The Marlborough comedy writer and digital creator recently completed the Video Production Training Scheme course at NMIT.
The 17-week programme, delivered completely online, provides students with the technical skills and knowledge needed to work as a video producer.
Jono had been focussing on creative pursuits, including comedy, writing, and music after leaving his job at Marlborough Lines at the end of 2019.
“I wanted to explore other avenues and start doing some more creative things.”
During the Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown in April, Jono came across the New Zealand Police ‘Creative Genius’ challenge.
It called for people around New Zealand to submit short videos featuring COVID-19 messaging to share across the police’s social media accounts.
Jono decided to take part and, in the space of a day, he wrote a comedic song about saying “no-vid to COVID” and filmed a quirky homemade music video on his iPad with help from his wife Rachel.
Out of about 500 entries, Jono’s video was one of the few that police shared on social media(external link) — and it was a hit. It’s clocked up close to 40,000 views and has been liked and shared hundreds of times.
The small taste of success made Jono want to upgrade his technical skills and knowledge so he could do more professional video production work.
“I wanted to be doing more of that but I didn’t have the camera skills or the technical skills.”
He says he chose NMIT for the flexibility of the online course, which has allowed him to fit study around his other commitments.
During the programme, New Zealand Police asked Jono to produce another video(external link) when Auckland went into Level 3 lockdown.
He says the quality of the second video was considerably better than the first thanks to the skills he’s picked up from the course.
“You could really see the difference. The first one we filmed on an iPad and the second one we actually used a camera and tripod.”
As a result of his COVID-19 videos, Jono was approached by Marlborough winery, Wairau River, to produce video content for social media.
“It's been great just making short videos and they've started putting them on their Instagram and Facebook and getting a lot of engagement,” he says.
“Every video I've made for them is getting better and better as the course goes on.”
He’s also getting to put the skills he’s learned to work with professional camera equipment.
In just a few months, Jono’s gone from creating homemade videos in his spare time to getting his first client as a professional video producer.
He says the goal is to do creative work full-time.
“I’m finding that digital media and content creation is what gets me up in the morning.”