Choose your course

Advanced search

Filming Chairman Mao...

One of our Media students really got to the point when she was asked to help out on a TV documentary about Chairman Mao.

Emily Bowles was doing work experience on a shoot in Rochester when the film crew discovered the prop house had provided them with the wrong bayonet to fit a replica rifle. Remarkably, Emily, who loves curios and bric a brac, had bought one at a boot fair last year.  She phoned her Mum, her Mum drove to the location and, in one of those scenes that you couldn't make up, the bayonet fitted the replica perfectly.

Producer Jonathan Elliot said Emily saved the day.

'She noticed we were lacking a crucial prop, a bayonet, and offered a specimen from her own collection.  It fitted our rifles perfectly and was a considerable improvement on what the commercial prop houses had to offer.'

Although the shoot was in Rochester, the documentary is set in Chairman Mao's China so it was particularly important to get the props and location looking right. It's being produced for an American TV channel.

Emily said it was an amazing opportunity.

'I got involved in so many things from providing props to doing make-up.  I assumed I'd just be making coffees - but in fact the director ended up making coffee for me!'

Meanwhile, Jonathan was so impressed that he's spread the word to other production companies that MidKent is a good place to find Media students for work experience.

'We often think of work experience people as needing support as they get to grips with the working environment but Emily was a 100% asset throughout the day'.