Why hello there, this is the first blog of my life at 20 years old. Why have I decided to do this now and for what reason? Is there alcohol involved, or maybe some sort of wild party i may just get a chance at going to? Not really, but I do know that there are millions (dont hold me on that number) of people in this confusing world who seek to make a career and life in some form of role in the media industry, most of which not knowing what they even want to do thats related to media, hence why a lot of people study ‘media’ (keep those options open eh) to postpone the dreaded thought of having to fend for themselves in this competitive, over crowded, and wonderful business.
So who am I? My names Kristian Hampton, and i’ve just finished my second year of three at University. What do I study then? Media perhaps? well in away yes, but actually I study ‘Professional Sound and Video Technology,’ quite a mouthful indeed. Its a technical course ‘aimed’ to develop my skills across many aspects of the technical side to the media industry. Im starting this blog now as I have been the typical student for the past two (or more) years, drinking, partying, and….well you know the score, basically didn’t even think of writing about my life when generally I just wanted to live it.
I have soon realised the struggles, uncertainties, and competitive races of trying to get that job in the business. Therefore as I have one year of University left to go, I will enlighten anyone who has a spare moment to delve into my life to follow my path, story, and tale in my ‘attempt to make it’
Well nearing half way through summer now, and im pretty much doing the least amount of industry work at the moment since 6 months ago. Im working part time delivering pizzas to keep the money coming in, its ok I suppose, and the tips are not to bad! I have a photography gig coming up this weekend taking around 400 candid photos of women in traditional asian clothing at a ‘Mela’ (which appears to be an asian festival) in Manchester. Not asking what this dude wants all these pictures for, but im not complaining as long as I get paid. The rate of which is not the best, but hey at least im getting paid (£60 for half days work). Im still waiting on the next work dates for the production company I freelance for, wish something would come up faster. Whats the rush Im in to get work you may think? Well for some reason I’ve just booked onto another lads holiday with my mates to Ibiza! We went last year and as much as it hurts my wallet could not resist to go again this year, good time to be had. If you havent been, i’d fully recommend it. This isn’t my biggest blog entry, and i do apologize, but as you can see ive not got that much work related stuff going on at the moment. Maybe you could give me some tips eh? Anyway keep on working…
Just as the title says is what the moral of this post is. Yes sure portfolios often make the biggest influence of your ability to the employeer, and yes you should try and build up a good deal of work you can showcase when called upon. However its not the only way of inexperienced hopefuls getting industry work. Now I am by no means an industry professional, heck ive still got one year left of university study to go, but I can tell you that I have managed to get all the industry experience and paid work without ever showing my CV or showreel. Its all down to NETWORKING. Yes you may have heard this time and time again, but seriously, network overload yourself, and you will come across an opportunity, you just need to be willing to recognise it and take it. Any experience is experience, so dont let pride get in the way, if its making coffee for a production manager do it, you never know they may love your coffee making skills, they may even love you, and this could maybe, just maybe lead to them wanting you to stick around. I got my job as I was working in a gym when a small production company came to do a promo video, got talking, and im now camera assisting/operating and editing for them. Its all one big gamble….If its something you really aspire to do then you have nothing to loose, so why not eh? This goes for any jobs, not just in the media industry.
On a funnier note, if I did send my showreel off last year, this is what the employee may have seen…. (remember I am a student) Thanks for reading 😉
Ok, so before I can start this blogging of my experiences as I go through my transition of university to job (hopefully), I need to fill you in with how I have got to the position I am in right now, or it just wouldn’t be a complete story would it! Dont worry Im not going to ramble on about my life in so much detail you will believe that you spent the last few years as a close companion of mine, but simply give you a brief overview if thats fine with you..
I starting my course at University, and if you havent read my first post then heres the name of it again (breath), Professional Sound and Video Technology (and breath). I loved my first year of uni, much like a small child loves to pick his nose, when no ones watching (especially parents), go wild and pick away (please note im not actually referring to me picking my nose)! I managed to get one work experience placement, which lasted for two days. I was a runner for a sunday morning broadcast a BBC program, and not even the cool kind of runner. My role was to make sure the audience was comfortable throughout the day…..the excitement was blowing my mind. Although I did get to make a fine cup of coffee for the producer and editors, which is more the ‘runner’ type role you see on films etc. Overall a good fun year, and I was pretty pleased with my work experience since all my uni friends hadn’t gotten any..
Well I have just finished this academic year, and I have to say it almost seems like im on track, if there is a track that is. Ive managed to somehow become a first assistant in a very small production company (its run my one man, thats how small), and I’ve been doing things like camera assisting and operating (small HDV cameras, not hit
the big time studio one yet, but come on its a start), editing, and even ‘griping’ (if you dont know what that is, its kind of like assisting with camera equipment on film sets). But wait I havent told you the best part. I have somehow managed to get paid for all these jobs…BINGO
So how did I get to that position? Well its rather (it is) all down to luck. I used to work part time as a promoter for a gym in my local town. I soon found out they were having a promotional video made, and I thought i’d come down on the day to see how they were doing it and what not (yes give up spare time to observe), actually ive just remembered I was extremely hung over that morning so hats off to me for actually following through with it. ANYWAY back to the story…When I got there I was surprised to see a team of two from this production company, and only one was doing the technical stuff, and the other assisting. I watch them for couple of hours then thought well ive got all I can get out of ‘watching’ so went over and bid farewell to the crew (can you call it that for two people?) and thanking them for letting me watch. The main guy then gave me his card, promoting this new invention he has got, which is an electric dolly system for film and tv (but this one is doesn’t need tracks). He then said ‘If you can script it, you can hire it for cheap,’ To which I thought, ‘Hire for cheap? haha you think I spend money on uni projects?’ I took his card anyway, got home and sent him an email about wanting to do work experience for him blah blah blah, the usual stuff in trying to get some experience out of someone.
He replied soon after with theres a chance…… (I thought this was going well)…. He then said he would contact me if anything ever came up. Finally a week or so after he rang me in the morning as one of his assistants dropped out, and he offered me a paid two day overnight job working on a set with his new invention, but I needed to be ready to be ready in 20 minutes. So i packed some stuff and off I went (didn’t tell anyone where i’d gone)…… From then on ive managed to wriggle my self in and get some work out him every now and then.
Pictures Below: Top – The electric dolly system, with driver, steadicam camera operator, and me on board. Middle – Me helping the steadicam camera operator with his rig.
Finally, were up to date (big cheer yes?). This where the blogging and my online story begins. I will keep my tale going on this blog as it unravels in real life in my ‘attempt to make it.’