The film was researched and filmed by a team of undergraduate and postgraduate students, an administrative member of staff and two academics. As the film evolved over a time span of almost three years, the fluctuation within the team is a reflection of university life. Students and academics either left the university or finished their studies, they went on exchange years abroad or found other interests they considered worth devoting more time to. In some cases, with students juggling their studies and paid part-time work in order to fund their university degree, they faced additional constraints in finding time to participate in what was an extracurricular activity. Hence, members of the film team itself were deeply ingrained in the very contents of the film they were analysing and critiquing. Read more about the challenges involved in the making of the film.
The team which had initially consisted of a group of ten to fifteen people, finally centred around a group of five students, one administrative member of staff and an academic who had been working on the film from its very beginning in spring 2006 until it being launched in March 2009.
Whilst the film was conceptualised, researched and filmed by students, its production would not have been possible without a number of big helpers who edited the film, provided camera training, produced the logo and the music as well as funded its production. You can read more about them here.
The key film team are:
|Hi I am Laura Home, I graduated from Warwick University in the Summer 2008 with a BA Hons in History and Sociology. I am now a teacher of history and sociology at a secondary school. I became involved in the film whilst in my second year at Warwick. The relationship between education and employment is a key interest of mine. I undertook the role of the voice-over for the film and I was also very involved in the researching, interviewing, presenting and editing. As the film progressed I undertook some camera training so I was able to do some filming, all of which proved to be a very valuable learning experience. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the film team, also gaining the opportunity to present at some academic conferences- experiences I will always remember.
|Hello, I’m Chernise, a final-year Politics and Sociology undergraduate. I got involved in the film to learn more about how students deal with debt, but then promptly became far more interested in the technical side of things and so ended up as the (unofficial) cameraperson for our team, trying to film scenes in a visually appealing manner. As someone who is a strongly ‘audio’ learner this was a totally new experience, and has made me much more aware of how images are selected and projected – result.
|Hello, I’m Tosin, a Warwick University graduate. I joined the film team in 2006 during my sociology undergraduate degree, and continued until the end of my masters in 2008. I joined the team primarily out of a desire to learn more about the effects of part-time work on the student experience, especially considering that my own job had initially stopped me from joining the project! Whilst on the team I took on a primarily research based role, writing literature reviews and contributing to the script with studies and statistical data. I gained a lot from the experience, the research and interview skills alone have come in very handy in my current job as a social researcher.||
|Hi I'm Katy, I'm currently in the first year of my PhD in Sociology at Warwick. I got involved in the film while completing my undergraduate degree in Sociology because work and employment, particularly with regard to gender and sexuality, is my main area of interest within sociology. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to get some interviewing and researching practice. This proved to be the case, and I thoroughly enjoyed my interview with Polly Toynbee for the film, among others. As the film developed I also undertook some filming, having had some basic camera training, which was a great learning experience. I've had a great time making the film and working with the team too.
|My name is Elisabeth, I am currently finishing my PhD in Sociology at Warwick and I am also a researcher at the Reinvention Centre. The film has been an important part of my PhD life throughout the last three years and contributed to a truly creative experience. Work is one of my key interests and in relation to my thesis - a study on the self-understanding of sociologists in England - particularly work at the university. Doing interviews, being involved in the writing of the script, gaining some experience with the camera and discovering new, visual ancles in presenting a research plot were vital for me. Whilst I am not coming out as a professional camera woman at the other end of this film-production, the experience I take with me is that film can be a vital medium in expressing sociological research and a way of conveying critique. Finally, as our work on the film progressed over three years, so did our respective studies and what we learned and brought into to the team.
|I am Lecturer in Sociology and Academic Coordinator for the Reinvention Centre. My key research and teaching interests are in the areas of Sociology of Education and critical pedagogies. Working with the film team has been an important, interesting and at times unusual aspect of my work these past couple of years. I have worked alongside the students and other members of staff, carrying out aspects of the research, helping to shape the story (or stories) and learning a bit about film production on the way. For me, the film and its subject matter are important outcomes, but the most significant part has been the pedagogic process of working collaboratively with students and colleagues on a project on which we were all - at least to begin with - relative novices.
Prof. Mike Neary is now the Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln.
I was involved with the film from the very beginning. I had worked with students and professional film makers on a film in 2004. The film was called Universities PLC? and was about the ways in which enterprise education was being practised in universities in the UK. The film focussed on the idea of social enterprise, and explored whether or not this was a more progressive model of enterprise education. The film looked very professional, but the quality of its production values was at the expense of student involvement in making the film. This time we wanted to make a film in which the students were even more involved in its production. Universities PLC? had involved students, but the students were more central to the making of Students at Work. The film would not have got made without Talking Birds, who did a great job, but this is very much a student film.
My main role in the film was assisting Tosin in writing the script. I left Warwick before the film was finished to take up a new job at Lincoln. Lincoln has a terrific media department, where students make wonderful films. What is special about this film is that it is made by Social Science students, mainly, who are working in a genre that they are not familiar with. They are out of their comfort zone, and sometimes the film makes for uncomfortable watching. Like the best forms of Social Science the film has a heart and a passion and a critique. I really enjoyed being a part of this film, and it's great to see it finished.
|I’m a fourth year Politics and Sociology student and I was involved with the making of the film at the very beginning and at the end but missed the bit in the middle. I first got involved because I felt that I hadn’t been engaging myself intellectually enough outside of my course and a poster from the Reinvention Centre advertising for students provided the opportune moment to do something. The process itself wasn’t easy but was on the whole enjoyable- it took us a long time to hash out just where we wanted the film to go. The filming process was well underway by the time I left for an exchange year in Italy last year and having already gained some experience in filming, sound and editing, I came back to find the film virtually finished. In an era of ‘global educational markets’, the film perhaps goes against the grain of widely held views of the function of education. However it did provide me with the opportunity not only to express in celluloid (both on screen and off) my own reservations about trends in higher education but the reflexive manner in which we went about considering students as producers and not just consumers could be considered formative in my education itself. It is this attitude to learning that I will take forward to my future educational opportunities and my proposed postgraduate studies in Human Geography.
With assistance in the making of the film from