I’ve just got back from a holiday to Stockholm. Using my iPhone to check emails and facebook while sat in a cafe, I got to thinking about how much things have changed in the last ten years. Back then, I was a freelancer, never being able to plan holidays more than a few weeks in advance, fitting them in around jobs, worrying about missing work because I wasn’t on the end of the phone, or able to check emails. Smart phones have changed this completely, keeping you in contact freely and easily.

So while it’s still a worry booking a holiday way in advance, just in case you get a great contract that coincides with it, every freelancer can and SHOULD go on holiday. I’m going to write a series of observations I made while on holiday.

Local knowledge is really important to TV production and easy to take for granted. Wandering the streets of Stockholm, with unfamiliar names and a different language made me remember how well I know London. I’ve lived and worked here for 14 years, but first started coming to London with my parents back when I was 5 or 6. I take for granted that I know approximately how long it will be between locations, where nearby shops are that will sell emergency camera supplies like batteries, and which restaurants or cafes will give good food for the crew. It’s easy to forget how much you know and how valuable that knowledge is. Always good to be reminded of that.

So when you’re writing your CV, or prepping for a job interview, for a second imagine the job is set in a distant city, somewhere you have no knowledge of. Imagine you were plonked in Paris, dropped in Duselldorf, abandoned in Albuquerque. What would you struggle with? Local contacts for camera crew? Where you can hire lighting? Where are the post production suites? This process should help you realise what valuable local knowledge you have that can win you the job that you need to communicate in your CV, and give you a little more confidence when applying.

Gavin Ricketts is a Producer/Director with over twenty year's experience. His courses on finding work in the creative industries has helped hundreds of Film and TV Crew win more work.

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