Poster for my upcoming short (Final Major Project)
More of a reminder for myself but this is a list of things that I aim to blog in detail about in the upcoming days (aren’t you lucky?)
For my professional experience I decided to work on a number of different projects. Some were self-managed and others were more like traditional placements, although they were both voluntary places. The places I worked for/with or started working with for my professional experience were:
The Birmingham County Football Association
The West Midlands Police
Coventry University Accidental Seduction Film Group
‘Blind Faith’ Television Pilot
These were a fairly wide variety of projects and placements. Many of them were chosen by me simply because of easy access and introduction from the university, only Corby Radio was not linked in some way to the uni, however having said that I did not choose any of these projects as an easy option, far from it in fact. I felt that the FA and Accidental.. Projects especially provided a wide range of challenges from the get go. Particularly while we were trying to secure funding for Prague. I went with some of these choices based on work I had seen on previous trips in the case of accidental seduction. I went with the Radio volunteering because I wished to improve my skills in radio broadcasting and sound editing as well as seeing how a small business worked in the case of Corby radio.
The journey that has been taken during professional Experience has been at times difficult but in general thoroughly enjoyable, My prior contacts were slim to none beyond my course and I’m glad to see I have met many helpful contacts throughout my time working on this module, My prior knowledge and interests certainly helped me decided the projects I worked on, I wished to test my skills abroad as well as getting a big name on my CV (extra bonus that it was the FA) and also wished to improve my radio knowledge. Skills that have been enhanced by this module include:
. Practical Camera skills
. Editing skills.
However over the course of this experience it has certainly been a case of “the more I know, the more I realise how little I know” I recognise that my confidence and leadership abilities have improved, but I still recognize that there is still a long way to go, I have also made many mistakes during this module (including not planning well enough in advance, leaving things late) which will help enhance my thinking of similar projects. In terms of my career goals and lifetime plans this has helped me to understand a bit better how the world of freelance media could work, at the start of this module I had no idea where I wanted to go after university and while I still can’t say I’m certain where I will go I now start to see myself more and more as a camera operator , I’m starting to realise that at least for the moment I don’t have the skills to take on full leadership of a project so I feel I’m much more likely to work for someone else rather than start my own company. However I’m also starting to realise the value of having a wide range of contacts and skills in your inventory so will be looking to act on as many opportunities’ as possible in my final year.
My next steps as mentioned previously include improving the skills I already have as well as the personal skills I feel I may be lacking, I’ve already got some further professional experience arranged in the shape of the West Midlands Police and The BBC Big Screens Project as well as continuing with Source Radio and finishing off the final touches to the FA DVD. I’ve also set myself a target of learning Adobe after effects as research has shown me how useful it is to have those skills or at the very least an understanding of how they work under my belt. I also aim to improve my editing skills further. I aim to improve my skills in these areas by simply by practicing any free chance I get whilst I still have access to the universities equipment. I also aim to further build my contacts and see about further paid opportunities’ for after my course has finished.
The good, the bad and the ugly. During this module several things have gone very, very well for me. I have gained a number of contacts which will help me in the future, I have also built up relations with the contacts I already had, I have learnt not only the skills I have but some of the skills I lack, which allows me to improve upon them in the future. However throughout the course of the module a lot of things have gone wrong. As mentioned previously organisation of the FA project was a bit of a nightmare at times, trying to get people to meet their times as well as have a consistency in style and equipment was a lot harder than I could have anticipated, making it very difficult to get as much footage worth using from some of the shoots as we would have liked. Other things that have gone badly wrong include the work I have done with source radio as timings and errors in originisation have prevented me doing some of the work I had orginised. Also whilst in Prague I learnt what can happen when timing is left to run as we ended up shooting the majority of the film on the final day of shooting for nearly 12 hours into the early hours of the next morning, this was much later than we originally planned. All of these have made me realise how much can go wrong in the world of media but also how important it is to keep a steady mind and strong will and get what’s needed done at the end of the day and that is possibly the most important lesson I could have learnt from experience during this module.
Here is a list of contacts I have met through this module and how they could be helpful in the future.
Sunny Sahota – Marketing at the BCFA
Sunny is the perosn who has been in charge of the FA Project, She would be a useful contact in the future who is well-connected and could possibly lead me onto others that could progress my media career.
Des Barber – Station Manager Corby Radio
Des’ could prove useful as a contact in radio but also in getting my foot in the door with local events (should i stay in Corby/Northamptionshire)
Stewart Mcneil – News Editor/Presenter Corby Radio
As with Des Stewart would be a good contact in Local Radio and events.
Greg – Funeral For a Friend tour manager and Steph Van Spronsen of Hart Media.
These were the two people that orginised the interview with FFAF, I could possibly use Hart media again in the future to orginise further interviews for Source Radio.
Sean Keaney – Current 3rd year M-Pro Student and Accidental Seduction director.
Sean is just finishing off his degree, but maybe a useful contact to keep hold of (aswell as the rest of the 3rd year film group) in case of any further projects in the future.
Charley Jordan – Radio presenter.
I contacted Charley through a relative when I was starting with Source Radio, although I didn’t work with her she gave me some advice on working in the radio and getting a good show going, She could be a useful contact in the future due to her background with the BBC.
In this module I have been able to evaluate and reconsider my career path aswell as my own personal strengths and weaknesses. For each of the projects I had a role in I shall discuss my teamworking abilities, how it has affected my creative work and what skills i have learnt/improved or still need improving.
The FA Project.
For this role I’d say that I worked quite well as a member of a team during filming shoots. I was good a helping people to try and get a good shot but would also criticise any that I felt could be improved. I also accepted that criticism of people several times. However I feel that my leadership skills could certainly have been improved upon. As I have mentioned on this blog before I learnt quite quickly it’s better to go with a small committed group rather than try and get a large group to do a little bit each. I will be the first to admit that I could not get people to commit to the project in the way that i’d have liked. Also I failed to take into account things like what to do if our first choice camera wasn’t available, who would edit the final piece (initially) and just what the chain of command was within the group, In defence to myself I never claimed to take a leadership role, but I was looked upon as the leader by many within the group, If I was to take on a role similar again I would need to be certain to make all issues and soloutions clear at the start of any project, aswell as establish peoples roles at the earliest opportunity.
Creatively this project has been great for me, whenever possible I aimed to make a shooting (although that wasn’t as often as I would have liked) I would love to go into shooting live events after univeristy so the football game filming was a great opportunity for me, We had several issues based on cameras throughout the project, because of the lack of cameras we often had to switch makes and models for each shoot, meaning that in the edit there’s an obviously quality difference, in the future i’d be preferable to make sure we have a camera we could always use, but of course in this case it was impossible to guarantee use of a single camera.
From this project so far (we are still at editing) I have learnt a lot about my own (lack of) leadership abilities which I now consider one of my top skills I need to improve, I have learnt alot about how media projects for outside orginisations work and how the chain of communication works for projects at the FA.
Although I had my own radio show I had to attend regular meetings with source radio to discuss issues and oppurtunites with the group, this was a great way to make sure we were all on the same page as far as making the radio reach alot more people across the university. My creative and presentation skills were certianly improved by appearing on the radio regularly as it allowed me to experiment with ideas aswell as consider what did and didn’t work with me and my audience, aswell as improve my technical audio skills. I still feel that I could improve certain aspects of my technical side of presenting aswell as getting involved further behind the scenes.
Prague Accidental Seduction:
Teamwork was an essential part of this piece, Not only for our group but for the ‘once upon a time’ group that also went along to Prague, before we went out to film we all needed to get money to fund the experience, this was done by several events including several film nights and junk sales. from the start when we were handed Sean’s script we could see where the project was and see how he was planning for it to look, I wish we could have had more pratice sessions before heading out to prague and also know the full team a bit better, but whilst we were out there we all seemed to work quite well and everyone seemed to stick to their roles meaning there wasn’t a case of too many cooks, which was great during the more stressful nighttime scenes.
I honestly think some of the shots I got from this trip are the best I have ever shot, unfortunately I don’t have a copy of any of them at the moment as the film is in the editing stage and I did not recieve a backup of the majority of shots from this trip. what I have learnt from this trip was to have more confidence in my abilities as well as work in a foreign environment.
This was another place where teamwork was of course vital, I didn’t help out as much as I would have liked over the christmas holidays for a variety of reasons, but with that experience as well as helping out a lot of last summer I leanrt alot of how a radio station is actually run. I worked well in a team with stewart and the others I worked with during the time and throughout the experience I learnt to adapt to what was needed of me, be it busy or slow work days. Creatively i learnt the important skill of making pieces for a real-world radio station, something which i can’t really say about source radio as their rules are a lot more lenient than those of FM and DAB broadcasters.