Getting the chance to work at Reading Festival as a Camera Operator was something I was never going to turn down – if I had to apply in any other way I wouldn’t have got it because I haven’t done any camera opping before, but my housemate was recruiting and he took a chance on me (hopefully he thinks it paid off).
When I went to Channel 4 and BBC Three (and Sky next week) I always say there was no luck – I spent a lot of time and effort getting those placements and there was no luck involved. Reading however – it’s all because I happen to live with the guy that needed camera ops. Obviously there was a bit of skill involved – if he didn’t think I’d be good at it he’d have said no but Reading was all chance, and I’m very, very grateful for it.
I was so unbelievably anxious before we left I can’t even put it into words – I felt ill, I was overanalysing everything and I contemplated not going because I was so scared of getting things wrong or being bad. But I knew I couldn’t turn down Reading.
And I went. And I did well. And I loved it.
I learnt a lot about how to work the cameras but I also realised how much I already knew – I know what a good shot looks like, I knew to keep an eye on what was happening on stage, what the other ops were filming and the crowd (filming someone holding a Lightning McQueen balloon was a highlight of the weekend).
I felt comfortable doing the job – it was like I’d found something that I should have been doing all along – filming live music, surrounded by artists, techies and heavy bass. I don’t think I would camera op for the rest of my life, but working with bands in environments like this is what I want to do. Now I have more of a focus to get to that.
No one really expected me to excel at this festival, and I don’t think I’m the kind of person to make the assumption that I did, but I did learn this – have faith in your own skills, don’t be afraid to say you’re capable and you’re good enough. I’m definitely the sort of person who puts themselves down (to no end), assumes that I will never be good enough and I’m afraid to apply for jobs or work experience opportunities in roles that I could do but I haven’t done before but I know what I’m good at.
I’m a good writer, I know how to film and edit good videos, I know how to take a good photo, I’m a good presenter and I’m really good at research and organisation. And there’s nothing wrong with knowing your skills or talking about them.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go to Reading and prove this to myself. I am capable of it even if there are people who would quite happily tell me I’m not.
Thank you for reading,