My name is Chris Franklyn Jones and I work in TV production, I am currently a Researcher/ Tech Assistant and this Blog is mainly to document my days and post what I have been up to recently. Obviously there will be projects that I am working on that I won’t be able to talk about but I hope to share with you just what is involved in the TV industry, how great it can be but also the hard work that goes into it from everyone on the team. This first post is to tell you about how I got into the industry and my love for the media as a whole.
How I got into TV
From my experience I have come across a number of ways of how people got into the industry. From studying exactly what they wanted to do at uni and then following the contacts that they made and climbing their way up the ladder. I have met others that started straight from college and or school and again have worked their way up the ladder and then there are others that have joined in a higher position but have a number of skills that are just suited for the industry for example another sector of the media industry.
My story starts off when I was 15 and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do in my life, I thought about becoming an architect but after doing my year 10 work experience in an architects office I soon thought its not for me. So I looked at my other passion, radio but more specifically podcasts. I began to make my own podcasts with my friends just talking about the news and strange things that have happened that week. I recorded them on my old internal mic on my Macbook Pro and they were awful. I thankfully can’t even find a copy of one to show you how bad they were but they sparked my love for the media especially in audio.
I starting looking into what I could do as a career in audio and contacted my local radio station, Cheshire FM. It was a small station run my a number of people on a committee. I talked to them about coming in and sitting in on a show which they said “Sure come down on Monday night and sit in on the Grind” which was the “young” show of the station basically a guy who I kind of knew from high school just playing what he wanted on the air, mainly metal hence the name with one of his friends as a co-host and a well aged producer who used to work for a national radio station, so I started going every week and just sitting in and occasional saying a word every so often. Anyway one week came around and the host didn’t turn up, then the co-host didn’t turn up and it was just me and the producer in the studio and he turned to me and said right have you got any music with you, (we just used to play our tracks of CD players in the studio due to the system only having ABBA and Gary Barlow) because you are going on in 5 if they don’t turn up. I ran down to my car and picked up a mixed CD, (electronic/ rock) that I had been listening to that week and then hosted my first ever two hour radio show, very literally thrown in at the deep end. After the initial nerves had settled down it went… alright I said erm way to many times and had to cut a few of the tracks out due to the colorful language on them. That was when I realized that I wanted to work in the media the buzz that I got out of that show was amazing. Months went by and with the orginal hosts not turning up again I took over the show, more people joined me as time went by and we had a great little crew by the end of it but I knew that I needed to widen my knowledge of the media so decided to go off to uni and left the team occasional popping from time to time just to see how they all were.
Fast forward to 3 years later at the end of my university course, I followed the radio route and planned to go and work in the commercial sector when I finished however this never really happened. I found it very hard to even get interviews even though I had done my own projects, I had worked really hard to produce my own content to create my own YouTube channel it just was not happening for me. I managed to get part time work with a social media company and managing web sites for the university but I really wasn’t happy. I found myself getting more and more depressed and thinking that I had wasted 3 years of my life on something that I couldn’t even get a job in. And then I got a opportunity to go a do two weeks of work experience at a TV company. I loved every second of being in that office, even though I was doing mundane data input and making tea you could feel the office was alive with people working on something that they really loved to do. In that two weeks I made so many contacts and friends that I still work with today, if you really show that you will go the extra mile and enjoy it as you are doing it you will be remembered and go far. At the end of those two weeks I was really hoping that they would keep me on as just a dogsbody, somebody who would make the tea, anything I just wanted to work there but I had to go back to my contract work and hope that something better would come around.
That something better came about 6 months later when I had a email from a friend telling me to apply to become the receptionist for the TV company that I had previously done my work experience for, I went in for an interview and got the job all because of that work experience that I had done 6 months before. That was my foot in the door. From there I made sure I learn’t everyone’s name and that they knew me, I stayed behind after work to help productions with work, I took holidays to work as a runner on productions that was how much I wanted and want to be part of the industry and in doing that I learn’t so much. I think that being a receptionist for a TV company is probably the best job you can have into making contacts and friends in all the right places, people see you every morning remember your face and you are the who has (in my case) access to the biscuit draw for those long Monday morning meetings.
After 9 months on reception my contract ended and I was offered to carry on but knew that I needed to move on to the next rung on the ladder. Lucky I didn’t have to wait long and was offered Runner on the gadget show from there I have worked my way up and after a year and a half later am now Researcher/ Technical assistant. Next thing for me is to get my shooting skills up and to become a self shooting PD, then director, then exec, then own my own production company,… then……