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Finding your place in the creative industries – Kashif Boothe

Aspirational uni grad turned award-winning Web Series Producer, Kashif Boothe gives us an insight into how his Creative Access internship led him to find his perfect role in production, with his growing web series, Nate & Jamie.

My name is Kashif Boothe, I’m 26 years old and I currently work in broadcast at Discovery Channel. This isn’t something I thought I would be doing when I graduated from Roehampton University back in 2013 with a Film degree. My journey within the TV industry hasn’t been a conventional one, when I got my internship with CA at RAW TV in 2014.

I heard about Creative Access when I was desperately seeking a job after graduating from university. I was a recent graduate working lots of overtime at Sainsbury’s and hating it. I would be on the internet for hours applying for work experience and internships and eventually stumbled across an ad for a Runner position at RAW TV.

I wasn’t offered the job but the office manager really liked me and created a new position for me. I was able to work alongside another Creative Access intern Dionne Farrell, who is now a Development Editor at Unigram.

After my three month internship ended, I worked at RAW TV on off for two years. I went on to work at Jamie Oliver’s production company and spent the remainder of the year working on factual TV shows before moving into scripted. In Spring 2015, I started working as a Production Runner on the ITV period drama Mr Selfridge and the following year as a Development Assistant at Idris Elba’s production company.

After working in the TV industry for two years and gaining a lot of experience, I began to feel stagnant.

It was great working towards my career goals but I felt like I forgot why I wanted to work in television.  I took a break from the industry and decided to start making short documentaries that eventually lead to me writing and producing my web series Nate & Jamie.

 I self-funded the first season whilst freelancing and working nights in retail on the weekends. I shot the first season with DSLR cameras and with other freelancers who were eager to produce indie content. In January 2018 it won a Screen Nation Award for Favourite Web Series ensemble. The series has led to a spinoff web series entitled ‘Imperfect’ and Season two of Nate & Jamie is premiering on October 11th on my YouTube channel ‘Kashif Boothe Entertainment’. My plans for the show are for it to be picked up by a production company or to receive funding for season three to produce a full-length season. 

The conversation about diversity has been apparent throughout the industry within the last few years, which is great, but I still think there’s a lot of work to be done.

It’s great having conversations about diversity but without Creative Access I haven’t seen what production companies or networks are actually doing to solve the issue. I’ve worked at production companies where I’ve been told to make a note of all the BAME and LGBT applicants because they failed their diversity report or it was an afterthought to find a BAME producer after a show was picked up by a network.

My family have been supportive of my career in the creative industry especially my Mum. My Dad however, doesn’t understand what I do or that I’m a freelancer. He knows I work within the media industry but never can explain what I do adequately and would prefer I had standard a 9-5 job, but that’s not for me.

 I think the best advice I can offer anyone starting in the industry is to be you.

That might sound cliché but that’s the best thing I’ve learned. I was told on numerous occasions that I needed to be very chatty or be more of an extrovert to get to where I wanted to be. That’s not me, I’m an introvert and when being myself I am able to bond with the right the people, which will lead to my next opportunity.

Thanks Kashif for sharing your story and advice, we look forward to seeing the next series of Nate & Jamie. 

You can follow Kashif on Instagram at @kashifbootheentertainment and check out his webseries Nate & Jamie.