SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE GBCT CAMERA TRAINEE PROGRAMME
This Camera Trainee programme is for people who have the right to live and work in the UK
The GBCT Camera Trainee programme is aimed at future technicians who want to work predominantly on fiction productions. The Guild has been running its Trainee scheme for several years now. To ensure relevance and to meet industry needs, the GBCT Board has developed a more inclusive and flexible programme that involves a great number of Guild members to teach and further support trainees – as well as ensure that the skills gained meet the highest GBCT standards.
Depending on how buoyant the industry is, it usually takes about eighteen months to two years for trainees to get sufficient experience of working on a variety of productions – either feature film, television drama or commercials – before making a decision as to how, why and where they should go on to develop their careers. Most trainees move on to becoming 2nd AC’s/Clapper Loaders; others channel their energies into being DITs (digital imaging technicians), video assist operators or take electrical qualifications and move across to being electricians. Some trainees have been known to move into the documentary or factual entertainment side of the industry as Camera Assistants. Whilst others started their own companies shooting material for corporate and online content programmes. And a few have even gone on to be trainees for a further period of time in order to specialise in either shooting underwater or aerial camera work. We are very pleased with how successful the Guild’s camera trainees are and even prouder to find many trainees applying to become full members of the Guild once they’ve achieved sufficient experience and credits as 2AC’s.
There are no hard and fast rules to becoming a camera trainee – there are no boxes to tick that guarantee you a place except a proven interest in cinematography, and being technically competent; how to add up figures properly, a good work ethic, patience, nice manners, an ability to take/receive orders and to think out of the box occasionally! Having a good memory is essential; the ability to make good tea and coffee is of paramount importance!
The selection process to become a GBCT camera trainee is rigorous and competitive. What follows is a stage-by-stage outline of what happens:
The Board agrees to schedule a new trainee scheme. Details and deadline dates are then put onto the Guild’s website, various social media outlets and is also sent to several different organisations to spread the word. A deadline is given for applications to be received in the Guild office. Applications can be sent via email (email@example.com) or by post to the GBCT’s office in the Panavision Building
A group of Guild members get together and sift through all the applications, preparing a short list of people to be interviewed
Interviews are arranged and another group of Guild members form the interview panel. This panel meets the interviewees and prepares a shortlist of 12-14 people to attend the trainee course which those selected are invited to attend
A 6-day course specifically designed for Guild Camera Trainees is then arranged and run for those shortlisted. (The people selected are expected to pay for the course but it will be the best value for money they will spend on their careers.) A further set of Guild members are tutors on the course with other GBCT members popping in and out to meet the trainees and help out if required. Other Guild members attend specifically to provide an informal talk about their specialist roles in the industry
On Day 6 of the course, even more Guild members attend and test the trainees to see what they have learned and absorbed on the course. The trainees are given three different formal types of test – oral; written; and practical. In addition, the assessors observe the trainees at ‘work’ on the different tasks they are set
When the course is complete, all the Guild members involved at various stages of the process as described above, then meet and/or embark on email discussions about which of the trainees should be selected
Finally, the trainees are selected - everyone is informed of the decision
Trainee Script Supervisor and Grips
All Trainee Grips are trained, monitored and assessed by the Grips Branch of BECTU
If you need a Grip Trainee, your Key Grip should go to the Trainee Finder app on the Grips website: www.gripsbranch.org.uk
All Trainee Script Supervisors are monitored by the Script Supervisors Group.
If you need a Script Supervisor/Continuity Trainee, please either contact the ScreenSkills Trainee Finder/Co-ordiantor: www.screenskills.com or contact the Guild with your requirements and these will be forwarded to the Script Supervisors Group.