Young people across the UK will have the chance to find out what it’s like to be a record label boss, a film director or a theatre producer through a new podcast series from LOOKOUT that brings together industry professionals from stage, screen and music to share their invaluable insights and experience on how to get into the creative industries.The series has been made and presented by Ben Lintott, a 19-year-old from Brighton, who was a LOOKOUT mentee last year, Ben tells us a little more about it…
Tell us a little about what LOOKOUT is
LOOKOUT is a Brighton-based company which focuses on building connections between young people, artists and businesses through creativity. We believe young people, regardless of background or experience, should have the opportunity to develop their creativity.
And how did the podcast come about?
In 2019, whilst I was still studying at college, I joined the “LOOKOUT: Are we there yet?” scheme, which matched me with a brilliant mentor from Big Egg FIlms. Through this project, I was able to build my creative skills and learn more about the industry I am passionate about. After graduating college I was lucky enough to keep in contact with the both my mentor and the wonderful people at LOOKOUT, who offered me the opportunity to help produce and develop a podcast with the intention of helping other young people who may be confused, curious or wondering about developing a creative career, gain more information and insight on how to do so.
Did you know much about making podcasts before? How did you prepare?
I didn’t! I had moderate experience in the technical side of things (such as using editing software) as I studied Double Media, but that was more focussed around visual footage rather than solely sound editing. To prepare myself, I went to a great workshop held at Phoenix Arts in Brighton and, of course, researched and listened to podcast segments already out there. Rifa Thorpe-Tracey, who features in our first episode, was also fantastic in providing guidance and information which she’d learnt through developing her own podcast. I also worked with Louise Blackwell and Charlotte Vivian, Co-Directors of LOOKOUT, to create the first draft episode — most of which was trial and error until we found a structure befitting of our podcast.
The interviews were made before lockdown, how do you think that impacts listening to them now?
I’d say that, overall, the information provided is still highly relevant. I believe it’s still important for other young people to have this information, to know that there will be opportunities for them after the lockdown ends. Naturally, as the interviewees were speaking in a context prior to this pandemic, some of the information may not be practical or logistically feasible at this point in time but hopefully listeners can still expand their knowledge of various creative pathways and use this time to decide which careers fits them best.
Do you have any favourite interviewees or moments in making the podcast?
Truthfully, everyone I interviewed for the podcast was an absolute pleasure; I don’t think I can pick a favourite. One of my favourite moments has to be finalising the first episode, it felt like a big milestone had been reached, as well as giving me an idea of where to take the future edits. A close second has to be more recently, when the first official episode went live. It’s exciting to see something I’ve had a part in creating be available on so many platforms that I’ve used before.
Did anyone tell you anything that surprised you about their careers?
I think one thing which surprised me initially, and seemed quite common between those I interviewed, is how no career is as ‘linear’ as it originally may seem to obtain – there’s no one surefire way to get one single job. Additionally, just seeing how their careers have evolved and developed over time and how this differed from person to person; Tim Crouch, for example, who features in our fifth episode, has had many different aspects to his career, from teaching to performing to writing. As has Victoria Melody, who features in the fourth episode. Both work in a similar industry but have completely different paths and experiences from each other, which I suppose doesn’t necessarily ‘surprise’ me but definitely is something I found really interesting to learn about.
What insights or advice have you personally taken away from the project?
I learnt tonnes from Helen Fraser, who features in our second episode, as I love the idea of developing a career within the film and television industry. She has offered links and resources which I had never heard of or looked into before (many of which I now have bookmarked!). From a personal perspective though I feel my confidence has grown a lot, both in creating something from a medium which I hadn’t explored before and having self-belief in the final result. That definitely has a lot to do with the support I had from the LOOKOUT team and the people I interviewed.