Thursday, 13 December 2012

 For the last Professional Studies lecture, a successful camera operator called Tom Hooker presented a talk about what his job entails and advice for us breaking into the industry. Tom Hooker is a freelance camera professional working primarily for the BBC. After graduating from Bournemouth University, he started out as a trainee on cameras. This apparently involved a lot of tea and coffee making! His advice given was to show your potential constantly. For him this was fixing a problem with some equipment that the director couldn’t solve. He told us that getting your ‘first break’ is the hardest step but once you are in, finding work gets easier.  He stated that he spent 4 years emailing the National History department in Bristol before he got his interview resulting in the job he has today. Hearing what Tom’s working life as a camera operator consisted of did put me off a little. He talked about the long, unpredictable hours. He did 12 weeks solid work, with only a few days off a fortnight. Yet on the plus side you are doing something you love, getting paid well, travelling the world, and producing amazing bits of television. I am not blind to know that you have to work incredibly hard in this industry to become a successful freelancer. As much as I would love to start my own company, hearing about Tom’s experiences made me fully see the positives of working for a big corporation. Such as, the expensive kit available, stability, bigger budgets, security, and the travel opportunities. Once I graduate I will hopefully have a clear idea of what sector of Television I wish to go. As Tom expressed that you need perseverance and persistence to get the job you want is essential. Then when within an organisation it is important to show your passion and not to shy away into the background, be noticed. Having personality and likeability is also a huge bonus. Listening to Tom Hooker really gave me an insight into Camera Freelancing and was inspiring.