Written by kdanceydowns
Matt Camlin graduated from our MA Directing Digital Film and Television course in 2011. Here, he talks a bit about how his career has progressed since then, which has seen him work on projects from the 2012 Olympics to Game of Thrones.
I graduated from my MA in Directing for TV and Film in September 2011. The day I handed in my final dissertation I got a call from a lighting cameraman that I had assisted two years prior in Bristol whilst studying for my undergraduate degree. He invited me on a three week shoot in the Canary Islands, shooting promo videos for TUI. After a successful three weeks, the contract was extended for a further three weeks.
Upon returning to the UK the reality of starting at the bottom in the media industry hit me. Although I had a competitive advantage over many of my fellow young graduates with my MA, I still had to start at the bottom and fight for any runner, camera assistant, DIT, PA jobs that I could get my hands on over the following six months, working on commercials, films and TV shows.
In May 2012 I got a job working at Nash Studios as a camera operator and was later promoted to Studio Manager. It was there that I had an exciting glimpse into the bigger picture of the industry as a whole. Assisting with casting on films including Les Miserables, The Councillor, The Worlds End; TV shows including Game of Thrones and The Escape Artist and lots of commercials, I worked as one very small wheel in the highest levels of British TV and Film production.
The experience motivated me to push myself towards joining these prestigious ranks in my own right. Whilst I revelled in being part of this brilliant industry, I wanted to play a bigger part in my own right, as opposed to assisting someone else, so in May 2013 I left Nash Studios.
I took 3 weeks of my holiday leave that year to work at the London Olympic Games. At BU I got the opportunity to enter the Broadcast Training Scheme, which I had graduated from (despite having a broken arm) after my work in the Canary islands the previous year (even though it did mean missing my own graduation).
I was allotted to Wimbledon for the Olympic Tennis as a camera assistant, but was promoted to camera operator before broadcast began. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on the biggest TV event in history and I loved every single second of it (even when I nearly hit Roger Federer with my camera).
In May 2013 I joined Bold Content Video and began my career in the world of corporate video production. Since then I have worked on loads of exciting projects for world renowned clients including Coca Cola, The Princes Trust, Barclays and many more.
As well as being fortunate enough to film all around the world, I’ve also grown hugely as a professional at Bold Content. We work on exciting, innovative, thought provoking projects with talented, creative colleagues and I can hardly believe I’ve only been here for a little over two years.
My time at BU aided me in a number of ways. Networking in a multi-discipline environment working alongside other professions (sound capture, editors, writers, producers, editors etc) gave me a great understanding of my colleagues, as well as strong connections going into the industry after graduation. Also, I’ve found that a lot of courses teach the basics of how to tell stories, whether it be narrative, documentary, etc. A noticeable advantage of going to BU was my understanding of why to tell those stories in that manner, and that put me head and shoulders above my fellow graduates once I entered the job market.
For people looking to work in the industry I would offer the following advice – don’t underestimate the power of “it’s who you know.” It’s a well-known expression in our industry, but I didn’t realise just how true it was until I hit the job market. Keep in regular (I suggest monthly) contact with as many industry professionals as you can, amongst a wide spectrum of specialisms.
Originally published on the Alumni Blog.