Byron Sheldon has been a permanent employee of Shot Blast Media since the end of July last year. Before this, he freelanced with the business as a Camera Operator and Editor.
In this interview with Byron, he discusses his entrance into the video production industry, how his university film course helped with this, and the exciting things he’s been working on since.
When did you decide you wanted to work in the video production industry?
I decided I wanted to work in the video production industry ever since I watched Star Wars at 12 years old and thought, ‘how did they make that film?’
I then started my ventures looking into behind the scenes videos of films, which is when I knew I wanted to be a part of that incredible industry.
What did you study at university and how did this help you get into the industry?
I studied Filmmaking at Leeds Beckett, the Northern Film School, and it helped me gain the skills I needed for jobs like this.
However, the main thing that got me into working at Shot Blast Media was the connections I made at work and through university.
Often in this industry, it’s who you know, not what you know.
How did you find freelancing at Shot Blast Media?
It was a fun experience and it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot! I worked with Ben, one of the Camera Operators, on the first job that I freelanced and I learnt a huge amount about cameras, lenses and industry terminology.
This brought me into Shot Blast Media in a comfortable way because I didn’t just come straight into the business and I got to learn along the way.
How have you found going full time from being part time?
It was a little challenging at the start, as it went from doing half the hours to being all in. The more it has progressed, the busier I’ve become.
The days flash by as we’re always having fun and there’s always lots to do in my role! It never quite feels like a 40 hour week!
What work do you now focus on in the company?
I am a Camera Operator and Editor and I run the subscription part of the company.
Every month, I go to each of our clients’ sites to film a short video for them. I then edit the video for them and we have a meeting for ideas and shoot dates for the following month.
Our video production subscription service is running very smoothly at the moment and it’s growing well as part of the company, which is exciting.
What are the best reasons to use a video subscription package?
There are loads of benefits to using a video subscription package! One of the best reasons is that it helps companies produce a lot of content for their social media channels.
We produce 12 videos per year for each company at an affordable cost. It allows businesses to think of 12 individual videos for social media or other usage, meaning that the client has flexibility to film an event one month, a skit the next, a product video the next, and so on.
We get the video to them in a short period of time, meaning that the videos can be published quickly for their audience. We can even upload the YouTube video for the client to set up the best SEO for them.
What do you enjoy most about your new role in the business?
I love learning something new everyday. I work with a lot of different clients and it’s interesting to see how different businesses run. You’re always learning something new about someone else.
I also enjoy going to the sites on my own and being able to take over the creative side of the projects. Being able to direct, whilst also being the camera operator and maintaining the sound equipment creates a new and exciting challenge for every different video production scenario.
What project has been your favourite to work on so far?
In terms of the subscription videos, there’s been a few favourites! We produced a great World Cup themed video for Foregale, which I really enjoyed being a part of. We had a few different camera setups and we got to work with a lot of different people in their business.
The final video did really well on social media, so that was exciting to see. It was definitely one of the more unique videos we’ve done for a client!
More recently, we worked with Romantica Beds on a Christmas skit, which was a completely different video for them! We got a lot of their team involved in the video, and it also gained a lot of engagement on social media, which was great to see.
How did you find the international shoot last year in France?
The France shoot was really exciting for me as it was my first international shoot. We got to fly over to a new country and film somewhere completely new, which I haven’t done before.
It was great meeting new people and filming the behind the scenes too, which we’re currently processing to publish. It shows all the different things we did to produce the final video for the client which is really cool.
What has been your biggest accomplishment since joining Shot Blast Media?
Learning along the way, continuously, has been an amazing thing to be able to do. When I first joined Shot Blast Media, I didn’t have a huge knowledge of editing or camerawork, so the fact that I’ve had David and Lotty to help me out has been fantastic.
I’ve learnt a lot of new skills with editing, which has helped increase my pace, and learning how to use the gimbal has been a highlight for me, as it has allowed me to do more interesting shots when on site with a client.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this year takes us. We’ve got a lot of growing to do as a business and we’ve got a few new, exciting ideas for clients that we’ll be creating this year.
Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch out for all our new projects this year!