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5 minutes with new Project Manager…. Josh Coller

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 rewarding feeling.

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.

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