TDC – Technical Direction Company has a newly focused training and support initiative to support students and graduates of the VET (Diploma of Live Production and Technical Services) and BFA (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) courses at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. Students and graduates are given practical experience with a variety of today’s video technologies and entertainment industry best practice.
“TDC is one of NIDA’s major partners,” explained Graham Henstock, director, Centre for Technology, Production and Management at the National Institute of Dramatic Art. “TDC regularly provide us with teaching assistance, technical expertise, and access to video equipment for live performance. TDC supports an annual scholarship for a student. TDC’s valued support has allowed all our students to learn and experience technology and new ways of working that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible.”
As the events industry was once worth 36 billion dollars it is now returning to in-person and online events after the COVID pandemic, TDC highlights its strengthened training and development programme aimed at generating new talent and business opportunities.
Industry-led training and development
NIDA’s BFA (Technical Theatre and Stage Management) is a fifteen month course places emphasis on practical experience with a module lasting three months that focuses on the theory and art of video design, basic video design principals in display technology and systems as well as planning, pre visualisation and programming.
TDC carries out further training sessions, master classes and collaboration with loans equipment for the final module of the course, where students carry out their individual creative projects, designs and work experience.
“We’ve seen some wonderful, refreshing and creative applications of technology from some genius minds who are so eager to learn – some methods even we haven’t discovered or experimented with yet,” explained Drew Ferors, technical manager at TDC.
Ferors explained that even after NIDA graduation: “TDC delivers technical training to graduates and new recruits using a classroom-based environment with support and assessments developed in-house by TDC giving further access to the best entertainment technology and expertise to develop skills long after graduation.”
Growing TDC production crew
Working at TDC is an attractive career prospect for clever minds and aspiring technicians looking to start their careers in creative technology. The talented technician Declan Lodge joined TDC working alongside Harrison Dow, technician who joined TDC in 2019. Both are graduates of the VET course at NIDA in Sydney. In their new roles, Lodge and Dow worked on the latest projection mapping and LED technology across 27 sites at the biggest ever Vivid Sydney 2022.
Harrison Dow said: “The NIDA course puts you in front of the right people and a job. I’m really pleased to have joined TDC to pursue my ambitions there.”
"We work really closely with NIDA with training, lessons and technical support all the time. This year, we ended up taking on some secondments who were lucky enough to also secure a technical role within our ranks here at TDC. We pride ourselves on our training that we conduct at TDC and we are actively supporting and bringing in fresh talent into the industry," explained Drew Ferors.
“People are our most important asset,” echoed Michael Hassett, founder and managing director at TDC. “We’re delighted to bring two new NIDA graduates on board who have excellent skills and practical understanding. Once at TDC, we continue to train staff on the job and give them experience in using the latest, ground-breaking visual display technologies in a range of projects.”
Harrison Dow, technican at TDC added: "TDC has a really nice culture of trying to teach anyone anything - if you're willing to learn, they'll probably teach you."
There are a number of students attending the NIDA VET 12-month course each year. Each year, TDC is a benefactor of one of its students sponsoring their studies.
Those looking to enter the technical arena to start their illustrious career could benefit from some wise words from Declan Lodge: “If you are looking to be a technician or project manager who loves coordinating and working as part of a dedicated team, then TDC is the right place to start.”