Hey everyone! Its Hope here. I recently went to my first career mentoring event with Thompson Rivers University this week. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about talking to a bunch of undergraduate students about their futures. Somehow I walked away feeling overwhelmed with such positivity, inspiration, great questions and insight. …And even met my very first fan girl. WHAT. Someone was that excited to talk to me?! HOW. WHAT. OKAY. I guess… (Shout out to Stephanie, you’re the real MVP.) All of the students that I met were awesome and I left feeling inspired to connect with you all further.

But, let’s be real, the Joy Factory film fam is way too busy and involved in our current projects to have you all over for a visit. The result? Well, I was inspired to write a few blog posts over the next few weeks with some back story on each of us and offer some general career advice about working in a creative industry.

Here’s a bit of Q&A with Josef and Liam, our main cinematographers/editors on the team.

Hope: “Hey Liam, what jobs and experiences lead you to your present position?”
Liam: “I spent my first three years after film school creating digital content for a rugby supply company in New Zealand, made a lot of mistakes and spent many late nights fixing them. Then I travelled to Canada to shoot snowboarding and ended up immigrating here. After working construction for a few years and shooting weddings on the side, I was fortunate enough to get a spot at the Joy Factory.”

Hope: “What’s the best work-search advice you have received?”
Liam: “I would say don’t stop trying. Even when it feels like nothing is going your way, every little bit helps. You never know when something will pop up – but if you are not there to get it, it might just pass you by…”

Hope: “What are some of the typical entry-level job titles and functions in the videography industry?”
“If you are on a film set, then you are probably going to be getting somebody coffee or carrying extension cords around all day. In a smaller team environment (such as Joy Factory Films), we all came into this job with experience from either previously working in film or from having made our own stuff. I think the best way to learn is to work on your own projects and create stuff that you are passionate about. Make the mistakes everyone makes and learn from them so when an opportunity comes up to do it on a more serious note – aka getting paaaaaaid – you are confident and can deliver. Hopefully this will lead to a happy client and more work – aka getting paid MORE.

Hope: “Hey Josef, what characteristics make people stand out in our workplace?”
“To me, a person in our workplace shines when he or she does something with purpose. In our profession, creative, technical and organizational decisions motivated by purpose make for a better video and a stronger message. Filmmaking decisions that don’t contribute to an end goal waste team resources and the viewer’s time. Filmmaking decisions based on film theory or an overall project goal not only create better videos, but also support team interactions and create a higher standard for future projects.”

And I even got to catch up with Nathan, owner/operator of Joy Factory Films really quick.

Hope: “What is the employment outlook like in the film industry? Is there a changing demand for employees?”
“The employment outlook has slowly started to increase as the quality, accessibility and demand for video has increased over the past five years. In the past, you needed extensive training and to invest a lot of time and money in order to have the equipment and skill to create a product. Now, you could shoot and edit something on your phone that’s higher quality than a lot of productions from just ten years ago, plus most relevant tutorials are available online for free so you can learn almost any skill you’d like, whenever you’d like.”

Hope: “Someone reached out to us on Instagram recently and asked us, ‘How do you maintain your work life balance in a demanding, creative industry?'”
“Honestly, it takes a few years of hard work to get to a point where you can. When I first started this business, I was working fifty-ish hours a week. It was not until year six or seven (and Joy Factory Films just had its eighth birthday) when I made time to exercise and see my friends. This actually really helped me with my creative process and business vision. Finding a work life balance is incredibly important, and yes, it is hard. But if you don’t take time off, your work will suffer more than you realize.”

In summary, I think all three of these neat dudes would agree that it is important to be passionate about what you do. If you are striving to be successful in a creative industry, like photography or cinematography, you really gotta love what you do. As cheesy as that sounds, the rest will follow. Even if that means late nights, lots of mistakes, and taking a step back from your social life. As long as you keep trying, eventually you’ll stop sucking and start being sought after for your expertise. Make every creative decision with purpose and stand by your thought process, but also be willing to grow, learn, and absorb from as many other brilliant minds as you can.

Got a few more questions for us? Post them in comments below or send us a message on Facebook and/or Instagram!