(All of the posts have been in draft form until the deadline was close enough so I could review each one before submission)

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Where do I go from here?

So the end of university is nigh its been an interesting three years, and as much as I hate to regret, I wish I had got more involved with professional work earlier on – although thinking back I dont know if I would of been as prepared as I am for professional work back then.  I have worked on numerous different projects ranging from short film, documentary, live music recording to wedding videography and case studies, and feel that from now on my experience will only continue to expand.

Having assessed the skills needed to fulfill various job roles in the media industry I feel I am currently on track skill wise for a career in video production.

Looking back over the films I had made in my first year I think its really unbelievable how far I have come.  The skills that are industry specific that I have picked  up over the years will no doubt come of use in future employment, these include a good understanding of camera equipment, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balancing, composition, lighting, sound, as well as editing skills using Final Cut Pro and Premiere Pro, including grading, and correcting.  I am now comfortable using almost any camera given to me, and feel confident setting up equipment for a professional shoot.  By taking on professional projects throughout my final year has allowed me to develop the ability to multi task (university work as well as professional jobs), to act decisively in pressured situations (such as live music recording and wedding videography) and to promote myself and my work as a professional videographer.

My time keeping and organisation has improved massively since I began uni, I now seem to have my own little ways of making sure I get everything done and I actually enjoy the feeling of knowing everything is organised and sorted out correctly.  When I first came to university I was lacking in confidence, organisation and self motivation…to think that I am now in a position where I feel confident enough to approach strangers at networking sessions, organize my own work as well as professional work on the side and to motivate myself into setting up a business as a freelance videographer while searching for a full time job in the media is amazing – in this aspect it really has been worth it!

My plan for the time being…

  • Continue to work as a freelance videographer and build up a good portfolio over the coming years
  • Build professional contacts in the television and film industry
  • Gain runner jobs on film sets to help expand the knowledge I already have about film making
  • Set up a part time wedding/events videography service to help fund film ventures and further unpaid work or internships
  • Work part time to pay for everything else including general living costs
  • Try and save up for travelling ventures
  • Keep in touch with people from university
  • Submit my short film to festivals and get screenings where possible
  • Relax…this last year has been the hardest you have worked in your entire life so try and unwind a little, get a holiday or something!

Working as a freelancer:

The ICE building in Coventry offers the following services for businesses:

Creative Enterprise

  • Supporting enterprising creatives
  • Creative Enterprise is a new project aimed at supporting both emerging creative talent and existing businesses in the region. We offer a range of free services, including:
  • Business advice, guidance and mentoring
  • Business development training and workshops
  • Mentoring from a professional in your field
  • Consultancy and access to specialist research and knowledge
  • Hot-desking space and computing services
  • Events and networking opportunities

Creative Enterprise is aimed at graduates, new start ups and existing creative enterprises from across the West Midlands. If you’re interested in finding out more contact Peter McLuskie, pmcluskie@cad.coventry.ac.uk, or  Clare Hudson,chudson@cad.coventry.ac.uk, or join our mailing list – Emerge – to keep up to date with events and opportunities.

I will be getting in touch with Creative enterprise for help setting up a business as a freelancer, there are many things which I already know I will need to arrange before I can set up a proper business including tax declarations as well as lots of paper work type things which this organisation will be able to help me with.

Website

I have not yet made a website for myself for the specific reason that I am undecided as to whether I will be promoting my freelance work as a named individual ie. Leanne Matthews Videography, or working under a  business name ie. Moon Stone Media.  Once I have made this decision I will be purchasing a domain name and setting up a professional website using a paid service which will allow me to have an official email address for myself instead of a @hotmail.com etc

Saving for a CELTA qualification

This may seem a little off the radar but as travelling is something I really want to be part of the next 5 years after graduation, I have been looking at my travelling and working options.  I also wanted a back up plan just for reassurance.

CELTA is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience and is one of the most widely taken qualifications of its kind. Over 10,000 people each year choose CELTA to open up a whole world of exciting English language teaching opportunities.

http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/celta/index.html

The course itself required a Cambridge level English proficiency exam before you can even be considered for the course, but once the course has been completed you can use your qualification to teach english to speakers of other languages all around the world.  I know somebody who is currently teaching in Thailand for a masters in teaching english, once he has this qualification in a year or so he has expressed the idea that he would be able to employ me really easily abroad, and having a recommendation from somebody like him would help me gain work a lot easier in many countries.

The course itself (with proficiency exam) is around the £2000 mark, which would involve a fair amount of saving but could be worth it in the long run.

Part time work

For the time being I will be doing as many paid videography jobs that I can get my hands in, but will also take up a normal type of part time job, bar work or something just to see me through the times when I dont have freelance work.  I have two C.V’s one for media jobs and one for everything else, I vary which C.V I use depending on the job applied for.

Media C.V Personal C.V

Getting a job as a runner

There are a few websites which I will be checking regularly for runner jobs, my best chances are getting a job as a runner will either be through contacts I make from networking sessions, websites like Linked In, or crew call sites, all are listed below:

http://www.productionbase.co.uk/

http://shootingpeople.org/

http://www.starnow.co.uk/

http://www.filmcrewpro.com/uk/welcome.php

http://www.linkedin.com/

http://www.mediauk.com/jobs

http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/jobs/media/?CMP=KNCJOBSCHKW3570&gclid=CPHlx9Tdj7ACFcwNtAod5BYypA

http://mandy.com/

Wedding/Events Videography…

I will continue to promote myself as a wedding/events videographer and I have a wedding fair I am attending on the 10th June which will give me a really good chance of promoting my own work and securing a few jobs for the coming months.  I will also be filming a live 18 piece jazz orchestra in a couple of weeks time which will allow me to gain even more experience in this field.

Overall…

I have gained a wide range of experience throughout this course and through professional work outside of university, I will continue to build upon the skills already learnt and give breaking into the film industry a really good try.  Travelling is a major part of what I have always wanted to achieve so I believe I will be working towards saving for travelling but also expanding my profession as a videographer.  One of the main things I also need, is to save up for some professional equipment such as cameras, tripods, sound equipment and I really need a new computer with edit software – this adds up to another few thousand pound so the next few years will be full of saving up for useful things.  I will continue to make professional connections and strive towards gaining employment in the film industry.

Skills

Skills needed for my FMP

In order to create a really impressive short film for my FMP project there were certain areas which I needed to improve on before I was ready to direct, produce and edit something that I want to be able to use to promote myself as a competent media producer.  The areas which I needed to make sure were up to scratch for all the roles I was taking on board were as followed:

  • Excellent at organisation and communication : I would have to organize all aspects of the production as the producer and communicate with the team that would be helping me bring the film to life.
  • Good team work and interpersonal skills : This would help on the day of production and to motivate my crew and cast before and during the production.
  • Effective at multi-tasking : Taking on numerous roles in my short film I need to be able to multi task to make sure that all the necessary things are completed in both pre and post production.

By the time it came to shoot my FMP I was very prepared in all of these areas, which allowed the production team to work extremely well together, for the production to be well organised with a set call sheet for the day, and for there to be a general good vibe during the production day, keeping hopes high was a challenge when bad weather hit, but nonetheless the team were still happy to be there.

Skills needed for becoming a director, 1st assistant director and runner:

I have already compared my skills to the roles that I am interested in the media industry, the comparisons can be seen if you follow this link:

https://leannematthewsyr3.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/researching-job-roles-in-the-media/

Many of the points included in the post above are very similar, there are general skills that are needed to be a functioning member of a production team and I believe that I have the basic skills needed to gain a job in the media industry or work as a freelance videographer.

What I need to improve on and how…

There are a couple of aspects which I could improve on, but this is only due to my lack of experience working in a professional environment.  If I can secure a job as a runner on a film set I am sure that my knowledge and experience of the working world of media professionals would increase dramatically and I would feel a lot more comfortable keeping my aspirations as high as they are currently.  Area’s I feel could be improved are as followed:

  • Networking – Although I have started to build up a network of contacts I feel this could be improved, and I need to start to network in more media friendly areas such as Manchester and London.  There is a networking session at Raindance each month in London and I believe it would be useful for me to attend and hopefully gain more contacts there.
  • Confidence – I have been told my many people that I come across very confident and professional, and this is all good and something I do work towards to achieve, however I do not feel all that confident inside and I think that I need to increase my self belief.
  • Technical – There are a few aspects technically which I still need to improve on, I have to improve my audio recording skills to be able to work successfully as a freelance videographer, and lighting techniques wouldn’t go a miss.  In order to do this I could take up extra workshops or learn on the job from other media professionals.

 

One minute video

To go along side the trailer for my short film ‘A Lonely Breath Doth Float’ I have also created a one minute self promotional video.  The trailer will help to better promote my short film, my one minute video will help to promote me personally, and my show reel will help promote both myself and my work, nice and rounded off.

I created a promotional video a while ago and got some really good feedback on it, I always wanted to use it for something more substantial so decided I would adapt the footage to create my one minute video.  A lot of people have merely stuck a bunch of footage from other projects together and read out the artist statement to the audience, but I dont see much point in this as they can all read and watch your show reel footage at the degree show anyway.  So I thought I would use something which clearly expresses my creativity and have an interesting visual element to it which I doubt anybody else will incorporate.

I filmed myself running through a routine of various things using the backdrop which I had kept from my first year television show module as I thought it might come in useful one day (not a hoarder I swear!).  It took a while to get the routine right and I had lots of notes scattered around reminding me of what to do next.  Its always interesting to try and do something in one take, the pressure is really on and if you make one tiny mistake you will likely have to re do the whole scene again.

Here it is:

Transferable skills

 Activities

Transferable skills and qualities

Academic work
Degree in Media Production expected 2:1
  • Communication
  • Technical skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Independent learning and working
  • Working with others
  • Information and communications technology
  • Co-operative, energetic and optimistic team member
  • Well motivated — I’m keen to push myself to get good marks
  • Working to tight deadlines
Part-time work
Freelance videographer
  • Able to work unsupervised and prioritize
  • Initiative to seek own employment
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills
  • Working to tight deadlines, and the ability to multi task successfully
Unpaid work

Videographer

 

I have worked unpaid for a a few videography projects, and I have had trial work with professional videographers to help increase my future chances of employment with them or other co workers.
Other work experience
Roadie at Kerrang! Radio
This job keeps me involved with a national radio station and the people that work there.  It is a very public facing role where confidence is of up most importance.

More wedding videography opportunities…

Oddly enough through my hairdresser I was given a contact of a woman who runs her own wedding events business, it was advised that I get in touch with her as she puts together packages for couples getting married and it was possible that my service of wedding videographer could be included in this.

After speaking to her she was very keen to get my on board as she currently did not offer a videography service as part of the packages, this was an opening that I couldn’t refuse, and said I would be willing to work with her to create a suitable package that we could both promote.

A couple of weeks later she mentioned that a friend of hers who also runs a photography studio was organizing a wedding fair, where couples would come and see what is on offer for their wedding, I imagine its much like freshers fair was, lots of tables set up with people distributing various leaflets to promote the services they offer.  After speaking to her I was convinced that this would be a really good chance for me to gain some work doing wedding videography, as I found out if I agreed to attend I would be the only videographer exhibiting on the day, giving me the greatest chance of possible jobs.

Its brilliant how one connection can lead you to another the possibilities are endless!

The wedding fair is on the 10th June 2012, and before then I have a lot to prepare for:

  • Leaflet design and printing
  • Roller board design and printing
  • Table decoration and set up
  • Booking forms, and price packages
  • Edit different looks to the trailer video to have a variety to show to potential customers
  • Business card printing
  • Website domain

In order to get all of this together I have to make a contribution to my wedding videography business, even if its only part time I need a cash injection to ensure I come across as a professional and can accept any jobs that come my way.  I have looked into the pricing for the various things I will have to pay for before I attend the wedding fair, they are roughly as follows:

  • Leaflets = 1000 for £50
  • Roller board = £50
  • Table decoration = £10
  • Business cards = £30
  • Website domain = £10

TOTAL = £150 + £65 for table at fair = £215.00

So come the end of this course it doesn’t mean in the slightest that I get to have a break and enjoy the end of university its all work work work!

I will be focusing on my uni work until it is completed and then I will begin the preparations for the wedding fair in the hope of gaining as many jobs from it as I can.

 

My Showreel

I have put all my best work from my degree course into a showreel to show what I am capable of, however this will showreel will need to be built upon always, just like a C.V, always featuring the best work that I have produced.  I was very selective with what I decided to include in my show reel as it was about quality and not quantity, I only want my very best most impressive work to be shown to potential employers, so a lot of my production work has not made the final cut.  There was a lot of work that I did outside the degree included in my show reel, I think I have significantly stepped my game up since working on jobs that required a more professional level, this is why they have made it in.

My showreel has a lot of variety when it comes to the shots I chose to include, the productions which ended up making it into the final cut of my mid 2012 showreel were:

  • One Man and His Dog (2011 Documentary module)
  • A Lonely Breath Doth Float (2012 FMP)
  • Anna & Ivans wedding video
  • Stylusboy and Chris Tye at Warwick Arts Center

To me personally it felt quite strange putting such varied shots together in one showreel, although it feels nice to watch it back and feel a little proud of what I have achieved.  In the months to come I want to have three show reels which I will use for different things, they will be as followed:

  • Wedding/events videography show reel
  • Music video/Live music videography show reel
  • Personal, short film/documentary show reel

The reason I want to do this is so the areas I plan on working in are clearly defined.  If I face a potential employer for film, then I show them my personal show reel, someone for a wedding, the wedding and events, and someone for music the music performance show reel.  Similar to having numerous business cards, I have noticed that a lot of freelance professionals work in numerous areas, and using techniques such as multiple show reels and multiple business cards it gives me a much greater scope when it comes to paid jobs in the future.