Edinburgh TV Festival supported by Screen Scotland

ben redhead

Camera Assistant, ITV Studios

The Network 2019

Ben Redhead

I applied for The Network TV programme because I was literally at breaking point with trying to get into the TV industry. I was working part time retail jobs whilst running my own videography business, and I wanted nothing more than to work within the camera department. ‘ emailed every cameraman within a 100-mile radius to try and get advice, but there was never a clear way to get into the department. I had no friends/family working in the industry, nobody in the industry knew me, and I was standing at the bottom of a brick wall with no obvious way of getting a single foot up. I volunteered at kit houses, emailed as many people as possible, signed up for a college course and worked on my YouTube channel so I could put my content out there and build a reel. I once saw an advert for The Network on social media and I thought to myself that I’d never get on it, so didn’t even try!

Then one year later it flashed up again, to which at this stage of my life, I was not getting anywhere towards working in the camera department, but I had been working the odd daily as a runner on some daytime TV shows. So, I applied to The Network as an all or nothing as I’d seriously regretted not doing it the year before. I had nothing to lose, but everything to possibly gain.

My favourite part of the programme was honestly the opportunities it gave me. I went from struggling to get any industry contacts to suddenly standing right in front of them, working with them and having a chance to introduce myself and do some networking! The whole experience was amazing!

Being in Edinburgh was amazing! First off, I couldn’t even believe id made it to this stage of the programme, but my first day in Edinburgh was the first day of my career I’d say. I knew at this stage something was going to happen in my life, it was the biggest pivot point. We all had so much fun, and I’d do it all again if I could! We went to see some amazing seminars such as Killing Eve, Top Boy and much much more! We even made a documentary which was watched by Louis Theroux! How crazy is that!

The rest of the cohort was amazing, everyone got on so well and some of the conversations I had were incredible. I couldn’t have wished to have been with better people, they were all amazing and everyone supported each other, and we all had so much fun!!

The Network has made my career possible. The young lad from the Yorkshire Dales screaming and shouting to just get his foot in the door with no degree, now had opportunities galore in all different directions. Amazingly, it’s a lead from The Network that has had me in my current job ever since. I can now proudly say I am a full-time member of staff for ITV in the camera department… All thanks to The Network.

My mentor was incredible, she kept checking in and offering advice. She went way out of her way for me, and emailed around to try buddy me up with people within the camera department she knew. Eventually she gave me a lead, who then gave me another lead, and then the rest is history. I got into ITV and have been here ever since, working with amazing people who have all taught me so much. All thanks to The Network and my mentor!! They got me here and I will be forever grateful.