Stone’s Throw Media’s Tom Williams celebrated 10 years with the business recently. From wet and windy Welsh clifftops to escorting the iconic Commonwealth Games bull through the streets of Birmingham, we spoke to Tom to talk about his memorable moments and top tips for those about to start their career in video.
What does your role entail?
My role is video producer, also affectionately known as the video guru.
Typically, my role involves planning, filming and post production as well as managing the video team. No day is ever the same!
How did you find out about Stone’s Throw Media?
I have always wanted to do something creative as a career. I completed an IT course at Wolverhampton College, but then an evening interactive media course grabbed my attention.
I took part in a volunteering scheme through the media team at the college and was involved in some filming for the Royal Hospital. This experience is where my media journey began.
I then studied video production at the University of Wolverhampton. Once I graduated, I spent six months applying for roles. I spotted an opportunity to take part in a voluntary scheme through the university and this is where I met Matt and Mike who were also working on the programme. They saw something in me and offered me some work experience when Stone’s Throw Media was in it’s infancy. After three months the voluntary scheme came to an end and I remember Matt and Mike saying ‘this is not the end’ and It wasn’t as 10 years later I’m still here!
What do you enjoy about your role/ Stone’s Throw Media?
The variety, every day is different. One day I could be at a university campus, the next day I could be on a muddy building site. This role has taken me to places that I never thought were possible. It keeps the role fresh and engaging.
I’m going to use the F word- family! The business has grown over the years and we feel like a family unit. We spend so much time together and all get along.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It has got to be getting the phone call to film the transportation of the Commonwealth Games bull through the streets of Birmingham in the middle of the night.
To be involved in something so iconic is surreal. It was such a big thing for us to achieve as a team.
Funniest/ most memorable moment?
In 2016 myself, Jamie and Ben travelled to St David’s Head in Wales for three days of filming.
When we arrived the weather was lovely, warm and we all thought ‘this is going to be great’. However, the next day we had torrential rain and strong winds. We had to borrow waterproof coats, trousers, and wellies. We then had the small issue of not having a waterproof jacket for our camera. We had to improvise and use a Co-op bag for life, removing the camera from the bag in-between shots. I remember walking along the cliff edge and our notes blew into the sea and everything was soaking wet.
We managed to get the job done and capture all the footage we needed but it was a very memorable trip for us all.
What advice would you give to someone looking to embark on a career in digital?
Gain as much experience as you can, not just what you learn at college or university but make a point of signing up for voluntary placements where you can start to build up a portfolio and build those connections.
Put yourself out there, I wasn’t confident when I started this role, but Matt and Mike were so welcoming and helped to develop my confidence.
I would also say broaden your horizons. Video doesn’t always have to lead into TV or movies. In the commercial world you will become multi skilled, hands on and It will give you an all-round experience.
How has the business changed in 10 years?
I almost feel like it hasn’t changed but it certainly has. The team has grown, we have moved from a cupboard sized room to an office with a studio.
Technology has also changed. At university we were still using cameras with tape. That progressed to memory and SD cards and then within a year everything had gone digital. Technology now is becoming smaller and more accessible to all, we have gone a long way, its hard to keep up.
What would your superpower be and why?
To be able to read peoples minds so I can go into a client’s mind and understand exactly what they want. It’s sometimes hard to communicate your vision so to be able to do that would make the process much easier.
Favourite biscuit? Are you a dunker/ anti- dunker
My favourite biscuit is the classic custard cream. I’ve got a packet stashed away in my car for emergencies!
I don’t do hot drinks so would consider myself as an anti-dunker. However, If I were to dunk, I would worry that it might affect the consistency of the biscuit far too much.