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Carl Yates provides expert advice to feature film makers, independent production companies and large broadcasters on the best video equipment for their projects. The Media (Film) Production graduate from Staffordshire University works for broadcast and professional video equipment supplier ProAV as the content and production manager.
Carl developed his specialist knowledge in the extensive range of equipment available to filmmakers throughout his time on the degree and since joining ProAV. He now fronts ProAV TV on YouTube, demonstrating the latest camera technology for almost 10,000 subscribers, garnering thousands of views.
“I’ve always been a bit of a camera geek, reading up on the latest technology,” Carl explained. “My knowledge developed during my time at Staffs and then, since joining ProAV, I’ve had access to almost every camera available in the industry. We work with all the big manufacturers – Sony, Panasonic, Canon – and advise on everything from broadcasters down to small productions and owner operators.”
Originally from Watford, Carl took an interest in film production during his time at school and, later, during his gap year. He said: “I did some media stuff at school and I went on a few film sets. I was an extra on Harry Potter. I took a lot of interest in how those major productions were made and the equipment being used.
“On my gap year I starting going into my old school, Kings Langley Secondary School, to help teach the media courses. I then started looking at a few film related degrees around the country and the Media (Film) Production course at Staffs stood out because it focussed on making films. The others focussed on how to use the gear and the theory behind film making, whereas Staffs was all about physically making content. I made around 80 films during my time on the degree.”
After graduating in 2012, Carl helped set up a new production company, Spearhead Productions. “It was very small,” he explained, “but we produced corporate films for companies like Ferrero and wedding videos. Then I got the company I now work for, ProAV, as a client. I started making videos for them and building a community online around their video content. After running Spearhead for a few years, ProAV decided they wanted to take me on full-time and I was very keen to join the company.”
“I’ve been at ProAV for two years now,” Carl said. “I’m the content manager and product specialist. I manage a small team building video content for YouTube and the website, as well as talking about and demonstrating equipment for our customers. We have a huge showroom so customers can come and get hands on before buying and we offer friendly, free and unbiased advice to help them make the right choices.
“Our YouTube channel, ProAV TV, is me talking about and demonstrating the cameras. I can’t say I was too keen to be in front of the camera at first but I enjoy it now. It’s all about having the knowledge of the equipment and it’s something that has always interested me. ProAV is a great company to work for and it’s back near where I grew up in Watford. I really enjoy my job and I’m hoping to progress here in future.”