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Opinion: Shaping future success in the broadcast industry

Steven Baxter, business development director, CVP, explains why companies need to commit to ensuring broadcast professionals stay ahead of the curve to help drive innovation and excellence in the field

The professional broadcast and cinematography industry is a world of perpetual change and evolution. In an era where technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, staying ahead of the curve has become imperative for filmmakers, broadcasters and media professionals alike. The rapid integration of innovative equipment and techniques is both exciting and challenging, requiring constant adaptation and learning. This ever-evolving landscape necessitates a commitment to education, training, and skill development for filmmaking professionals and acts to demonstrate the importance of working with informed and consultative advisers and suppliers.

 The key lies in providing knowledge-based, best practice needs-based advice concerning this ‘cutting-edge technology’. It is also vitally important to support both the next generation of talent and seasoned professionals alike. Training must be an ongoing process in an industry affected by so much change. It serves as the backbone to recognise, understand and adapt to new technologies and techniques swiftly. The fast-paced evolution of equipment, software, and workflows necessitates ongoing development and education to remain competitive.

The importance of supporting next-generation talent

Let’s start though with the next generation. In the realm of professional broadcast and cinematography, nurturing and fostering young talent is paramount. This is a field that thrives on creativity, innovation, and fresh perspectives, all of which are inherent qualities of emerging filmmakers and media professionals.

Steven Baxter

For companies working in the space, investing in the growth and development of young talent is not just a corporate responsibility but a strategic move that benefits the entire industry. By way of an example, we have an active apprenticeship programme across many of our departments and teams and generally look to offer support, training, and opportunities to newcomers. Via this sort of scheme, companies can ensure a constant influx of fresh ideas and approaches, which is essential for industry growth and sustainability.

Engaging with the next generation of talent requires a multi-faceted approach. It requires access to the latest and most innovative equipment and resources, and it is important to recognise the role of in-person events that not only provide valuable learning opportunities but also facilitate networking and mentorship within the industry. Active engagement reaps rewards with both students and newcomers, helping to create a nurturing ecosystem that encourages growth and collaboration.

The current demand for training

Away from the student body, there is a growing and diverse range of professionals within the broadcast and cinematography industry looking to access training. By providing them with comprehensive advice, support and training, filmmakers and media experts can be empowered to leverage the latest technologies effectively, ensuring that they are not just keeping up with the industry but setting the pace for innovation.

Our observations are that the demand for training can be attributed to several factors:

Technological Advancements: As new camera systems and accessories, studio solutions, editing software and post production tools emerge, professionals seek guidance on needs-based product choices and how to effectively integrate these technologies into their workflows. For example, there is a definite skills gap in virtual production and AR that needs to be rapidly addressed by the training industry.

Skill Enhancement: Even seasoned professionals recognise the need to continuously improve their skills to stay competitive in the field via both functional and technical training.

Specialised Expertise: With the industry becoming increasingly specialised, there is a growing demand for niche training in areas such as lighting, vision mixing, colour grading, drone cinematography, virtual reality, and more.

Educational Institutions: One of the interesting drivers we have observed is that increased partnerships with educational institutions have led to a surge in demand from students and faculty members looking for hands-on experience with the latest equipment and techniques.

Helping shape future success

In conclusion, companies like ourselves are trying to actively shape the future success of the professional broadcast and cinematography industry by recognising the importance of supporting the next generation of talent, introducing comprehensive support and training, engaging with potential talent through partnerships and events, identifying market gaps, and responding to the evolving demands of the industry. 

As technology continues to advance and the industry evolves, there needs to be a continued commitment to ensuring that professionals stay ahead of the curve, driving innovation and excellence in the field. With that support in place, the future of the industry looks brighter than ever, and aspiring filmmakers and media professionals can look forward to a world of exciting opportunities and possibilities.