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eMag | Directory | TNT Travel Show 2017 | Events Search | TNT Jobs


Paul Cook, 24, is a cameraman working around the East of England and London.

What is your job title? I'm a cameraman, but I also write, direct and edit.

What does your job entail? No two days are the same really, particularly as I work across several different areas of the industry, from regular corporate and commercial work (the ‘bread and butter’) to working on the odd TV show, mostly Channel 4, from time to time. I work as much as I can in and around Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, but quite often I spend at least one day a week filming in London or further afield.

What’s the best bit? Being paid to do what I love. Whenever I’m on set expressing my creativity I’m in my element. The most satisfying part is producing something that the client loves and which brings them more business. Another great perk is getting to travel with my work and so far I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a bit of Italy and travel to most corners of the UK too.

And the worst? Like any other freelancer, it would have to be the finances – both the everyday battle of chasing payments and without doubt the dullest side of the job, keeping accounts.

How did you get your job? My degree was a BA (Hons) in Film and Television Studies at the University of East Anglia, then I undertook a six month internship at a local production company in Norwich. From university and the internship I learned a lot about lighting, camerawork and also the fundamentals of business, and I then went on and become a sole trader in 2011. I’m only in my third year but I’ve been very fortunate to work on some fantastic projects for the likes of Hard Rock Café, Monarch Airlines and a couple of Channel 4’s programmes such as How Not To Get Old and Superscrimpers.

What qualifications/experience do you need? My degree is helpful in understanding the language of film and lighting, but it hasn’t proved essential to be a cameraman. Building my experience with cameras and lighting simply by shooting all the time wherever I can has helped me to grow my business a lot in the early stages. Keeping up to date with the industry and the technology is also very important, and it makes good business sense to understand the demands and desires of your clients.

What advice would you give someone who would like a job such as yours? I always tell people that it wasn’t just what I learned at university, but it’s the connections I made and experience I got there (and after I graduated) that helped me to reach where I am at the moment. 95% of my work comes via word of mouth - past clients telling other businesses about me, etc - so I’m lucky in that I don’t have to advertise or pitch for work.

The most important thing to remember is that the quality of your work has to form the basis but being approachable, professional and helpful is just as important – these are the factors a client remembers. This is especially true when starting out at the bottom, typically as a runner or assistant, as you really have to prove yourself to the people that matter.

Click here to visit Paul Cook: Video and Photography


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Career spotlight: Cameraman
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