Music videos, television shows and world tours

James Redmond, Lighting and Live Event graduate

James Redmond from Calne in Wiltshire is a graduate of the BSc (Hons) Live Event Technology. He is a Laser Technician for ER Productions, working on music videos, television shows and world tours for the likes of Chemical Brothers.

 

About my job

I set up and operate lasers for shows around the world and am currently on tour with the Australian Pink Floyd Show. I heard of the job through another USW graduate, who works at the company. Me and another student applied, were interviewed and both got jobs before we graduated.

My favourite part of the job is the travel; we get to see a huge amount of the world and experience loads of different things.

There is also the opportunity to work alongside some of the best people in the industry at some of the highest levels of production so it’s a brilliant learning experience for someone who only graduated a year-and-a-half ago!

 

Why it’s a great job

Being part of a big show that you have helped set up and programme is really a big achievement. Having an input, either as part of a team or working on your own, for a sold out arena or a TV show, is a fantastic feeling.

This job is fantastic because it’s constantly pushing me as a technician whilst presenting me with lots of opportunities to learn new technical skills such as networking, programming and general tour experience.

 

About the course

I chose to study Live Event Technology as coming from smaller touring work, I wanted to expand my technical knowledge and push myself to the next level of touring work arenas etc. Without the course, I would never have gained the skills that were recognised in my interview and got me the job as a laser technician.

In my opinion, there are two aspects of the course that really stand out. Firstly, the most valuable aspect was the constant push for us to take ownership of our own development. In my short experience, being able to go out and learn how to use a new piece of kit or software on your own, especially in a time-pressured situation, is key to being able to stay up to date and relevant in industry.

Secondly was the lecturers’ drive to help us with networking and industry contacts, with the end goal of getting us work. Networking is a massive part of what is quite a small industry, so social skills and the ability to make contacts are key to getting and maintaining work.

 

Placements

In my final year, I did an internship in Dubai with Eclipse. It was a brilliant experience and allowed me to use the sound skills I had developed throughout the course in a real life situation. It also meant I could take the experience of working abroad straight into my new job, which was helpful. I also did an internship with Robe Lighting UK where I spent a week working with them at PLASA [insert link] which was a fantastic opportunity to network. They also provided me with training which helped develop my technical skills for Lighting.

 

Overall

This course gave me a good all-round base for key parts of the live event industry. It provided a solid core of teaching in a practical environment and a set of skills that have served me well over the past year-and-a-half as I have started my professional career. 

The lecturers provided brilliant support during the course and since graduating. I know they are there for help and advice, and it’s always nice to catch up with them - normally when bumping into them on site!

I would 100% recommend this course for anyone looking to get into the live event industry.