Students & Alumni. Film and Television Production.
Megan Wiggins came from Long Beach, California in the US to study on our MA Film and Television Production. She’s also a member of ARU’s volleyball team, and was awarded an athletic scholarship to play for the university.
Where did you study before coming to ARU?
I went to North Carolina A&T State University in the US, where I studied and got my Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism, and was also a student-athlete playing on the volleyball team on an athletic scholarship.
Did you always know that you would go to university and, if not, what changed your mind?
Yes, I always have loved being in school and learning and playing sports. From a young age, at about 8 years old, I made a goal to get a full athletic scholarship to play Division 1 volleyball at a University (the most competitive level in the US) and to study a subject I love. I’m proud to say I achieved that goal - to get my degree and play a sport I was passionate about - not once but twice now.
What do you hope to do now you’ve graduated from ARU?
Having just graduated, I hope to continue to make films and work on projects consistently, whether that is at a production company, at a studio, or on my own in a freelance capacity. I also hope to get back in front of the camera doing broadcast work and acting.
What inspired you to get involved with film and television production?
I’ve always had a love and passion for film, television and media from a young age. I was lucky to have grown up in Los Angeles, California at the centre of the entertainment industry, and I was able to work on some notable sets at Warner Bros and for FOX, MTV, and Netflix in my teenage years doing acting roles. Once on those sets, I began to realise I wanted to be a part of the productions behind the cameras as well and create in different roles.
I also love human stories, and I think film is a medium that connects people and communicates important things that leave an impact and create change in our world - I hope to share stories and make an impact with my work. Being exposed to the entertainment industry first-hand at a young age allowed me to find my passion for film, TV and the media, and I am so grateful I was able to study at the universities in these subjects.
What's the most valuable thing you've taken away from your course?
The most valuable thing I’ve taken away from my course has been the confidence in my knowledge of my field. Being able to fully immerse myself and try things I haven’t before, and share my work with others, has been so valuable to me. As well as meeting my classmates and other students, being able to collaborate and learn with and from them has helped so much. In this industry, the relationships you build both creatively and professionally are so important and this course has helped me build and foster this network and community.
Which aspects of your course have most helped your career development, and why?
I think what helped my career development the most was to have the proper resources and support behind me to be able to enhance and excel in the work I could create and was capable of. By having great tutors, classmates, and facilities/equipment with media services, all I had to do was focus on bringing my ideas and having the freedom to use these resources to bring them to life - while helping ease the process of production and any challenges that arose.
Having a community that is fostered by growth contributed to my career development and success so far. In addition to this, taking risks and allowing myself to jump into a new world and culture is something valuable for my career development.
Also more recently, I was hired by the Cambridge Film Festival through ARU and this has helped to create and foster another community within the film world professionally for me. I have continued to build my network as well as build a different skillset in my industry with this opportunity, which I was so grateful for!
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell myself to trust the process and always stay true to myself, trust my intuition.
What is your favourite thing about studying in Cambridge, and what have you learned about it that other people might not know?
It’s hard to pick my favorite thing about studying in Cambridge, it is such a beautiful vibrant place and it has been so welcoming. It has become my second home and I think the community and all the people have made it such a great experience for me, especially as someone who had never even been to Europe before this and took a leap of faith coming here. Cambridge has a great reputation, and I’d recommend anyone to come here if they were thinking about it.
What projects are you most proud of working on during the course, and what do you have lined up next?
My favorite project I worked on during my course was my documentary, The Road To Bucs Wednesday, which I made of my volleyball team at ARU winning the National Championship at Bucs Big Wednesday. It was so special and close to me since I was involved in not just the production of the documentary but being a subject in it as well.
I also enjoyed working on a series of projects - both in and out of my course - with some DJs in London. One project for the course was called Steppers, a documentary focusing on a winter showcase of a few DJs in London.
Currently, I am working on my first feature-length documentary called Pennies To Millions, which I am hoping to release this year and enter into film festivals.
And lastly, I was able to film content for the Cambridge Film Festival and edit it together into a final video for both CFF and ARU.