My professional experience was made up of two small projects set by lecturers and a main project developed by myself and a fellow student.

The first of the two smaller project involved working with a lecturer and other students to produce a documentary on the intrusion of CCTV cameras, the second project was based around the promotions and running of the East Winds Film Festival hosted by the CUEAFS (Coventry East Asian Film Society). The bigger and main project, which is an ongoing project since the start of 2011 consisting of producing live lounge type material for unsigned bands around the West Midlands, with each session being filmed and released once every two weeks.

I chose to focus on different projects because I am still unsure of which area in the media it is that I would like to get into, by doing a variety of projects it gives me a chance to learn various new skills and hopefully come to some sort of conclusion about what it is that I want to do.

CCTV Project
As I did not do the documentary module, I thought that getting involved with this project would be something different and exciting as I greatly enjoyed making a documentary during my first year. In this project I was involved in two ways, one as part of the film crew who did the first set of filming and the other as part of the research team. Being part of the film crew meant that I had to act professionally during the shoot and be able to carry out orders given to me quickly and smoothly without disrupting the filming in progress. Being part of the research team was something completely different to what I have done before; although having done research in previous assignments, this required to find way more in-depth information about companies and people using sources such as HM Revenue and Customs and looking into any affiliations that companies /associates may have with other businesses or projects no matter how small they may be. This type of research was completely new to me and has taught me valuable skills in finding more than just the information that is on the surface. Using a snowball effect in order to make connections which may not have been apparent beforehand is a technique which is tremendously useful and will be carried forward into future projects to produce a more reliable and more interesting items. Overall this experience has been nothing but positive, giving me the opportunity to work on something different and gain new skills. This experience has also influenced to do more documentary based projects as I find it far more interesting than producing a film or television show.

East Winds Film Festival
The East Winds Film Festival was the first ever film festival hosted by the CUEAFS at the Warwick Arts Centre in February 2011. As part of my professional experience, I was involved with promoting the event as well as helping with the sales of the merchandise supplied by Third Windows Film and Terracotta Distributions. The main skill I have learnt from this experience is how valuable teamwork is in order to carry out an event on such a grand scale. By dividing ourselves into smaller groups we were able to successfully promote the event, even to the extent that it was mentioned on the BBC News website. Research was also an important part of my role as I had to look into films that were being screened and which region they were from, the director and actors involved, the genre and similar films to recommend to the audience who enjoyed the screening(s).  Helping with the East Winds Film Festival gave allowed me to experience firsthand how to run a successful event and to understand the components needed to be able to pull of such an event.

Studio 113
Studio 113 was an idea I developed several years ago, though not originally with that name. For professional experience I thought it would be a good opportunity to put my idea into practise and produce shows on a bimonthly schedule. The shows are based around a live lounge concept but focusing on unsigned acts to “give the underdogs a voice” as it were. By starting my own project, I was completely involved from the start to ensure that the idea would be carried out to at least a satisfactory standard. We had group meetings to delegate roles and to discuss the overall image of the show; this was then followed by doing a practise run to gain an idea of the run time of the show, how long it would take to film and how long it would take to edit. After the practise run we decided that the length of the show should be around 25 minutes, which is something similar to a television show. Thinking not to let good footage go to waste, we also produced a pilot show using the footage from the practise session. I decided that the best way to get things done would be to delegate roles and divide up the crew into smaller teams which led to there being a sound tech team, editing team, camera team etc. I have gained more from this project than I have from anything else that I have done since coming to university as it gave me a real sense of how running a project from the beginning to the end will feel. I have also learnt skills in sound mixing, gained knowledge on the various types of microphones as well as improved my directing and camera skills which will be carried forward into future projects. Being a student run project there are guaranteed  disputes and  several arguments did occur as I predicted, however, throughout these “events” I have tried to stay level-headed and be professional about the whole ordeal. Despite some of the negativity from this project, the pros definitely outweigh the cons and have greatly inspired and influenced me to aim for a career in the media focusing around the music industry.

In conclusion, teamwork has been an essential element throughout all three experiences and as a result has contributed to me gaining many valuable skills in this professional experience, and more importantly gained an idea of which part of the media industry I would like to be part of.

CCTV Terror
13th January – Full day of filming in Birmingham.
15th January – Full day of research for the project.

East Winds Film Festival
11th February – The opening day of the film festival. Selling tickets from in the morning. Selling products from Third Windows Film and  Terracotta Distributions. Answering enquiries about the films and festival. Promoting the event.
12th February – Selling products from Third Windows Film and Terracotta Distributions. Answering enquiries about the films and festival. Promoting the event.
13th February – Selling products from Third Windows Film and Terracotta Distributions. Answering enquiries about the films and festival. Promoting the event.

Studio 113
10th January (Ongoing until 15th June) – Meetings to discuss the shows. Research on bands. Contacting bands who are interested in performing. Research on editing techniques. Comparing and testing different cameras to use. Promoting the show online. Creating leaflets and distributing them to promote the show.
16th March – Show 1 (Pilot – Jack Lord), filmed.
2nd March – Show 1 (Pilot – Jack Lord), released.
2nd March – Show 2(Tapestry of Glass), filmed.
16th March – Show 2 (Tapestry of Glass), released.
16th March – Show 3 (Emma McGann), filmed.
30th March – Show 3 (Emma McGann), released.
30th March – Show 4 (Luna Kiss), filmed.
13th April – Show 4 (Luna Kiss), released.
13th April – Show 5 (Arabella), filmed.
27th April – Show 5 (Arabella), released.
27th April – Show 6 (Pilot the Sky), filmed.
*A two-week gap was left between each show to allow time for editing the visuals, editing/mixing the audio and synching.*

CV Version 2 – PDF

East Winds Film Festival
The Coventry East Asian Film Society are filled with students who are enthusiastic about east asian cinema; as a result we decided to host our very own film festival which was held at the Warwick Arts Centre. Through the collaborative efforts of everybody, we managed to produce a very successful festival and even dedicated it to a friend of everyone’s who we recently lost at the time. At first, I was nervous about taking part in such a big event as if it backfired then we would be left with trying fill an empty auditorium. However, as the days went by I got more and more comfortable with the tasks given and even took up the responsibility of keeping a record of the stock. I believe that due to the success of this event, the CUEAFS will more than likely be hosting another film festival next year.
Trailer for the festival:

CCTV Terror
Working on this project gave me a sense of professionalism more than any of the other two. Being part of the film crew felt natural, and although it was working in a different situation, I still felt comfortable with being part of the crew. The real challenge was being part of the research team. Having never done in-depth research, the process of finding information took a long time. However, after discussing my first set of findings with the lecturer, he gave me a few ideas on where to look for more information. Following his guidance, I slowly became more confident in finding information about individuals and companies by using a snowball effect; by this I mean using one source of information and looking into anything around it that is remotely connected and producing a portfolio of information.

Studio 113
The concept of Studio 113 is one which has been in development for a couple of years and only recently is it that I have managed to see my idea turn out into something which I can proudly show off to other people thanks to the work and support of the team behind the production.
The initial idea was to create a show based around a similar concept to Live at Abbey Road but instead of featuring well-known/signed acts, the show would focus on those who are trying to make it into the music industry in a stripped back performance with nothing to hide behind to showcase their musical talents.
After finally deciding to do something with this idea, I started to plan out how to turn an idea into a reality with the aid of Emma Bakowicz. We went through several planning stages to determine the image, mood and overall ideology behind the show and how it would be possible for us to carry off such a thing. We gathered a team of students from different courses who were interested in the project to take on different roles which contributed to the success of this project. We had several meetings as a team to discuss the type of acts we wanted to showcase as well as the name for the show and how often we would produce a show. After all the decisions were made we began to develop a YouTube channel, a website, a Facebook page, a logo and the shows.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Studio113Coventry

Website: http://studio113.mfbiz.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Studio-113/156335867755839

Logo:
Designed using Adobe Photoshop CS5

I wanted the logo to be clean and simple looking to reflect the stripped back nature of the show.

We then began to produce a pilot show which featured Jack Lord, who happened to also be one of the members of the team. this pilot show allowed us to work out a rough timing of how long each recording sessions should last and general idea of how the final product would look; the pilot show has a lot to do with the success of the show. It allowed us to get use to the editing and the spacing in the room we used to film. Although the pilot show is only around 10 minutes long, we did previously state that we would aim for around 25 minutes which is similar to that of a television show. Another key thing that came out of producing a pilot was deciding how the show would look; we decided that having the first thing be a performance would be the hook to grab the attention of the audience, then mix in the interview between each song to give information about the artist.

Pilot Show:

We have currently recorded 5 shows which can all be found on our YouTube Channel (see above) and released 4 of them as the 5th one is currently being edited. We have several acts lined up before the end of the third term and more acts waiting to start off in September.

I decided to make a small “promo video”, as it were, to advertise the show;

East Winds Film Festival
By helping out with the festival I have learnt promotional skills which will help me in raising awareness for future events. It has also broadened my knowledge of east asian films as I had to research into the films being screen in case any questions were asked by the public. Finally, learning how to keep calm when there are a lot of sales happening and not losing track of the transactions being made.

CCTV Terror
Research was the key skill that I gained from this project as it required very in-depth research to find out information about certain individuals and companies; Google is a good start but to find the real information it requires many hours of dedicated work and looking into not only the subject at hand, but anything around it which might even be remotely connected and finding some sort of correlation between the data gathered and presenting in a professional and tidy manner so that it can be easily understood.

Studio 113
I learnt the most and gained the most from this project as it was one that I started. By working with students from different courses it meant that we traded skills and knowledge on equipment and working methods. Working with Pete Lord (Photographer), I learnt the difference between photography lighting and film lighting as well as on how to use a 5D effectively and the pros and cons of digital and black and white film photos. Working with Jack Lord, Sam Heerey and Aaron Beese I learnt different microphone setups to capture the best sound quality as well as mixing techniques using ProTools and the different microphones to use for different instruments. This project has also helped me to develop my camera skills on a Z5 and 5D as well as using different lighting setups to give a different mood to each band performance. Another skill that I have learnt from this is look at an empty room and visualise where everything should be placed to create the right atmosphere for the performance and how to achieve that stripped back image yet retaining the quality in performance. Besides developing technical skills, this project has also taught me how important it is to keep track of everything that happens and to always be in contact with other members of the group to ensure that each stage of production is carried out in the best possible way and delegating roles and work to individuals. The main thing that I can take away from this experience is that I have discovered what sort of section in the media it is that I would like to be involved in and that is in the music industry; whether it be producing music videos or creating shows similar to the ones I have produced with Studio 113.  This project will be continuing into next year which will allow me to develop more knowledge in producing music based items.
Although I started planning Studio 113 during the first term, the idea was first developed 2 years ago. Having grown up with a musical background and watching Live at Abbey Road and Jools Holland, I have always wanted to create a show with a similar format. Having very briefly thought it through in the past and with a very rough plan on how I wanted the show to look like, it became easy to develop the idea when I brought it up with Emma Bakowicz. More than anything else, I think that this project has taught me how important planning is for the success of such a show. By having thought about it previously, any complications that came up were easily tackled to allow production to run as smooth as possible.

East Winds Film Festival
The CUEAFS held a small film festival showcasing films from east asia and I was part of the sales team which was in charge of selling products supplied by Third Windows Film and Terracotta Distributions with other students and keeping a record of the stock. As part of the team, I also had to know information about the festival and films to answer any enquiries that may arise. Another teamwork aspect was that of the promotions of the festival. We works in small groups to cover more ground so that the festival would gain more attention.

CCTV Terror
This project consisted of working with one of our lecturers to produce a documentary on the invasion of privacy caused by CCTV. We were divided into several small units which would carry out a shoot involving interviews on different days. I was part of the team who were involved in the first shoot and the first bit of team work consisted of us having to find out own way to a practically unknown area of Birmingham. The primary team work aspect was that of the actual shoot which involved working with professionals and following instructions on how and what to film. I was also involved in a different aspect of this project by being part of the research team. My role in the research team involved my working with others to find information about the topics we were given and we also had to delegate who would be doing which aspect of the research.

Studio 113
Teamwork in this was a huge component for the success we’ve managed to have so far. Working with students from different courses meant that we would rely on each other for our expertise in that area. I divided up the team into very noticeable sections which helped with the work. We had a camera team (consisting of myself, Emma Bakowicz, Leanne Matthews and Alex Hacking), a sound tech team (consisting of Jack Lord, Sam Heerey, Aaron Beese and Brian Mansi), an editing team (consisting of  Brian Mansi and Leanne Matthews), a photography team (consisting of Pete Lord and Leanne Matthews), a PR team which dealt with getting musicians and advertising the show, (consisting of myself, Emma Bakowicz and Marie Elton) and finally a journalist/interviewer (Marie Elton). Although these were the teams, at times members would crossover roles to help out if an extra hand was needed. Communication was a very important aspect to this project as we need to know what everyone was doing in order to produce a successful show.
Being the co-director and co-producer (with Emma Bakowicz) it meant that I had to take up a lot of responsibility to ensure the success of this project. the idea for this project was developed on during the first term with Emma Bakowicz; we kept constant communication about the image the show would need, the type of atmosphere we’re trying to create and who would be interested in it (crew and audience). After discussing it in more detail we found ourself a small crew of students who were also interested in the project and began working on developing ideas for the show and looking for musicians who would be interested in performing. To make communicating easier, we established a Facebook group which allows it easier for us to keep track of everyone’s input. With each performance we would discuss what the set should look like and delegate camera positions accordingly. In post production I would also, at times, supervise the editing process or as for updates on how the editing is coming along. I feel strongly that as the director, I should put my trust in the editor(s) and allow them to produce a quality end product which is why I don’t feel it is necessary for me to be there when they are doing their job. The editor(s) would also produce rough cuts to show to the rest of the team and ask for feedback which also helped with producing the final product. Marie Elton also designed a website to alongside the project as well as a starting up a YouTube channel to where we publish our work; we all had input on how we wanted the site and channel to look.

New contacts I have met through the professional experience module include;

*Pete Lord – Photographer
*Marie Elton – Journalism Student
*Jack Lord and Sam Heerey – Music Composition Students
*Aaron Beese – Music Technology Student
*Various bands/musicians including Emma McGann, Arabella and Tapestry of Glass

How they can be useful in the future;

*Pete Lord – He also works with musicians to produce a semi-professional music video using the 5D which will link in with my interest in producing shows similar to that of Jools Holland and Radio 1 Live lounge.
*Marie Elton – As a journalism student she is always on the lookout for new stories, some of the items that she finds my inspire me to create a piece around it using similar content. Also, as she was the interviewer for my Studio 113 project then I have that connection if I ever intend to do another interview.
*Jack Lord and Sam Heerey – They have great knowledge in sound mixing and music composition which is useful for creating sound effects for pieces or writing music for films, documentary etc. They also have a wide knowledge of various microphones and microphone positions which will help to determine which position (for example the figure of 8 ) will produce the best quality audio and which microphones to use for different instruments and situations.
*Aaron Beese – Similar to Jack and Sam, Aaron also has a wide knowledge of sound mixing, microphones and positioning to produce the best quality audio.
*The musicians – After doing the Studio 113 project, I feel that music is the direction I want to take in terms of a media career. By having these contacts it allows me to help them produce material in the future as well as material for any other musicians they may know of.

My showreel is finally finished and my original thoughts were to keep it as short as possible, by that I mean something around a minute or less. However, as I was putting the whole thing together, I realised that I had too many elements to be able to keep it within that time. I decided to use whatever footage and photos it was that I wanted to use then scale down on the quantity of that footage to see how much time it would take up. My showreel ended up being around two and a half minutes long but ,personally, when watching it, it feels like less, which can be good or bad.

There are several items from my montage that I decided not to include, Dirt, Light, Free and Text. I did this because I felt that they didn’t belong in the showreel and to have put them in would have made no sense.

I chose to split up my showreel into sections to show a variation of skills and techniques I can use, as not to be seen as “one trick pony”. I think that becuase of this it definitely shows diversity in my work and acts as a “sneak peak” into what I am capable of.

I chose the song 14 Forever by Stars due to its upbeat nature and the tempo fits well with the showreel. The first few shots of fire spinning best demonstrate how the music becomes part of the showreel.

I think the final product looks “OK” as it pretty much looks how I pictured it. Although there really isn’t much there, I don’t think that matters as I like things to have a simplistic look to them.

The lyrics chosen are the person’s favourite song, and I think that a song can always reflect ones mood and personality which is what I’m trying to show here.

Although I do like simplicity in the items I produce, I do feel that this piece needs a little extra something but I’m not too sure about what that “little something” is; perhaps and extra image to give it a different look.