Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Hello, I’m Luke, a freelance videographer from Birmingham currently based near Nottingham.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
One of the great things about being freelance is that there aren't typical days! My jobs vary in industry and skills. One day I’m doing VFX in a rock band documentary, the next I’m filming swans on the canal. Lockdown has made it more typical to do online learning and networking though.
What’s great about your job?
The variety of work, meeting lots of people and switching roles.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
I don’t like not always knowing how much money is coming in. I’m also finding it challenging to get experience working on bigger film sets.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
With one days notice I went on tour with the band Terrorvision as camera assistant. I learned a lot and I love working in the music industry.
I’m proud of my recent project with Voice too interviewing young digital creatives. It was inspiring to hear their stories and rewarding to help promote their work.
How did you get into video production? Have you also worked outside the creative sector?
I’ve enjoyed making music and videos since I was a teen.
I first worked on professional projects during an internship with Firebelly Films based in London. I happened to meet Leigh from Firebelly while working on an events stand at a Cycling festival. I mostly did VFX and motion graphics to compliment Leigh’s camera and editing work.
From there I worked part time in hospitality for a few years while occasionally getting video work, mostly in post production from Leigh or his referrals.
I then got my first full time video job at car company Pendragon. After two years I had increased my camera skills and became a better all round videographer.
You offer something of a complete package, with skills in filming, editing, animation and colour grading. How did you learn those skills, and what are some of the transferable skills between them? Do you have preference?
Like a lot of people who want to be part of the film or video industry, I’ve had to create projects alone and take on as many opportunities as possible. To create a video independently or in small teams you have to take on multiple roles – you don’t want great visuals but rubbish sound. When opportunities are scarce, I say yes as much as possible to gain clients, improve my skills and pay the rent! If I’m not sure how to do what I say yes to, I teach myself how to do it.
Experiencing each element of the filmmaking process definitely improves how I perform in each stage. Being able to visualize the edit while filming is super helpful.
My preference would probably be filming at the moment because I’ve been locked in so much. But usually I like a bit of everything.
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
Probably creating a short documentary about Nottingham Canal. This was the first big project I took on as a full time freelancer and one of the few jobs I’ve gotten without anyone recommending me! It felt like a lot of pressure, particularly keeping it safe during the pandemic, but it all went great.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
I’m still pretty fresh to the industry but it feels like the Midlands is slowly getting more recognition in terms of talent and opportunities.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You won’t have to do exams ever again so just power through them.
Value family time.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in following in your footsteps?
Research all the opportunities for young creatives in your area. There are lots of free courses and grants to help young people get into the industry but they’re not always easy to find or apply for so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Have a look into all the different roles in filmmaking. Often the actors and directors get glamorized but you might enjoy doing something else like lights, set design, hair and makeup, production, VFX, etc.
There isn’t a set path to being a creative, you’ve got to make your own.
“If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” - Max Ehrmann
Where can people find out more about you, and see your work?
You can find me online on my website: www.spacefacefilms.com
And instagram: @spacefacefilms
Luke worked with Voice on our Digital Creatives series. You can find that project here.