Dedication is the name of the game
Luke Nield, a Videographer at JD Sports Fashion, tells North Core Creative about his route into the media industry, offering his advice to those looking to follow their creative passions, with dedication and hard work being the key.
North Core Creative: What drove your passion for media? Tell us how you got started.
Luke Nield: It's incredibly cliched, but I was obsessed with movies as a kid. My Dad knew this, so I received a SFX book from him that explained how they created shots. It opened my eyes to a whole other world behind the cameras. I ended up going to two colleges. The first one was studying the academic side – Media Studies.
Learning theories, codes, and conventions etc. I left the course after the first year due to the lack of practicality it offered. Later that year, I joined a BTEC course in TV and Film Production at Stockport College. Best decision I ever made. Over the two years, I ended up doing several projects from short films to 20 minute "Live" TV studio recordings.
It gave me all the skills I was yearning for and set me up perfectly for life going forward. The last piece of the puzzle, before I became freelance, was attending the University of Lincoln (Media Production), which ended up being invaluable for many reasons. Since leaving in 2017, I have been working as a freelancer ever since in a variety of roles and formats.
NCC: Do you have any fellow professionals who give you inspiration for your content?
LN: My inspiration comes from movies. Unsurprisingly, Roger Deakins, Hoyte Van Hoytemas, and John Alcotts are a few favourites of mine. Different formats, but there'll always be little nuggets of information to pick up on. I try not to get too obsessed with creatives making similar content. Unrealistic comparisons tend to be drawn. Simply focus on what you're producing, what improvements could be made, work hard, and the opportunities will come along.
NCC: What's your process pre- and post-production?
LN: Organisation is my process. Plan/research/test as much as possible. When it eventually comes to shooting, it'll be second nature. Ironically, this allows more freedom to explore creative ideas whilst on set. The same applies for post-production. Organised folders and timelines. Colour tag where possible. Make life easier. Don't waste time searching through muddled folders.
NCC: What effect has COVID had to you and your industry in general?
LN: Luckily, I secured a full-time videographer role at JD in January, before the virus hit and everything went into lockdown. It's been a mixture of editing videos from home and going into the studio to shoot catwalk (E-Comm). On the freelance side, projects have slowed somewhat.
But at Non-Lethal Pictures, we're in pre-production for a couple of long format projects, and the extra time granted by the virus has been spent researching and planning. Taking a wider look, it's incredibly sad to see the amount of creatives suffering. The building I work in had lots of independent production offices, however, an increasing number of them are starting to become vacant. Hopefully, this year we can start to see a transition back to normality for creatives.
NCC: What equipment do you use?
LN: When I'm freelancing, I use the Sony A7111 with three lenses: 18-200mm, 35mm, and 85mm. These can all be paired with my DJI Ronin SC. At work, we mainly use the Sony A7111, but other A7 models are available. For high end productions, there are BlackMagic's. In terms of lenses, I like to go with the G-Master's, particularly the 24-70mm.
NCC: Tell us about your favourite project or the project that changed things for you?
LN: It would have to be a music video we shot for Federal Charm. The initial brief had a definite outdoor vibe. But living in Manchester, mid-January, it's not ideal, unless rain and snow are required. After a creative meeting around a couple of pints, we decided it would be just as easy to get on a plane and shoot it abroad. One week later, we were in sunny Palma (Spain) shooting two music videos back-to-back. In terms of a project where I learnt most on the job, it’s definitely the three months I spent down in Dorset helping shoot a documentary series based around the Jurassic Coast. The amount of incredible people I met; the skills they shared, the connections I made – absolutely invaluable. I could’ve done without sleeping in a tent the entire time but needs must.
NCC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow their passion in the industry?
LN: This job doesn't happen overnight. It requires a lot of dedication, even in times of hardship when things look bleak. Keep putting the time in. Hone your skills. Build up enough money to start buying your own gear. Allow for failures. Nobody's perfect and we're all still learning. As long as you analyse why it happened and see what could be done differently next time. Build off them and come back stronger.
It was great to catch up with our good friend Luke, his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/luke-nield-32852382/