When I left school in 1969 I joined the BBC as a Technical Operator (Course TO32 at Evesham) and moved to Television Centre (Jan 1970) as a Camera Assistant/Sound Assistant working on the major Drama Crews - 5 and 11. I worked on The Six wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, Last of the Mohicans and others. During this time I also spent some time unofficially at BBC Radio Medway in Chatham, Kent as one of the other Sound Assistants I knew at TV Centre was on secondment there.
After three years I decided to be a teacher and did Teacher Training at Stockwell College, Bromley - in English and Drama and also Radio, Film & Television Studies. I then taught in New Addington, Surrey for two years. During this time I was also running a "mobile disco roadshow" in Kent.
Once I had completed my probationary time and qualified as a teacher I took a year off and travelled around Europe, Rotterdam in Holland, Dieppe in France and Frankfurt in Germany working as a night club DJ.
On returning to England in 1978 I started working at a secondary school in Croydon as an English and Drama teacher, shortly afterwards becoming Head of Drama and also teaching Media Studies.
During this time I joined Radio Mayday the local hospital radio station where I presented a variety of programmes over a period of 15 years. Also running outside broadcasts on a shoe-string which included an original programme using an early mobile phone unit (large brick) to take part in and do commentary and interviews during a Croydon Carnival procession through the main streets of Croydon!!
At this time I got started a part time video production business Mirage Video and did many weddings and a number of low budget documentary style promotional videos for local charities.
In 1995 I left full time teaching and joined Premier Radio (a London wide Christian medium wave radio station) first as a volunteer, then employed as a Marketing Executive and then External Projects Manager where I managed the stations Outside Broadcasts (from a variety of locations including a ship in the Thames, Blackheath Common [which was re-broadcast live internationally to 5 other countries] and a Showground in Norwich etc) Those were the days of ISDN! I also did a number of "live broadcast" sound mixes of band and orchestras, sometimes with little more than a couple of ad breaks to do sound checks!
In 2003 the station was keen to expand to other UK cities and I was given the role of project managing a short term RSL in Manchester. This required designing and building a "flat pack" sound proofed - air conditioned studio which could be transported in a Transit Luton to the Manchester Cathedral Visitors Centre. I then did the design and specification of all of the studio equipment and playout system to run the station. So in the very hot August of 2003 I was then Station Manager of Premier FM in Manchester managing the technical and production aspects of the station with Cindy Kent as Programme Manager. Would you believe even on the very hottest day ever recorded in August 2003 the "hand built and DIY airconditioning" kept the studio at a steady 19C degrees!!
The whole "show" was repeated in Birmingham in December 2003 as Premier FM - Birmingham and again I was Station Manager with Cindy Kent as Programme Manager.
However by January 2005 I decided that I would return to teaching, as the pension is based on final salary, and was invited to have my "old job" back as Head of Drama at the school where I taught in Croydon.
While back teaching I joined the Sutton Film Makers Club. At the club I met an old colleague from the BBC days Peter Leverick and with my Radio/Sound experience was invited by another member, Jackie Clark, who was in the production planning stages of preparing to shoot an "indie feature film", to take on joint responsibility for Location Sound Manager and Boom Op. The film "Parallel Lines" was shot in the summer of 2013 and is currently in the final stages of "post-production" ready for release in November 2014.
In July 2014 I retired from teaching and moved to Shanklin, Isle of Wight where I am looking forward to developing my own video/radio/media work with my company Blue Sky Media Productions.
Name: Brian Curtis
Lives in: Ryde, United Kingdom
Company: Blue Sky Island Media
Occupation: Acting Teacher, Actor, Boom Operator, Crew, Director, Field Recordist, Filmmaker, Sound Designer, Sound Editor, Sound Mixer, Videographer and Voice Actor
Film by Future Imperfect Productions Location Sound Manager & ADR Recording Manager