Who are you?
My name is Thomas Speller, 48 years old and I work at ODMedia as a technician within the ingest department.
I have been working at ODMedia since January 2nd, 2012. My career at ODMedia started as an author in the DVD & Blu-ray department. At a certain point there was a need for people within the ingest and archive department, which I slowly but surely rolled in and currently still enjoy very much.
How did you come to join ODMedia?
After I quit my previous job and had no new plans for my future, I received an email from Sjef, who was looking for someone with DVD and Blu-ray experience. Before I knew it I was at one of the now legendary ODMedia Christmas parties with a signed contract in my pocket.
What is your educational background and previous work experience?
After my technical training in Nijmegen, my interest in video gave me the drive to look for a job in Hilversum. I found a job/training as a video technician at the NOB, where I worked as a tape operator for a while.
The then upcoming internet and digital services that were developed at NOB Interactive also included DVD authoring. Within this I found the perfect combination of technology and video. After the internet bubble exploded at the beginning of this century, my colleague at the time and I left the NOB and we started a DVD authoring service together, which included the start of the first Dutch Blu-ray disks and HD DVDs.
What is your job description?
My first position at ODMedia was in the area of DVD authoring. In which I was mainly involved in the creation of DVDs.
In my current position as a video technician my main work lies within the ingest department. Moreover, I am closely involved in the development of our own content management system.
The daily activities mainly consist of steering incoming materials in the right direction and ensuring that these materials are available to the entire company in an understandable way. In order for everyone to view the same and above all the right materials.
Takes us through a working day:
Fortunately, no day is the same at ODMedia. There are times when I’m mainly emailing and calling, while other days are spent entirely in the edit suite or solving a technical puzzle to further optimize the workflow.
What do you see as (a) challenge(s)?
The challenge lies right in the middle. It is precisely all these different activities that keep me sharp and interested in the developments of technology. This also allows me to keep implementing how ODMedia can grow along with these technical advances.
Do you have any tips for people who want to do your work?
Be open to (technical) changes and don’t be afraid to grow along with these developments around you inside and outside the company. Video technology is fun, precisely because it is always evolving.
Which key competences are important within your job?
Don’t shy away from technical challenges, accept changes in general, keep developing, keep learning, keep communicating or start doing these things today. ‘No’ is also an answer, but also come up with a solution or a proposal on how things can be done differently or better.
What do you do when you are not working?
Watching movies and series remains a hobby, even though I sometimes have a problematic case of professional deformation watching and listening to images, sound and subtitles. In addition, my wife and I have a blog about our travels within the world of whisky (speller.nl). Together we have a company that is focused on social media management and product photography and we are, in that capacity, ambassadors for one of the largest whisky clubs in the world (SMWS.eu). In addition, good food and drinks, preferably prepared by myself as much as possible, take up an important part of my free time.
What is your personal motivation?
Learning! Discovering something new every day keeps you young. Crochet a hat, build a table, paint a wall, make cheese or your own charcuterie, grow a tomato – or a basket full. But above all, enjoy everything you do.
What or who inspires you?
Who? Not really one person in particular. I’ve never really had any heroes, not even regarding music or actors or anything like that. I’m pretty boring in that regard. “What” inspires me then? We can easily reduce the mountain of waste by not buying that one bottle of water when we are on the road. By thinking for 1 second and doing 10 seconds of work, we can easily reduce the disposal of 17 million plastic bottles every year. And that is only 1 bottle for each Dutch person per year. That inspires me to think further and to not pick up that vegetable wrapped in plastic, or to buy a piece of meat from (preferably from) a Dutch farmer, whose animal you know had a good life.
What are you proud of?
Pride? To further elaborate, I am stealing a comment from one of my colleagues. “You should be proud when you reach the top of Mount Everest without arms and legs”. It gives a nice feeling to have discovered something new and that we can be a bit more self-sufficient, but I don’t know whether that is pride. Luck? That might be.
So imagine you are 70 years old, what would you like to look back on?
That I have a happy and productive life. And that I was able to contribute to someone by sharing the knowledge I gained in the video technology industry, about food, drinks and old crafts – which I first have to learn myself, now that I’m still younger.
In which four words would you describe ODMedia?
Flexible, people oriented, relaxed, progressive.
How do you experience the company culture of ODMedia?
The company culture within ODMedia is very pleasant. The management team is accessible and very open to comments and suggestions. They act on them and give credit where necessary. The Friday afternoon drinks have been gone for a while now due to COVID. However now we are allowed to meet each other at the office again these will definitely be picked up again.
Which company activities at ODMedia outside of work do you remember most?
The Friday afternoon drinks are fun, but the Christmas party and summer barbecues are simply legendary. Outings such as skydiving, a treasure hunt with mini coopers, flying in a Cessna Aircraft, karting, sailing with an incredibly fast boat on the North Sea were so much fun! How can I choose between one of those? However, there is still something on the future planning that will undoubtedly cast a new shadow on all these previous activities.
How did you experience working during the pandemic?
Corona has changed the world, that has not passed without a fight at ODMedia. I never enjoyed working from home before. However once we were all obliged to do so the entire office was able to work from home the same day. Now I have experienced working from home as very pleasant and I expect that in the future we will end up in a more hybrid society where partly working from home is considered very normal.
What would you tell someone who would like to come and work at ODMedia?
Be open to a great company with a good working atmosphere. Most importantly including friendly colleagues who are always more than happy to help each other!