A department store manager for 25 years, Paul Coverdale had always hankered after a more interesting career that would see him in the fresh air – outside the confines of an office or store – and visiting different and unusual places. An article on a location manager 10 years ago piqued his interest and he started to look into whether it was possible to change career. Paul’s mind was made up after he read about Screen Yorkshire’s Bootcamp while working in Leeds. He felt the training scheme would provide him with a better insight into entering the film industry and give him the confidence and knowledge to meet other people, so he set out to apply.
Despite being rejected the first time around because of lack of experience (Bootcamp requires delegates to have gained some practical understanding of the industry), Paul was determined to become a delegate. He sourced a few days of shadowing work and reapplied for the January 2017 intake, successfully becoming one of 25 delegates from the 125 who submitted an application.
The first thing Paul noticed in joining the scheme was that not everyone was a university or film school graduate. Bootcamp delegates come from all walks of life, and life experience is just as valuable as a degree. The three-day programme provided insight from many different speakers from across the industry – from directors to make-up artists, set designers to location. What they all had in common was their honesty and openness about how they got to where they are today and the highs and lows of the industry. For Paul, it provided the insights he was seeking and gave a vital overview of how all these departments work together.
Following on from Bootcamp, Paul was able to convert his training into practical experience when members of the trainee group got together and participated in the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network competition, winning the Audience Award for a video they produced for a local music group. Having been made redundant from his day job in April, Paul is now free to continue his new career path. He has been a runner for ads for Santander and Gucci and a location scout for UK Vogue and US fashion brand Tory Burch. The quality of his work has led to further recommendations, which includes a recent scouting expedition all around the country for Austrian feature film, Little Joe.
Paul is making good progress in his ambition to become a location manager, with each new opportunity building his experience and his list of industry contacts. More importantly, he is now doing something which provides the interest, enjoyment, variety and satisfaction he had been looking for during his store management career. He also says he looks and feels healthier, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by his family, friends and neighbours.