Final reflection

When this module began in the first term I remember thousands of questions coming up to my mind. This is a third year module that gets you ready for the real world, for the working world. How to have a job when you finish your degree is such a big question and 364 MC is going to help you out with that.

But, I wasn’t finishing in 232 days as they said in the first lecture, and I wasn’t sure what I want to be either. People enrolled in 364 have done ‘201 Professional Experience’ a year ago and probably have keep working since then and have already made their minds up about their professional career. However, I have not done any of those things (in fact I have been enrolled in 201 at the same time that this one). My only actual professional experience has been precisely during  the last summer and I could have continued but I came here.

Nevertheless, what I did have in common with everybody else is that I was looking for being ready for the ‘big bad world’. I am aware I have developed this module in a very particular way. But I think that’s precisely what we are meant to do, to find our way, to plan our journey, to get to know, to get ready before coming out.

So, as I said at the very beginning wasn’t even sure which path I would like to take. That’s why my first research, my first chats with professionals were more like a way to find out what I want to do, instead of being a way to know what exactly I have to do. I mean, when you are researching and knowing about how to start a professional journey is when you actually realize what you want to do. When you are not sure if you have the skills required, you don’t feel identified when you read the profile required of a vacancy, or you listen people talking about how to break into a field and you are not sure if you want to go through that, if you are still doubting… that is not your way.

Through 364 MC I have discovered what I am really willing to do and how to achieve it. In fact, I haven’t discovered just one way to get it, but several options. That makes me feel confident and ready to react to any difficulties, to not to get stuck. Also, I have made really helpful contacts that I may use at some point of my professional career.

I have already started my journey.

Final Reflection

When this module began in the first term I remember thousands of questions coming up to my mind. This is a third year module that gets you ready for the real world, for the working world. How to have a job when you finish your degree is such a big question and 364 MC is going to help you out with that.

But, I wasn’t finishing in 232 days as they said in the first lecture, and I wasn’t sure what I want to be either. People enrolled in 364 have done ‘201 Professional Experience’ a year ago and probably have keep working since then and have already made their minds up about their professional career. However, I have not done any of those things (in fact I have been enrolled in 201 at the same time that this one). My only actual professional experience has been precisely during  the last summer and I could have continued but I came here.

Nevertheless, what I did have in common with everybody else is that I was looking for being ready for the ‘big bad world’. I am aware I have developed this module in a very particular way. But I think that’s precisely what we are meant to do, to find our way, to plan our journey, to get to know, to get ready before coming out.

So, as I said at the very beginning wasn’t even sure which path I would like to take. That’s why my first research, my first chats with professionals were more like a way to find out what I want to do, instead of being a way to know what exactly I have to do. I mean, when you are researching and knowing about how to start a professional journey is when you actually realize what you want to do. When you are not sure if you have the skills required, you don’t feel identified when you read the profile required of a vacancy, or you listen people talking about how to break into a field and you are not sure if you want to go through that, if you are still doubting… that is not your way.

Through 364 MC I have discovered what I am really willing to do and how to achieve it. In fact, I haven’t discovered just one way to get it, but several options. That makes me feel confident and ready to react to any difficulties, to not to get stuck. Also, I have made really helpful contacts that I may use at some point of my professional career.

I have already started my journey.

A bit more of feedback

So I have managed to fix  all the things Chantal told me to change, even if this is a starting point and I am using wordpress. Well, there are some limitations in this free version , for example you can customize a theme in terms of fonts and colors but you cannot personalize the home page of a theme. But, I did my best to make it appealing.

Anyway, I ask her to have another look at it. Here I attach a screen shot of her answer.

 

chantalfeedback2

 

 

Matt Jonshon also gave me his comment on my first version portfolio. Their feedback is really good because they are actually photographers and professionals of photography, they look at photographer portfolios every day, they know what it is meant to have, what actually works, and what the auidence or potential clients want to see.

His feedback is really useful, but unluckily there is nothing I can do right now, I should make better projects and reportages, try to find out a common point or style in all my stuff so that people will see what makes me different from anyone, and be interested in my rather in anyone else. Despite this is something I cannot fix right now I am really glad he told me because that’s something I didn’t think about.

He actually make a comment on the quality of my works, that is not something that I can change right now but it is probably the most worthy thing I could receive.

mattjonshonfeedback

Then he e-amiled me back with more feedback for the moment,  about the organization and specific design of a documentary photographer. He also thinks info is important for a documentary photographer.

mattjonshonfeedback2

Scriptwriting. Meeting Mez Packer

Mez Packer is actually a novelist but I found interesting to have a chat with her because in the Media Playground she run a little workshop related to creativity and scriptwriting. The duty was to make the audience laugh given certain conditions, not use this, use that… So, her experience and advice can be useful in terms of writing stories, understanding the audience but also in relation to networking.

Even my tutor recommend me to speak with her when I first said I was interested in scriptwriting. mezpacker

Contact details

Mez Packer

aa0200@coventry.ac.uk

 

I e-mailed her and we arranged an appointment.  And we have met today and I attach here  the audio .

 

But I am also writing down the key things we went through during the meeting.

What are the key skills of a scriptwriter?

Perseverance. It is about having talent but more than having talent it is about being perseverant and having patience. You have to know how to Deal with the rejections. You have to wait to somebody who likes your stuff. I mean, if you receive 100 rejections maybe this is not for you but if you receive 50 just wait until someone likes it.

How to break into this industry?

How I did? I get published a book. Get something published! That’s the way. Well, there are many ways. I was recognized as a writer and then was asked to write different type of scripts, I am in publicity, and have written a script for an iPhone application. I would recommend you to join a writing development group. That’s for me the beginning.

I would also recommend you to star writing little pieces and then move forward.

1: Flash fiction (http://flashfictiononline.com/main/)

2: Short stories – extend your ideas – read and try writing some short stories. Short stories are definitely a great place to start.

3: Scripts (Writing West Midlands – is a great place to start here in Coventry, but in Spain, or wherever – look for literature and writing development agencies). Start thinking about (and listening to) radio dramas, or writing short scripts and monologues for theatre. Try and network and meet actors, theatre people and think about what you might write for that oeuvre.

4: Use Twitter to find and network with Spanish writers.

5: Send completed work to agents here or in the US and Spain (Spain initially of course if you are writing in Spanish).

 

There is this in Spain but I am not sure if they write in English or in Spanish http://mount-oregano.livejournal.com/16866.html

 

My Reflection after this chat.

It was a lovely chat but above all it was useful. She told me things I haven’t considered yet, she gave me clues to research in Spain.

She provided me the idea of not going for scriptwriting directly, of trying everything related. Just go for everything.

She helped me out with the big question about writing in spanish or english. I am definitely going to start in Spanish.

 

Documentary world vol. II Fran Porter

So, while working as a free-lance photographer I did make some contacts such Fran Porter.  Her business card says she was a Producer but when I went to the website of the media company she runs “Metal Dog Media” I discover they have made a couple of documentaries; all of them related to music. Then I did research her profile at Linkedin and I did find out that she had been really into documentary for some time.

That’s why I think her answers could be useful for me.

Contact Details

Fran Porter

07813821968

fran@metaldogmedia.co.uk

 

My meeting with Fran Porter was extremely good. We spent one hour and forty minutes talking about documentary , the skills required, how to break into it, what can you expect for it, what is actually the most important thing in this field, the network ideas, the process of development and how to make a live on this. We even talk about the whole media industry in UK and the way of understanding media education.

 

It was a pleasure to have that chat, to have someone answering honest, just by telling her own experiences.

https://soundcloud.com/user65119672/talking-with-fran-porter

 

 

I put here the link so you can actually listen to the full conversation, I think that transcript 1 h 40 m of conversation is actually a waste of time so I am just going to write down what are most likely to be the answers to the questions I have asked to everyone and put some emphasis on what other people didn’t tell me before.

 

What are the key skills that you have needed to develop to do your job properly? And which ones are you still improving?

Well, the technical skills can be learnt via tutorials or you can just hire people to shoot or whatever you need. Research is extremely important, although You can always pay someone to do the research because a good research takes about 4 months and you may not have that time, but know how to research is always good.

Be interested in people is the key, to have passion about people and integrity. You have to be passionate and know where your own boundaries are. Your passion is what makes people trust you. You have to build up trust quick, really quick, and let them know this is going to happen. The film is going to be made.

You really have to build up the confidence because usually people are defensive against media.

You, as a woman, will probably make a documentary on a men’s world. You have to deal with that, break into a men’s world. You have to make them believe in you as a filmmaker at least.

It is also really important to know WHEN do you have to make a film. It can be such a huge film but not at that moment, maybe you have to wait five years if you want it to be a success.

You have to understand social moments and take them into account. What the audience wants in each moment. Recession moments are particular moments you have to consider that people is thinking on domestic stuff on survival, they are not really interesting in anything beyond or abroad.

Journalistic skills are also really important. You should go to look for what people are not saying, what they hide.  When I meet people,  I promise, I see everyone as a potential character. ​

 

-How can you get or improve those skills?

All these things with experience, to be honest. You are getting better and better with experience. I have made loads of mistakes. At the beginning terrible mistakes. Being a student making horrible films and getting the camera stolen. But now here we are.

 

-What are the educational requirements to be a documentary filmmaker?

I do not think there are educational requirements. It is more about passion and having determination, about having the commitment to do it.

-Do you usually work with editors or any other professionals?

My partner is usually the one who shots, I am the producer, then we have upstairs the editing lab so we edit ourselves, and the equipment its also ours. That’s the thing if you want to make money on this you have to own the equipment, if you start hiring this and that you are not going to have profits.

 

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

It must be face to face. I don’t make people to come to my office to have  a chat or just phone them. You have to actually meet the people, yesterday this time I was off to the pub to meet the guys from Coventry FC . That’s the way! Go to the pub.  Actually, this morning the guy called me and told me that after I left the bar a guy came to him and said he had heard us and that he could help us.

But,  for me is not about networking, networking, it is more about ideas, ideas, ideas.

 -How do you break into documentary?

You have to start little by little. Just go for it. One day you will make something good, something big. it makes a difference. Our reggae docuemtary really made a point.

I remember Ken Fero also said something similar to this but i am not sure if it was more related to your family or potential clients. What he said is ‘when people see you haven’t given up and one day you make something good they start to take you seriously’.

Reflection on the chat

While talking with her I felt I was on the right way to develop my professional career on documentary. I mean, talking about the skills needed, and even about the process I don’t see myself far away from that. In terms of just breaking into it and living on it this chat made me think deeply about setting up a company, instead of being just a free-lance.

Ken and Lee and well all the references I have had drive me into the direction of free-lance. None of them think working for a documentary production company is really worthy now. But Fran went a bit forward and told me about the financial advantages as a enterprise and also the facilities you can have to find clients and foundation, in terms of trust. When you set up a company you have legal responsibilities so people would rather trust a company than a single person.

 

 

 

 

Professional Comments on my portfolio

Chantal Riekel is a French-German photographer who has her own portfolio http://www.chantalriekel.com/

I had a look at her portfolio before asking her for help. What I most like about her’s is the home page,

Anyway she is also a photographer tutor as well as workshop and community project facilitator. So it’s not only the fact that is a professional photographer witha  portfolio but also that she is used to have a look at other’s works and portfolios, and critically think about them.

Here it is a sheet of feedback from Chantal

 

Chantal comments

Also , to prove that she was the one who did it I put here an audio of the meeting.

 

Most of the comments of Chantal were related to the appearence. I already knew those issues before speaking with here. Weteher because the free version doesn’t allow me to change some things, or because I do not know how tu use wordpress properly, the point is that the site hasn’t got the appearence I would like.

Apart from that, Chantal has pointed out some interesting stuff.

We have been seeing some of her colleague’s websites and even students websites. All of them related to documentary photography or kind of photojournalism to get some ideas.  On those websites the text, the explanation , all the details aroun the works and projects have much more importance than in any other photographer portfolio. So, she suggested me to make the most out of the introductory text, and the titles.

I asked her about the third person/first person conflict. In the about page all of their bio’s or career in third person but I am not sure about keeping it for the introductory texts of the projects. Some of them do that, but it sounds weird to me. She agrees with me, she would rather write it in first person.

She put enphasis on the space in between images, I really would like to do that but by the moment I do not know how… But non related to the control of the wordpress tools she commented me to think really well about the sequence of images I put. That is the main thing, they have to be more related, the order has to be on purpose…

 

Conclusions on the comments

I totally agree with her in everything but I am not sure if I am going to get the things in WordPress as I am visualizing them in my mind.

I am going to work on titles, and text, and to go re-select images as she told me, to think more carefully about the sequence and put some more pictures. She says is not necessary to have loads of projects but really good ones.  Not jus three pictures, put around ten and make a really good sequence with them.

 

 

 

 

 

So receiving this now I have to work in fix it!!