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Wednesday 4 October 2017

Third year BSc (Hons) Television Production Technology student Nick Arbenz was one of a group of students providing technical services at Bestival this year. Solent students were providing a range of visual services with some of the content aired on Channel 4. Nick tells us more about his experience:

What did you do at Bestival?

At Bestival I was a technical assistant and unit manager. As unit manager I organised the crew during the setup, derig, and through day-to-day running. I worked closely with the producer Daniel Wood-Costa, who was doing the crew work rotas, to make sure all of the crew had an understanding of what was required from them.  As the Technical Assistant I worked with the two Technician Instructors, Richard Hammond and Kerry Horton, coordinating the rig to ensure that everything was where it was needed, and ensuring that the system flow worked. I was given further responsibility when another member of the team became unwell including liaising with artists and external directors. If there were issues with any of the equipment I would also help resolve them.

What did you enjoy the most?

It’s difficult to choose a singular favourite part of the festival. The crew were amazing and it was great to have the opportunity to capture slow-motion videos of Dizzee Rascal. I had a great time working with a crew including a mixture of second and third years that all got along swimmingly. It was generally just a great festival where I learnt a lot whilst having fun and having the opportunity to film some great acts.

What was your biggest challenge?

Over the weekend there were multiple things that challenged me. A clear challenge that I had was having to step up to liaise with external clients. Accommodating client requests brought up several situations where some creative thinking was required, as the system was being pushed the its limits of inputs and outputs; to the extent that we required the SD outputs on the CCU’s for the vision engineer! Multiple smaller technical issues forced me to think creatively to get it to work, also needing to fix a Triax back on a camera. On top of all of this we had extreme weather, which even lead to the stage closing for an hour in between sets.

How has your experience helped to prepare you for a career after University?

The experience I gained from this festival, and all of the festivals I've done over summer, have taught me so much about the industry and how to trouble shoot. I have learnt a lot about working with bands and public relations, for the screens. As I aim to continue into the world of Live Event Broadcast after I finish with university, this has given me such a great step in the right direction. This type of work has also given me great problem solving skills which is hard to be taught. All of these experiences would not have been possible without the connections I made through uni.

What is the best bit of the course so far?

The best part of coming to Solent University for this course is definitely the great facilities that are provided and also the very knowledgeable lectures, who all have great industry experience. Being taught by lectures who have used the skills they are passing on to us in the real world does help bring relevance to the stuff we are learning.

This course is for you if want a door into the live industry, with extensive knowledge to prepare you for near anything!