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Alumni Chad Brock Gives Sneak Peek into Steadicam Operator’s Career

Amongst the professional businesses and organizations visiting for Media Day’s networking session is UWG alumnus Chadwick Brock, a freelancing camera operator and steadicam owner.

Jannette Emmerick

Amongst the professional businesses and organizations visiting for Media Day’s networking session is UWG alumnus Chadwick Brock, a freelancing camera operator and steadicam owner.

Currently an independent contractor with Turner Sports, under parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, Brock does weekly shows usually about basketball, baseball and hockey.

Additionally, Brock has managed to land big jobs in the industry, working on projects featuring Tyler Perry, Queen Latifah, Dwayne Johnson and Steve Harvey. He’s also managed to work on a Marvel movie.

“Funny enough, I was there for a single day, doing the overnight job, and didn’t actually get to do too much,” said Brock. “But the fact of just getting on that big set and being able to watch people that are more experienced, or maybe have bigger connections than I do, I can see how they do and what they do. I loved that job and I’ll do anything I can to get into that Marvel World again.”

While smaller projects are more consistent, the opportunities for big projects are dependent on the broader industry. The sparsity of big projects in particular dipped completely with the actors, directors and writers going on strike in the fall of 2023.

“This past July, I was supposed to work on a show and just go back to back from show to show,” said Brock. “But when the strikes happened it just all went away and it got pushed to this past December. So that part of the freelance lifestyle can be stressful, but it’s something you just got to be good with your finances on, to know that you have six months to a year of savings.”

Instead, Brock’s non-union work with Turner Sports offers him steady income while waiting for larger projects.

“It is very common that no matter what you’re working in, if it’s movies, TV or broadcast, like I’m doing here,” said Brock. “People have a list of names and it doesn’t matter if you’re on top of the list, as long as you’re on the list, that’s what matters because you’ll eventually get that call.”

Adaptability is not only a necessity in landing a job, but also required when filming talent in the spotlight.

“Regardless of if it’s a narrative or a talk show, you just have to go with the flow,” said Brock. “Like if Tyler Perry chooses to pull something out and go into another room, you just gotta follow and see what’s going to happen next. That is a quality that I would definitely recommend for anyone trying to get into the industry, is that you always have to listen to know the information that might go on because it’s a constantly changing beast.”

Brock even quoted the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, who said, “the only constant is change.” Freelancers not only have to be flexible, but also willing to learn new tools or specialize with equipment. For Brock, he honed his skills with steadicams, which are engineered mounted cameras that keep “steady” while filming.

“I really love those [bigger] projects for the sake of all the different tools you can use,” said Brock. “There are dollies that can go on track; there are technocranes that can get tall, high, wide and big; and other than a steadicam, something that is similar is a ‘gimbal’ and that’s something you can run with.”

While Brock has taken off with his career, he started at UWG filming several sports and graduations through the Mass Communications program. He also produced a video game talk show for three semesters, which became an instrumental hands-on experience.

“Just doing your own projects outside of classes is the biggest help because once you get out of the bubble that is Carrollton, you have to have something to show for yourself,” said Brock.

Brock highlights Media Day’s networking event as highly impactful in his career path, because he met other alumni and learned about their own projects. For any students attending the event, Brock suggests asking for advice rather than asking “what can you do for me?”

“Soak in as much new information as you can,” said Brock. “Ask the intelligent right questions. Work your way up. Don’t leave college and try to be the biggest director, producer straight out. Learn from other professionals around you.”

While he enjoys his work now, Brock’s ultimate goal is to be an actor, writer and producer. For more information or to view the projects Brock has worked on, visit: https://www.chadwickbrock.com/