Why some video production graduates have more success than others
With every passing year it seems we get inundated with more emails from new video production graduates wanting to work with us than we did the previous year, and this appears to be a trend around the country. Some get hired, and some don’t – so what’s the big secret?
If you’ve ever watched the credits of a big Hollywood blockbuster, you’ll see that the number of people it took to create the film from start to finish can be in the hundreds – this includes everyone from writers and producers to the set designers and post-production teams. Each person has a specific job and a role to play in making the film. The problem is that very often even a London video production company may be working with more limited resources, and companies and clients will want to get as much bang for their buck as possible. Since the biggest cost to a production is often the crew, this means cutting it down and hiring a small number of multi-skilled individuals.
Being multi skilled and having knowledge that goes beyond a single ‘flagship skill’ is an excellent way of keeping yourself in demand in the industry, and as a new recruit, that’s incredibly important to getting your foot in the door. Camera operators who know how to light a scene, directors who can produce, or editors who can create even basic motion graphics are much more useful to a production company in terms of reliability and cost. If you have a camera operator who can handle lighting equipment, take on the post-production side of the project and do their share of producing, then one person has done the job that might otherwise have taken four people on a much larger budget.
To be a multi-skilled crew member requires a lot of enthusiasm and hard work, as all the various disciplines involved are a often more complex than they appear. But as you gain experience and branch out to widen your skill base, that varied experience will make you stand out amongst the other CVs. Getting more experience might seem like an obvious tip, but it wasn’t so long ago that people did specialise in just one area of production, and that’s all changing now. Even the seasoned pros are starting to crow about how knowledgeable they are in all aspects of video work, and you’d be amazed how many people don’t get hired because they haven’t got the right skills.
So to recap – widen your skill base as far as you can, and make it clear on your CV.