1000 Word Presentation

Throughout this module I have done many different projects and placements that I feel has helped me a lot more than completing one 4 week placement. Mainly because of the variety of different skills that each project has required me to perform and has ultimately improved each ability. On the other hand, completing a 4 week placement for one firm would have had its advantages, for instance, I would have established working relationships with employees and thus, improving my professional network. Furthermore, by spending more time with one establishment would enable a longer period to work and learn a lot more in that area, whether it be broadcasting or film, as the small projects which I have done, have had little time so I have only scratched the surface on each ability. Nonetheless, the variety of these skills that I have tested, may be in small amounts but I have had the opportunity to experience a professional atmosphere in a number of different media institutions which has helped my decision for future job prospects. Since this professional experience module, I am now considering broadcastinig as my career choice, yet it is between radio and TV that I would like to do, both I would enjoy very much.

I have chosen broadcast as my career choice because since completing the 4 day placement at my local radio station Signal One, I really enjoyed the experience and want to find out more about the radio industry. I spent one morning viewing the breakfast show which I found interesting and has motivated me to research more into producing. I have been producer for a few modules in my second year at University which has introduced me into producing, however, watching the producer for the breakfast show at Signal One has shown what the role entailes during radio production. In terms of my week at the radio station, I learnt a lot about the professional atmosphere of an office space, both in the studio and out. Whilst in the office, I worked with the writers of the commercial department to write scripts that met the clients needs and also sold the product in a creative way. During this time, I learnt how to correctly write a script for a radio commercial and also how it was made. As part of the team, I worked efficiently and as quickly as I could to write the scripts that were given to me each day. The only thing I would do differently if I got the opportunity again, would be to spend more time with the presenters and producers as this is ultimately what I would like to do as a career choice.

Along with the radio part of broadcasting, I also had a small amount of experience within the TV studio side. This entailed a day with formats producer Trish Adudu whereby myself and others off my course worked as a team to create a pilot show for Trish’s format idea. During this project, I played the role of Director which I had never done before. However, because I had completed 2 modules within TV broadcasting prior to this day, I had the basic knowledge of how to be a director for a format show, just needed to put this knowledge into practice. In my opinion, I became confident in the role from actually sitting in the chair and directing rather than hearing the do’s and don’ts. During the recording of the pilot show, I effectively directed the camera operators to create the shots and worked alongside the vision mixer to put these shots into a sequence. Being a formats director was tough and I constantly had to be on my toes, focused ready for the next shot. It was stressful and I was nervous about making mistakes from irrational decisions made from a fast-paced environment, however, I found that this was not the case and I remained calm, using my nerves as a strength towards motivating myself to correctly direct the format pilot. Since this project, it has motivated me to apply for more work experience and internships at other broadcasting companies such as Channel 4 and ITV to gain more insight and knowledge into broadcasting as well as experience for my portfolio.

On the other hand, I have also had experience within freelance camera operating. I decided to do projects which required me to camera operate as I feel that it is good practice to use the cameras on a regular basis to improve my abilities as a camera operator. The first project was a freelance job that I had acquired myself through my part time job at the time. The manager of the bar that I worked in had an idea to produce a promotional video of the bar Mortimers that could be watched online to entice more customers. For this I met with the manager to discuss his ideas and any options we could take. Once the date was set, I took a Z5 camera into the bar and spent the night filming the nightclub at its best. As the night went on there was also a celebrity guest which enabled me to document the bar as a celebrity hotspot. The filming itself was fairly straight forward and I was able to get plenty of footage. I spent the evening testing my skills as a camera operator to produce shots that were creative and visually attractive. Unfortunately, the lighting within the bar was very low which proved to be quite a difficulty for me, however, I adjusted the exposure on the camera to allow more light into the lens which created a better picture. I also edited together the promotional video using FCP that was highly complimented by the manager of Mortimers.

Similar to this, I worked with a TV production company based in Newcastle-under-lyme, whereby I worked with the media director Dan Stubbs to produce a corporational video promoting the community of Tipton, Birmingham clearing the ‘Haines Branch Walkway’ that had been uncared for, leaving it overgrown, dirty and an unfriendly environment. This was a great experience, as I was able to work with a real professional who gave me tips on camera operating and also during the edit of this video, I was given the basic instructions to Adobe Motion, which is extremely useful for me when I need to use graphics in any future projects. This project required me to improve my abilities to a professional level and also as a person, become a trustworthy, capable camera operator who companies can rely on to produce a great piece of work.

Even though broadcasting is my favoured career choice, I felt that by covering a variety of different media types, would help my prospects of getting a job. For instance, I also played the role of cinematographer for a script filmed in Prague. I felt that this week went really well and I was able to establish professional, working relationships with the rest of my crew and also an increase in my confidence as a creative media producer.

Overall, this module has definately helped both my knowledge and skills as a media producer in a variety of different options. As a result, my CV and portfolio will hold a diverse range of abilities and experience in all areas of media production. Confidence in myself is also a great advantage from this module as I now feel more positive that I can produce a decent artefact in either radio, TV or film. Working as a team has proven useful over the last 6 months and my positive attitude has been easy to mix with different people and work with new crew members. I look forward to finalising my show reel with my new found abilities and beginning my career in the media.

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Updated CV as of July 2011.

After completing my professional experience module, here is my updated CV that now includes the experience I gained from the last 6 months:

Samantha Soane CV.

Source Radio

Source Radio, Coventry University’s student radio station has also played a part in my professional experience as even though I have not reflected upon every show, I have done my show every thursday 12 – 2 in the afternoon. The reason why I have not blogged every session is because I felt that I did not need to, but rather blog at the end of my second year after spending a year at Source radio and reflect upon how it has helped my knowledge and expertise within radio production.

Every week myself, Laura Garwood and Faye Minister spend 2 hours hosting the radio show 12 – 2pm every Thursday. During this show we would discuss any recent issues and play chart music as well as any requests through Facebook, text or email that we would plug throughout the show.

Next year, I would like to plan more in advance and have a proper schedule for each show as last year we would talk about everything and anything spontaneously, with no preparation. I felt that this made our shows quite difficult, especially when we struggled with topics of conversation. Furthermore, if our shows had an outlined schedule, this would also be good experience for future reference, especially as I would like to begin my career within broadcasting. By practising with running orders, research and basic scripts, our show would be more organised and professional, aiding my confidence in radio broadcasting.

Nonetheless, I have enjoyed the last year at Source Radio as it has been a good introduction to presenting on the radio with a laid back, informal approach to the industry. During the show, we would take it in turns on who would be the main DJ while the other two would simply be there for conversation. Whoever was the main DJ, would have control over the decks and also the music software Myriad which is what plays out the music in whichever order you schedule on the system. However, the version of Myriad that we have, is not very reliable and was constantly down, as a result, myself and my co-presenters would have to ad-lib around the situation until the system would be running again. For the music, we would either use an iPod or the internet and set the decks to whichever play out we chose. This inconvenience happened almost every week so I am now confident in problem solving and being able to work around a difficult situation.

Overall, Source Radio has definitely been a fun introduction to radio broadcasting, however, in the future I plan to have more of a professional take on the student station and be more practical when scheduling the shows, maybe include more interviews and guests on the show.

An Established Network.

Here is a list of all the people I have met during this module who prove to be a useful contact:

Louise Johnson.

As the Head of Creative at Signal One Radio, Louise proved to be very helpful when I was searching for work experience as she immediately contacted me and arranged a meeting for us to chat about when I was available and what I wanted to achieve. She gave me her knowledge on creative writing and the opportunity to work in a professional environment.Louise will be a very useful contact because not only is she the head of the creative department, but also through her already proven helpful nature.

Dan Seavers.

Dan Seavers is a writer for the commercial department at Signal One and he helped me a lot during my work experience at the radio station. He showed me how to correctly layout a script for commercials and also gave me advice on customer service when working for clients. We bonded well during this week so as a future contact, he will be happy to help and give me advice when working alongside client satisfaction.

Dan Stubbs.

Media Director for Inspired Film & Video. Dan has offered me work for the future as a camera operator for Inspired which has already proven Dan Stubbs to be a worthy contact in the future for a good reference and also work.

Trish Adudu.

Format producer Trish Adudu creates formats for the BBC and having a connection with the BBC is definitely a great contact. Although we haven’t been keeping in contact, Trish admired my skills as a formats director after working with her to create the pilot show ‘Blind Faith’. Trish gave me her email address for future reference and I can definitely make use for anymore pilot formats that Trish plans to create.

Inspired TV & Video – ‘Haines Branch Walk’ edit day 2

This morning I completed the basic timeline with audio and a soundtrack for my edit of the ‘Haines Branch Walk’. Dan Stubbs, the media director for Inspired has been advising me during this project and I have shadowed him during the filming of this documentary. He has taught me a lot about camera operating, such as certain angles that are appropriate for interviews and what looks visually attractive for establishing shots.

After complimenting me on my edit of the ‘Haines Branch Walk’ Dan went on to teach me the very basics of Adobe Motion so I could include titles during the interviews of my edit. I had never before used Motion so this was all very new to me. As Dan was explaining Motion at first I found it very difficult and hard to understand, yet as I began to use it myself and play around with the tools, I was able to create graphics for each interview that showed their name and also the logo of the company that the video has been created for. I used the movement tools to get the whole graphic to move across the bottom of the screen and also a separate action for the words.

By using Motion to create these graphics, I feel it makes my edit seem more professional and also advertises my skills on software such as FCP and Motion.

Once all the graphics had been created, I inserted them into FCP and was then able to finish my edit of the ‘Haines Branch Walk’ community clean-up. Unfortunately, I will not be able to upload my video due to copyright reasons as the company this video is for do not wish the video to be uploaded onto the internet. I can however, use shots and interviews that I recorded for my portfolio.

Overall, working with Dan Stubbs and Inspired has been really helpful towards my skills as a camera operator and also, as an editor as I now have a lot more knowledge and experience within editing. In terms of the professionalism that Inspired have, by completing corporation videos, it has improved my customer service skills when I have been required to create a video that includes a context directed by the external company. Also on location, I noticed how Dan worked alongside the corporation to create shots and interviews that they wanted. The 3 days that I have spent with Dan Stubbs and Inspired have been very worth while for camera operating as a possible career choice, as I now have the ability to independently and confidently freelance camera operate for any corporations or other production companies.

Inspired TV & Video – ‘Haines Branch Walk’ editing.

Once all the footage had been shot and the rushes had been captured into Final Cut, I spent today editing it into a video that describes what the community were doing through interviews and visual aids. There wasn’t much to learn that I didn’t already know as I am already confident when using Final Cut. For this video however, there will be titles during the interviews, these will be created by the graphics software Motion that I have no experience with, as a result, Dan Stubbs will show me the basics of Motion when I next come in on 28/7 so I can add these graphics into my final piece.

Creating a corporation video however is very helpful as I am creating a serious, non-fictional documentary on real life situations which I have very little experience on. I felt today went well as Dan gave feedback on the video I had created, he thought I used good shots and the music in the background worked well with the video. I took a different approach to the one Dan had already edited together in terms of the length, as mine was half the time of his, this was because I used short snippets of each interview and only used the parts I felt were important to the video.

Overall I am happy with my edited video and look forward to finishing it with graphics next week.

Inspired Film & TV – ‘Haines Branch Walk’ filming.

Inspired Film & TV is a small production company situated in Keele, Newcastle-under-lyme who create films for corporations, whether they be training videos, documentaries or advertisements. I came across Inspired while researching TV production companies based in Staffordshire and emailed the Media Director Mike Mcdonald for placement opportunities along with many other small businesses around the area.

Inspired soon replyed with a date to visit the office and speak with the employees. I met with Mike Mcdonald on 16/6/11 and we discussed possible placement dates for myself and what they would consist of. The first date was on Tuesday 21//6/11 on a trip to Tipton, Birmingham whereby I assisted Media Director Dan Stubbs to film the community of Tipton restoring the natural beauty of a walkway that follows the canel into a beautiful, tranquil and friendly area that can be used by families. Currently derelict, filthy and vandalised by thugs the walkway is feared by the community and un-used due to its disgusting appearance. I found the day very interesting and helpful towards my career as I was able to show my abilities as a camera operator with the JVC. Furthermore, Inspired Film & TV create their videos for what the client wants and in this case, the client wanted a video of the walkway before it was cleared and also afterwards along with interviews with the community to gain their opinion on what was being done. As a result of this, my abilities within customer service have been improved through this communication with the client to adhere to their demands.

Overall, I enjoyed the day in Tipton working alongside a professional media director who gave his advice and knowledge in camera operating. This has been useful for me as I plan to begin my career in camera operating so his knowledge has definately been worth-while. Dan has invited me back to the office on the 18/6/11 to edit the footage that we filmed together. The editing software is Final Cut Pro which is an advantage for me as I have plenty of experience when using this software, yet I’m sure there will still be plenty to learn.