364MC is by far one of the most beneficial modules I’ve done on this Media Production course; it’s a shame it’s not worth more credits. I’ve made contacts with many new people and I hope to keep them in my network circle for a long time. I’ve also developed skills in sound operating by helping others with their FMP work, which is also good to add to my CV. I think my confidence has increased and I now find it easier to speak to media professionals without feeling too intimidated. This will definitely help my professional development and future career. After speaking to the people that I have, I have a better understanding of different areas of the creative industry. Deborah Longmore has brought to light what it means to own a business, Erin and Ryan have been truthful about the realities of filmmaking and Dominic Macdonald has explained what is needed in a producer who works with children. All the information I have picked up will used in the future for certain. I’m looking forward to this summer as I will be going to the set of 4 O’Clock club learning more about what happens on the set of a TV show.
When creating my portfolio, there were many ways I could have marketed myself. I whittled it down to three choices; portraying myself as 1. a filmmaker, 2. a producer, or 3. a producer & director. In my showreel I initially advertised myself as an all-round filmmaker because I had a range of roles in the clips I used. However I soon realised that coming across as a jack of all trades wouldn’t help me in the long run, as people would assume I’m only mediocre in different aspects of filmmaking. In the end I decided to only market myself as a producer, to show that I have a speciality and a focus in my career. This in turn would mean those hiring me would know exactly what to expect.
I got in contact with my Media Studies teacher from college and asked him to take a look at my showreel. Richard really liked my it, saying that it was different to what is normally expected in a showreel, allowing it to stand out. I loved that he said that, as it was exactly what I was going for.
I made the conscious decision to make choose a free website, as my name is very unique. So if one were to Google my full name, all the other websites I use will be at the top of the search, even if my portfolio doesn’t.
As a result, I am going to include my portfolio on all the websites I use, including Facebook, Twitter and the ones that can be seen in the image above. My main source of inspiration when creating this website was foxcubfilms.co.uk (2017), a production company created by producer Savannah James-Bayly.
I sent my portfolio to a number of people, however I either received no response or in one case, I was told that to find someone else as the person didn’t have time.
I also messaged Emmanuel, a recent Media and Communications graduate who is now doing a Master’s at Coventry University. I found his feedback to be strange as he suggested I include things that I already had. That’s when I learned he was viewing my website on his mobile and he didn’t know there was a menu, as it was completely blacked out. I immediately made changes to the mobile view of the website to make it clear that there are other pages. I wasn’t expecting Emmanuel to look at my website on his phone, but I’m really glad he did as he brought the mistake to my attention.
The before and after shots of the mobile view can be seen below, as can Emmanuel’s feedback.
Fox Cub Films. (2017). Fox Cub Films. [online] Available at: https://www.foxcubfilms.co.uk/ [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].
Google. (2017). sharifah mian – Google Search. [online] Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sharifah+mian&oq=sharifah+mian&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i61j69i60l2j69i59l2.2775j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8 [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].
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].
Date: 21st January 2017
Event: 6 of the Best Fest
What happened: 6 of the Best Fest is a film festival that celebrates women filmmakers. On the day I went, I watched the films The Levelling (2016) and Light Years (2015). There was then a Q&A with Rachel Robey, the producer of The Levelling and Esther May Campbell, director of Light Years.
How I engaged: Because I want to be a producer in the future, I asked Rachel Robey a couple of questions. From this I learnt that Rachel fell into producing and it isn’t something she initially wanted to do. This was quite interesting as it wasn’t until I started university that I realised that producing is my forte. She also said that if one wants to go into producing, they must know which area they want to work in, whether it be TV, film or something else. I found this rather surprising as the book Producing for TV and New Media claims that regardless of what you’re producing, “the creative, financial, technical, and interpersonal skills required are similar for all producers” (Kellison 2009: 4). However I do think Rachel’s comment still stands and knowing what area you want to work in is definitely important. But ultimately the skills needed will always be transferable to other types of productions.
Reflection: I think it was helpful for my professional development to go to a Q&A, especially this one in particular, as I learnt a lot about the kinds of funding available for filmmakers. For example The Levelling was partially funded by iFeatures which is “Creative England’s low budget filmmaking initiative supported by the BBC, the BFI and Creative Skillset.” (iFeatures, 2014). It was also great to learn how these people started their career, as these kind of stories are always interesting to hear. Seeing so much support for women in the film industry was amazing and inspired me to carry on doing what I’m doing. Nonetheless, I think it would have been more beneficial for me to talk to the producer and director after the event had finished. This could have allowed me to learn more about the ins and outs of the production of the films, as well as created a professional relationship with these filmmakers.
Date: 6th February 2017
Event: Filmmaker Networking
What happened: This was a typical networking event that takes place every first Monday of the month in Birmingham. To put it simply, a range of people from actors to producers, were in a room and they all talked to each other.
How I engaged: Over the couple of hours that I was there, I talked to a few people. This included writers, film scorers and producers. Funnily enough, I also met the person who viewed my CV, video application and offered me the interview for NCS The Challenge. One of the most memorable people I talked to was Pip Piper, who is a producer for Blue Hippo Media. My chat with him was helpful as he discussed how the media industry lately has been growing in the West Midlands so it’s a good place to be situated right now. He also talked about raising money for productions, and suggested using crowdfunding as a last resort.
Reflection: Finding out that this networking event takes place every month has been crucial towards my professional development, as this is now something I can go to regularly. This can lead to me finding projects to work on in the future and if there are others who regularly attend, like I intend to, I will be able to create real relationships and hopefully we can professionally benefit each other.
Date: 13th – 18th March 2017
Event: Berlin Film Festival
What happened: Other than watching a bunch of films, I went to 3 events that helped my professional development. These were:
- In Another World: You Can Be Everything (Berlinale.de. 2017b)
- Berlinale Shorts V: Back to the Future (Including Artist Talk) (Berlinale.de. 2017a)
- More Than Words: Subtitling and Live Voice-Over (Berlinale.de. 2017c)
How I engaged: During the Q&A of the second event, I built up the courage to ask questions. As there was only one woman on the panel, I discussed with her her thoughts on being a female filmmaker. I also learned that the majority of the filmmakers there found the editing process of their film to take the longest.
Reflection: Going to Berlin Film Festival was an unimaginable experience and I’m incredibly glad I went. It was the first real film festival I’ve been to and was great to know how they work before my own films start being featured in them (wink wink). Even if I didn’t actually participate in all the events I went to, I learnt a huge amount! For instance, the third event was about subtitling where I learnt what type of software they use and how it works. More importantly I found out about reading speed, how many words can be on one line in a film and how subtitling can be used for marketing.
Date: 23rd February 2017
Event: Striking Lighting: Tim Hall – Emmy Award winning lighting director
What happened: Tim Hall gave a talk about his career as a lighting director for live events. He then had a 5 minute Q&A at the end.
How I engaged: I didn’t necessarily engage in this event, other than in listening and taking notes.
Reflection: I don’t think this event was particularly helpful towards my immediate professional development. One of the reasons for this is because I don’t intend to work with lighting on live events on TV in the immediate future. What’s more, I found myself to be a little confused during parts of Tim’s talk as he was getting very technical and I have very limited experience in working with lights. However this has given me a new-found insight and respect for lighting for multi cam live events.
Date: 1st March 2017
Event: Realities of Filmmaking Talk and Q&A
What happened: Erin Cipolletti and Ryan Michael were invited to this talk by lecturer Brad Porter, who all had a part in creating the film Josephine Doe, which had been accepted into Manchester Film Festival (2017). Brad had a discussion with them about the procedure of making the film and the difficulties that came with it.
How I engaged: Other than vigorously making notes during the discussion, at the end of the talk, I engaged by asking questions. For example, I learned how executive producers work and how they usually expect money back from a production. This is something I’ve never known as I’ve not been involved in a big production. After the talk was over, I asked them both for their emails as I had a lot more questions that I couldn’t ask as time had run out. I also followed them down to the staff office, with a group of other enthusiastic students to carry on talking to them. I asked them if they found people trying to take advantage of them, living in LA, where there’s an abundance of writers and directors. They admitted that there are people who will always try to take advantage of your skills, but you need to realise what you’re worth and be protective over your ideas.
Reflection: This event was surprisingly helpful towards my professional development. I picked up a huge amount of information that I can use if I ever make a short film in the future, which is pretty likely – even if I’m just doing it as a hobby. It helped me realise that if I do want to independently make films, I will most likely need to have another source of income while doing so. What’s more, they told us that they had to enter into approximately 100 film festivals in order to be accepted into just 6. This was somewhat shocking, yet understandable. I loved and appreciated their realistic approach to giving advice about filmmaking, which will assist me in the future.
Date: 6th March 2017
Event: Film Skills Brum – End of Programme Celebratory Event
What happened: This event was a celebration held for those who took part in the Foot in the Door scheme and were now finishing.
How I engaged: I met Jemima Walthamstow, who is a creative producer and business consultant. She gave some great advice about being an introvert in the media industry as well as the realities of being a freelancer. I was also brave enough to talk to the photographer hired to take photographs of the event, Phillip Parnell. I noticed that he had light stands around the room, which flashed whenever he took a picture. This isn’t something I’ve seen before and I was very intrigued by it. Phillip was kind enough to show Anita and I exactly how they work and even took pictures of us to demonstrate it.
Reflection: This was essentially the networking event that I went to in February, with a slight twist, so it proved to be integral to my professional development. Not only did I meet new people at this event, I also saw a few familiar faces such as Pip Piper and Brendan O’Neill (who was not only at the first networking event, but was the Q&A moderator for Best Fest). This shows that there are people who regularly attend, which means there is a chance that I can build professional relationships with them. There was a talk given by Michael Gubbins, the chair of the Film Agency for Wales, which was incredibly inspiring.
For this module and my professional development I have created a LinkedIn profile; pictures of this can be seen below. As of right now, I haven’t found LinkedIn particularly helpful in developing my career. This may be because I only have 40 contacts, most of which are students I know in person. It could also be because I can’t send messages to any media professionals until they have accepted my invitation, none of which have done so yet.
Research but No Engagement
I am part of a few Facebook pages which are designed to help people find jobs. While I frequently keep track of what’s happening on these pages, I don’t necessarily engage with others on it. This is something I am aware of and want to change in the future as I believe I can get a lot of great advice and support from them. Below are images of a couple of the groups I am part of.
Berlinale.de. (2017a). | Berlinale | Programme | Programme – Artist Talks. [online] Available at: https://www.berlinale.de/en/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=201703236#tab=filmStills [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].
Berlinale.de. (2017b). | Berlinale | Programme | Programme – In Another World: You Can Be Everything. [online] Available at: https://www.berlinale.de/en/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=201792497#tab=filmStills [Accessed 13 Mar. 2017].
Berlinale.de. (2017c). | Berlinale | Programme | Programme – More Than Words: Subtitling and Live Voice-Over. [online] Available at: https://www.berlinale.de/en/programm/berlinale_programm/datenblatt.php?film_id=201792520#tab=filmStills [Accessed 13 Mar. 2017].
Facebook. (2017a). People looking for tv work: Runners. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tv.runners/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2017].
Facebook. (2017b). Professional Experience Opportunities. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mediaopportunities/ [Accessed 4 Apr. 2017].
iFeatures. (2017). About iFeatures. [online] Available at: http://www.ifeatures.co.uk/about.html [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].
Kellison, C. (2009). Producing for TV and New Media: A Real-World Approach for Producers. 2nd ed. Oxford: Elsevier Focal Press, p.4.
LinkedIn. (2017). Sharifah Mian Profile. [online] Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharifah-mian-599912138/ [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].
Manchester Film Festival. (2017). Josephine Doe. [online] Available at: http://www.maniff.com/josephine-doe/ [Accessed 28th March. 2017].
YouTube. (2017). Best of Fest – Rachel. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UliYkBOTuk [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].
In order to learn more about being a producer, I talked to a couple of people to find out about what it entails.
Dominic MacDonald is a producer for the BBC, mainly working on children’s TV shows such Gigglebiz and Zingzillas (The Children’s Media Conference 2013). This is the exact route I want to go in, so he was the perfect person to contact. I asked him a number of questions through email and he sent me back a Word document answering them all in incredible detail.
Talking to Dominic has massively helped my professional development as I now understand what I can do to improve my chances of making a career as a producer. The great thing about the advice that he gave is that I can use it regardless of if I don’t necessarily work on TV and I produce other content instead. For instance he said that along with getting into script editing, producers need to get experience in working with actors, budgets and schedules. I think that this can apply to any kind of producer.
Question 4 was about the rise of online streaming, such as YouTube and Netflix. I asked this question because this is a realistic career path that I could end up taking. Dominic talks about while there is clearly a fall in terrestrial TV, there is still a space for TV itself through these digital routes. Having said that, Dominic hasn’t struggled to find a job working with the BBC. I think this is due to the fact that he has worked there for a long time, so he is trusted enough to be brought back consistently.
Throughout the answers he gave, he constantly referred to “good storytelling” and how one needs to understand it in order to do anything in the media industry. This wasn’t surprising as he’s not only a producer, but a writer too. However he made a valid point; writing a good story or script is the starting point to making a great TV show. He suggested I deconstruct my favourite TV show and look at how the story is structured to figure out what makes it work so well.
In my final question about advice that he would give to someone trying to get into the TV industry, Dominic gave me a lot to think about. He asked me a bunch of questions such as “Why would a producer want to employ you?” and “What special skill could you bring to the table?”. I think knowing the answers to these questions will definitely help me improve professionally, especially for job interviews.
I also talked to Deborah Longmore who runs a photography business as a newborn and child photographer (Deborah Longmore Photography, 2017). Working freelance and creating my own business as a producer is something I could possibly end up doing in the future, so I wanted to know a little more about how and why she started her business. Deborah’s answers to my questions can be found below.
Talking to Deborah has benefitted my professional development and it’s helped me better understand what it takes to start a business. It’s not unusual for it to take a very long time to build up a following and client base; in Deborah’s case it wasn’t until 3 years of the business running that she was able to quite her job as a paralegal and work in her company full time. It was interesting to find out that she started her company not knowing much about how to run a business. This is something that would hold me back from ever wanting to start my own business, but knowing that others have done it is actually great to hear. It’s also given me hope that if I do choose to start my own business as a producer, if I’m good at what I do and I have a real passion for it, it can end up working out for me as it has done for Deborah.
I worked on a range of productions during this module which have helped my professional development. I worked as a sound operator on both Anita’s and Shahid & Matt’s FMPs. However these productions were very different. Anita’s Unity in the Community is a documentary about a community worker (Facebook 2017), whereas Shahid & Matt’s Between the Lines is a crime thriller about a man who envisions his own death (betweenthelines 2017).
During Unity in the Community, I had to set up two types of audio equipment. I worked with lavalier microphones for the first time, which was attached to the interviewees and a rifle mic as a backup sound source.
On the other hand, during Between the Lines I only worked with a rifle mic. What’s more, on the second day of shooting, I didn’t have a mic stand as there was a lot more movement with the actors, so I had to follow them around. This was different to Unity in the Community as the interviewees sat down in one spot and barely moved at all.
This experience was vital, as I’ve not had a lot of opportunities to concentrate on sound and just like Dominic Macdonald, I’ll need to work in many different areas before I’m able to make it as a producer. It also goes to show that even though I have the same job role, because the productions are so different, it affects what I will be doing during the shoot. I’m glad I worked with the lavalier mics as I found out that they’d be perfect to use on my own FMP.
As well as working as a sound operator, I also got a job working as a camera operator working for Under the Influence, a Youtube channel that is dedicated to providing “a diverse and cultural platform in which all people can come together and have a voice.” (YouTube 2017). Below is an example of what they do.
It was intriguing working as a camera operator in a TV set up, as I’m used to being on the organising side as a P.A. Although I did my job as a camera operator to the best of my ability, I was definitely in a producer mindset as I was constantly wondering how the show could be improved. For example, for a YouTube channel without a big following, I think 20+ minute videos are too long. I took a look at the average time watched on the videos and it was only about 6-7 minutes, which shows that viewers aren’t even watching half of the videos.
I also think that once the channel does start to grow, it can be expanded so that the show isn’t only getting views from university students. However because it was my first day on the job, I chose not to voice my opinions. If I do get asked back, I want to make opportunities to talk to the producer, Noel, more often until I get comfortable enough to make some suggestions. This experience has definitely benefitted my professional development, as it’s something I can put on my CV and it’s confirmed that I definitely want to be a producer in the future.
betweenthelines. (2017). betweenthelines – About. [online] Available at: http://mahmo123.wixsite.com/betweenthelines/about [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Deborah Longmore Photography. (2017). Newborn, Baby and Child Photographer Birmingham West Midlands UK. [online] Available at: http://www.deborahlongmorephotography.com/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Facebook.com. (2017). Unity in the Community. [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/pg/unityinthecommunityb21/about/?ref=page_internal [Accessed 30 Mar. 2017].
The Children’s Media Conference. (2013). Dominic MacDonald. [online] Available at: http://www.thechildrensmediaconference.com/profile/dominic-macdonald/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2017].
Vimeo. (2017). Unity In The Community | A Conversation With Sharifah Mian. [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/209106714 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
YouTube. (2016). UnderTheInfluence: Ep 1 – Is flaunting your partner online healthy? #UTInfluence [@UTInfluence_]. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyhYfRv4HLk&t [Accessed 9 Mar. 2017].
Below you can find my tutorial sheet which I discussed with Mez on 6th December 2016.
In the meeting, we discussed whether doing a post graduate degree is a plausible route for me. While it definitely is, I’m weary about doing it due to the fact that it would mean that I’m in education for another year, which equates to even more debt. However teaching may be something I want to do in the future, so a post graduate degree could help with that. In order to find out if teaching is definitely something I should be looking at seriously in the future, I thought it would be a good idea to do some work experience in a school. So I got in contact with my old media teacher from college and he sent me the application for a work placement (Figure 1).
I sent off the application form but unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I wasn’t able to start my two weeks at Joseph Chamberlain College.
I mentioned in my tutorial document that I wanted to work for NCS The Challenge during the summer. Before applying for the job, I got in contact with Maninder from Creative Futures. I sent her my CV, which can be found below, and she suggested a list of changes to make (Figure 2).
Below is my updated CV, with the changes made. I sent this off to the company, with a video application and have been offered an interview.
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:
- Multi Tasker
- Middle Man: Is on set even if they’re not needed
- Wants to know everything:
- 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.
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.
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.
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.