“I Love My Job.” – Nick Talbot
Ever since quitting his job in Australia to freelance with his brother in Singapore, Nick has not looked back.
Freelance Sound Recordist, Camera Operator and Video Editor | CineSound Asia Pte Ltd
For 20+ years before becoming a freelancer, I was a production manager and producer for various Australian advertising companies. Whilst I was doing that, my brother Josh started CineSound Asia in Singapore, as there was a lot of work coming out of Singapore at that time.
When I saw Josh was in Africa working on the Amazing Race reality TV show, it looked like a lot of fun. So I quit my job and with the help of friends and family, I came over to join him.
Since then, I have not looked back. Working in the production industry is exciting, dynamic and challenging. This type of work is incredibly challenging. As an example, if you’re filming outdoors your environment can pose a number of different situations which need to be overcome. On one job I had to climb Mount Kinabalu in Sabah with a whole crew and talent, which is already demanding to begin with, but doing so with all the heavy gear that you need to shoot some branded content when you get up there is another level of difficulty altogether!
Or if the shoot involves water it can be troublesome. I worked on a project in Indonesia for The History Channel where we were filming from boats. A big storm came in and protecting our equipment was tough. Because if your equipment gets wet and breaks down, you can’t work and that means no money coming in.
Nick doing sound on a History Channel project in Indonesia (before the storm came in).
If you want to be a freelancer in the video production industry, be prepared to adapt because no two days are the same.
Every day, every job, and every location is different. You’ll be working with a different crew and on projects with very different subject-matter – it could be a documentary on one day, and a commercial the next. Video production is also a highly technical industry and as technology constantly advances, you always have to keep up and understand the latest equipment.
If you want to break into the industry, it really helps to know people. I was lucky because before I came over, my brother had already been in Singapore for 5 years and had already established a great network of people here. But if you don’t already have contacts then you’ll need to get your name out there.
Try to produce work that demonstrates what you can do and work hard to meet others in the fields of expertise you would like to work in. At the same time, you’ll gain experience which is what people look for when deciding whether to hire you.
Also, I wouldnt become a freelancer expecting to get rich. You’ll face challenges on the business side of things, such as getting paid on time, scheduling, taxes and of course all the paperwork (tip: get everything down in writing). I don’t think I will become a millionaire, but freelancing is a great job nevertheless and I love the work I do.
I became a freelancer about 7 years ago and since then, I’ve travelled all over Asia. Every day is different, and my scope of work and work environments have just been incredible. I love the work.
Instead of being stuck in a desk-bound job in the office, I’ve worked where most people don’t usually get to go to. I’ve been in jungles, mountains, tropical islands, concerts and all these places I’ve been to as part of my normal working day!
I love Singapore. It’s a great country, I’ve met great friends and colleagues, and I get a lot of satisfaction seeing something being made using my input. In fact, sometimes I wish I had switched careers sooner but I’m happy I eventually made the switch and wouldn’t change a thing.
Images courtesy of Nick Talbot. Want to be featured? Get in touch.
Work with Nick: Phone: 9103 0055 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org