Professional Options: Secondary Research

My ultimate goal as a media professional is to become a producer for children’s TV. In order to achieve this goal, I need to do a lot of research. I chose to start with secondary research so that I have some information and I won’t be going in blind when talking to people and doing primary research.

Producing is the most misunderstood job in television, yet producers are usually the first people hired on a production and the last one off it (Kellison 2009). Therefore a producer needs to be able to stick to one project for a long time and keep self motivated. Kellison states in Producing for TV and New Media (2009) that there are five main qualities that a good producer has. These are:

  1. Problem-solver
  2. Multi Tasker
  3. Middle Man: Is on set even if they’re not needed
  4. Wants to know everything:
  5. Enjoys the process

I think I do possess a lot of the qualities listed, however I think I can work on being a better multitasker. While I do tend to multitask quite regularly, I prefer to do one thing at a time as it helps me do a better job and allows me to focus.

Chapter 11 of this book was an unbelievably helpful chapter as it consisted of real world producers and other industry professionals sharing their advice and stories. For example John Rosas is a DVD producer and he discusses budgeting in part of his interview. Rosas says that a budget can affect creative decisions and how easily 1/3 of your budget can go to hiring a crew. But you have to weigh the pros and cons to hiring a more expensive crew as a producer is only as good as their sound operator, cinematographer etc. (Kellison 2009). There were so many more hidden gems in this chapter that need to be seen by all aspiring producers.

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I looked into producing for children’s TV and discovered that cartoons appeal a lot more to children than live action shows do and are more internationally marketable (Bryant 2012). This was interesting as I found myself enjoying cartoons more as a child too. Working on animation projects is something I’ve always wanted to do. However I have not yet had any experience on an animation project, much less produced one. Therefore I think for now I will carry on trying to work towards being a producer for live action children’s shows. However, with children being exposed to so many digital options, is television still a viable option to broadcast their shows? Steven C. Rockwell believes it is. He suggests that there is a psychological difference between watching TV and using a computer. For example, watching television can be done in a group, whereas being on a computer is an activity one does by themselves. What’s more people usually use the internet to actively search for something, yet watching television is seen as a passive experience (Bryant, 2012). So one can come to the conclusion that children will still be watching television as a source of their entertainment for many years to come.

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According to a report by MPs, Muslim women in British society are the most disadvantaged when trying to find a job. They pay the “triple penalty” of not only being a woman, but a Muslim and usually person of colour, which leads to them being discriminated against (Easton 2016). I was shocked when I found that this article was published less than a year ago and as a Muslim woman, I was a little taken aback. I went on an online search to see how many Western Muslim women filmmakers or TV producers I could find. This proved to be an incredibly difficult task, as the only Muslim women in the media industry that I could find were from Eastern countries such as Malaysia and Iran. While this wasn’t a bad thing, I think that there is more of an abundance of Muslims in the East, so it wouldn’t be as tough to break through.

After a lot of research I finally found Nia Malika Dixon, a writer, director & producer from the US. She has had experience in making both short films such as City in the Sea and TV series’ like The Muslim Women (IMDB 2017). I think she could be a great person to contact as part of this module because I can hopefully have a discussion with her about how she broke any prejudices had against her, if any.

Learning that Muslim women are the most likely to be discriminated against when applying for a job, has helped my professional development as it helps me understand what I’m getting into when I finish university. While I don’t want to play the victim, I at least know that if I’m finding difficulty finding job, there’s a possibility that is not because I’m not good enough. It’s plausible that it is due to systemic barriers that I cannot control. While this glass ceiling may be enough for Muslim women not to want to go into the media industry, it still won’t stop me.

Bibliography:

Bryant, J. (2012). The Children’s Television Community. New York: Routledge.

Easton, M. (2016). Muslim women most disadvantaged, say MPs – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37041301 [Accessed 27 Feb. 2017].

IMDb. (2017). Nia Malika Dixon. [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3422437/?ref_=rvi_nm [Accessed 7 Mar. 2017].

Kellison, C. (2009). Producing for TV and New Media: A Real-World Approach for Producers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Elsevier Focal Press.

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