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!
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.
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.
I started today by simply going over and refining the IATE videos, trimming the ends, making sure the audio levels were consistent and that sort of riveting stuff! whilst I was doing this we were discussing the plans for Sunday when we would be filming the English Speaking Unions Debate competition finals. They also realised that they required a few things such as boxes and tape so sent me on a little errand to obtain these. Unfortunately the moment I stepped outside the heavens opened soaking me! but nevertheless I was successful in my mission and found a box that would fit all the radio mics in it and all the other bits and bobs needed. When I got back I got the fun task of cutting the foam so everything would sit in the box nice and securely which I probably had far too much fun doing!
Today I used another new programme, Adobe After Effects, I have had a little mess around with it before but nothing serious so this was definitely a good experience. The task was to create a title for each of the IATE videos using children’s building blocks to spell out the titles. First of all I had to find a picture of some toy blocks to use as a base, to do this I went on the stock photo website, iStock, where I found the perfect picture of every letter as a building block meaning I wouldn’t have to make every single letter individually. I then used After Effects to separate each letter and make it its own composition so that I could simply create any word I wanted to. This took sometime as I had to draw around each block for each letter of the alphabet and sometimes the mouse could be a little temperamental about where I needed to click to do what I wanted but I eventually got there.
Once I had a composition for every letter I then had to use them to spell out the title of each video by putting them on a still from one of videos. At first this was simply a matter of spelling out then words which even as a media student I have the ability to do! but then too make it look a bit more interesting i added some camera movement. This is done by moving a a camera and the objects within 3D space to give the still image the appearance of being in a 3D space and the illusion of an actual camera. I had a lot of fun being creative with this putting letters further back and bringing them forward into the foreground to give the image depth. After I had finished all of the titles I simply had to export them all and add some music from a free music website and put them on their respective videos.
I learnt a lot more about after effects which will be useful during future projects to make them look and feel a lot more professional. I also know the usefulness of websites that provide stock images for a small fee and royalty free music which is very useful especially for a poor student such as myself!
RedShark are a London based production company that have been running for 10 years and produce mostly corprate videos for clients all around the world. Here is a link to their website with some examples of the work they have done: http://redshark.tv/
So today I began my two weeks of work with them and was straight on with some editing for a client, the IATE (the Institute for Art in Therapy and Education). The videos were of two child psychologists, Denise and Margot, demonstrating different techniques to use when playing with small children to help their development. Some of the videos had been partly edited already so my job was to finish these and start editing the rest of them, overall there was 17 2-3 minute videos to be made. With each one I had to intercut the video of one of the psychologists talking about a technique with videos of them demonstrating the techniques with the children. This was a very good start to the experience for me as I am quite comfortable with editing software although I had never really used Final Cut that much as I have only ever owned Adobe Premiere Pro. This was quite a simple task of essentially cutting and moving of the clips with the challenge being in the selection of the clips to use and when.
I feel developed my editing skills well and got a good experience of using Final Cut which is much more widely used within the professional media world than other programmes I have used before. When people ask me what I want to be when I leave uni I often say an editor because it is something that I have enjoyed quite a lot during my various projects, this experience showed me what it would actually be like to be a professional editor, long and tedious! When it comes to editing videos of the less exciting type the editing process can become very long and repetitive meaning your interest can fade during the day but nevertheless I still enjoyed it and it definitely hasn’t deterred me from considering it as a career option.