Awesome People

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Oct 222015

Today is my last ever shift with my team mate at The Farm. For two years Ally and I have been working together entertaining each other at work whilst also being the ‘Dreem Teem’ who are, if I do say so myself, awesome at our job.

The Dreem Teem

Toby & Ally, the Dreem Teem

We have become great friends, always making each other laugh, always trying to find new ways to have fun, always able to work together to get through a massive stack of work, fix an enormous and difficult issue, or just lark about when there is little work on. We’ve laughed so hard we’ve cried, we’ve stressed so hard we’ve cried, we’ve had days where we look at each other come handover time and said “pub?” both for celebration and for commiseration purposes. In short, the reason why I have loved my job so much is almost entirely down to our friendship. No matter how enjoyable or depressing the work you do is if you have friendships with those you work with you will enjoy your work so much more.

She isn’t the only one either; there are plenty of people with whom I work who are great fun to be around – many of my good friends are people I have worked with, forging great relationships through our shared experience of hellish clients, fantastic programmes, and days with too much to do, not enough machines to do it on. I look forward to creating more great friendships as I embark on a freelance career working closer with productions to produce fantastic programming – who knows, one day I may have the pleasure of working with you!

So here’s to the awesome people of TV! Long may you continue to perpetuate awesomeness via the medium of video!

All Coming Up Millhouse

 Home Life, Work Life  Comments Off on All Coming Up Millhouse
Sep 172015

I did it! I have a new job! And you know that bit I wrote in my last blog about only going for the right project? Well – wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So about that domino analogy I’d been using since about January this year. I am pleased (and mildly astonished) to announce that it worked! I came to a decision a couple of weekends ago to stop hanging around and to push that last domino. I had been waiting on the possibility of some financial help, just to keep me going in case I didn’t get enough work to keep me going over the winter, but then something in me just clicked and I decided I could wait no longer – I would just have to hope for a long contract. I sent out my CV to a number of people whose details I’d been given by an assistant who is just getting his first editing gigs, and also to a few people I know and a few I don’t. Within a few days I had a ‘chat’ booked (it’s never just a chat but they never call it an interview either) and within 2 weeks I had a new job. I hate to sound like the privileged person I am but it all seemed too easy. As with my first job I guess there was a degree of luck in the timing but I also look back and realise that I’ve been placing dominos a lot longer than I thought; in that all my previous experience makes me a great person for this job.

And in terms of the right project to start me off in the world of freelance this couldn’t really be any better. I will be assisting on the next series of 999: What’s Your Emergency for Blast Films, a company with a whole swathe of brilliant documentaries that I love and on a series that will keep me busy until spring next year. To say I am excited about this job is a bit of a misnomer – every so often I get a twinge of joy just thinking about it. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, many long hours – it will probably get stressful at times, but I also know that as well as being a great project to work on it is also the last major step before becoming a full editor. Of course that is still a while off but the assistant I spoke to for advice has gone from his first assisting job to editing in 3 years. This is just the beginning of the next stage in my career. I almost can’t wait, although one of the things that has been especially pleasing about this new job is the amount of time between being offered the job and the start date. It meant that I had plenty of time to tell everyone – specifically my boss.

I tweeted the other day that one of the hardest things for me was breaking the news to my boss. I am quite an experienced and, I like to think, valued member of the team in which I work. I know and they know that anything they can throw at me I can probably handle, but I also know that for various reasons my boss is on the lookout for experienced edit assistants (apply now!) and to lose me now wouldn’t be great news. So when I was told that my start date would be over a month away I was really pleased – I could give advance warning of my notice giving them more time to find my replacement. But something that has been even more gratifying is how everyone at work has responded. Pretty much everyone who has spoken to me about it has said that they are sad that I am leaving and yet really pleased for me as they can see it is a great opportunity. My boss’s actual words were “well fuck you very much but I’m happy for you; it’s a great job.” I left my meeting with her feeling on top of the world and it’s a feeling that has stayed with me for a while.

Often when change happens it affects more than just one thing. In addition to the adventure a new job has to offer I also have a new girlfriend. I won’t bore you with the sad act, “I’ve been single for years”, story of a lonely guy, just suffice to say I am looking forward to learning more about her and about me and sharing my time with someone else. Going out with her was something I have also working on for a little while and to succeed in both endeavours has been a real blessing. I honestly don’t know how I have managed it.

Okay, enough of the smugness. I’ll shut up until I have something more interesting to say. Probably around the 23rd-26th October when I finish at the Farm and start at Blast!

Looking For A New Job

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Aug 142015

Apparently I’m looking for a new job, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like it. It’s not always on my mind, I don’t spend hours each day trawling the relevant websites and listings, and I haven’t sent out my CV once. In short I’m not being particularly active about it. But I’m definitely doing it.

A little background for you: I am an edit assistant at a large post house in Soho working on a variety of projects as a cog in the machine. My aim is to become an offline editor on factual and documentary programmes by way of gaining freelance assistant editor work and ‘getting noticed’ that way. I’m very experienced in the data processing, technical, troubleshooting side of post production and I’d like to improve my creative storytelling side, but I’m not in a rush. I like my current job; I love the people I work with, enjoy the projects I work on, like the people I work for and I have a fairly good wage, so there’s nothing pushing me to leave unlike many of my friends who have taken that leap. Because of that I’ve decided to take my time, not be rushed, and therefore minimise the risks. People I’ve met know my domino analogy: I’m piece by piece setting up dominoes – fixing up my website for a start, learning things, making contacts – so that when the time is right I should be able to push the first domino and everything will just fall into place. A lovely fantasy I guess but it’s something to work towards.

What I do need to be wary of is that it doesn’t become an excuse for being slow. I know I need to move on in order to progress, I guess I just have a fear of change, a fear of failure (not finding enough work to be financially viable), and a fear of getting stuck doing something I don’t like. I am not looking to be doing the same job as now but on a freelance basis – it isn’t all about the money. I want to be doing something different; I want to be working more on a specific programme than on many, making sync pulls, groups, basic assemblies and so on, learning the craft of documentary storytelling so I can go on to help create programmes such as 24 Hours in A&E, the Educating… series, and Attenborough-esque documentaries.

Whilst literally finishing that last sentence I got a message asking if I was free for an edit next Monday! An ex colleague had recommended me! Sadly I’m busy, but the thought of it put butterflies in my stomach and made me feel excited. I think that is the feeling I am waiting for. When I get that again and am able to say yes, even for an assistant role, then I will feel like this is actually happening. But this just reiterates my point; I am only going to move for the right job, assisting on a single programme, preferably of the factual or documentary variety. Otherwise moving jobs at this stage is largely pointless.

I’ve had this feeling before; when I received my A level results and went to Uni it didn’t really hit me until the spring when I was walking across campus and I looked around me at all the other students going to their lectures as I went to one of mine – suddenly I smiled and felt a warmth of happiness flow over me, when I got my first job in TV for Maverick TV I wasn’t excited about it until I was already there, when I moved to London it took a while for me to click that I had made it to ‘The Big Smoke’, but in hindsight all of these things were big steps that I felt really good about, just maybe not when I thought I would. I guess i’m just a bit emotionally delayed.