Sub heading

Dominic Flanagan, November 7 2019

My Story

Hi there, I’m Dominic. I love telling stories. I hope you like this one. It is about my journey. How I got here and where I am going, well at least where I plan to go.

You know that is the absolute beauty of any journey. You may start with a plan, the detail depends on what sort of person you may be. But you know that after the journey begins and as it unfolds things happen, you meet people, you see and hear things that bend and shape your journey. Thats why I love travelling. The sheer excitement as you open yourself up to the journey is the most exhilarating thing imaginable.

So, here goes...

After leaving school was was unsure of what I wanted to ‘do’ in my life. An AMP sales rep called my mum to sell her insurance. Mum wasn’t interested but when the salesman asked about her children she told him I was just out of school and looking for a ‘job’. The salesman told her that AMP employed anybody so I should give them a call - Hahaha

So that was my introduction to full time work. I won’t go into this period of my youth too much suffice to say that it was a good opportunity for me to learn about the working environment while spending much of my time socialising and playing local AFL football.

After about 21/2 years there, I had an epiphany. I was at the pub one friday night and in the group of us having a drink was an older man. He was partially and but had grey hair, grey skin and a grey suit. A bit like the cartoonists depicted JohnMajor the British PM in the 1990’s. I thought to myself ‘If I don’t get out of here I am going to be this guy in 30 years’. It scared the life out of me. I approached the team working in the AMP video studio for a change of job but they said I had to study and there were no jobs going at that time. I began studying the course some of them were doing and after two years of staying in touch they told me an opening had come up and I started when my course was finished.

I loved it. I had excelled in the course. It was nothing like school. I was self-motivated for the first time in my life. The boss made me the Video Cameraman and wishing a month I was hanging out the side of a helicopter filming a corporate video.

Two years later this all came to a screeching halt when, in 1990, a financial recession meant AMP had to shed some excess. The video studio was considered one such excess.

At the time my sister had moved to London. I also had a British passport as I was born there of an Australian father and an english mother. So off I trotted on the adventure of a lifetime...

I arrived in London with $AU10,000 I had saved over the years, but on arriving in London this money become worth about $3,500 Pounds sterling. I am quite a frugal person, but this was gone in 18 months. I had been working trying to get more training as a video cameraman doing casting videos, camera assisting and some filming when I could get the work. This was a great grounding and game me so many more skills and knowledge by working with a variety of different people. I was told of a full time job at Financial Times TV by one of my current clients which I applied for, went for an interview, then waited to hear. I remember I had 100 pounds in my bank account and a friend, who knew I had been studying Spanish of a hobby called and asked I wanted to go to Spain with him and his friends. I said, if I get the job I’ll go otherwise I can’t afford it.

A few days later I learned that I got the job and off to Spain I went for Christmas and NY. So began my love affair with Spain and all things Spanish.

After working at FTTV for three years and several trips back to Spain for holidays and language course I finally left to return the Spain and immerse myself in order to learn the language properly.

I had a great time. My new Spanish friends were so good to me and they helped me enormously. As I am a very independent person I tried to do things for myself. I remember the first time I rang up looking for somewhere to rent I didn’t even know what ‘Piso Compartido’ meant (shared flat).

Anyway I ended up staying in Spain, teaching English and working in Irish Pubs until my language was good enough to get some camera work. I found it tough getting consistent camera work in Spain. Most of my work I got using my English with foreign clients but also working with Spanish companies.

I was also returning to London during the European summer months for work and in ’97 got an opportunity to go and work in South Africa on Magazine programs with a producer friend of mine from London. This was an amazing experience. I spend 3 months travelling around Africa filming a travel magazine show and the next three months working around South Africa on a fashion magazine program.

I saw so much and threw myself into the work and learned an enormous amount about my work, myself and that part of the world. Christmas of ’97 I returned to Australia for the first time in seven years. Went to live in Sydney and started trying to find camera work in a city I had never lived. While I was there I met a Spanish girl and returned to Spain with her at the end of ’98. I also met one of the Spanish organisers of SOBO, the TV arm of the Olympic Games Organisation. He was to later give me a contract to work on the Sydney Olympics in 2000 which was another fantastic experience both professionally and personally.

So, after another year in Spain in 1999 I returned to Sydney to work on the Olympics and did some other work in the three months I was here. I then returned to Spain and realised that Sydney was a better option for me. I came back to live here in 2001 and have been here ever since.

Over the next few years it was tough establishing myself with regular work. As is usual when you move around to new places to live I had to start again at the bottom until I met more people, started networks and began to get better and better work. In those days I hired camera gear, whereas now I own my own. In fact I have three cameras and a multitude of other equipment.

I have had some great clients and done some great work and developed some really good relationships over the years. In the last two years my industry has change dramatically and I find myself reinventing once again. The entire structure of how we work these days has completely changed with the introduction of social media and cheaper, more accessible video and editing equipment.

I am currently in the process of redefining who I am in this industry and discovering how to best offer myself and my skills to help others communicate with the world. Video is now as important if not more so in the communication process for business’ to be seen and understood in the market place.

This is my goal now. On the the journey... .... to be continued :-)

Written by

Dominic Flanagan