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ON CAMPUS: From Classroom to Reel World

May 02, 2015

Published in The Intelligencer

Rob Howsam’s interest in television and new media production began in the action sports industry. His love for motocross and BMX racing drew him to networking at different industry events. After a chance meeting with Justen Soule, a Toronto-based video producer, camera operator, and motion graphics designer, Rob became interested in pursuing a similar career.

“When Justen told me about his job and how he got into the industry in 2011 as a Loyalist Television and New Media Production graduate, following student placements at industry magazines, I was intrigued,” says Rob. After doing some research and visiting Loyalist, Rob applied to the same program. “My professors had real industry experience and insight into the latest trends and technology – giving me the practical knowledge I was looking for. The relaxed College atmosphere made me feel at home.”

In his first year, Rob received the Dome Production Excellence Award, a $2,000 bursary presented at the program’s Sparkie Awards, for outstanding attitude, efforts and willingness to help. Rob, now in his third and final year of the Television and New Media Production program, has already secured a full-time position at Vantage Point Media House as a Colourist/Producer. Located here in Belleville, Vantage Point produces outdoor video and television programming on hunting and fishing, including fly fishing, for leading broadcasters including World Fishing Network, Outdoor Channel and Sportsnet. 

“I was in the right place at the right time,” says Rob, who contacted Vantage Point Senior Producer and Director Victor Cooper, a 2009 Television and New Media Production graduate, after learning about the company through a classmate. “Vantage Point had just purchased the latest colour corrector software, with which I had gained experience during my most recent field placement. Understanding the colour performance, quality and workflow behind television productions was an asset and gave me an edge when it came to applying for the position.”

Rob has put his education to work through a wide range of post-production projects. “I take the same hands-on approach that I’ve learned at Loyalist and apply it to my job at Vantage Point,” he says. In October during reading week, Rob traveled to New Brunswick to film the fall Atlantic salmon season for two episodes of ‘Shorelines,’ a new series written and hosted by April Vokey, shown on the World Fishing Network.

“At Vantage Point, we’re a team of five people, so we have to know how to do everything,” says Rob. “What I really like is that I’m not set in one position or one type of project.”

He has been involved in promotional projects for clients ranging from Belleville General Hospital and Tweed Doomsday Dash to Absolute Vodka at Maker Fest.

“I came to Loyalist with some experience working on my own productions but I’ve gained so much more,” he says. “Loyalist gave me that real world experience, smoothing out some rough edges and providing me with the professionalism I needed.”