Other Media

Meeting Hector

Note – The footage was recorded on my phone due to the fact that the trip to Hectors house and the surrounding areas were spontaneous

Contacting Tim Hall (Lighting Director)

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Advertising the Interviews were taking place 

 

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Archive Footage (Requests)

Victoria and Albert Museum (Requested to get in contact with Pogus Caesar for his pictures of the 1985 riots in Handsworth)

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Response

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I emailed them back saying it would be great if they can forward the email to Pogus Caesar however I did not hear anything back.

Birmingham Mail (Requested the use of archive pictures of Handsworth)

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I received no response to this email.

Huntley Archive (Requested the use of archive footage of the 1965 riots in Handsworth)

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I got a response which said I would be able to download it but It had watermarks all over it. I then requested if they will be able to supply a video without the watermarks, in which they replied…

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This was a little out of my budget so I told them that I was a student, I did not receive a response after this.

Sangat Television (Requested the use of archive footage from the 2011 riots in Handsworth)

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I received no response to this email.

 

Reflection on 364MC

Before this module I was a little anxious about leaving university and entering the big wide world. I did not really know what to expect from the industry I wanted to go into, or about the industry in general, this module made me take a very close look into my chosen field and made me contact people who might be able to help me in my future career. From booking meetings with Ruth to finding out about how to make a sustainable portfolio, I have truly benefited from this module. It has made me more aware about the industry that I am about to enter and what to expect before I enter it. Finding out about how people entered the industry was very inspiring because everyone had very different stories, some of them studied media and film in university, some of them did not, some entered the media industry later in their life, this taught me that I should preserver and try and find a job within the industry. I know I will not become a director straight away I will have to work for it, therefore I will use social media such as facebook to offer myself a runner on different projects, Like I learnt from the 10 professionals I contacted, I must start at the bottom and work my way up.

I still feel anxious but there is no doubt that feel more prepared about leaving university now, with a strong CV, portfolio and showreel. I am currently in the process of looking for media jobs in the UK. Many of the jobs I have found are in London so I may have to consider moving after university if I am offered a job there, however I will look for media jobs in Birmingham first. I am also in the process of branding myself and making business cards to show that I am serious about working in the industry.  I recently got my 1st paid job which is taking on a role as a photographer for an engagement party. This is freelance work and If I do my job right hopefully this will lead to more opportunities.

My Contacts

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.

Feedback on Showreel & Portfolio

Before this year I had never made a showreel, however being so close to graduation a showreel is essential to establishing yourself as a professional. A showreel sells your work and it needs to be perfect, this is why it was crucial for me to get feedback on it.

I sent it to, 2 different lecturers just to get a variety of feedback. The lecturers that I sent it to were Ken and Clifton. They gave very positive feedback. After looking at my showreel, Ken said

“It’s fine content wise except I would be a bit more specific about this sort of roles you were after. Instead of Filmmaker put down:
Director
Camera Operator
Researcher
Or choose one of the list to focus on depending on what you want to do?”

The first draft of my showreel stated that I was a filmmaker however Ken said to make it a bit more specific, I agreed with this as I feel that If I want to get recognized as a director I need to promote myself as one.

Clifton’s feedback was a little unexpected, he stated

“This looks ok a nice range of shots and style and space given to each, no fast cutting which makes a change in these kind of things. My only comment is that pretty much everyone who appears is/looks very young. Other than that you state well and clearly each section”
I understand this but I feel as though I have included my best work, when my FMP, which features elderly people, is edited I will add this into my showreel.
A portfolio needs to be professional and tidy which is something that I have tried to achieve with my website. I have asked many people to look it and give me feedback but I had no luck. Recently I got in contact with some people who graduated from university 2 years ago. I talked to Nick Leek and Meera Darji, two Coventry University graduates, who were kind enough to give me some feedback on my portfolio. Nick said…

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I was really pleased with Nick’s feedback, due to timing I did not split up my portfolio into different areas of work, however I did take on board his comment about making my showreel autoplay on the home page, I also looked through the spelling and grammar and made sure everything was spelt correctly. After making these changes I then sent my portfolio to Meera Darji who said…

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Again I got some positive feedback from Meera however she wants me to be more creative with my website. When I first started creating the portfolio I decided not to use a template and work on a blank template instead, I carefully designed everything on the website. I am working on branding myself as a professional, once I have done this I will change the portfolio according to the theme, colours and overall look of my brand but till then I think I will keep it to how it is.

UPDATED SHOWREEL

UPDATED PORTFOLIO

Primary Research – Experience

Although this is not a work experience module I felt that it was important to get involved with some projects to learn new skills and increase my employability. As an aspiring director it is important to see how other directors work and how connect with their actors, therefore I have been working on other students FMP’s. So far I have worked on 3 FMP’s, all different in form and style.

The first FMP I worked on was a short film that goes by the name of Between the Lines which is a crime thriller created by Shahid Mahmood and Matthew Johnson. The story follows 26 year old Oliver who has been plagued by dreams of killings about to happen by one serial killer. One day he dream about his own death at the hands of the killer, but with clues as to how to take him down. Knowing this Oliver has an important decision to make. (Mahmood 2017). My role for this short film was taking pictures and videos behind the scenes. I was also a runner. Shahid stated that..

“During the production of Between The Lines, Anita Kaur was in charge of documenting behind the scenes of the production through taking pictures and was also a camera assistant/ runner. She was punctual and a joy to work with. Her duties were carried out exceptionally and production would have been difficult without her present. In addition she agreed to play the role of a dead body in a scene which was greatly needed. I have worked with Anita in the past numerous times and hope to work with her many more times in the future, she is one of the few people I would personally think of whenever I am creating a crew for a project”. – Shahid Mahmood

The second production I worked on was a live event called Subliminal Dreams. This was created by Darshan Patel. Subliminal Dream is a short experiment/ film to explore and discover how colour in motion can affect an individual’s mind, mood or emotion. (Patel 2017). Darshan stated that…

“When I was in search of a production assistant for my event I first approached Anita as I knew from previous experience that she is a reliable, dedicated and hard-working individual with a positive attitude. During the event, Anita assisted me with scheduling, greeting guests and making sure everything went smoothly, incorporating a great eye for detail as well as technical skills. I highly recommend Anita as part of any production and she truly has a passion to succeed and achieve great things!”  – Darshan Patel

The third production I worked on was a short film which goes by the name Lost Online created by Sharifah Mian . This was an extremely enjoyable production to work on because it is all filmed through social media. Lost Online is an interactive short film about a young woman who goes missing and you must make decisions on how she can be found (Mian 2017)  I found this interesting because it was different to anything I have watched. In terms of directing it was different. Sharifah had to direct the actors in how to respond to things because all you saw in the film is responses to what has been said and what is happening. For this project I worked behind the scenes capturing pictures and videos of the production, I also recorded the sound. Sharifah stated that…

“Anita proved to be a crucial part of the crew on the production of Lost Online as the sound operator. She was a massive help as she was very attentive to all the sounds that the audio equipment was picking up and easily noticed any anomalies. She wasn’t afraid to make suggestions and collaborate; I’d be glad to work with her again.” – Sharifah Mian

I wanted to work on many films as possible as I wanted to find out about how different directors work and how they see things in a different way. This is something that me and Mez/Stef explored in my tutorial. I found that working on these three projects was very enjoyable because they were all different in format and style. It was also beneficial because my speciality lies within documentary production, so working with the actors was a very new thing for me. It was great to see how the directors interacted with the actors and the relationships they built with them. Working on these projects were very useful because even though I did not direct any of them I was still able to gain skills and learn about different equipment that I did not know how to use before. During my research in how to becoming a director it was highlighted that directors should know about the technical aspects of a production, and the equipment being used. I feel that working on these FMP has made me more confident using different types of equipment and learning about how they work.

Bibliography

Mahmood. S (2017) betweenthelines. [online] Available at: http://mahmo123.wixsite.com/betweenthelines [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].

Mian. S (2017). lostonline. [online] Available at: http://sharifahmian.wixsite.com/lostonline [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].

Patel. D (2017). subliminaldream. [online] Available at: http://dpatel101.wixsite.com/subliminaldream [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017]