Over the past year I’ve been putting myself out more as a professional freelance Op, so I can do more work outside of a ‘regular’ job if I manage to find one, and catering to a large range of individuals both as a Camera Op and Photographer, in some cases even combining both roles for individual work opportunities.
Mmm Cookie Dough
One of the corporate projects I worked on this year was for a company called ‘Mmm Cookie Dough’, who are a small boutique bakery company based around London. My friend graduated two years ago and setup shop, and they’ve grown a lot recently, so she wanted me to film one of their workshops and shoot some stills to use for promotion and their website. I feel it went really well, getting the opportunity to work for a professional indie company and the chance to do something ‘different’ through bakery and a verbal workshop instead of the regular quick videos I shoot. I was also paid to come down and do it, and my materials since have been used for a lot of promo, so I’m happy with how this went and hope I can do more in the future. This job actually lead to others, as Jess is part of an indie company collective, and she passed my details onto others who wanted similar projects, however the timescale they wanted theirs in conflicted with other dates, but its nice to know that this work lead to other stuff!
UK Scout Association
One of the main places I’ve kept going back to for work over the past year is the UK Scout Association. Recently in the past two years they’ve started utilising the skills of their volunteer leaders more to cover national events, such as their jamborees and larger events like Winter Camp/Reunion/Gilwell 24 at their headquarters of Gilwell Park. I’ve gone back as the videographer/photographer for several of these events, and my videos have been used on their official youtube page getting thousands of views + comments, and they’ve even be used as promotion for the company through online/broadcast and in their national AGM meetings. I feel this is some great experience, however that’s all it currently is, experience. What I want to do in the future is ‘push’ this and show that I can do more video wise for them, and try get hired to create visual content for their platform. My only problem is they already have a video guy who they use for regular work and temp me in when they want something niche or different to represent the brand, so I’m competing with already hired staff. I don’t think this is going to come through, however I’m going to keep doing it and see how it progresses. One main thing Is that I’ve learnt a lot and improved my own skills through doing it, and it’s become a regular source of quality experimental footage for myself, and decent paid work through transport/food/accommodation for a few days.
JBM Films are a company I came across through chance, by funding an unsuccessful kickstarted project of theirs and then emailing the company to follow up on the project, then offered some freelance work in return as a translator/transcriber on their latest feature-length documentary. I feel this has been an interesting time, as the company themselves are based out of Hollywood, however all the work is drop-boxed over to me and I spend several hours watching interviews with people from around the world and translating/transcribing the footage, then sending those documents back to JBM for subtitling in the documentary. Through this, and giving regular feedback on editing rough cuts, and working with the director on helping shape the documentary, I’ve been given producer credits on the documentary which is awesome as it’s something I can add to my own Portfolio for the future, and hopefully I can get a copy of the footage to use in my own showreel. The thing with this project is that it’s been little and regular, so I’m not constantly working on it and getting the chance to shape it in my own free time so it’s been over a year in the progress. I’m glad with this as it’s given me something to focus on creatively in my free time and hopefully will lead to more work in the future, discussing already with the director and potential marketing for the documentary and work following that.
EK are a freelance website review company I’ve been doing a lot of writing for as a film critic recently, which has been beneficial as it’s given me an outlet for my own writing skills I haven’t been able to utilise whilst at University, and providing a different branch by allowing me to work as press at film festivals and expand my own network by talking more to film directors/actors/producers and subtly marketing myself in the process. It’s not a job, more of a hobby at the moment by attending different events and working as a reviewer, and I don’t have the skills for it to become a job, however it’s been a lot of fun and is something I can continue with in the future for free to get more experience and a hobby.
Recently I worked for a band called ‘Room Service’ whilst they were in their UK Tour as a photographer. This was interesting as I’ve known the band for years, and they got me to come to their gig and sorted an AAA press pass out to shoot promo materials for their upcoming album artwork and online materials. This is the first professional photography gig I’ve worked, and it was really enjoyable getting to go onto the stage and shoot both photo/video of the band as they played, and i’m in talks with them about their next UK tour to do more stuff for them. I feel this has been beneficial as not only did I get some quality materials to add into my own portfolio (images now available on my website) but also it’s being used by the band for their own materials which are going to be widely distributed, and may get me more work in the future, and what I’ve already done for them is going to lead to more work soon, so I’m glad for this opportunity as free stuff now could lead to paid work in the future.