This experience as a a whole has taught me many things in relation to how the working world of the media works.
As a team member I think I did well with working with new people in different situations. In the Live @ the square filming I was put with a new group of people who I had not met before and had to organise them as a group of cameramen without knowing there particular skills or strengths. This required confidence in communication as I was being seen as someone to instruct and direct so had to show an element of authority. I feel I did this effectively and was successful in directing the team quickly and with clear instructions.
Working as part of a team at RedShark was entirely different as I was the student and they were the working professionals that I was being instructed by. Whenever possible I would give my input into decisions that were being made, sometimes I would find this difficult however due to the fact I was not confident to give advice on something that I considered to not have any where as much as experience in. Despite this if I mustered up the courage I would say what I thought and sometimes I was even right and had my opion taken on board. This was probably due to the fact that they are such a small team only consisting of two people, I imagine in a larger company it would be much harder to get an opinion or idea across.
Unfortunately due to the sensitive nature of some of RedSharks clients and many projects being in the editing stages I am not able to show much of the work that I participated in but here are a couple of the IATE videos that I edited and built titles for:
Here are a couple of the edits from the Live @ the square performances:
I feel that I developed many things in this experience from personal skills to technological skills. My organisational skills are much more professional as a whole and much more applicable to real life industry situations. I think I have the skills required within my field or have the ability to develop them. By this I mean I think I have the technological skills required but perhaps need to extend my communication and people skills to make sure I get as far as I can within my chosen field.
I really enjoyed my entire time at RedShark and think I got some really valuable experience, skills and contacts from the placement. I increased my technological skills on many levels from equipment to software. I am now much more comfortable using Final Cut as a video editor, something that a few months ago I would not have thought due to my reliance on Adobe Premiere Pro as my preffered editing program. I have realised how much more professional it is as a programme and how it can make it easier to edit once you have taken the time to properly learn it. My new knowledge of Adobe After Effects is probably the most important and useful thing I have learnt, knowing how to use simple graphics and motion in a video will improve many of my future projects and possibly improve some old ones that could do with a re-edit. Equipment wise I have found that LED panels are much better to use for lighting a single subject in an interview situation and the importance of checking equipment before a shoot so that you have everything you need and wont be panicking looking for it on the shoot!
I think this placement has also helped me develop my organisational skills as well as my technical ones. When I had to be e-mailing about 8 or 9 different companies to organise shoots around the world I had to keep track of each contact and at what point in the negotiations I was at with them. I feel I did this well and managed to achieve what I wanted to.
I really enjoyed my time at RedShark and would definitely like to get some more experience with them if they have anything to offer me.
Today was my last day with RedShark and it wasn’t a very busy day, I started by continuing with the printing of the DVDs and left that in the background whilst I did something much more fun! Russ had bought some foam to go inside one of the cases that holds one of the LED light panels so that it was held in tight and wouldn’t get broken in transit. This meant some precise measurements and precise cutting from me and I did quite a good job if I do say myself! I did a few other bits and bobs throughout the day between sorting out the DVDs such as ringing up equipment service companies to sort out some equipment for a couple of shoots in the next week and sending a few e-mails. Apart from this there wasn’t much else to do on my last day so I thanked them for the experience left them some lovely posh chocolates and went on my way!
I started today by deleting the original IATE videos off of the vimeo page so that I could upload the new ones with the alterations for Margot to see. I then set about the absolutely fantastic task of printing the DVDs for the University of Kent… in case you can’t tell I’m being sarcastic, this is a long boring tedious task but once again something that must be done. Every year RedShark films the University of Kent’s Graduation ceremonies to put of DVDs to sell to the students. This means about 650 DVDs need to be printed with the image and date for all the ceremonies in July, this involves the use of probably the oldest machine ever built, RedSharks ancient DVD printer! Well its about 10 years old which these day for technology is pretty old! Anyway I had to make a template image for each ceremony, about 13 of them and then put them into the DVD printing programme and print about 50 for each one. This takes a very long time and about 60 is needed for each batch due to the fact that about 10 will be misaligned in each lot.
Whilst I was waiting for those to print I was still fine tuning the trailer for the film The Mirror. Russ recorded a few voice overs for me to put on the trailer so that it had a bit more structure to it and seemed less like a random collection of images and titles! Once I had done this I exported it and put it up on vimeo for the client to see.
I had received some feedback from Margot about the IATE child psychology videos I had edited for her, so my morning was spent making these small changes to each of the videos so that they had the effect she wanted. Some of the changes she wanted were not able to be made so I made a list of the changes I had made and the ones that I was unable to make and e-mailed her. A few days ago I was e-mailing camera crews around the world to film interviews for Deloitte until they decided to not go ahead with the shoots, since then a couple more crews had got back to me from Singapore. I had to e-mail them to let them know about the cancellation of the shoots but thank them for getting back to me.
The main thing I had to do today was to create some titles to put in the trailer for The Mirror, I would be using the tag line given to me in an e-mail which included a short medium and long synopsis of the film “From Director Francis Poltera, A Psychological Faerytale, Dare You Look Into It?” For this I used Adobe After Effects so that the text could be animated in an interesting and professional way. I took quite a long time over this, making the text come forwards and explode off screen, I added some blur effects and space like effects to give the whole piece a good depth of field feel. I was very proud of these titles as they gave the entire trailer a much more professional feel and it developed my knowledge of After Effects further opening up even more opportunities for me to use it in my later work. We discussed how we would do the voice over for tomorrow and which version of the synopsis we would use to give the trailer more structure.
Today was a very important day, nothing to do with my placement, it was my birthday! Unfortunately this did not stop the fact that I had to be in an hour earlier than normal for the shoot at Deloitte. As I explained yesterday Deloitte are a very large company that are very important clients to RedShark and provide a large quantity of their work. We started the day by getting all the equipment to the location which was an interesting experience, especially when it came to getting it all the equipment in the back of the taxi with three of us! Helping us with the sound was Alex who was one of RedSharks many freelancers that they have for various parts of jobs, these range from sound engineers to editors and lighting specialists.
We arrived at location and I was instantly impressed with the size of the buildings, I wondered which of these were Deloitte’s and then it turned out they all were! We met our contact Suzy in the reception of one of the buildings and she showed us to the first room we would be filming in. The room was quite small but we managed to find a good camera angle and sorted out the lighting for our first interview. Something I had learnt in the lighting of these interviews and the ones done at the ESU is that rather than using traditional 3 point lighting they used one or two LED panels to light the subject. These seemed to work with a lot more ease than the traditional 3 lights I had been used to. We only had one interview in this room and then had the other 6 or 7 in another room in the 10th floor of one of the other buildings. This room was much bigger and allowed much more room for different angles to give some variations to the videos.
This whole experience was a good opportunity to see how the industry interacts with a much larger corporations in other industries. I saw how set ups could be quickly set up and taken down efficiently to get as much done as quickly as possible, also the interactions and instruction given to the interviewees was very good experience to me in how to deal with and direct people you are filming.
After a nice day out of the office it was back sitting down in front of the computer all day! I started by showing Russ what I started for the trailer edit for The Mirror, after some feedback I did a little more rearranging of clips, still desperately trying to gleam some kind of storyline from it! To have a bit of a bit of a break from this I did some of the more admin side of the company by helping Karen with some quoting of jobs to clients for jobs around the world. This also meant I had to try and organise some camera crews in various countries such as Shang Hai and Switzerland. I had to search for for a company that looked professional and at the same level as RedShark in terms of size so that the quote would not be too large for the client. This required an element of organisation I am not used to as a lot of them responded quite promptly with e-mails or phone calls so I had to keep track of what I had told each company so that I could obtain the correct information from them and effectively get a quote.
Whilst I was waiting for replies from them I organised the call sheet for a shoot we were doing tomorrow for Deloitte. Deloitte are the biggest client of RedShark, giving them over 50% of there jobs in year, Deloitte are one of those companies that you never really hear about but are behind some of the biggest companies in the world. They manage the accounts and consult many of the worlds biggest companies so are a very important client to RedShark. A call sheet is a sheet for a shoot that has the details for everyone involved and the schedule for the shoot so that on the day everything goes smoothly. Whilst I was doing this we had received an e-mail from Deloitte saying that the international shoots that I had been organising earlier were to be cancelled. This meant that anyone who had got back to me then had to be informed that the client was no longer going ahead with the shoot but they would be kept on record in case they could help with any further shoots.
Today was my first experience of a shoot with RedShark. When I got to the location, which was near The Ritz and Mayfair, my first thought was, wow, I hope I don’t smash anything. The building contained many an expensive painting and chandelier reflecting the wealth of the area. When I got there they had already started setting up and it was just a matter of connecting the correct cables the the sound mixer and making sure that the cables were out of the way and taped down. After a quick coffee run the first debates were ready to begin, the first debate we were filming was between the school national champions of England Vs the school national champions from Scotland. For the schools debates my role was to operate the boom during the audience questions sections at the end of the debates where the audience make comments on what has been said and ask questions to be addressed in their summary speeches. My main aim here was to not hit the expensive chandeliers hanging precariously on the ceiling, unfortunately I was concentrating so hard on this I forgot to take into account the small boy sitting behind me, who I may have hit in the face…but I dealt with this in a very professional manor apologising to him as soon as the debate ended. After some posh sandwiches and tea it was time for the university finals. For this debate I was given the responsibility monitoring the levels of each of the microphones at the front making sure that everyone is heard correctly. This was a relatively easy task but one that if done wrong would be a huge problem at the editing stage. Once the university finals were done we had just one more thing to do, do a couple of interviews with various members of the ESU to get a little background on the event and what they do to help the event.
This whole day was great as an experience of a professional shoot and dealing with client requirements in a proper and professional way. I saw how they set up cameras properly and how they back up the footage to ensure it is always available. Any problems were dealt with as they could be at the time in a quick and efficient way, when we were unsure what the client wanted at any point we would clarify it before going any further so that they are getting exactly what they want. This also taught me that even on a long day where the content is not as exciting as other things you have to keep you attention focussed!
Today was a very different day because I had the place to myself as Karen doesn’t come in on Thursdays and Fridays and Russ was working from home. This meant I had to manage myself and find things to do on my own, when I got in I knew I had to finish uploading the IATE videos I had been editing. The next thing on my to do list was to watch the film The Mirror and think about what to include in a trailer for it that I had been asked to make. The Mirror was a film that was made by a friend of Russ’ and RedShark had helped in the post production effects, now the only way I can think of describing this film is… erm interesting. There was quite a few problems with watching the film due to a dodgy file type that didn’t have the right codec for a MAC, luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) I had a copy of the DVD that Russ had given to me earlier that week to test on my computer so watched it that way. Whilst watching the film I took notes of time-codes at points where I thought that it would look good in the trailer.
After watching the film I had to try and make sense of it all so that I could make a trailer that made sense, now this is much harder than it may sound due to the fact that the film didn’t really have any coherent storyline that was obvious to the viewer. In the blurb it advertised itself as a “Psychological Faerytale” and no, I don’t know why fairytale was spelt like that, nevertheless I had been asked to make a trailer for it and so I had to do that! Once all the file problems had been sorted out with a bit of conversion I could get down to the editing, first of all I pulled out all the clips I had noted down as interesting from the film and put them in some kind of order. All the problems with the conversion the finishing of the uploads meant that this was all I had time to do so that was it until sunday when I would be helping them with the filming of the English Speaking Union debate finals.