See the big picture
Published: 09 Oct 2017
My first role was working as a lighting director for an independent film company, whilst studying for my HND in Creative Industries: Television at Aberdeen College. After completing my course, I gained some work experience locally and was lucky enough to be offered a permanent job.
My current position at Fennel Media encompasses all aspects of video production – from the initial ideas stage and scripting, live relay and event filming through to developing high-quality films that serve clients’ needs.
The best part of the job is being involved with so many different industries. I can be in the Scottish hills filming off-road cars one week, and then working on an offshore project in the Irish Sea the next.
Video production is extremely collaborative and you need to work well as part of a team in this industry. Between myself and fellow creative director, Richard Baron, we direct, film and edit the entire production, maintaining as much communication as possible to ensure that our vision is aligned with the client’s.
Richard is incredibly talented and we have learnt a lot from one another through working together. We always share new techniques or technology and it’s important to be able to give honest feedback, especially as our job involves tight deadlines.
As well as working alongside a talented team at Fennel Media, we’ve also developed complementary partnerships with other local businesses including AV One Solutions.
This role has given me opportunities to learn new skills – like flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones. I’m currently completing on-the-job training – supervised by our CEO, who is a licensed UAV pilot – and practice in my spare time too.
Aerial video adds an extra level of production quality that really gives content the wow factor.
I’ve also been involved in offshore filming over the past five years, which comes with its own unique challenges, and we recently completed our first offshore video which included aerial shots using a state-of-the-art UAV.
There were a lot of different pre-production risk assessments and health and safety issues that we had to comply with, but the results looked amazing and feature in our newly released showreels.
We work in an industry that is always evolving: camera technologies change; the way we view media changes; and we have to be aware of these so that our productions remain cutting-edge.
Having a creative eye and being able to blend ideas together is crucial.
Of course, it’s important to know the fundamentals of camera operation and editing – but you need to be able to use these skills, along with a good creative idea, so that what you produce stands out from the crowd.
If someone is passionate about video production then that will certainly help them succeed, but they shouldn’t expect to get straight to the top. Anyone looking to get a foot in the industry should gain as much work experience as possible.
Even after I had my first paid job in the industry, I was still regularly creating videos to gain more experience at making different types of videos and to give myself the challenge of taking creative responsibility for them.
It takes time and effort to develop specialist skills; I’ve been involved in the industry for more than a decade and I’m still learning new techniques – and new ways of telling a story.
I’m fortunate that my job involves travelling around the world and working on exciting projects. I have been all over the UK and visited other parts of Europe and even Ghana, Africa.
I have also filmed some famous faces in the past few years, including Dynamo, Escala and JLS.
Fennel Media has covered a huge range of projects in the past year, but my personal favourites were filming for Land Rover in Dunkeld, and creating a video for Lokring, along with British Touring Car Championship driver Gordon Shedden, at Knockhill racing circuit.
It feels great when someone mentions that they know Fennel Media and have seen and love our work, and the positive effect it has on clients’ businesses. Every time I hear that, it still makes me feel incredibly proud that our work is out there doing what it was intended for.
In the future, I’d love to see something I’ve been involved with on the big screen in a cinema.
I’d also love to work on some military productions. I think the locations and content are elements that could make an epic video, plus who wouldn’t want to film wading through water and mud, and have military vehicles and aircraft all around? That would be awesome.