Life as a Trainee Camera Technician with BA graduate Katie Baxter
By Elise Czyzowska
21 June 2022
From her first steps into camera operating, to becoming a ScreenSpace ‘Craft Skills’ teaching assistant, Katie Baxter’s journey on our BA Content, Media & Film Production course has been one of both personal and professional growth. Now a graduate from our first ever cohort of the course, Katie is continuing her filmmaking career as a Trainee Camera Technician.
We caught up with Katie to learn more about how the real industry has welcomed her, what she’d like to do moving forward, and the filmmakers who inspire her.
Since graduating, what have you been up to?
Since graduating, I’ve worked on a couple of short films and student films. I also worked at MetFilm School for a little while, all before landing my current job as a Trainee Camera Technician at a rental company called ProMotion. Since then, I’ve loved getting my hands on the kit in the warehouse, as well as getting to talk to clients when I’m out delivering.
Are there any specific industry areas or genres you’d like to explore?
I’m really loving my current area, the rental sector. It’s been really great to have a chance to learn more about the kit in a relatively non-stress environment. My workplace is such a fun environment to work in that it really doesn’t feel like work at all! In the future, if I decide to leave the rental industry, I’d like to think that I would pursue work as a Camera Assistant.
As for genres, I really enjoyed fiction while I was studying, but I’m seeing a lot of new, different formats through my work now, and I’d happily give any of them a go! I’d also love to give live broadcasting a try – I don’t have any experience with it, but it seems like such an interesting area of the industry to be a part of.
Outside of your professional work, how are you developing your passion for film?
A big hobby of mine is photography, which ties in very nicely with the industry! I’ve not had too many opportunities to get out with my camera since I started working (mainly due to adjusting to working full time!), but earlier this month I went to Badminton Horse Trials and had a great time taking photos of the best Event Riders in the world.
I’m currently in the editing process of those photos – I like to post my work on my Instagram, @ktbaxter.camera.
Another big hobby of mine is reading. Before my company moved, I’d read on my commute to and from, but now that I drive in, I’ve discovered some good audiobooks. I always set aside 30 minutes of my lunch to read. I find it really helps me to separate work and relaxation. It’s a great little escape, and it still keeps me in a creative mindset.
In your graduation project, you mentioned Edgar Wright as an inspiration. Who else do you look up to in the industry?
Currently, I’m very inspired by Diana Olifirova‘s work on Netflix’s Heartstopper. The shots and lighting are absolutely incredible, and they really add to the mood and feel of the show.
Obviously, Sir Roger Deakins also needs a mention (the Masterclass he gave at MetFilm School in 2020 was incredibly insightful). He is an industry legend, and I can only hope to have a fraction of his talent.
Finally, I’ve found Rina Yang incredibly inspiring! Especially given that she started her career studying at MetFilm School London. I’ve been keeping an eye on what she’s been shooting since her Masterclass too!
How did your time at MetFilm School shape you into the creative you are today?
My time at the School really allowed me to explore different creative paths and roles, all with the help of industry professionals along the way. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or be when I started my degree, and having the space to learn in such a supportive environment, alongside so many other creatives, really helped me to grow in confidence.
I always felt so supported with every decision that I made while studying, and I really look up to my tutor from my time at MetFilm School.
What brought you to study BA Content, Media & Film Production?
I wanted to study a broad degree that would let me discover what I wanted to do through learning. There were quite a few specific degrees that I looked at, but I chose this one because of the different formats covered throughout the course, and the way that the modules were structured.
If I had any advice for people joining the course, it would be to take advantage of every opportunity you can while you’re studying. I made some great connections with great people while studying, and it’s led to being asked to work on their films. I wish I’d started taking up opportunities as soon as I’d started, since I only really did it during my final year!
Finally, what’s been inspiring you lately?
As I mentioned, Heartstopper on Netflix. Having followed the author of the original web comic since it began, finally seeing it on screen was incredible.
Boiling Point was also an incredible show of talent, having been shot entirely in one take. The pressure that the cast and crew must have been under, and the amount of preparation that would have gone into making a film like that is truly amazing. The subject matter was very intense too, which really added to the effect of the film.