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Pro Motion & Pre-Emptive...

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Since the beginning of tapeless acquisition we have been providing informal camera and technical training to our clients. Through this and our exposure to the industry as a whole, we realised there was very little formal training available that dealt in the arena in which we work, writes Jude Prior, Business Support Manager, Pro Motion Training.

When we first made the decision to formalise the training we were offering, we drew on a number of resources; our own experience - what were the main issues that people came to us for help with? We spoke to our clients - what were the main gaps in their staff's knowledge? And we liaised with a number of industry bodies such as Skillset and DPP about where they saw the main skills gaps. Through this we identified two main areas where we saw a real need for training. Firstly, data management and tapeless workflows.
As a broadcast equipment hire company, we have been dealing with this for many years and we see time and time again the problems that our clients have with their media and how they manage their data, so we designed courses that were practical and hands on. The other main issue we could see was that while shooting was once the job of the cameraman or possibly PD or AP, nowadays virtually every person from the runner upwards could be required to pick up a camera and shoot, frequently with little or no training. Again we designed introductory practical 'self shooting' training that is taught by people working in the industry with firsthand experience and using relevant equipment.
In the year that we have been running these courses, we have had great feedback from those that have attended and a large amount of interested enquiries, but the main stumbling block we have come up against is that no one has the money to spend on training. Unfortunately, spending money on training reduces profits and therefore it is often the first line cut from the budget. In an industry populated by freelancers, you can also understand why a company is reticent to invest in someone who is likely to leave within a matter of months.
However, both the issues mentioned above - lack of camera training and media mismanagement - have often ended up costing our clients far more than a simple bit of pre-emptive training would have done, yet this logic seems to not be filtering down and people would rather take the risk of using untrained staff than ensuring a smooth trouble free shoot.
In addition to the technical aspects of our training courses, we also cover creative elements that can enhance people's skills and add greater production values. These in turn can make programmes more valuable in a worldwide consumer market. Funding or subsidised training is available for freelancers and companies through channels such as Skillset & ITF and many training providers including ourselves offer discounts or package deals for bespoke training to companies.
The skills gap within the industry is frequently discussed in trade press, in forums and on expo panels but until companies are prepared to make training a priority for their staff then it seems to be something we will be discussing for a long time to come.

The article is available in BFV online.


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