I’ve worked at the Angel Inn for the past seven years, having served on the bar since 2012. It may be due to its location near the media hub that is Bristol, but I have found a fair amount of locals who are involved with media production. Not necessarily the companies I want to work for, but the fact they have the professional connections is a wealth of knowledge I’ve wanted to tap into.
Through many conversations I have gotten to know certain individuals really well, and as they have learnt my interests and aspirations they have passed on their knowledge and tried to help wherever possible. It’s an unusual situation, but judging by the way I have progressed this past year its these random elements that have been most useful in defining my future professional career.
One local has suggested dropping contact details by for several friends involved with television production (including Game Of Thrones). This is yet to happen, it is very much a cold caller approach like I did with Sherlock, nevertheless still a possible avenue to explore if I get contact details.
Steve comes in a couple of times a week, his son works for the BBC and I hear stories of his professional progression each time he visits. Starting as a researcher he found himself connected with shows such as ‘The One Show’ before finding a contract he loves with ‘Rouge Traders’. Steve has been great at providing me an insight into the way the BBC operates, one thing that surprised me was that they cancel contracts before 3 years so they don’t have to follow up with pension laws, hoping to hire employees back after a sufficient break as a loophole. His son now works in London for the BBC, a potential future contact, not necessary the career I want, chasing a company name rather than my desired role in lighting.
Finally Gary & Paula are a couple who are both freelancers, often working for dramas commissioned by the BBC. I don’t tend to see them as often but whenever I do they always have so much to tell me and try to keep me in the loop as much as possible. It’s great sharing stories with them, its a shame that I don’t get to see them that often as I won’t always work the same shifts. Recently Gary has given me some copies of ‘Stage, Screen & Radio’, they aren’t the latest copies but some content is still relevant and gives me a good idea of the marketplace.
Working freelance is something that doesn’t interest me at this stage, I would like to get connected with a company who can generate various projects that I can work on, or be stationed where work is ever-changing. Nevertheless they are still a valuable wealth of information.
Having told them of my encounter with the Bottleyard Studios as part of ‘Lost In A Supermarket’ they mentioned that they knew Martin Peters who is based on the site. He runs a grip hire company, a little away from my desire to do lighting, but still a possible route. They will hopefully get in contact with him and put us in conversation with one another.
It’s nice that my job here gets me connected with some industry professionals. Even if nothing comes from it, the fact I can continue to get a working knowledge of the media scene in Bristol can only be a benefit. If these contacts eventually disappear I will still flourish from a job where I can continue to build on valuable skills such as social relations, organisation, leadership, money handling, etc. In addition as I continue to operate the online presence for the pub it will continue to rack up as a positive element on my CV.