26th November 2019

Rad cameraskills (002)

A year of #RadTV at Raise the Roof

TRC, based in Glasgow, has over 20 years’ experience of delivering high-end training for individuals and businesses working within the broadcast and digital sectors.  Chantel Ng is one of the eight selected trainees for the TRC traineeship scheme- #RADtelly, which aims to tackle the lack of diversity in the Scottish TV sector.

Time flies so they said, and nine months have passed since TRC RAD trainee Chantel Ng began working with Raise the Roof Productions in Glasgow, and there are only four weeks left in her training scheme.  Here’s what she’s been up to so far… 

Over the past few months, I have had the most amazing opportunity to work with one of the largest independent TV production companies in Scotland, Raise the Roof Productions as one of the forerunners of this first-class scheme run by the leading industry broadcast and digital training provider, TRC.  This journey has been life changing and has given me more than I expected. As a newcomer in the TV industry, I was clueless about the role of a researcher and ‘who’s who’ in the industry ladder.  A respected media  trainer and BBC BAFTA award-winning Series Producer  led the first two days of training at TRC HQ, giving all the trainees a head start with his Industry Induction Sessions.

On the first day at my host company, Raise the Roof Productions, I knew this was the industry for me as soon as I was put into the job.  Having TV as a big part of my life, I was very excited to be working behind the scenes on the shows that I not only watched but loved.  For the first few weeks, in line with the training provided at TRC, I was thrown right into the deep end of the ‘Love it or List it’ production for Channel 4,  where I got hands-on learning in logging, casting, and market research.  I was also able to gain the industry standard Risk Awareness certificate.  This was followed by Researcher Masterclass with award-winning digital creator and Executive Producerand to top it off, a unique chance to meet, greet and have conversations with the BBC Commissioning Editor, Jo Street (who is now in a new role at Channel 4 as Head of Daytime and Head of Channel 4’s new Glasgow hub.  

A couple of months in, when asked if I would like to attend the Creative Cities Convention in Cardiff along with Annie Butcher (trainee from Firecracker and Mentorn), and be present as Glasgow made its bid to host the next Creative Cities Convention in 2020, I was over the moon and nearly in tears.  Knowing that Glasgow won the bid as the host city for the next year just made it even more special for me, and I’m looking forward to attending the convention again in Glasgow.

Sadly, I came back from Cardiff I fell very ill.  During this period, not only were my host company and the team at TRC behind me every step, supporting me all the way through to recovery, they made me feel really at ease, valued and made every attempt to accommodate my illness.  Which meant I was evermore grateful and determined to get back to work.

The next thing I know, back at the office, I was part of the team, starting the new series for the 2019 Christmas show- ‘Kirstie Handmade Christmas’, and it’s all happening in May!  Starting from researching the latest craft trends and creating mood boards, to interviewing the best crafters around the country and pitching to the series producer, targeting and phone bashing.  I was in full swing working alongside the seasoned editorial team, valuing every minute of it, and putting my new skills to test.  I was delighted to see that one of the crafters I discovered, made it all the way through the very rigorous selection process through filming and into one of the finished shows.

Back at the TRC HQ bootcamp, I joined the 7 other trainees on a field trip with project manager, Caroline McGonigle to The Moving Image Archive centre at the Kelvin Hall Open Collections, including a half day camera skills workshop.  Straight away, at Raise the Roof Productions I had the chance to work on some archive research and obtaining copyrights. This was instrumental to understanding how production can work.   

Moving on from Editorial to Production and Post-Production at Raise the Roof Productions, my mentor, Jo Scott, had me working from start to finish on an exercise based on a past production- ‘Best of Both Worlds’ to get a taste of the full process of how a completed show is made.  Through that, I was able to break down and dissect a show, place myself in the contributor’s shoes, and imagine what’s it like being the applicant.  In addition to, creating PD sheets, fact checking, preparing recce and shoot callsheet, daily schedule, and shooting script.  Following that, is the Post-Production stage using ‘Silvermouse’ to record credits, copyrights, licences and artists’ work, etc.  The whole learning curve was extremely practical, and insightful.  Now, I feel I’m able to see the full picture as a whole and am confident enough to contribute in all the different aspects of a production.

Just last week, I got to revisit my alma mater- City of Glasgow College, at their architecturally award-winning campus in Cathedral Street and got a full day of training in Data Wrangling.  It was a great feeling to be back at the college knowing that this is where I first started with my HND in photography.

Raise the Roof provides regular in-house training for all staff, and I was able to participate in the ‘Editorial Masterclass on Phone Bashing’, ‘Compliance’, ‘Data Protection’, ‘Moving from Researcher to AP’, ‘Thinking about the Edit’, and ‘Dealing with difficult people’ sessions.  These training sessions were not just useful but provided an extra level of awareness and responsibilities that go with the job, which is crucial working in the TV industry.

The highlight of the whole journey for me in terms of the TRC #RADtelly trainee scheme is the once in a lifetime chance to kick start my career and be affiliated to the broad array of industry experts, and organisations.  As well as, having a chance to fulfil my wish of seeing how a production works from start to finish.  As for working in a production house, after weeks of being part of the Development team doing TV Reviews, I am genuinely excited and looking forward to finally fully joining the team for the next 4 weeks.  Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to pitch some ideas to the commissioners! Fingers crossed, I won’t run out of ideas and still have bundles of energy to keep up with the role.   

To end the training, TRC  has even helped prepare all the trainees to get their foot on the ladder, making sure all of us have a stonking CV that would impress any future employers and ensure the freelance world is just as attractive as full-time employment.  What more can anyone ask for?!

Honestly, I still can’t believe how incredibly fortunate I am to be part of this industry which values diversity more than any other industries out there that I know.  Not forgetting, having the Head of Popular Factual, Jo Scott as my mentor, I really couldn’t ask for more.  This has truly been a blissful year for me, to be working in such professional, well organised company, and the best place to work in TV, where, staff are valued and well looked after.  I am forever grateful for this amazing start and turning point in my career.  I hope this scheme will carry on and see more talents embarking on this journey that I’ve been on.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank BBC Nations and Regions, Channel 4, Scottish Enterprise, Screen Scotland and Scottish Government’s workplace Equality Fund for funding this programme which has allowed me to transform my life for the best.  I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about joining the creative industry to consider working in TV.