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James Bond celebrates its 60th Anniversary, but we are celebrating Trainee Studio Assistant, Callum Bond as he completes a RE:Generation 2031 scheme and secures a post as a Studio Operations Technician at the Backstage Centre in Purfleet-on-Thames.

At the Backstage Centre, we are delighted to work with Callum Bond, who along with Neve Rogers, took up the challenge and accepted a year-long placement in our state-of-art production, rehearsal, and training building at High House Production Park in Purfleet-on-Thames.

Callum completed his time on the Creative Estuary’s RE:Generation2031 traineeship scheme with us yesterday, and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the amazing experiences he has had, the range of clients using the building, and what it means to take up a position at the Backstage Centre?

Q: When did you first become aware of training with South Essex College?

Callum: After leaving school I went onto study Print-based media and Journalism as I wanted to become a sport journalist. I learned a vast selection of skills including: Photography, Magazine design and writing for print.

Q: Tell us about the degree you studied at University Centre South Essex?

Callum: BA(Hons) Film & TV Production was the course I studied at University Centre South Essex. I gained new skillsets such as, videography, video editing, Sound design, Live production and more. To this day, it was the most challenging three years but, the most rewarding as I thoroughly enjoyed my time at university diving into the world of Film and Television.

Q: What aspect of the training did you enjoy most?

Callum: During my traineeship with TBC I was fortunate to receive additional funding from Creative Estuary/Generation 2031. With the help of TBC, I attended a training course in Digital Video Camera Techniques run by Media Training in London. This course reinforced my understanding of using digital cameras as well as, gaining new experiences with lighting and filming formats.

Q: How would you describe your skills?

Callum: Though most of my skills are transferable, they are a vital set of skills that I’ve been able to develop at different points both in education and my early career. Communication, Teamwork and Knowledge of building infrastructure are three main skills I’ve used effectively during my past year at TBC. Whether that be liaising with clients daily, participating in team meetings or resolving an issue in a room, I’ve demonstrated each skill confidently and professionally.

Q: How did you find out about the traineeship scheme at TBC?

Callum: The Job advert for the traineeship scheme appeared on my LinkedIn feed. After reading about the role and the involvement of Creative Estuary/Generation 2031 I was very interested. I sent off my application and the rest (as they say) is history.

The Backstage Centre:

Q: What has been a highlight of working at the Backstage Centre during your traineeship?

Callum: One highlight that stands out to me is the variety of clients I’ve seen over the past year. From TV shows and music videos to, tour rehearsals and TV adverts. But, top of the list, for me, has to be Sidemen. Watching their ‘Hole in the Wall’ production across two days shows how far the YouTube world has evolved over the past decade and is an area I’d love to be involved in at some point in the future. Seeing these productions from these clients has been great to watch at times and showed me that I want to pursue a career within these types of industries.

Sideman – ‘Hole in the Wall”

Q: Tell us about your new job? What are you looking to get from this ‘next’ professional step of your career?

Callum: Since completing my year as a Studio & Operations Assistant, I’ve moved onto the role as Operations Technician. This is a position I’m excited to take on and to continue my journey at The Backstage Centre. During this role I’m looking to build on skills such as communication and organisation but, more specifically, develop a technical skillset. This could include scenarios such as technical support, finding solutions for technical issues or even practising DIY skills. Anything that’s ‘tech’ related, I’m all for it.

Q: What advice would you give a young person considering a career in the entertainment industry?

Callum: Three words, Never. Give Up. It’s a bit cliché but, it’s the number one piece of advice anyone at any level can take on. If you want it and the passion is there, nothing can stop you from getting into the industry. Below that, I’d say Networking, it’s an area I’ve been new to recently and is one of the most imperative tools for the creative industries.

Q: What has impressed you most about working in the industry?

Callum: I’d say having the utmost commitment to work, day-in, day out has impressed me. Seeing the different types of industries work at TBC has shown me that maintaining a professional standard throughout is essential for team morale and makes the process enjoyable and worth-while.

We want to wish Callum every success in his new role at the Backstage Centre, and to thank again, Emma Wilcox and Alice Heggie at Creative Estuary for making this scheme a possibility.