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Julia Dorn

"Goldsmiths offered academic disciplines cobbled with classes that provided practical hands-on training."

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Country Germany

"Fueled by a can-do attitude, creative spirit and a passion for documenting real life scenarios I started out as a reporter for newspapers in my hometown Berlin, Germany.

My passion for finding and writing engaging stories was soon met with a desire to express myself visually. Plus, I still wanted to go to university before getting sucked into working only. One of my co-workers was a Goldsmiths alumni and she inspired me to look into their Media & Communications course.

It appealed to me that Goldsmiths offered academic disciplines cobbled with classes that provided practical hands-on training. So I soon became a student in New Cross, London.

While giving me the creative freedom to explore, grow and try out anything, Goldsmiths’ tutors and professors taught me the skills and knowledge to adhere to real life conditions of the film and TV industry.

Upon completion of the BA, I continued at Goldsmiths with an MA in TV Documentary. During this time I also started working as a PA on various video, TV and film productions, gaining valuable experience in the industry. Gradually broadening my skill set and network of employers, I was offered positions as a Researcher, Associate Producer, Camera Operator, and even as a Prop Mistress.

My wanderlust then took me to Australia and South East Asia, where I traveled and worked on various paid and unpaid video productions. After that I relocated to the USA, where I taught video production at the Technical College of Louisiana in New Orleans. Only a year into living in New Orleans, however, I had to evacuate from Hurricane Katrina and relocated to San Francisco, California.

Wanting to get my foot in the door of the local TV industry, I took a low-paying assistant job on a documentary project about Hurricane Katrina. Soon this entry-level gig led to an Associate Producer position on a Discovery-series that profiled athletes from childhood to stardom.

I was then hired as an Associate Producer at another production company for a natural history special about great white sharks that we produced for the National Geographic Channel. I was truly in my element. Suddenly I applied everything I had learned in all my previous jobs -- ranging from researching, to writing, to hiring crew, to setting up shoots, to interviewing subjects, to guiding an editor, to keeping track of the budget, to completing all legal deliverables for the Network.

Ultimately, this show was my breakthrough – I was promoted to Producer. In the US, factual entertainment and reality TV shows mostly don’t separate between Producers and Directors, meaning that Producers get to wear two hats and take care of the logistical, budgetary, as well as the creative and editorial elements of the production.

The first two shows that I’m credited for as a Producer were wildlife shows for National Geographic Channel, and I filmed Giant Salamanders in rural rivers of Japan, Tasmanian Devils in forests of Australia, tarantulas in the jungle of French Guyana and other animals throughout the US.

Making myself a name for international travel, rural expeditions and challenging shoot environments, I continued producing natural history and wildlife factual entertainment shows. Amongst them the long standing series ‘Hooked’ for the National Geographic Channel, ‘Man Vs Fish’ for the Discovery Channel and ‘Fish Warrior’, again for the National Geographic Channel.

NGC’s series ‘Fish Warrior’ has been the most adventurous production in my career yet. Documenting pro-fisherman Jakub Vagner’s pursuit in catching and releasing the largest freshwater fish in the world we shot in some of the most extreme conditions throughout Peru, Ecuador, Kenya, Mongolia, Canada, France and the US. On these expeditions I swam with crocodiles, hunted with Amazonian Bushmen, ate bugs and worms, and even battled malaria.

All in all, I’ve now produced numerous one-off specials and episodic series about wildlife, crime, inventions, addiction and other topics for the National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Wild, Discovery Channel, Discovery Fit & Health, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, 3Net (Discovery/Sony/IMAX), and the History Channel. And being freelance, I’ve branched out to the TV industry in Los Angeles where I’ve taken temporary positions as a Supervising Producer, as well as a Co-Executive Producer.

Reflecting on the diversity of topics and show formats I’ve dealt with, locations I’ve been to, production companies and clients I’ve worked for, and the enormous range of experiences I’ve had, I must say it’s been an amazing journey."

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