7th July 2020
Adrian has had nearly 15 years of experience producing his own small videos, mostly for local business, but struggled to get a real break in the industry. Then a ScreenSkills-funded course delivered by Four Corners helped him make a step change in his career.
A determined, diligent and creative individual, Adrian’s work and personal life have not been easy, especially struggling with severe dyslexia and being bi-polar.
He started out in radio as a content producer with the charity Leonard Cheshire, and taught radio production to disabled entry level media people. But it was making videos that was his passion. Having taught himself how to produce and edit content, he decided to approach local businesses – gyms, barber shops and DJs and record labels – and offered to do promotional narrative videos for them in return for free haircuts, memberships etc.
“This proved beneficial for them and me, but then I had a bad break-up, which antagonised my bi-polar, and from there things went downhill,” sighs Adrian. After further big challenges, including become a father and moving to Denmark, he returned to London about five years ago, still determined to make his mark in the screen industry. Despite knowing how to produce, edit and upload videos, as well as record light and sound, he struggled with the after-effects side of production. “I could never get my head around it. I even did a course in Soho, but still couldn’t get it. Unfortunately, it’s a key part of making videos and when I apply for jobs it’s one of the requirements.”
Fortunately, in a stroke of luck, he moved to Roman Road in east London and one day walked past a shop, where he’d hired cameras before, called Four Corners. “They had a sign on the wall outside saying if you’re an adult who’s been out of industry, we can help train you up and get you back in,” Adrian said.
In 2018 he did their Making the Cut professional film and TV training for disabled people. Supported by ScreenSkills using National Lottery funds awarded by the BFI, the comprehensive course covers all areas of production and freelancing, including: self-marketing; production coordination; introduction to Advanced Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Editing.
“The course was amazing, reminding me how to use cameras again, new editing techniques, all aspects of production, how to set exposure, handle tripods, and we even got to make a film during the course,” he said.
But perhaps more importantly, the course coordinators also helped participants with job searching and applications, CVs and interviews, and invitations to industry networking events. This proved hugely beneficial for Adrian who was not working at the time and struggling to pay his rent.
Off the back of the course, he managed to get some work at eBay as a video producer intern, which gave him a great insight into the workings of a major organisation.
Four Corners have continued to support Adrian, helping him to find work as a runner and editor’s assistant, and securing a week’s placement on the set of EastEnders. “I got to work with the senior editors and directors, who showed me tips and tricks, which was great as I have been particularly keen to learn how to edit a scene, coming in and out and the beats, so it was amazing to see scene editors master it.”
Since then Adrian has been working as a delivery driver to pay his bills and to buy some decent editing equipment of his own. A placement with Pathé organised by Helena Goundry, delivery coordinator at Four Corners, has been delayed by the coronavirus. However, unsurprisingly, Adrian is still “determined to improve my skills and continue making videos until a job comes along.”
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