Published: July 1, 2022 | Updated: July 2, 2022

Joe lands permanent job after switching from agriculture to video production via Kickstart

Joe Underwood (centre) out on location filming with Cloudhill Productions.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

From agriculture to video production.

The change for Joe Underwood could not have been more dramatic.

His previous life involved driving tractors, milking cows and everything in between that a farmhand does.

But after becoming disillusioned the 22-year-old decided to switch careers, joining ex-British Army cameramen Gary Kendall and Russ Nolan in their video production business, Cloudhill Productions, based near the Dorset/Devon border.

And now, after ending his Kickstart placement funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Joe has become a permanent employee.

Quite a six months after, in his words, “sitting down at a desk opposite two steely-eyed ex-military cameramen as a farmhand with no photographic or film experience”.

Joe, pictured, said: “It has been both challenging and amazing at the same time.

“Coming from a fairly manual and labour-intensive role as a farmhand to working in a video production team is a very big jump.

“Not only in terms of the job itself but the approach to tasks.

“I’m no longer grabbing tools and equipment to smash headfirst into a physical challenge.

“Now a more reserved and thought-through approach is needed.

“Shot lists, camera settings, and lighting setup must be carefully considered before pressing the shutter.

“By no means would I say I’m fully proficient but I’m sure the future holds plenty more practice.

“When I’m not working from home, we’re away filming.

“The trips away filming give me that on-the-job experience.

“There’s a wide range of different people and projects I have been involved with.

“Each video requires an understanding of the topic being filmed and the people you’re filming, each has its own quirks and problems to solve.

“I can’t wait for our next project and whatever challenges it may bring.

“I’m here, I’m one step closer to realising my potential in the video production industry.

“Thank you Russ and Gary for giving me a chance.”

Gary said Joe was now a key member of the team.

He added: “He is making massive strides after coming from farming to video production with no experience or knowledge of the industry.

“We attended lots of Kickstart events and interviewed quite a few people with the experience we needed but Joe had none of those, what he did have was a particular set of skills.

“We’ve always been told that skills can be taught and Joe was a great fit for the dynamics of our team.

“His words to us when he left the interview were: “I want to do what you do, whatever it takes”.

“The confidence just to give it a go, a willingness to learn and a confidence to communicate are what attracted us to Joe and he hasn’t let us down.

“He is about to manage his own shoot under the guidance of Russ and I but this shows how much he has learnt in such a short amount of time.

“You don’t always need the skills, just the confidence to learn and do something new.”