Thank God winter is nearly over. I mean really, it has felt like the longest winter in a long time. Everybody just seems so much happier when the days are longer, especially us cameramen. More time in the beer garden..ahem..I meant more light for filming!
I'm having a bit of a spring clean, metaphorically speaking (not literally - I can't really be bothered). In this digital age where nobody in the first world can survive 2 minutes without an internet connection I have realised that I should be connecting with the world a bit better. When you make the majority of your living from creating online video it seems silly not to take advantage of all the useful online platforms that previous generations never had the opportunity to use. So here we are - as part of the new me - here is my first blog (and lets hope it lasts!)
So who am I? Well assuming you consciously chose to click on my website and weren't forced to follow me on Twitter then you may know that my name is Matt Prior. I am not the famous Sussex cricketer, I am the videographer. The camera man. The film guy. I can't wait for the other Matt Prior to retire because it will make me so much more popular on Google. Even my IMDB page features news about the other Matt Prior. It's kind of rubbing salt in the wound that he even comes from the same county as me. Anyway, I make corporate videos, short films and the like and have been doing so for a few years. After graduating from the Northern Film School in Leeds and spending a few months in the USA I joined the ever growing pool of graduates competing to land their dream job in a creative industry.
Creative Skillset recently tweeted:
'The UK's creative industries are responsible for 1 in 12 jobs. That's 8.5% of all jobs in the UK!'
This figure makes it sound like an appealing industry to enter indeed. At first I was surprised that the figure was so high but after having thought about it, there is so much information readily available and being thrown at us all the time that the importance of using creativity to stand out from the crowd seems more relevant than ever. Does this mean that it is now easier to get a creative job than ever before? It probably depends on who you ask, but my guess is no. It's been several years since I graduated with a 2.1 (following a good stint of grades in college and school) and excellent references yet I have still struggled to find any sort of permanent full time work in the field I want to work in. I could talk for hours about the catch 22 situation of entry level roles in media (and don't get me started on unpaid work experience). Many in my situation would have given up by now; security, steady income and sociable working hours in a 'regular job' do seem very tempting at times even to myself. There are several problems with this though:
1. No job is secure anymore (unless you're a teacher!)
I've been made redundant several times. My parents have been made redundant. Several of my friends have been made redundant. It can actually be viewed as a positive thing because if you can adapt after redundancy then you will always be prepared for change.
2. I believe being self employed makes you care more about your work
If you love what you do (and I do) then you will work harder to forge strong working relationships and provide good customer service. You also realise that you can't afford to give less than your best in this competitive world we live in.
3. If you've found the right career path and persist, eventually something will click
Many people wander through life not knowing what it is they really want to do. I'm fortunate in that I've known for a while and am able to focus my efforts and channel all my energy into this career path. My choice certainly isn't the easiest to fulfill but I'm not going to quit because I know I'm good. If it's easy then it's not worth having.
Although I haven't yet found permanent full time work in video production I have had much more success working freelance jobs in the last few years:
United Magic Film Studios
My first ever paid job as a cameraman was through these guys. A small video production company based in Worthing, I have been exposed to a huge variety of clients and experiences through working with them. Check out their website here.
It's all about first experiences here - Substantial Films, based in Brighton, are responsible for my first feature film credit on 'Backtrack' (released in the UK as 'Nazi Vengeance') and my first commercial credit as Director of Photography. I have learned more about filmmaking from 3 weeks with these guys than 3 years at film school. Check them out here.
In 2014 I started providing my services for the Yell/Hibu media team in Sussex, shooting content for local businesses varying from veterinary practices to beauty training.
325 Productions UK
I've also recently begun working with a new starter - 325 Productions UK based in Haywards Heath. The company have shot promos and training videos for the likes of Cats Protection as well as music videos for local artists. Check them out here.
There are many others that I have yet to mention but you'll certainly be hearing more about them in the upcoming weeks.
Being freelance can be a little scary at times but I firmly believe that, at least for me, it will be the best way to achieve success. And I measure success by how much you look forward to getting up in the morning.
At this point in time I must say that I'm looking forward to what the future might bring.