Graduate Profile: Sam Gibson

In this graduate profile we catch up with Sam Gibson, who read European Film Studies and a Modern Language sam%20gibson-1 (German) in our department. For his degree, Sam Gibson took a range of modules in German language and German history, society and culture – as well as modules in German cinema and in Film Studies more widely. Sam spent his year abroad as a British Council Language Assistant in Hannover. While he graduated in the summer of 2012, later than some of the graduates featured in our blog, he has certainly been putting his degree in German and Film Studies to good use!

Since graduating, Sam has taken on a job in Berlin as a Stage and Lighting Assistant for   Arri Berlin, one of the largest producers of specialist film-making technology in the world with a rental division which is represented, as the company’s website states, ‘from Hollywood to Bollywood and everywhere inbetween’.


Babelsberg film studios, where Sam worked as an assistant on a production of Beauty and the Beast

When he made contact with the Languages at Liverpool blog, Sam outlined the chain of events which had led to him taking up the role. The story began, Sam explained, through a series of contacts, starting with a British Council contact made on the Year Abroad, which led to work as a production assistant on a short film being made by the German private broadcasting corporation SAT1. Entitled ‘Das Verhängnis’ (‘The Undoing’), the film starred the former ice skater Katharina Witt and involved shooting all over Berlin.

From there, Sam applied to Arri Berlin. At Arri Berlin, Sam is based in the rental division of the company. Here, his job involves working closely with clients from film and television production companies who visit the company’s office and he is also learning to operate the equipment so that he will be able to operate it on set in the future. ‘This week, for example’, he explained, ‘I  have been assisting the Grip department of a production team which is working on a production of Beauty and the Beast – a French production which is currently being shot at the film studios in Babelsberg near Berlin.’

Reflecting on his career so far, Sam commented on how important his degree has been in his work at Arri Berlin:

“I am using my German every day in the work place, of course, but the Film Studies aspect of my degree has been useful too. The modules in German culture and German film which I have studied have also equipped me well to network and converse with clients and colleagues in the industry. The Year Abroad has helped me to communicate in the workplace and in everyday life.  And of course, had I not had the chance to work for the British Council on the Year Abroad, I would never have met the people who have made it possible for me to be working here now!”