The start of 2019 has brought an exciting new addition the Project Management team. Josh Coller began his career with Blackout just over 10 years ago and has gained valuable experience in a wealth of areas, from counting shackles in the warehouse, to assembling and operating complex rigging systems. During his time here, he has also obtained his NRC level 2 and will complete his level 3 in the near future. Josh will now be in charge of his own projects, using his experience to attend site visits, provide quotations and liaise with clients and seeing projects through to completion.
To warm him up for the demands of his new role, we asked
Josh a few pressing questions on how life at Blackout has been for him and his
thoughts on the challenges ahead.
What brought you to Blackout and can you share some memories of your first role?
I first started working at Blackout during my
university holidays, for around ten weeks in the summer and a month over
Christmas. My role was in the warehouse, shaking drapes and preparing equipment
to go out on jobs. It was hard but healthy work, and provided much needed
income when I was a student.
After finishing university, I went back to work in the
warehouse while I figured out my next step. During this time, a position became
available on the installation team, and I jumped at the opportunity. I always
enjoyed being able to go out on site for the odd day here and there for a
change of scenery from the warehouse, but now I had the chance to work
somewhere new and exciting every day.
My time working in the warehouse helped me adapt to my
new role, as I already had knowledge of lots of the equipment. There was still
a lot to learn, but fortunately there were always plenty of experienced people
to pass on their knowledge.
With the expertise and support of those around him, Josh
continued to learn more about the industry and within a short period of time
proved himself to be a reliable and dependable employee. He was consistently
chosen to represent Blackout for high profile clients such as MTV, Burberry,
McLaren and a League of their Own, amongst many others.
How do you feel you’ve progressed and are there any notable projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve been lucky enough to work on several interesting
and challenging jobs, and have travelled to various countries for international
projects. Since starting at Blackout, I have come to find that every rigger has
their own way of doing things, and part of my journey has been about finding
the way that best works for me.
One job I view as a benchmark every year is the TV show “A League of Their Own.” When I first started working on this job seven
years ago, the expanse of my rigging knowledge probably went as far as banging
some truss together. Over the years I have progressed to running the load in
and load out, as well as overseeing the automation of our scenic elements on the
show. I was also always present on site during film days to assist the lighting
and camera departments with their rigging needs.
Despite the inevitable long hours spent on standby, I
have always enjoyed doing show calls. The buzz of being involved in a live show
and seeing the fruit of all our efforts come to life is always an extremely
Whilst enjoying the challenges of live shows, Josh has
perfected the use of the Kinesys system and has become a resident expert. He’s
seen as the “go to” person for any troubleshooting or projects requiring
Kinesys, and has also been called upon to assist with employee training
sessions. He has clearly proven that he is keen to expand upon his knowledge
and we were keen to find out if there was anything in particular which has
contributed to his learning…
Are there any experiences which you feel have contributed towards your knowledge of the industry?
Working on bigger shows that last more than a few days
is always a valuable learning opportunity. It has allowed me to work with other
departments and understand their needs. Once you begin to realise the order in
which other departments work, you can plan ahead and be prepared for any
requests that may arise.
It’s been 4 weeks since Josh started as a project manager
and he has spent his time adapting to an office environment, carrying out a few
site visits, as well as working with Metro Broadcast to deliver his first
installation project. He seems to be settling in very well and we wish him
continued success in the coming months… and years!
How is the new role going so far and what do you enjoy about working at Blackout?
There is a lot of admin to learn and new processes to
get used to, but I’m very much enjoying this development in my career at
Blackout. I feel that my experience working in different roles in the company
is helping me spot any potential issues before getting on site.
Blackout has always been an incredibly positive work
environment. Many of the people that work here have been at the company for
decades, and I feel that speaks volumes about the company values.