An Aspiring Individual Making His Way in the World of Video Production.
Elexu Intern, Elliot Moore, recently got the opportunity to interview William Berman. William is a Videographer based in Ascot, Berkshire. The conversation highlights his journey so far in the industry and offers a general insight into the job role.
Tell us a bit about yourself as a Videographer, what attracted you to the job role initially?
Well, I currently work for a production company based in Addlestone, Surrey and have been filming for around about nine years. I first started filming through an interest in skateboarding and just wanting to capture what my friends and me were doing and the places we were going. At the age of 13, just going down to the local skate park was its own little adventure in itself.
I think I started out by simply borrowing my parents’ Sony video camera to begin capturing footage. After about a year, I put together a 30 minute long skateboard film and made a second one shortly after. I guess it was after producing those two edits that I realised that I had a knack for it and wanted to make a career out of it.
What would you say is the most appealing thing about the process of capturing and editing?
That’s kind of a tough question haha. I just like being able to capture something and interpret it in your own way. Everyone in the industry has a different style and as a result. Videos rarely look the same. Within reason, you can be as creative as you want. There are no set rules that you have to follow which is pretty cool.
So what equipment are you currently using?
I’m not using that old Sony camera anymore, that’s for sure! Right now my set up includes a Canon 7D and a Panasonic HPX-171. I wont go into all the technical jargon, but they allow me to capture footage at really high resolutions & framerates as well as good sound quality, which is equally as important.
What about software? Do you have a set preference?
I have used a variety of video editors over the years and the higher end ones pretty much offer the same tools, but right now I like to use Final Cut and Adobe After Effects.
After effects is pretty much for animation. I’m not as experienced with this software, but I have been using it to animate text for videos and add subtle effects. It helps make your videos look more professional you know.
So what was the first proper filming project you were involved with?
It sounds crazy when I think about it but when I was 17, I worked for a snowboard magazine (Method) for 6 months, producing 10-minute video podcasts every week to be released on iTunes. Being someone who loves snowboarding, it was pretty surreal meeting so many professional riders. I learned from this experience how to film in a line on the board.
What would you say has been the most exciting filming project?
One of the best projects I have had is one I’m working on right now which is for a huge drum and bass DJ called Friction. I basically went to about 8 music festivals over the summer and filmed all of his sets, capturing and editing compilation videos to highlight the tours that he went on. I’m a massive fan when it comes to drum and bass and Friction is almost one of my idols. So that was pretty incredible.
All sounds very exciting. Taking everything into consideration, how challenging would you say it was to get started out in the industry?
Well sadly, like a lot of things these days. It’s about “who you know, not what you know” which is frustrating. Throughout the process, people knocked me back a bit, telling me I was wasting my time. Gradually I started to get more and more freelance work with various companies in and around London but was never consistent enough. I tried contacting local businesses too but often with no success. I think back then my age was also against me.
There was only a handful of people I knew who were around my age. Everyone else in the industry seems to be a lot older. Companies probably just assumed I didn’t have the technical skill when I was more than capable.
But anyway, somehow, out of perseverance and luck I guess, I managed to land some work with a few agencies who provided the regular work I needed. Since then, I’ve had loads of great projects and my show-reel (portfolio) has really grown. The people I work with now don’t judge me by my age, which is a refreshing change. I feel like, respected.
Based on the last question, what advice would you give to individuals interested in filming / video editing who are just starting out?
I would say the best thing to do is to just get out there and get some real practical experience. There is a lot of technical knowledge involved, but that is something that comes with time. Trying to learn it all through reading and research just isn’t going to help in the long run.
When it comes to the software, try not to get too freaked out. Again there are a lot of technical things to learn, but just by playing around with the various tools will help a lot. Just keep at it. There are plenty of online tutorials out there, which are also really handy.