Stepping Stones: Premier League Productions trainee camera operator Ellie Jordan talks variety and travel opportunities in sports broadcasting

Premier League Productions’ Ellie Jordan

Ellie Jordan, trainee camera operator for Premier League Productions at IMG, is already addicted to the buzz of covering sport, despite the nerves that working on a live studio production brings. This article is part of our Stepping Stones series, showcasing young female talent in sports broadcasting.

What is your job role today and what do you love about it?

I work as a trainee camera operator for Premier League Productions. My days can vary from operating in the studio, assisting on ENG shoots, or filming a press conference for any number of Premier League clubs around the country. I love that there is variety in what I do each day and I am lucky enough to learn from talented camera operators who have helped me develop and grow as a camera operator.

My job has given me the opportunity to travel to different places, meet different people and be lucky enough to meet professional footballers.

Can you talk us through your relevant education that helped you break into the sports broadcasting industry?

I went to Solent University to study Television Production and straight away got involved in the university’s student-run TV Society, Sonar TV, which helped me gain early experience in filming sports and fuelled my desire to pursue this as a career.

Alongside my university degree, I worked at Southampton Football Club as an entertainment assistant in my third year, which gave me my first insight into the inner workings of professional football. I later had the opportunity to work as a minicam tech assistant for the Women’s Euros, which I really enjoyed being part of. I loved the atmosphere of both working on the event but also of the excitement of the crowds gathered to watch women’s football.

Seeing the success and growth of women’s football in recent years, it feels like it’s opening the doors to more professional opportunities for women in all areas of the sport, both on and off camera. I hope that the more women that see football on TV, more will start to think about a career in sport broadcasting.

Premier League Productions’ Ellie Jordan, hard at work

How did you get your first job in sports broadcasting, what was the role, and when?

After University, I started to look for contracted work and found a LinkedIn post advertising the trainee camera operator job for Premier League Productions, which I successfully applied for.

Can you give us some top tips that really helped you get where you are today?

Getting involved with as many filming opportunities as I could definitely helped me get to where I am now. Being part of a TV society, speaking to lots of different companies or people to see if there were opportunities to assist or shadow on shoots, and being brave enough to put myself out there to ask for work!

During University, I got involved with a number of shoots through our TV society, shooting everything from a live music show ‘Live Lounge’ to Basketball England content, as well as opportunities that came up through university connections, which helped me grow in confidence and improve my camera skills. It’s given me opportunities to operate on incredible events including the men’s and women’s Hampshire FA Senior Cup Finals and even the Lonely Hearts Club Stage at Glastonbury Festival. I’m lucky to work in an industry where I really enjoy my job.

It’s also good to ask questions when you’re unsure of something as people are more than happy to answer; it shows you’re interested in what is happening around you and are willing to learn.

The highlight of my role so far has been going to Brentford FC to assist on a shoot, when I not only ended up operating on the shoot but helping film my first press conference on the same day. I was nervous having to think on my feet but I enjoyed the buzz that came with the nerves.

What would you recommend to other people thinking of working in the broadcast industry?

When applying for jobs (whether it be as a freelance or for a staff position), don’t give up if you don’t get it, just keep on applying, messaging different companies and something will come up. Sometimes it can feel like a difficult industry to break in to, but the opportunities are out there, whether its entry level jobs, apprenticeships, internships or work experience. Make the most of every opportunity to build connections. You never know how it might help you in the future.

Where would you like to be in in five or 10 years time?

I’m not sure what will happen in my career in the next five or ten years, but I do know that I would love to be out filming. There are certain events in the sport industry that would be my dream to work on, including the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, or any major music festival. I’d also love my work to enable me to travel to different countries and operate on shoots around the world.

For anyone thinking about working in this industry, my advice is to do it. It’s great fun and will give you opportunities you may have never imagined!

Subscribe and Get SVG Europe Newsletters