Cameron Payne: How our intuitive choice paid dividends

Cameron Payne is sitting on a piece of heavy machinery on display at the City of Bunbury

Once upon a time, Cameron Payne worked at Coles. Word around town is that if customers spotted Cameron working a till, they would high tail themselves and their trolleys so they could be served by him. Now that, we say, is a loyal customer base.

A new job

Cameron’s working life took a turn in March 2020 when his efforts were rewarded with the position of Trainee Store Person (Warehousing) with the City of Bunbury that he secured with support from Forrest Personnel.

Preliminary visit

We were keen to find out more about his employment transition and visited Cameron at his workplace – the waste operations depot – in November. Our intention was to pen a story about Cameron and his journey, but in the back of our minds, we were also talent scouting for the filming of our new television commercial scheduled to air in early 2021.

Honing in

We’re an employment services organisation and not a talent agency, but we do share a common goal – making the best possible matches between people and opportunities. After spending a few minutes with Cameron, we intuitively knew he would make ideal talent for a television commercial.

Lights, camera, action

We approached him and he agreed. After much planning, coordinating and casting of additional talent, the shoot took place in late December. Thanks to the City of Bunbury, ‘lights, camera, action’ was in full swing one very hot day at the depot under the guidance of Likeable Creative.

Positive feedback

During the shoot, several members of the production crew mentioned that Cameron was a great choice to feature in the television commercial. What made that so, we wondered? Forrest Personnel doesn’t specialise in casting for television, so we wanted to find out why our choice was so apt.

Never short of a smile

As it turns out, we didn’t have to venture far. During the shoot we crossed paths with City of Bunbury Carpentry Apprentice Chris Parker. He noticed Cameron in action and commented that: “He’s a really positive bloke who’s committed to his position. He’s always keen for a friendly chat and never short of a smile.”

Cameron is sitting in a forklift and smiling at the camera

Cameron is never short of a smile. Photo by Simon Westlake

We were off to a good start. We were told that Cameron is positive, friendly and committed. All helpful qualities when on a film set!

Taking direction

On our journey, we chatted with our television commercial Producer Troy Zafer from ZAC Creative. He reflected that: ”When we met Cameron, we knew straight away that he would be perfect to appear in the ad as he was engaging and took direction well from Ross, the TV Director. His performance on the day was even better than expected. Maybe we have uncovered a star.”

The film crew is watching as Cameron gets into his forklift

Cameron took direction well. Photo by Malcolm MacLean

Two chats later and our list is growing. We’ve now added ‘engaging’ and ‘willing to take direction’ to the inventory. Things are looking very good indeed for our intuitive casting choice.

Never tempted

We also heard from Simon Westlake who was the stills photographer on the day. He shared that: “Cameron knew his job well and was both proud and confident. Many non-professional talent question the endless re-takes or attention to detail that is necessary in even a small production. Nothing was too much for Cameron. Sometimes, I had my camera very close to him. Amazingly, he was never tempted to look into it and carried on as if I wasn’t even there. That is usually a honed skill and I certainly didn’t expect it from him.”

A closeup shot of the side of Cameron's face. Photo by Simon Westlake

Cameron carried on as if the stills photographer wasn’t there. Photo by Simon Westlake

Having fun

We saved the last word for Cameron who added that: “It was a really fun experience having the whole film crew around and getting an understanding of how much goes into making a television ad.”

Paying dividends

As we reflect, we know that our intuitive casting choice paid dividends. We identified a person with a host of positive qualities including the capacity to have fun, a willingness to take direction and the ability to exceed expectations. These traits definitely held Cameron in good stead on the set of his first television shoot. They no doubt benefit his current employment and will pave the way for future opportunities too!

Feature photo: Cameron Payne outside the City of Bunbury waste operations depot, November 2020 by Rob Cox, oxy images

Forrest Personnel is a local charity. We specialise in supporting people with health conditions, injuries and disabilities to find and keep jobs.

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