Features - A Day In The Life

Shella Palmer

Shella Palmer

Posted 01 February 2014

New York Programme

August 2011 Intake


Shella currently works as the Events Co-ordinator for British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). She lives in London.

"My day usually starts around 7:30am when I jump out of bed and head straight to work, although it was the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday (16th Feb) so I'm a bit slower this week. I'm based at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, the iconic headquarters of the famous awards, where we have a members bar and restaurant, two private cinemas and various function spaces. I always have breakfast on site because it's so great, although normally it's just a flat white and toast with English marmalade, made by the Head Chef Anton Manganaro.

The Film Awards themselves are organised by a production team who work yearround on the event but BAFTA is a charity and they host over 350 events a year ranging from master classes and Q&A's to screenings of the latest films (often before they're released in the UK).

The work I do is split between managing BAFTA events and commercial events at the venue. This means that my morning is spent responding to enquiries, particularly this week following the profile of the weekend's awards.

BAFTA195 Piccadilly is available to hire and is a major revenue source for the charity so each and every potential event is important and requires care and attention. Responding to enquiries is definitely the biggest part of my day but also the less glamorous element of events. I also try to log a little time on Twitter and Facebook in the morning to see who is talking about us and retweet any images – our Princess Anne Theatre is a great space so we often have people tweeting pictures.

This lunchtime I met with an organisation from Turkey who are hosting a Gala screening of a Film in a Foreign Language. We discussed lighting, catering and champagne receptions in rapid succession before they hopped on a train to Brussels and I joined another client for a menu tasting ahead of a dinner they're hosting in March. This is definitely a perk of the job because there is always an excuse to try the great food we serve. Our Head Chef Anton designed 6 canapés for the Film Awards reception at the Royal Opera House on Sunday 16th and my guests have now decided to serve the exact same canapés at their own party.

The afternoon is spent responding to questions about different events, from tracking down a copy of a film that a client wants to screen before its UK release, to confirming menu choices and event schedules.

My day usually ends around 7:00pm unless I have an event. Tonight we're hosting an event with some of the awards partners and Emerald Street. Our CEO, Amanda Berry, will chat to the readers and provide the inside scoop from the Awards on Sunday. Following this they'll watch the BAFTA winning short film 'Room 8' followed by Cate Blanchett's award winning performance in 'Blue Jasmine'. The evening finishes at 10pm when I head home and collapse into bed".