Portfolio Research

Lately, I’ve have a look at many portfolios to get inspired for mine. At the beginning I was just searching for the most seen portfolios, what they look like, what they all have in common, what none of them have…

Home page is essential, It must be so visually attractive. Some of the most seen portfolios have kind of a slideshow in their webpage. Others just have their very best image as a cover, it is still, but is is huge, it may be full screen or kind of panoramic size but is always big somehow.

All of them have an about page. However, all the about pages are different. some of them have just two lines, others have a full biography. Some of them just talk about their career. Some have pictures of the photographer, some others do not.

Not all of them have a contact form, some people just provide their professional contact details, but most of them do.

 

But I am going to get focus on documentary portfolios in this post.

I speacially like Adriana Zenbrauskas portfolio

Available at http://azpix.com.br/site/

 

Valerio Bispuri

http://www.valeriobispuri.it/

 

Having a look at them you can notice:

They both have an extense about section.

They both have nothing on the sides, just categories on the top.  The photographies are not together.

One is black blackground ,the other one is white, but both quite simple.

Adriana gives more importance to text and she doesn’t care about uploading full articles instead of just pictures.

They both have many photographies in each project. That makes a difference with others photographers portfolio. I have seen many of them just having a couple of images in each section, really strong images though. The best ones.

 

Then I found also this one

http://www.aramintadeclermont.com

Araminta has also a press section similar to the artciles section of Adriana. Adriana has it ordered by newspapers creating much more sections and Araminta has just one page with all of them. Adriana is probably posting all what she has published, and Araminta is probably not or she has just published less stuff. Surfing Adriana’s webpage sometimes I feel it is a bit crowded, but is organized at the same time and it shows an amazing career.

Araminta one has also several photographies in each section, just as the other two do.

None of the three has titles in each photography. And Valerio hasn’t got an explanation of each project or reportage either.  The other two have an explanation of the projects or reportages and it is useful indeed, because some of them  I couldn’t have imagined.

 

 

 

 

A reflection on professional networks

My reflection on Linkedin

At the beginning of this year I build up my Linkedin profile

Here it is the link

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elena-nebreda/85/b57/9a5

 

I like the idea of my CV being on the Internet available to everyone, I think is a easy way to let people know about your education and work experience.

I prefer linkedin to facebook for sure. Linkedin is professional, it has nothing to do with your personal life but you still have a face and can participate in any professional debate if you want. This way you can show your professional side (what skills you have, what education are you undertaking at the moment, who you work with, what type of jobs are you interested in, whay type of companies you like most, what are you doing to update your education …) without exhibiting your private stuff (how much you love your mum, who is your partner, how drunk you got last Saturday or how much you miss home). You have got the full control of your image, because if you want you can post things, or participate in debates or answer to other people’s post, so you can actually show your opinion, interests or hobbies, but it is up to you to do that or just be an on-line CV. I believe that you are not going to be just an on-line CV never, because the great thing of Linkedin is that you can add contacts, follow companies, join groups of professionals, look for people to work with, ask for jobs… And all those movements are made by you actually, so you are actively seeking.

However, I do not think it is actually working for me. I have made some connections during these months… But to be honest, the connections are just other students  and a couple of lecturers. Also Linkedin tells you how many people visit you profile and just a few people have visited mine and only two of them weren’t students.

I am not saying Linkedin is not useful, what I am saying is that you will probably enjoy its advantages in a long term period. Just by being on it, updating your CV, showing everyone how you are improving your skills and your experience. I think it is more about adding contacts as soon as you meet them, than to add people randomly. Some mates from class said in the last lecture that they were just adding people related to our field and that they were successful sometimes.

 

My reflection on Twiter

I do not really know if Twitter is considered a professional network but I have started to follow people and companies in there who tweet really useful things to develop my professional career.

Apart from the vacancy posts or work experiences/trainees/internships opportunities, that are usually posted by companies, loads of professionals tweet about events, conferences, workshops, meetings…

 

My reflection on Physycal networks

I have been meeting people related to what I am more interested in, but I have not enrolled in any physical network.

I have researched loads of them, f.e.  West Midlands Crew, Shooting People, Coventry-Warwick film network, LEaminghton Spa Underground Cinema… They seem all to be very interesting but do not really find anything super related to my field at the moment. However, I did find others like Writing West Midlands or Birmingham writers.

In relation to the last two, I am thinking about attending some events in May such as Writer/Producer Speed Dating Session (Birmingham writers), but I am not sure as I do not know if I should go without having some nice scripts done before, it seems pointless to me. So , what I am thinking is to work hard on writing as soon as I’m done with Uni.

Also, after speaking with Ken Fero I did realize that networking hasn’t to be a proper institution. If I am interested in low impact lifestyle and want to develop a documentary professional career I have to met people related to low impact lifestyles in someway but it is not mandatory that they are a documentary network already. Consequently, I realized that in certain way I have kind of joined physical networks.

I have joined a CSA (Community Suported Agriculture). And I have met some communities members of the ‘Diggers and Dreamers’, as well as know people related to the ‘LILI’ movement.

 

 

Photographer

When I did the skills audit and while working with some classmates at Coventry University, I realized that my strongest point was probably my outstanding levels at using DSLR, specially taking stills.

I have always liked photography and it’s also a connection point between my two degrees (photojournalism, documentary photography).

 

Professional Photographer: Juan Manuel Ferreira Morgazo

He works as a photographer and he does all kind of jobs you could ask him. From commercial pictures, to reportages, but he got specialized in documentary photography and he actually teaches Documentary Photography Workshop at University.

Image 656631271

juanmal_madriz@yahoo.es

Again, I asked for the favour by phone but then make the questions by e-mail. Here there are some screenshots of the e-mails.

mailjuanma mailjuanma2

 

I have added some of Juanma’s photos in here but there are more available at http://ilusionopticafotografos.com/

What are the key skills of a photographer?

Nowadays, it is not only to have an absolute control on the equipment you are working with (included the software to edit) in order to solve out any unforeseen circumstance , but it is so essential have communication skills both physical and online.

Image

 

-How can you get or improve those skills?

Researching on Internet, reading forums, Reading photography magazines, visiting photographer’s websites to get new ideas, having as many accounts as possible, sharing your work on Internet and receiving peers feedback, etc.

 

ImageImage

 

 

-Which professional networks would be useful to engage in for a photographer professional development?

It depends on where you live, but there is always some kind of photography society.

Moreover, there are some webs, like photographer forums, that apart from giving information offer some photography events where you can see and share works. We cannot forget either the amount of photography festivals that are run everywhere nowadays.

 

Image

Which is the first step in order to be a professional photographer?

Undoubtedly, the first step is professional training. You have to visiting paint and photography expositions in order to instruct your eyes in terms of compositions. Finally, try to be the assistant of a professional photography.

 

 

Conlcusion

 

It was good to read the answer to the “how to improve…” question as it is exactly what I have been doing since I got into photography. But also to go a bit further and know exactly how to become a professional. The idea of being assistant of a professional photographer seems very useful to get the full competence with the equipment, to make the most out of it, to learn some tips.

After my research and  my professional experience as a free-lance, I have reached the conclussion that I am not going to be just a photographer. I am going to keep developing the skills of a photographer because I know I can take advantage of it to film or even to work as a  free-lance photographer,  but just to make some money. The advantage of working as a free-lance is that you can accept works you are really interested in its topic and you would make contacts so you can use them to go further in your own projects.

I mean, I am really into documentary photography but he can’t live on it, and so can’t I. You cannot earn money doing that, however, my portfolio it is going to be kind of a documentary photographer as well. The reasons for that it is because I enjoy it, I have some projects done, and I am each day closer to the Documentary world field as my future career.

 

 

Documentary World. Ken Fero speaks.

Lately, it has been created in me a strong desire of making my career in documentary. Whereas my interests in other specific fields have been reduced this one has been continuously increasing. I think is due to the factors below:

 

You can do for living what you are truly interested in. Therefore it is always motivating and challenging.

You may be present in all the stages of the production which means keep developing skills.

I can use all the knowledge and skills acquired through my Journalism degree in order to make a better film.

 

In relation to this field I have being in contact with Ken Fero.

Ken Fero is a well known UK Documentary filmmaker . He has campaigned on issues of policing and human rights abuses in Europe and the resistance to them and directed and produced the radical and controversial cinema documentary Injustice (2001) which was won many awards including Best Documentary – BFM London Film Festival 2002 and Best Documentary (Human Rights) – One World Film Festival 2003. Fero has directed a number of documentary films around social injustice and ethnic minority issues including commissions for the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky TV.

kenfero1

I chose him because he has taught me all I know about documentary so far. He teaches the Documentary Production module at Coventry University. I enjoyed a lot that module. I already liked Documentary world before because for me is a connection point in between Journalism and Media and I am studying both degrees in Spain. I met the managers of a Documentary Production Company last year in a kind of conference-workshop event named Communication for other possible World. However, it was this year when I really consider it as my future career.  Know people who actually do this for living is so inspiring.

 

The research I did even before met him was about the skills I should develop. It was good to read that not only filming and editing skills are needed but journalistic skills such as communication and interviewing skills are also so essential. As well as researching skills. First thing you have to do is to find out a theme that you are interested in and that a certain audience could be interested in also, but then you have to find out a really good story or character… Other key skill is patience, the more time you spend with the character/s , the better. All the time you can spend with the people or researching and going deeply into it, is worthy when you finally make the movie. Also you have to be patient when you are filming, you have to accomplish the “stay with it”.

Talking about how to break into it all I know is what we were talking in the Channel 4 Talent Day and this part is probably the most confusing one. So we got focus in it during the interview.

The full conversation lasts a bit more than an hour but I have done a video with the highlights of it.  It is enough to get the meeting.  I  also explained my personal situation and he also kind of repeat himself sometimes, to emphasise something or just because it is all connected… that’s why it was so long,   but in this video you can hear the main things!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/94568729″>KenFeroHighlights</a&gt; from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user21759971″>Elena Nebreda</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>My Reflection:

 

 My reflections on the chat

I particularly like that he answer me the first step question. The fact that he says I cannot go around the world feeling empathy with people is so vague, I have to research and know what I want to do. Documentary people spend their lives making the same film once again. The difficult thing when you are young is to know what do you want to go into. Once you know that you have to make contacts around the topic you are interested in at the same time that you develop your skills. It must go hand in hand.

I didn’t know anything about social centers in all big cities in UK where young people meet. Neither did I about ‘Indymedia’. I was aware of ‘Telesur’ but didn’t think about it as a possible broadcaster of my potential documentaries. And I didn’t even consider that the British council would have also a documentary festival directory of Spain.

So I think this chat was above all encouraging but also useful in terms of knowing new stuff, new clues to keep researching and developing a professional documentary career.

Also as a result of this chat, I will think carefully where to live. First of all we realized that in some countries could be easier to break into documentary than in others, and second of all, taking the example of UK , big cities can be also a better place for this career.

 

To end, some Ken Fero’s words. If you have nothing, you have nothing to loose and all to win.

 

 

Third week at EGO

I wen with the KINO EGO (film workshop) directed by Fran Porter to the shooting day. The day they putt into practice all

Today is interiors shooting. Next week will be exteriors shooting, which means natural light! Even if in UK natural light will probably mean a grey cloudy day it would be much better than the lights inside EGO.

 

Scriptwriting

So, I have been thinking for ages that I would like to be scriptwriter. Actually I came into my dual degree because I loved film and media worlds but I love writting too and I really considered to be a writer. So, I did journalism at the same time that Media and Film studies, and at some point I realized it hasn’t to be different ways; maybe I do not have to take  just one path after finishing the dual degree. The are some conection points  and scriptwriting is definitely one of them. You write but you think in imagery. You can make the most out of your imagination. I have been always the one who comes up with the ideas for the academic projects in University. People like my ideas, and I am also able to improve other’s ideas or get the audeince to feel what exactly you ask me. I have good communications kills, at least with my native tongue, and know enough about phsycology to know how people react to different things, and I also have got a huge audiovisual culture. Moreover, my language skills do not allow me to write great pieces or make awesome speechs in English or in French, but they do allow me to meet people, to travel discovering new places and cultures,   and to read books, newspapers,blogs… And I think that that is so essencial for scriptwriting.

Those are my weapons already, I have to find out whatelse is needed to be a professional scriptwitter.

 

However, this year in Coventry University has been the first time ever I write a porper script. And I noticed that I am not really good at writing down in a paper all the ideas that flow in my mind.  So, I should research deeply about the skills and the formation of scriptwriters in order to make a plan to follow.

 

I have been to a couple of scriptwritting conferences run by already professional scriptwriters and even if they were talking for a group of 50 people and didnt’ allow you to have an isolated moment,they still say some interesting things shuch as:

-The way production companies look for scriptwriters in Spain is ask a good scriptwriter to recommend someone.  If that does not work,  production companies usually go to masters to ask for the most talented students. Some years ago, they actually made scriptwriting trials, they make the candidates to write an specific type of script in a couple of hours and they chose the best script. That is how some of the current scriptwriters got their first jobs, but there are no script trials anymore.

The funny thing was that n those conferences there were people who had already done masters and still had no job. But they keep on going to that conferences because they know that contacts are the main thing to get a job in this field.

 

Secondary research:

 

As a part of my primary research I got in contact with Alejandro Melero.

Alejandro Melero has worked as a scriptwriter and editor of both fiction and documentaries in Documentha PC. Awarded with a full-time grant for his PhD from the  Westfield College Trust, in London (2003-2007). Regular contributor to the “Los imprescindibles del cine” collection and the magazines Mundo joven and Versión original. He has also published works of fiction and short-tales in magazines and online, and has won and been short-listed in several literary contests. Nowadays, he is becoming more known as a dramatist due to the successfull stage plays Nuestro Hermano, Clímax and La Vida Perfecta.

 

E-mail address: jmelero@hum.uc3m.es

Phone: 91 624 85 86

I received the answers by e-mail, again answers are in Spanish for the same reason that the rest of them. Here it is a screenshot of the e-mail.

 

 

 

alejandro-melero-01

What are the key skills for scriptwriting? How can you learn or improve them?

There are lots of skills requiered, it is hard to define … How do you define talent?
I have actually realized that good writers are good observers. They can see much more than the people who do not write. How do you develope that? Through vital experience: travelling, speaking, listening…
alejandro-melero-02How does an outsider get into scriptwriting?
Which professionalnetworks would be useful to engage in for a scriptwriting professional development?
Spain is a really inbreeding country in all its industries, so it is in the media one. Education is essential , it is useful in order to get young people -with certain professional dreams- make contacts. It is  important to take advantage of those opportunities.

What are the educational requirements to be a scriptwriter?  Are masters or any other specific courses  a must?

I am not sure if they are a MUST but I believe that they are helpful. I am the coordinator of the Scriptwritting for Film and Television Master at Carlos III University and I do realise that it is really useful.

Channel 4 Talent Day

I applied for Channel 4 Talent Day in Coventry and I was successfully chosen to attend the event. Once there, there was three different workshops and I took the Documentary one run by Rad Miller.  Among the people that attended that workshop were people with film knowledge, some of them with already a career on film, but other with no idea of documentary at all. That is why Rad Miller explained documentary world superficially and starting from scratch.

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 00.18.56

 

First session, we are all together in a big room and we put our hands up depending on what department we want to work. Then we star to stand up and talk about what we are professionally looking for. It is the time for answers and advices to get that:

The 90% of the people working in production work as a free-lance. Nowadays you do not have to wait to get work experience, you can create your own content and upload it on Internet.

You dont have to be afraid of big companies. Always keep an eye in BBC, ITV, Sky, Bafta… Think big and go for it. They have loads of trainees , work experiences, internships programmes. Go for them. But do not get depress by rejection and above all do not wait for a yes without doing anything.

Todays keys to success are social media, networking, build contacts, be proactive…

The use of Vimeo is a must. You create your own content, you show what you are passionate about, you do exactly what you want and then the whole world can see it.  Build up an online image, in which you are yourself and you are professional.

Also they point out the importance of the research, you have to do a huge research to know exactly where you want to work or who with. Then go deeper in knowing about that company and how to contribute to them.

Then we split up in workshops. I went to the Documentary Workshop run by Rud Miller.

He told us he works across the country making documentaries, he is not exaclty a channel 4 worker but channel 4 usually broadcasts his films and asks him to film specific things sometimes.

I asked in the middle of the workshop how it came? what did he do to get that? And he answered just working on what you want, then send and show your work, if you have a good material why are they going to say no? It takes time and effort obviously but you have to show them how much you worth. You have to have ideas and be creative, show them you are good for the

 

Some of us went close to Rad during a brake. I was trying to get him isolated and ask him but there was no option really.

He gave me his e-mail address (rad@radmiller.com) and I did e-mail him asking him to go through the kind of questions I ‘ve been asking for tis module. However he never answered.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 20.43.09

 

So, I haven’t contact him isolated and haven’t gone through all the questions but if I am still posting this it’s because I really found that day useful for my professional career development. It was not individually but they share they knowledge and gave useful advices, so it helped me out to know what I have to do at the end of my dual degree.