Wildlife Cameraman Blog

Guild of Television Camera Professionals

The Guild of Television Camera Professionals is an independent craft organisation for professional TV, digital and film camera personnel. The GTC supports and facilitates excellence in moving image production. GTC members are predominantly professional camera people across all moving image disciplines. The International Association of Wildlife Filmmakers (IAWF) is affiliated to the GTC.

This is the first of several articles I’ll write about the GTC/IAWF, and in doing so I hope to encourage eligible people to join. As a wildlife cameraman and member of the IAWF I am automatically a member of The Guild of Television Camera Professionals. The IAWF became affiliated to the GTC in 2016.

‘What is the point of being a member?’ It’s a question that many fellow camera people ask me. Well in my opinion it’s a no brainer.

Guild of Television Camera Professionals and IAWF Benefits

  • Fact packed publications – latest news – detailed information
  • Product discounts at selected retailers
  • Excellent value insurance
  • Free technical courses and workshops
  • Free first aid courses
  • A vibrant forum
  • Advice
  • Self promotion
  • Work with universities and other courses

And those are just the ones that come immediately to mind. I’ll look at each of these in more detail in future posts. Purely from the financial standpoint, by attending one single course your annual membership is paid for several fold.

A wildlife cameraman perspective

guild of television camera professionals
Poison dart frog

Joining the IAWF/Guild of Television Camera Professionals makes you part of a tremendously diverse and talented membership. Over the coming year or so, hopefully with the help of fellow members, I’ll look at specific benefits of being a member in more detail. You will find members from every genre of film and television production, each with their own particular skill set, and in the case of wildlife in particular I think, mindset.

The mind set of the wildlife cameraman

Recently I gave a talk about what makes a wildlife cameraman different from news, drama, sports and feature camera person. We have all found that wildlife film making has changed. Gone are the days when we were the weirdos sitting all alone for months on end with a long telephoto lens – well, perhaps not quite gone. Now we use all the technical tools that other genres use, and in some cases we’re at the cutting edge of equipment development. So what does make us difference? I think it’s a mindset thing: not everyone can do what we do, but that doesn’t make us in any way special. Not everyone can do what the news camera people do and so on. It’s a subtle thing, and when I look at membership benefits I’ll be trying to give them that wildlife cameraman context.

The importance of professional organisations like The Guild of Television Camera People

Not everyone wants to be in a ‘club’. As a wildlife cameraman myself I think that’s at least partly a personality thing. The paradox is that we’re all individuals quietly competing against each other to get, pretty much, the same jobs, so why would we want to come together. We can also be, to a greater of lesser extent, loners. But that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t help each other, share experiences, improve the image and professionalism of our trade. There’s a mutual respect and distant camaraderie among the wildlife cameraman clan, and when we do get to meet from time to time we just keep talking.

Zerb

Zerb is the three yearly glossy publication produced by IAWF/GTC. The publication is packed with copy and pictures, all of it pertinent to our industry. That will be the subject of my next post.