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Category/ News

Procam Supports MAMA Youth Trainees

Monday 14th December 2015

Procam had the honour of attending the Sky 2015 MAMA Youth Trainee Graduation this December. The celebration included presentations from the trainees on their MAMA Youth journeys, and their plans for the future. The MAMA Youth Project (MYP) gives young people aged 16-25 from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to undergo hands-on training and gain real-world experience in the broadcast industry. As part of the scheme, Procam is pleased to be taking on three trainees for a 13-week period, starting in January 2016. The three trainees will be gaining experience alongside four Mama Youth trainees, who have since been given full time positions in the Procam warehouse based out of London headquarters in Battersea. 

Francis Sylver, Francesco Corazzi, Jordan Heron and James Marsh-Edwards all completed the MYP scheme earlier this year and assisted with the production of Sky One commissioned youth magazine show ‘What’s Up’. After completion, Procam took the boys under their wing with an initial 13-week placement to provide them with further on the job training and knowledge to prepare themselves for careers in the industry. For the first time since partnering with MYP last year, Procam has taken on all four trainees as full time warehouse technicians. We touched base with our new recruits to give them the opportunity to share their individual experiences thus far.

Procam’s contribution to the MAMA Youth Project also includes its generous donation of extensive HD camera kit, access to their renowned in-house training scheme and over 25 years of industry experience and knowledge. More recently, students currently at the MYP were given the chance to film and interview the winners at this year’s prestigious UKMVA awards.

Click here to learn more about the MAMA Youth Project.

By Francis Sylver, Camera Trainee

After graduating from university in 2010 with a Foundation Degree in Animation I tried my hand at various job roles. As a self-taught illustrator and painter there were limited opportunities for full time work, leaving me unsure about employment in this field. With a background in art & design and an interest in composition, image making and storytelling I set my eyes on becoming a camera operator.

For around seven months I tried to gain as much camera and production experience as possible by volunteering and assisting on various shoots. This experience paid off as I was offered a place with the MAMA Youth Project. Tasked with making six half-hour long episodes the project taught me the importance of good communication skills and team work, along with the technical skills to go with it. Working under such high pressure was physically and mentally testing but a great experience as it showed my potential and allowed me to grow.

The MAMA Youth Project was supported by Procam which not only raised the production value of the episodes, but was an added bonus to me as I had been looking for work within a broadcast kit hire company.  Witnessing the scale of the operation within Procam for myself, I can say the meticulous attention to detail is impressive. This attitude extends to the detailed cleaning of equipment so that it is well presented, as well as the systematic analysis and diagnostic procedures before and after productions. The atmosphere within the company is friendly, relaxed and is a breeding ground of knowledge for those willing to soak it up.

By Francesco Corazzi, Audio Trainee

At the age of 19 I left my hometown in Italy to come to London to study what wasa totallynew subject, film and television. Coming from a scientific orientated school, I was excited to discover a new and more creative subject, and after graduating I decided to incorporate my passion for sound into film and TV.

After graduating I took up small sound assisting and soundrecordingroles but when I tried to step up in my career I found it very difficult to get into the freelance circle.Then luckily I found out about the MAMA Youth Project.

I took on the role of trainee sound recordist and learned so much from it. It was a vital experience that helped me develop on both a personal and professional level. During the first weeks we had Head of Sound Nick Way and Sound Recordist James Whyard from Procam to train us on the equipment we would use for the production. It was great to meet them and also to have an insight into the high level of professionalism and knowledge that I could find at Procam.

Procam is an invaluable place for someone who wants to learn a craft starting from the basics. Starting my way up from the bottom is giving me the opportunity to work with experienced crew and learn from them, listen to their advice and become confident working in sound recording.

During my three months of placement, I tried to learn the ins and outs of the warehouse workflow. Throughout this period of time I was also given the freedom to develop my areas of interest, so I spent as much time as I could in the sound department, getting to know the audio kit, specs and applications. All this was thanks to Procam's encouraging attitude towards my professional development.

I was very happy to be offered a permanent place and become a Procam employee, as it is allowing me to keep learning, while contributing to the company. So far, I’ve been given the chance to be on set as a sound assistant and have had the opportunity to see how a professional shoot runs and also practice my skills on set helping the sound recordist. I’m looking forward to continuing my experience with Procam, and further developing my skills and knowledge.

By Jordan Heron, Audio Trainee

After having a bit of a bumpy time in my last year of education due to incidents outside of school, I wasn't really thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I began to study different subjects including Media, Construction Engineering and Electronic Engineering but unfortunately did not complete any of the courses.

At Christmas 2014, my auntie told me about the MYP scheme and thought I'd really enjoy one of the crew roles. At first I wasn't interested and only applied to please my family, but when I was accepted for the sound recordist role I did some research as I didn't have a clue what the role was. The scheme itself was a very unique experience and I've taken so much from it, not just technical knowledge but how to socialise with people from different backgrounds. It also helped me mature and put me on the road to becoming a freelance sound recordist.

I am currently in my third week of my placement at Procam and am thoroughly enjoying the experience. I'm learning about new kit every day and finding my way around the warehouse. All of the staff are down to earth, approachable and easy to talk to, so I would be thrilled if offered a full time position at the end of my placement.

By James Marsh-Edwards, Camera Trainee

Having spent three months with the MAMA Youth team filming for the latest series of ‘What's Up’, I was keen and extremely excited for my next challenge at Procam. Although I had worked with cameras before at university for small projects I never had a great deal of experience so this was a big step for me. At university I never really thought I took away enough practical skills or even how to go about breaking into the industry. One thing that I did take from it though was a passion for camera work which has led me to where I am now. I had never even owned a camera before working at Procam.

MAMA Youth showed me what being part of a television production was like and I loved it. As all of the equipment we used to film the show was from Procam, it’s great to see where it was put together and see the effort that goes into preparing the kit. I know this is a great opportunity for me as I have been speaking to a few of the last MYP team currently employed by Procam and they are going on shoots for shows like Made in Chelsea and Peep Show and to have something like that to look forward to is quite amazing.

Having spent my first two weeks with Procam, my first feelings are ones of inspiration. The range of equipment Procam has to offer is huge and there will be plenty to learn during my time here. This is exactly how I know that Procam is the perfect place for me to develop my knowledge and skills as a cameraman. The staff are very friendly and always happy to share their knowledge with you which I believe is the key to Procam's success.

We were told at MAMA Youth that this was only what our careers could be like if we work hard and put the effort in whilst at Procam, so bearing that in mind, I am determined to learn everything I possibly can and absorb all that my placement can offer.

Leica, Blackmagicdesign, Sony, ARRI, Canon, ZEISS, TLS, Panasonic

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