Embracing Experience: The Remarkable Journey of Our 59-Year-Old Intern, Uncle Jim

Mid-career transitions are a common occurrence, but it’s not every day that our sets welcome our very first intern, especially one with as much experience as Mr. Jim Tan. Fondly known as “Uncle Jim,” he has become an indispensable part of our team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to our productions.

Uncle Jim’s career journey took a new turn when he joined us during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, starting off at Position Five with limited knowledge of camera, lighting, and streaming equipment. However, his dedication and willingness to learn were evident from the start. He began by assisting us with equipment logistics, gradually immersing himself in the intricacies of production.

His background in designing, printing, and installing banners for prestigious companies like Microsoft, Raffles Marina, and the Singapore High Court brought a valuable skill set to our team. Despite his initial unfamiliarity with our industry, Uncle Jim quickly proved his worth, becoming well-versed in our inventory and processes.

One of the most endearing aspects of Uncle Jim is his resemblance to a CEO, often amusing our clients who mistake him for one of the company directors. His friendly demeanor and quirky personality have made him a favorite among our clients and team members alike.

Beyond his affable nature, Uncle Jim has consistently surprised us with his ingenuity and problem-solving skills. His life experience has been a treasure trove of knowledge, often leading to innovative solutions that we, as a production house, would not have considered otherwise.

For instance, Uncle Jim once came up with a creative solution to improve my line of sight during live streams and AV productions. Despite my height disadvantage, he took it upon himself to modify our pipes and drapes by bringing them to a car exhaust workshop in Singapore to have them custom cut. This ensured that I could see above them to manage audio effectively. His resourcefulness and willingness to go the extra mile have been invaluable to us.

In return, Uncle Jim has embraced learning new skills, mastering the setup of equipment like Falcon Eyes lights, Nanlites, and analog audio mixing consoles. His enthusiasm for our industry is evident, often outpacing some of our staff and freelancers in equipment setup, much to everyone’s surprise.

Coming from a generation that values hands-on work, Uncle Jim has also helped restore old equipment, optimize our office space, and tackle various handy work projects. He is also exceptionally detail-oriented and has a keen eye for aesthetics, often going above and beyond to assist our art department on set. Whether it’s using newspaper, car drying cloths and window cleaners to clean our display tank for a production shoot or using fishing lines to create the illusion of floating props, Uncle Jim consistently finds creative solutions to these challenges.

Uncle Jim’s story serves as a testament to the value of older workers seeking career transitions. His journey with us has been nothing short of inspiring, and we encourage other companies to consider the wealth of experience and fresh perspectives that seasoned individuals like Uncle Jim can bring to the table.

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