WHEN blockbuster movie World War Z starring Brad Pitt was being filmed in Glasgow back in 2011, the teenage Andy Kerr would go into town after school to watch.

“I found it fascinating and used to spend hours transfixed by the crew, especially the camera people,” he explains. “I did some research about working in film and TV and decided to go for it. I’d studied photography at school and always had a strong visual sense.”

After looking around at different college and university courses, Mr Kerr decided Glasgow Clyde College’s HND in Television would provide the best springboard to break into what remains one of the most competitive industries of them all.

And it proved to be a good decision. In the last three years, the 24-year-old from Giffnock has worked on a host of big shows including Britain’s Got Talent, X Factor, Geordie Shore and Love Island.

“I did consider going to university but industry people always say experience is the most important thing,” he says. “College was great. It was hands-on, providing me the with skills I needed to get a start in the profession.”

Not that doing so proved easy, especially in an industry predominantly based in London. Mr Kerr is now a successful freelance camera assistant, but he spent years as an extra and then a production runner, building contacts and experience.

“It can even be hard to get work experience,” he explains. “I remember sending hundreds of emails and getting no replies, which was demoralising. I pursued extra work on River City and Waterloo Road, and that got me on to the set. It was there that I met the guy who gave me my first job as a runner and I built things up from there, moving to London and working on some big shows.

“I tried both the editorial and crew side of things and decided I really wanted to be involved in the technical side of things.”

International travel is a regular feature of Mr Kerr’s schedule, working alongside the director of photography on shows like Love Island.

“One of the things I love most about the job is having the opportunity to go to places like Australia and Mexico. I also love meeting new people and getting the chance to do different things. The flexibility of being a freelancer means you are in control of your own destiny.”

Of course, with long hours and unpredictable work patterns, the television world isn’t as glamorous as it might appear, especially when you work for yourself. Mr Kerr believes although having the right skills is key, the right personality is also important to building a successful career.

“This isn’t an industry for everyone,” he adds. “It’s really competitive and there are lots of big egos flying about, so you need to be able to handle that. Being down to earth is important, as being able to talk to people from every walk of life. But you need to be resilient and quite driven, too – you’ve got to make things happen for yourself.”

As for the advice Mr Kerr would give to others hoping to build a career in the creative industries, he believes persistence is the key.

“The best and most important thing you can do in TV is get experience under your belt,” he says. “You’’ll get loads of knock-backs along the way but that’s all part of it. You need to be pro-active and persistent but not annoying.

“You also need to be ready to travel and prepared to be away from home for long spells, so if you have ties it could be difficult. But working in TV is also the best job in the world – go for it.”