaluable skills that I would not have been able to acquire anywhere else. Because of this, I feel like I have more options in terms of employment at the end of my PhD.

Elena describes her placement and other academic film work on the CHASE website:

Interested in a placement?  Check out our handy guide:


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