Darren Coventry

Darren Coventry

What is your role at BFBS?

I am a digital video producer and soon to be a podcaster within the BFBS Creative team.

What brought you to BFBS?

Having served a long career with the Armed Forces I was always aware of the customer facing services that BFBS offer, typically then that was TV and Radio.

When I left the Armed Forces and was looking for a new career, I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the BFBS Academy HNC Course in media production.

The course allowed me the opportunity to explore my creative side, whilst providing in depth theoretical and practical training on subjects across the broad spectrum of the digital media world.

It was producing video content that I enjoyed the most, but equally I learned a lot about audio production and the media world in general.

When I finished the course, I was very lucky to be successful when I applied to join the video team, part of BFBS Creative.

Describe a typical working day?

There is no typical day on the BFBS Creative team; the projects we work on are extremely varied. Broadly they are split into two categories: homegrown and commercial content.

Commercially we work with clients to create video for any number of reasons. That might include being involved in the planning of the content, identifying the audience they wish to engage with and the message they want to deliver. I might then script and storyboard what the final content might look like so that we can agree a plan and production schedule.

If it involves filming (it could be that motion graphics or imagery provided by the client can be used) then we will deploy as a team to capture the content. That can be literally anything:

  • formal, well-lit interviews,
  • soldiers conducting live firing exercises,
  • standing on a runway filming the latest fighter jet,
  • on a beach in the South Atlantic filming penguins,
  • or on a different beach in Cyprus, filming a helicopter Search and Rescue training mission.

It really can be anything.

Homegrown content is the stuff we create for our own channels. These are the programs that some would call passion projects. We are just lucky enough to be part of a team that encourages us to seek out stories that we want to tell and then find a way to tell them.

I am involved in a number of exciting homegrown projects:

  • I’m hosting a podcast called Tea & Medals, where I chat with some of the UK bravest people, who have been recognised for their bravery by receiving the highest gallantry medals the country has to give,
  • I have picked up the reins on a series called Negatives, exploring iconic military photos and the stories surrounding them,
  • and lastly something we haven’t done before: I am creating a short animation series in which we try to explain conflicts from around the world in just 60 seconds, which is far more difficult than it sounds.

That’s a typical day at BFBS.

What’s your favourite thing about life at BFBS?

What’s it like working with the armed forces?

Having come from a long career in the Army, the Armed Forces is safe ground for me. But now that I get to see it from the other side, often through a lens, I get to appreciate just what a special group of people the Armed Forces are.

There is a lot of negative media about the Armed Forces, or about life in the Armed Forces, but in reality they are highly professional people, who do, what can only be described as extraordinary things, but is often just routine to them. 

What are your interests outside work?

When I’m not working, I’m usually watching and learning about the content that other people create. This is a very fast paced environment to work in and the trends change so quickly. If you want the content you create to be seen then it needs to be impactful, which involves understanding how to tell human stories. But I need to understand how to use cutting edge equipment and techniques to tell those stories in the most compelling what that I can.

I’m also a qualified ski instructor but, as yet, have not found a project in which I can combine all of these interests.