Volunteer at Festivals 3 and 4: Chris Chapman writes about his experience of working with Insight

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Volunteer, Chris Chapman, writes about his experience of the 4th Insight Film Festival held at Z-arts in March 2013. Chris now works for ITV in Leeds, assigned to Emmerdale as Edit Assistant.

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Volunteering for Insight: Chris’ story

I worked at the 4th Insight Festival this year in a number of roles, primarily as photographer and time-lapse creator. I was also asked by John Forrest, the Festival Director, to resume the position I took at the 3rd Festival [held in 2011] as head of projection. This job comprised organising how the workflow was scheduled and working with other volunteers to make sure the projection of all the films went smoothly, which I’m pleased to say it did.

Volunteering at Festival 3

I was motivated to get involved with the Festival’s third run in 2011, to be part of the team creating viral adverts to showcase Insight to potential filmmakers and audience members. At the time I was in my second year at university: I wanted to gain as much experience in making films and developing camera and edit skills as I could, so I took on anything I could find. Working as a volunteer for Insight was one of these opportunities.

The role I was assigned was to be part of the projection team for Festival 3’s full run, alongside another volunteer: Charlie Bradlaugh. We made sure that the projection of all the films went according to plan, an important responsibility as it’s the biggest part of the Festival.

Repeating the volunteer experience

I was then contacted by Becky Padley, the Festival Coordinator, when the 4th Insight Festival was being planned. She asked me if I wanted to be a part of the volunteering team for the 2013 event. I signed up once more for the viral ad creation unit, as director of photography and editor to publicise Festival 4. Then, at the event itself, I took on the roles of photographer, time-lapse creator and head of projection. My motivation for volunteering at the 4th Insight Film Festival in March was a mixture of wanting to experience once more the buzz I had enjoyed when I worked at Festival 3 and the fact that I had the chance to take on several roles this time, which would develop my skills and experience in each of these areas.

How being a volunteer helped me

I think volunteering for Insight has helped my future career, as we had to work to tight deadlines, which were especially fast paced on days when the Festival was taking place. I had to get everything done correctly and smoothly, so learning to multitask was key to achieving my goals; I had to run around with my camera taking photographs, check the timelapse camera and manage the projection booth, all in the same timeframe.

Volunteering is fun

I enjoyed volunteering for Insight: it was good experience to be with people who were there generally to work hard and do what was necessary, which you need in that kind of environment. I enjoyed creating the viral ads especially, as I got to work with Aaron Rogerson as director and Gemma Iannantuoni as producer; we worked together brilliantly, each of us knowing exactly what the others wanted and how we would achieve it. We produced three viral ads that were well received.  I also learned to adapt quickly in situations at a moment’s notice: things would often happen that led to a change of plan, such as a DVD player breaking, a disc being damaged, or John [Forrest] deciding to do things a different way.


I can’t think of many ways that the experience could be improved – other than better food. I had a great time and would recommend everyone to get involved.

Insight’s guest blogger policy

The Insight Film Festival publishes articles on our blog from guest bloggers on an ad hoc basis. The Festival is delighted to publish a range of views and opinions on the themes of film and faith, and other subjects, but the personal views expressed in such articles do not reflect the views and opinions of the Insight Film Festival itself, which is an organisation that comprises individuals of many different faiths and none, all of whom have their own personal views and opinions on films, faith and other subjects.