For this module we had to contact 10 individuals who we think would be potentially useful in our future careers, if I am being honest this was harder then I expected it to be as I had a lot of people not replying or people giving very short answers, however I found this extremely beneficial in finding out about how people got started in the industry and the struggles they faced. I talked to some of the people before I contacted them via email. When contacting people for this module I tried to personalise the messages instead of just copying and pasting the same message to everyone as I felt that this will get more a response, I wanted to show the professional that I have taken an interest in their work. Even thought I found this difficult I did manage to connect with 10 people .
1 – Shah Mahi – Media Technician at Birmingham City University (Email)
A professional contact that has been very helpful to me over the years is Shah Mahi. Shah has been a big help with helping me move my career forwards. Before my 3rd year started I got in contact with Shah as I was anxious to start this year. I talked to him about my FMP and he was extremely helpful with presenting advice for me. Here is the email he sent me during the summer. Shah’s Advice. I recently got in contact again where we decided to meet up to talk about my FMP and other options. I choose this contact because a couple of years ago he was in my position, a graduate out of uni looking for a job. He is now a media technician at his old university and really enjoys his job. I find this contact useful for my future career because this is a potential contact to collaborate with, also he is a guaranteed person to give me feedback on all the work I produce which will benefit me greatly in the future.
Here are some of the emails we exchanged.
2 – Tim Hall – Lighting Director (Email)
I attended a talk with Tim Hall, a lighting director. A reflection upon the talk can be found here > Striking Lighting- Meeting Tim Hall (Lighting Director). The next day I connected with him on Linkedin, where I found his email address. I immediately emailed him in regards to my FMP. I found that people are more likely to reply if you ask them a specific question towards their career path, this is what happened when I connected with Tim Hall. Like I said in my other blog post I have no interest in becoming a lighting director however lighting directors share similar skills with directors which is why I found some of the things he said useful, having said this I do not think Tim Hall will be helpful to my career plans as I have no interest in working in Television or becoming a lighting director, however he is someone who I can run my future projects by and ask for advice on lighting them. Our conversation can be found below.
3 – Asif Kapadia – Director (Linkedin & Email
Asif Kapadia is my favourite documentary director, so he was the first person I thought of when I found out we had to contact 10 people. I thought that it would be worth a shot to reach out to him, in hope that he will respond to me. I chose Asif because he is a person of colour who has broken into the hollywood industry with his documentaries “Senna” and “Amy”. He is also from the UK so he has a lot in common with me. I found an email on the shooting people website that can be found here > Asif Kapadia Shooting People but I had no luck. So I reached out to him on LinkedIn where he responded with an updated email address, I then sent him an email in which he did not respond to me. I assume that he was too busy to respond however it was worth it to reach out to him, especially because he is doing something that I want to do and he does it well. If Asif replied it would have been a massive step towards my future career.
4 – Zana Briski – Director (Email)
In the summer I watched a documentary called “Born into Brothels” directed by Zana Briski, This documentary was one of the best docs that I have watched in a long time. So for this module I decided that is was worth a try to reach out to her. I contacted her via her website where I found her email address, although I got a response it wasn’t quite the response I was expecting. Again just like Asif it would have been a big step towards my future career if she replied. Nevertheless I am glad I tried to reach out Zana, it is always worth a shot.
5 – Brendan O’Neill – Writer, Producer, Director at Stickleback Productions (Facebook)
I met Brendan in the event “6ofthebestfest”. A reflection on the event can be found here > 6 Of The Best Fest. He hosted this event and I wanted to find out more about any other events that happening in Birmingham that he might be involved in. I was also keen to get Esther May Campbell’s email off him which is why I emailed him in the first place. I then realised that he also works in his own production company, since then I have been in contact with him regarding any film events that are going on in Birmingham, He has been a big help with raising my awareness about the film scene in Birmingham, Before I met him I had no idea about networking events that happen every month or that Birmingham was filled with creative people in the film industry. This contact is valuable and will continue to be so for my future career because since I met him, he has been inviting me to different film events around the city. Here is some of the messages we have exchanged.
6 – Phillip Parnell – Freelance Photographer (Networking Event, Email)
I met Phillip Parnell at the Film Brum networking event in Birmingham. He was in charge of taking pictures of the event and quickly got our attention. I wrote about him in my post > Film Brum Networking Event. Me and my friend were curious about the lights he was using and went up to ask him some questions, he then explained to us in detail, how composition and lighting are really important in photography in which he then gave us examples of what he meant by taking pictures of us. After this Phillip then gave us his business card, from this I got in contact with him via email and asked him a few question in which he gave really detailed answers. His answers can be found here > Phillip Response. I found Phillip to be a valuable contact and useful for my future career because I have an interest in photography as well as having an interest for filmmaking. Phillip is also a freelancer so if I decide to go down the freelancing route he will be able to help me and advise me on the dos and don’t of freelancing. I plan to go to the networking events every month, so hopefully I can create a good relationship with him and learn more about photography. Here are some of the messages we have exchanged.
7 – Clio David – Documentary Director (Linkedin)
Linkedin has proven to be a massive help when trying to connect with people in the industry. Even though I sent many messages out on LinkedIn, I only received a few messages back. One of the people that messaged me back was Clio David. David is a documentary director, something that I aspire to be one day. I connected with her because I thought she would be able advise me on how to get started and tell me her story on how she got started. I do not think Clio will be beneficial to my career because she seems like a very busy woman, this can be seen in her response, however she is from London so I might be able to meet her in the near future. Here is some of the messages we exchanged.
8 – Nigel Douglas – TV Drama & Theatre Director
Since LinkedIn was so great the first time I decided to use this as a main source to get the rest of my contacts. I reached out to Nigel Douglas a BAFTA award-winning film director. If I am being honest his response surprised me. Connecting with Nigel taught me that everyone looks at things differently. It was a learning curve to see how he defined the media and was interesting to see how he got into the industry. Connecting with Nigel was helpful because he is also a lecturer in the University of Salford where he specialises in directing and screen writing. I thought that he would be able to offer a different perspective than the lecturers at my university. This is one of the reasons why I connected with him. Although he did not really answer any of my questions, he did respond to me which I appreciated. Here is the messages we exchanged.
9 – Angus Brown – Writer/Producer/Director (Linkedin)
When I first got in contact with Angus I realised that a lot of other student on the media production course all connected with him. I was a bit weary to send Angus an email because I assumed that a lot of people had sent him one already, however he carries the title of a director so I decided to send him a message. To my surprise he responded and offered me some great advice. He has proven to be very helpful and has given me advice on how to start of my career as a director. I connected with him because I thought this would be a valuable contact to collaborate with as he only lives in Bristol Here are some of the messages we exchanged.
10 – Andy Linfield – Documentary Filmmaker and Researcher (Linkedin)
I decided to reach out to Andy because he is a documentary filmmaker, something that I want to be in the future. I thought he would be able to give me some good advice on how to get into the industry. According to his Linkedin page he has had a lot of experience in documentary production. He agreed to look at my portfolio which shows that I can trust him to give me some feedback on my work. He also lives in London so there is a chance to meet up in the near future. Here are some of the messages we exchanged.
Here are some of the people who I engaged with but have not replied.