Interview with an Apprentice – Sophie Richards

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we’ve interviewed 5 of our past apprentices who have achieved success in their careers following their apprenticeship. Our final interviewee of the series is Sophie Richards.

Name:                                     Sophie Richards
Age:                                         26
From:                                      Cardiff
Apprentice Employer:        BBC Cymru Wales
Apprentice Job Title:          Camera Apprentice

What were you doing prior to the apprenticeship?
Before starting on the apprenticeship, I was working in a pub in Cardiff and travelling.

Why did you want to do an apprenticeship?
I had always been interested in working on set but never thought it would become a reality. With this in mind I felt I had nothing to lose by applying for the apprenticeship.

What did your apprentice job entail?
I was a trainee for the camera department which involved a number of responsibilities that grew over the year after gaining trust and experience. The responsibilities included battery changes, arranging the ins and outs of camera kit by contacting the rental house, setting up the camera for a day’s shoot, cleaning and handling lenses etc.

What programmes/projects did you work on?
Throughout my time as an apprentice, I worked on Casualty which involved a wide range of experiences in the studio and on location.

What happened when you completed your apprenticeship?
When I completed my apprenticeship, I was offered work on Casualty as a Freelance Camera Assistant and have since continued to work on the show regularly for the last 4 years. In the last year, I have had the chance to step up to a new role as a Focus Puller, and I am very much enjoying the new responsibilities that come with this role.

I have also been lucky enough to work on other productions and even got a chance to work with cameras on the 2016 Olympics in Rio, 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and I’ll hopefully be working in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The apprenticeship was the start to my career, therefore, it was the catalyst to get me where I am today.

Have you grown as a result of the apprenticeship?
As a result of the apprenticeship, I have definitely grown as a person. Due to the nature of the industry, it can test you physically and emotionally, but I soon learnt how to deal with difficult situations.

What is the next career step for you?
At the moment I am very much enjoying what I’m doing so have no plans to step up any time soon, but I would like to work on a few of my own projects in the near future.