Mentee to Mentor

In my early days straight out of university, fresh faced and with a slightly slimmer waistline. I found it hard to find work in my chosen career path. Various jobs I took to pay bills, took me further and further away from working in video.

Until I met someone who had his own video production company. A one man band responsible for all elements of the video production process, much like I am today in my own business. But he took my details and over a few years he had me along to help on shoots. Camera operator for the occasional multi-camera shoot, or just to help on a project when his budget allowed.

It was a great learning experience for me as although I had finished a media production course at university, I considered myself quite inexperienced when it came to practically working on client shoots.

As time passed we had mooted the idea of me working for him, it took a long time but that’s just what happened. He became a mentor to me in developing my skills behind the camera and in the edit suite. It was a fantastic time for me and I really honed my craft under his guidance.

After just short of two years, for various reasons he decided to close his business and move into a different field, which was the kick starter for me creating Big Llama Media as my own venture. I am forever grateful for the time and energy he put into me, and since then he has become a friend as well as a mentor.

So fast forward 10 years, you never stop learning that’s for sure and I don’t consider myself ‘there’ in terms of knowledge. But I’m at a place where I know enough to pass knowledge on to those who want to learn. Which is exactly what has happened recently.

Over the last number of months I’ve had opportunity to bring a couple of people on board for certain shoots. Respectively they are at different places in their experiences and knowledge of filmmaking and indeed, life. But although I kind of just fell into this switch of roles, the mentee becoming the mentor, I’ve really enjoyed it.

However it doesn’t look anything like I would have imagined it would be, but it’s something that I’ve enjoyed. Passing on experience and tips for accomplishing x-y-z, enabling someone’s learning to get them up onto the next rung of that career and life ladder. My mentor had a prompt to take a chance on me when I had little experience, and it eventually led to a significant mutual benefit, to him and his business.

I’ll probably share more about training and developing trainees skills in further blogs, but for now I just wanted to share this little background of my own path in media. And to encourage you, in whatever you do, always be open and willing to help others who are behind you in their walk, you never know where it may lead.


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