Daniel Brown is a trainee researcher placed at IWC Media on Channel 4's Nations and Regions Production Training Scheme. He tells us about his experience of Bootcamp:
“It's not what you know, but who you know.” ?
This was something that was repeated over and over again by the guest speakers who visited the Channel 4 offices in Glasgow, all of them intent on drilling this into the heads of all eight of us sitting around the table, pens perched in our hands, hovering over a page already covered in scrawls of precious advice.
I am one of the lucky six to be placed on Channel 4’s Nations and Regions Production Training Scheme managed by thinkBIGGER. We've just finished two weeks of training, ready to start our placements at indies across Glasgow. I'm not sure what strange, mythical process Channel 4 and thinkBIGGER went through to choose us or how they made sure we would gel as a group but somehow it worked. What all of us agree about feeling is a sense of sadness that our group will no longer be together in the same room until the final week of training in June.
Over the two weeks we learnt all manner of things such as commissioning, scheduling, developing, and pitching within the industry; the roles of the researcher and production co-coordinator, how to work a camera, how to edit footage, how a budget for a production works, how to work with talent – all of these things important and invaluable, but also, in all of this, we learnt to work together as a team. I get the feeling that this was the ultimate objective for Channel 4 and thinkBIGGER – ensuring that we are now a group of people who will leave the Channel 4 offices on West George Street and continue to help each other out in the future.
If anyone reading this thinks: 'Wow, that sure sounds good!' Well, it is. Everyone on the scheme has his or her own unique perspective on life and this is what the television industry needs. When we applied to the scheme, we had to film a two-minute video of ourselves explaining how our diversity informs our outlook on life and how we can bring this perspective to the industry. In mine, I spoke about how my disability as a profoundly deaf individual has always made me want to work that little bit harder to strive and improve upon myself; to prove to other people that I am capable and determined not to be overlooked. But at the end of the two weeks, I realised that everyone in the television industry wants to prove this. This alone isn't enough.
Everyone that came in to talk to the group all shared vastly different stories, each of them individuals with a different perspective on how they got into the industry and all of them emphasised the importance of working well with other people and being a good team-player yourself. This is what helps you find work within the industry.
I'm glad that thinkBIGGER have given me the opportunity to make eight new friends (we had two others who joined us for the training during the two weeks), ones that I will look out for, knowing they will look out for me. We learnt a lot together, about the industry and about each other. We learnt that we're all people with different experiences of life, with different hopes and ambitions but we're together in one thing – the television industry.
Left to Right: Aneesah Hussain, Winifred Kakouris, Lucy McNae, Ciaran Pasi, Daniel Brown and Jacqueline Wallace