Image description: Kaitlyn working on set


After taking part in SEE’s BFI Film Academy Short Course Craft Skills Residential, and SEE Youth, Kaitlyn started to work on projects at SEE and now works full-time in the Scottish screen industry. Here, Kaitlyn reflects on how both SEE’s courses and supportive community have benefitted her life.


Coming from the rural Borders, my discovery of SEE was a random Facebook advert promoting the BFI Film Academy. I had never heard of SEE or the programme before, nor had any contacts in Edinburgh that could introduce me to them. At that time, I was in S5 choosing my electives and was frustrated by the lack of Media Studies available at my school. I was completing an HNC in Media and Communications through my local college alongside my Highers, but wanted to engage in a more practical and craft focused course that was outside the rigidity of formal school examinations.  

After attending the BFI Academy 2015-16, I then returned for the BFI Residential 2016. I really enjoyed having some independence when travelling to and from Edinburgh weekly, and meeting new people from across the UK who were also interested in filmmaking. After BFI, I joined the SEE Youth Committee, and was involved with the revival of Write Shoot Cut, helping to coordinate, organise and present the programme.  

I then joined a group of young people to help set up Film Access Scotland’s (formally FANS) inaugural Youth Film Festival. This introduced me to other film and media access organisations across Scotland. After graduating from Edinburgh Napier University with a BA (Hons) in Film, I came back to assist with the BFI Residential, then became a full-time staff member as programme coordinator for ECFEP (Edinburgh City Film Education Programme), and also began as a trainee film tutor on the BFI Academy. 

Since leaving my full-time post at SEE, I now freelance full time in film, TV and commercial production across Scotland, working mainly as a runner and production assistant. In that time, I have already worked for Amazon Prime, Channel 4, LucasFilm, Adobe and a variety of other production companies. 

SEE completely changed the trajectory of my career. I would have struggled to get into university without the portfolio I built with their courses, the community of people I met and worked with became some of my closest friends and we continue to collaborate on films and become colleagues in the professional world.  

It has been almost 10 years since I started my journey with SEE and I now feel able to establish myself with a wealth of knowledge and skill behind me. The industry in Scotland is growing incredibly fast so it is a great time to get involved. There is a vast variety of people working in the industry with a greater variety of backgrounds; people who pursued further education, people who went straight into the industry, people who studied a completely different subject area, and people who fell into it later in life. There is no wrong path and all skills and life experiences brought are welcome and needed! 

If there was anyone considering a course with SEE, I would say that it is 100% worth it. Even if you aren’t sure you want to pursue it as a career, it's a new and enjoyable experience to try out as a side hobby or just to push outside your comfort zone. The main point should always be about learning new skills, making friends and having a bit of fun!