April 2022

Training in the art of TV production at dock10

Training in the art of TV production at dock10

dock10 is currently home to four trainees who are learning the ropes of multicamera broadcast production.

They are working as part of the sound and camera teams on the studio floor, building up the vital skills and relationships needed to succeed in television.

dock10 launched a pilot training scheme two years ago, recognising that the industry needs to do more to grow the next generation of experienced production crews.

This year, we recruited two entry level sound assistants and two camera assistants for the 18-month scheme. By the end of the training period, each of them will be able to operate as skilled freelancers at dock10 or other companies – widening the pool of skilled talent available to the industry.

Over 200 people applied for the camera assistant role. Amy Ashley-Mather, who graduated in 2020, had been working as a freelancer runner for a year when she found out about the scheme and successfully applied.

She welcomes the scheme for offering regular, hands-on training on a variety of shows at dock10.

Before winning a place as a trainee camera assistant, she says that trying to move up from runner to camera assistant had been difficult. "You can do shadowing days, but they are very few and far between."

Amy says that already she has learned lots at dock10. "With the amount of shows that come through here, there is no way I'd be able to get this range of experience anywhere else."

Fellow camera trainee Dylan Patel graduated from Salford University in 2019, where he studied TV and radio. He started in the industry as a runner while also working part-time at a supermarket to bring in some money. It was hard work, and eventually he got some hands- on experience as a camera assistant on Coronation Street before successfully applying to dock10.

"It's a great environment here – we've been thrown in the deep end, but the crews and staff are very open, helpful and friendly so you can ask lots of questions. It's also a good opportunity to network and meet lots of professionals."

Madeleine Jones, a PPE graduate, has just joined the dock10 sound assistant programme after taking an evening course in audio engineering last year. She says breaking into the sound business is difficult as professionals like to hire people they know and trust. "That makes it very hard for people who are starting out to find an entry point – and that's why this training programme is a very special opportunity."

Matthew Clarkson, who graduated in film production last June, spotted the ad for the sound assistant role on Instagram. He advises those who are trying to get on to a similar scheme never to give up applying and to show lots of enthusiasm for the role. "You're going to get lots of rejections, but you've got to get used to that until you find something that works for you."

Dylan says that when he finishes the trainee programme and embarks on a freelance career, he hopes to encourage and help other young people like himself into the industry too. "If Amy and I can do it, anyone else can do it," he says.