Finding 10 people to network with seemed to be the part of this module that a lot of people worried about, including myself. I was able to connect with 9 people which I am quite pleased about, given that I am a very introverted person and despise networking. Below are the people that I have talked to and think are potentially useful to my future career. Some of these people I talked to in person, before contacting them through email etc. However I haven’t recorded those conversations, as I didn’t want this to get in the way of our natural conversation. I’d also like to put a disclaimer that a few of these contacts have already been mentioned in my Professional Options: Primary Research blog post, so some information may be repeated.
- Dominic MacDonald – TV Producer
Dominic was the first person I contacted and overall I think he’s been the most useful. We had a short conversation before I got into asking the questions (Figure 1), which immediately created a friendly atmosphere within the emails. Interestingly, he’s one of the only people I talked to for this module, who didn’t just talk about themselves and wanted to know a bit more about me, which affected the type of advice he gave to me.
Below I have attached the document Dominic sent to me, answering the six questions I asked him. Overall it seems that storytelling is the key to making good TV shows and is definitely something I need to work on and look into.
Without a doubt, Dominic will immediately be useful to my future career. He’s allowing me to join him during the summer for a couple of days, to watch CBBC’s 4 O’Clock Club being filmed (Figure 2). I think this will be a great experience and will give me a better understanding of how the TV industry works. I’m hoping to also create friendships with a couple members of the crew while I’m there, which in turn will expand my network circle. I’m very much looking forward to this.
2. Bradley – Freelance Photographer
I met Bradley at a job interview for NCS The Challenge, where I learnt that he’s a freelance photographer. I got his contact details as I he told me that he works with children and I thought that he would be useful to my future career. Part of our conversation can be found in Figure 3 & 4. As of right now, I don’t think Bradley will be helpful to my immediate career plans. The reason is because it seems as though what Bradley is doing at the moment is just a job in order to get by, he’s not necessarily trying to create a career out of photography. This is made evident from his answer to my second question about choosing freelance work over a permanent contract. It doesn’t seem like he made a conscious decision to go into freelance work and only did it because that’s where he was able to find a job. While I commend him for what he does, I don’t think he can particularly assist me in the near future. However he is someone I can always talk to if I’m in need of some photography tips.
3. Erin Cipolletti – Writer/Producer/Actor
I met Erin at a Q & A that my lecturer Brad had organised. I discuss this event in more depth in my Engagement in Established Professional Networks post. I emailed Erin and her co-worker the next day, and from her answers (Figure 5 & 6) as well as talking to her in person it’s clear that research is what made her film so great and get accepted into so many film festivals.
4. Ryan Michael – Short Film Director
Ryan was at the same talk as Erin and he replied to my email, answering the question directed towards him (Figure 7). It was helpful to know that on a bigger production, as a producer or director, you’re still able to talk to everyone on the crew and get to know them better.
Due to the fact that Ryan and Erin are from the US, they won’t be useful to my career right now. However if in the future I travel to the US for a shoot, I can let them know in advance and they can point out if there are any differences in legalities to filming over there. What’s more, because I have their email addresses, I can always email them if I am in need of any advice.
5. Deborah Longmore – Freelance Photographer
Deborah is a friend of my sister’s and runs her own company as a “newborn, baby and child photographer” (Deborah Longmore Photography 2017). I got in contact with her as I thought that running my own business is a potential route for me in the future. After my discussion with her it was clear that while starting out in a business venture, it’s important to have income coming in from somewhere else as it can take a while for the company to grow. Word of mouth is also integral as it can make or break your business. But I think as long as a person is great at what they do and offering, their business can only grow from word of mouth.
I think Deborah can immediately be helpful for my future career as she is very accessible. Because I aspire to work with children and her company is based in Birmingham, I don’t think it will be difficult to organise me helping out during a few of her shoots. Doing this will not only help me create a better relationship with her, but I’ll also be able to watch and experience how she makes children comfortable around her, which is an incredibly important part of working with them. Being able to speak to her in person will allow me to get a better understanding of the entrepreneurial side of her business. Once this module is over and I have a bit more free time, this is definitely something I want to do.
I got in contact with Noel when I applied for a job for UTI Entertainment as a camera operator. UTI Entertainment is a Youtube channel whose aim is “to provide a diverse and cultural platform in which all people can come together and have a voice.” (YouTube 2017). Fortunately I got the job (Figure 11) and from there I had somewhat regular contact with Noel, the producer of the show. Given that I too want to be a producer, I think that being in contact with Noel will prove to be a real benefit as I can really have a discussion with him about the ins and outs of making a project happen. What’s more being able to work on the filming of an episode of Under The Influence (which is what UTI stands for) will enhance my CV.
7. Phillip Parnell – Freelance Photographer
As I have previously mentioned, I met Phillip Parnell at a networking event on March 6th where I found him to be very helpful. In the few minutes that I talked to him, I learnt about the types of lighting available whilst taking photographs and how it will affect the overall look. He left leaving his business card, which is when I checked out his website (Parnell 2017). I really liked the look of it and he’s also agreed to look at my portfolio when I finish creating it (Figure 12). Although he is a photographer, I think he will be beneficial to my career as he is always hired to take photographs at the filmmakers networking event. If I regularly attend which I intend to do, I can create a better relationship with him and can improve my skills in photography. That in itself will be great, but also my skills in photography can easily be transferred over to filmmaking.
8. Bored Shorts TV – Youtube Creators
Bored Shorts TV is a Youtube page which regularly posts family friendly comedy videos. Their most popular segments are the “Kid Snippets”, where adults reenact a scene created by children, whilst still using the original speech. An example of this can be seen in Figure 13. I love everything about their channel, from the fact that they’re able to make a career out of making funny videos to them being a family business.
Figure 13 (Youtube, 2012)
I emailed them asking if I could ask them a few questions and they referred me to an event that they would be at and I would have the opportunity to talk to them (Figure 14). In hindsight, I should have let them know that I wouldn’t be able to make the event and tried harder to have a conversation with them. Having said that, I do think that they can still possibly benefit my future career as in this day and age, I have a high chance of working in or with social media. Because they were so lovely in their first email, I don’t think I’ll have a problem with trying to get advice from them in the future about working in the industry. Hopefully I’ll even be able to start going to events that they’re attending.
9. Ayane Baudouin – Presenter/Assistant Producer
I chose to contact Ayane as she is both a person of colour and a Muslim, like myself. She’s presenter and assistant producer of Women’s AM which comes on Islam Channel (Islam Channel 2017). I contacted her through Twitter, as I couldn’t find any other contact details and she is yet to accept my LinkedIn invitation. I’ve sent her my questions, which she has agreed to answer but I am yet to back from her since.
Nonetheless I have chosen to include her as a contact because even if she replies after the deadline for this module, I still think her answers will still be very helpful. She is the only woman I talked to who is working in the TV industry, so any insights she gives will aid my professional growth.
Deborah Longmore Photography. (2017). Newborn, Baby and Child Photographer Birmingham West Midlands UK. [online] Available at: http://www.deborahlongmorephotography.com/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Islam Channel (2017). Women’s AM – Islam channel. [online] Available at: https://www.islamchannel.tv/video-category/womens-am/ [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].
Parnell, P. (2017). Birmingham Wedding Photographer- Phillip Parnell Photography. [online] Available at: http://phillipparnell.co.uk/ [Accessed 17 March 2017].
YouTube. (2012). Kid Snippets: “Math Class” (Imagined by Kids). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdxEAt91D7k [Accessed 28 Mar. 2017].
YouTube. (2017). Under The Influence. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7gVsVGaIGefn1bb77zqX4Q [Accessed 26 Mar. 2017].