Rachel Armitage, 2nd AD

Rachel Armitage, 2nd AD

What do you love about working in Yorkshire?

It’s my home.  There is something so special about seeing somewhere you know and love come to life on screen.  From a production point of view, there is such diversity in the architecture and landscapes in such a small area: from city centre to rolling hills in 10 minutes – what could be more perfect?

What was your path into film and TV?

I studied Film & Television and after graduating I applied for around 1,000 jobs in media, until I was lucky enough to get one as a part time floor-runner for ITV.  I worked in quiz shows for several years, including as an Assistant Producer on The Chase, before starting again from scratch as an AD in 2015.

I started my AD career at Emmerdale, but more recently I worked on Last Tango in Halifax and The Syndicate. Working in Drama has always been my dream.

What are your career highlights?

Getting to work with Kay Mellor and Sally Wainwright, two people I have admired for years, and seeing how they work.  I loved Fat Friends and At Home with the Braithwaites when I was a teenager, and it was shows like those that made me rethink what TV could be and sparked a passion in me.

The Syndicate series 4. Roxy (TAJ ATWAL), Gemma (LIBERTY HOBBS), Jake (KIERAN URQUHART), Keeley (KATHERINE ROSE MORLEY), Colette (EMILY HEAD) - (C) Rollemem Productions - Photographer: Ben Blackall

What are some notable challenges that you have overcome during your career in the industry?

It’s often hard to balance a home life with a career in TV, with the long hours, the travel and the stress – you do sacrifice a lot for the job. I’ve cancelled so many holidays in favour of ‘great job opportunities’.  Making the move back to Yorkshire has been great for me – I’m able to have a social life, see my family more and I’ve been able to buy a flat!

Do you have any advice for people starting out in the industry?

Be prepared to start from the absolute bottom and work hard.  Use the opportunity to be proactive – find out about other departments, observe and ask questions.  We all did it, and it makes you understand the whole process far better as you rise through the ranks.

Have you noticed any recent positive changes in the industry, specifically in the region?

The industry in the north has gained so much momentum, production prospects have increased year on year.  Productions are realising that we have so much to offer without the logistical difficulties that come with working in London.

On a personal note, there is much more solidarity in the AD department in recent years – particularly with the AD Guild being established this year. It’s been an amazing space to share and support each other.

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    Olivia Thomas, Film Office Co-ordinator

    Olivia is the first point of call for Screen Yorkshire's Crew Service. She is part of the Film Office team and advises on filming enquiries, including locations, crew, facilities and permitting and also maintains our film locations and crew and facilities databases.