Dylan Oliver was a quiet, reserved 18-year-old when he launched into screen production studies at EIT’S ideaschool. Now a self-assured graduate, he is well on track for a career in New Zealand’s highly regarded screen industry.
The former St John’s College student worked his EIT holiday breaks at Staples Rentals in Auckland and, having proved his worth, was offered a permanent full-time position with the top-of-the-line screen equipment company. Owner-founder Aliesha Staples says the company doesn’t read cvs from job-seekers, hiring staff purely on their attitude, willingness to work as team members and their preparedness to independently upskill – “all of which Dylan did in his interning time with us”.
The holiday stints exposed him to a wide range of experiences.
“We sent him on a drone shoot for a day,” says Aliesha, “and he was a gimbal assistant on a night music video shoot. He also worked as a camera assistant for directors of photography, helped build computer systems for our virtual reality technician and helped man the company’s equipment rental department.”
Aliesha, also a graduate of EIT’s Diploma in Screen Production programme, says that although Dylan wasn’t told he was in the frame for a permanent job, he actively sought unpaid work experience with the company every holiday break. Now the company is working with him to develop his skills, and he can expect to move into roles such as gimbal operating and virtual reality technician.
Screen production coordinator Tessa Tylee remembers Dylan as an introvert when he started at EIT – he was reluctant to join in group activities or talk in front of classmates. “But he gained in confidence as the programme progressed, happily taking up every challenge including producing an eight-minute documentary as a final-year project.”
Tessa says Dylan is well set up work in an industry which is evolving at an ever-increasing rate. “It’s companies like Staples Rental that keep the industry up to date, including moving into the world of virtual reality. Dylan is being exposed to the latest equipment, which puts him a strong position for the future. He’s also a techie kind of bloke.”
His mother, Tina Oliver, agrees and says her son couldn’t be happier. “Dylan’s learning journey has been challenging, so to see the outcome for him now is awesome. EIT screen production gave him confidence and a sense of belonging.”