Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Short film location scouting

We decided to go location scouting for our short film today. We went up onto Minera Mountain, as we thought it would be a good setting for our film, due to the bleak landscape and the horror genre to our film.

The weather was not the best as it was foggy/misty but this could add to the production values and give it a more eerie atmosphere.

Another option would be to go to Abbey Crucis which is near Llangollen. If we were to film here we would need to get in-touch with the land owner so we would not be prosecuted for trespassing.

From this image with the lightening we have been inspired to add lightening in After-effects to show horror and add tension in our film. We also like the black and white effect and would like to experiment with this, but we aren't sure if we would want this all the way through our film, However we thought it might look more effective in the title sequence.

Photo's from our visit to Minera Mountain:

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Creative Futures 7th March

Creative Futures 2013

Beyond the creative to the business end of things

Gary Edwards

The session looked at the commercial end of the creative industry and how Gary Edwards who is not creative set up a successful business working with every level of business from from The Holt Lodge in Wrexham to The Queen and London 2012. Also the power of co-operation- working closely with would be competitors. Gary Edwards left school qualified and worked as an engineer for seven years. He then entered the world of selling, climbed the ladder of success and opened a number of of 'Mortgage Advice Shop' branches, which he then sold. He moved into the IT industry where he held senior roles from UK sales and Channel Manager for Tobit Software working with Virgin and Redbull, to Sales and Marketing Director for Synergy Technology working with Manchester City FC. He eventually opened Digitalissue in 2008.

 I went to this talk because I thought it would be interesting to see what the business end of thing is like as I don't have much knowledge of business. It was good to see how a business operates and what Gary Edwards' business- Digitalissue does. At the moment I'm not wanting to set-up my own business after I graduate, however I may do later in life so this talk about running a business will come in handy.

Getting that job

Sarah Kirk and Nouran Al-Jandali- BBC Wales

In this session I leaned about working for the BBC and what they have to offer such as trainee schemes. I got in-depth knowledge of the recruitment process and how best to sell yourself  to potential employers with an aim to securing employment. Below is what was discussed: 

Working at the BBC- How do I get a job at the BBC?
Ways to start your career at the BBC
1. Work experience
2. Trainee Schemes
3. Jobs

Work Experience
The BBC provides more than 1,700 work experience opportunities ever year, right across the organisation: from radio to online to business and finance. 
Treat your application like a job application.
For every application, you will need to demonstrate that you have an interest or passion for your chosen placement.

Trainee Schemes
BBC offers a number of trainee schemes including: Production Trainee Scheme (PTS), Journalism Trainee Scheme (JTS), Extend etc.
Many of the BBC's trainee schemes do offer a salary.
Each of the trainee schemes has a fixed recruitment window, which is on the website.

All BBC jobs have a job description
Read and understand
Apply only if you meet the criteria 
Focus your efforts
Register for job alerts

Types of Interview/Assessments
Competency based/behavioural
Telephone/face to face
Written exercise (e.g. case study)
Verbal exercise (e.g. role play/presentation)
Psychometric assessment (e.g personality assessment)

Top tips
Tailor application
Egs to back up stills & experience
Stay connected

I thought this session was really useful as I din't know about trainee schemes they had on offer as they would be a great opportunity for me. In the session we also watched a short video which interviewed people on work experience and trainee schemes. The interviewee's shared their thoughts, experiences and achievements through working for the BBC and trainee schemes. I liked being able to see what other people had done and what they got out of it. It was defiantly worth while going to this session to learn about what the BBC has to offer, not just jobs. 

Taking hold of your own destiny!

Louise Barlow with Dan Cavender

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New music video Teaser- Rania, Just Go

Just seen the teaser for Rania's new music video- Just Go. I really like the teaser and I can't wait for the full length music video to come out as the teaser looked really good. I really liked the teaser as it shows a mystery girl walking the city streets who goes to shoot, what appears to be her love who has been cheating. However we she that she is unable to pull the trigger but it looks like she unexpectally changes her mind, but no gun shot is seen or heard. Also the girl band is featured doing choreography dances with solo shots of band members. I think the music really fits the visuals and good cuts are made between shots. I like the transitions between shots and that there is a relationship between the music and visuals.

Creative Futures 6th March

Creative Futures 2013

Working as a Freelance Photographic Artist

Alison McLean

Alison McLean has been working as a freelance experimental photographic artist since graduating from N.W. School of Art and Design in Creative Lens Media in 2010. She has recently formed the GlasfrynArtistsgroup GAP, a local collective of cross-discipline artists and creative's. Her work with collaborative group LampPostCollective is being shown at Liverpool Look13 International Photo Festival in May 2013. The session included hints and tips for working as a freelance artist. Topics included: the importance of networking  use of social media and blogging, collaborative working, useful organisations, support networks and basic business practices to make life easier.
Points from the session:

Set up your own website:
Free websites e.g. carbonmade- http://carbonmade.com/
Work with a grpahic designer
Spelling and grammar- http://www.ghotit.com/
Get someone to go on your site
Improve traffic with video, blog, keywords
Interactions e.g. freebies and compectitions
Keep it up to date

Social media
Google Plus
Blog e.g. Wordpress, Blogger
Social media management e.g. TweetDeck, Hootsuite
Write in the third person
Copyright issues

Business Cards

Getting work

Graduate networking events
Linked-in business groups
The pub
Redeye, the photographer's network
Chamber of Commerce
Have a 'thing' to wear that will make people more likely to talk to you at networking events and remember you

Keeping inspired
Creative Wales
Keep a file

Tax and Business Courses
Business bank accounts
Money saving expert

Overall, I thought this session was really useful as it was the only photography session I could attend, so it was good to learn more about the photography industry and what I can do to promote myself as an photographer.

Designing for mobile and selling your own Apps

Tim Makin

Tim Makin started web design in 2001, in 2004 he started a degree in Interactive Multimedia at Glyndwr. After graduating in 2007 he took a junior web designer role at Drumbeat Creative. He then took a move from the design side to development where he progressed to the Head of Development. In 2010 he co-founded Wink Nudge; Mobile app and development agency.  


In the session Tim Makin talked through the important design considerations for producing content for mobile devices and the best steps for achieving success. 2013 is expected to be the first year where access to the web via mobile devices will surpass computers. Therefore businesses need to have their content accessible by a mobile device, more than ever before. Digital designers must understand how to design for mobile and desktop. This is evident as companies such as the BBC actually design for mobile devices first. Below is what was discussed in the talk:

Where are we now?
Web access on mobile phones to overtake desktop in 2013
Half of the UK population own a smartphone
75% of these are Android or Apple
1 in 3 Facebook users access via mobile
Mobile email has over taken outlook

Mobile distribution

Mobile Websites
Multi-platform/ accessible
Don't need to publish to an app store
Use of SEO (To be found on Google)
Use existing skills

Device integration
Push capabilities
Better performance
You are in the app store!
Full screen

Best of both worlds

User goals
Will actions change because its mobile?
Dedicated or responsive

Make it easy to access
Don't overload

Lots of items
Easy to group

Pop over
Works well on smartphones
4-12 items

Tab bar
Up to 5 items
One tap

Lots of items
Many sub categories

Makes or breaks a site (users want to know the error)

 User wants to save time- auto suggest is good for this

User experience
Tap-able areas 44 pixels
Device orientation
Not always connected
Text 13+ pixels
Gestures (no hover)/ interactions

I thought this talk was very interesting as I learnt a lot about designing and making apps. Tim Makin said that you should now basic HTML and Java Script as it will always come in handy. I know the basics as I did A-level ICT so these skills will be practical if I wanted to make a app, when editing my blog and when creating a website. 

Make your own Damn Movie!

Jason Devitt

Jason Devitt started off in theatre work, stage and props, moved into computer generated imagery (CGI) work and special effects (SFX) work, plus SFX make up. He then decided to write a screen play for a TV series, which became a series on Sky TV; Vampires which was then re-edited into a move and released on DVD. We was shown a clip of this and was also showed the seconded Vampire movie which is just about to be launched. The session is an insight of independent movie making, the cheats and ways to get things, and a review of all the stages. 

Need to have a winning concept- basic concept needs to sell, see what's popular (Thats what distributers want).
Keep it simple, keep it stupid. People want to be entertained.
Make a film for your audience.

Write it- don't read it or correct it until you finished it. 
Expect at least three drafts.
Show no one till you're at least finished the first draft.

1. Money, money, money!
Know your filming plan inside out.
Realistic estimate plus some on top. You'll always over-spend x20%
Who to go to: crowd funding, local business and rich family, film funders BFI etc.
Be positive about what your doing.
2. Pitch your idea well.
Use two known successful films/ TV series.
Elevator method- break it down to one sentence that explains the movie. 

Who you really need (Key people)
1. The people/ crew.
Director, producer (you- the dictator).
Camera man who is on your wavelength-or do it yourself as you have the vision.
Lighting, sound- sound is the most important thing in the movie.
Runner/ helper/ assistants- perform jobs
Make-up/ hair- Only if you need it, actors can do it their self
Catering- Food
Storyboard artist- Is God! (Could be you)

1. Locations
2. Back-up locations
3. Back-up plan for actors and weather

1. How to chose them- Have they got chemistry? Do they fit in?
2. Willingness
3. Punctualitiy
4. Talented

1. Plan ahead
Shooting schedule (Link scenes that can be done together)
Make sure everyone is early
Set everything up the night before
Turn off mobiles!
2. Legal bits
Contracts are understood and signed
Image release forms (have 100's of spares)
Image release for buildings etc.
Permission to shoot
Insurance (cheap on-line)

1. Lighting
2. Sound (Most important factor)
3. Storyboards
4. Acting for screen
5. Audience 2ft away
6. Overact technique- Get  the actor to act over the top before filming, then tell them not to act when actually filming
6. Minimum of 4 shots, CU, MLS, LS, ES, MS, use depth and be creative
7. 180 degree rule/ thirds rule

1. Screeners (Watermark them all)
2. Send the festivals what they need and only enter the relevant ones. Festivals provide (usually free) exposure and possible distributors.

1. Get the advice on contracts
2. Internet vs DVD and Blu-ray

Overall I thought this session was really good and I had a lot that I had learned during the session which I can put into practice in my own films and our upcoming short film. Jason Devitt told us about an software for special effects which is free and we can use called Das 3D. We can investigate the software and see if it is ideal to use for our short movie or even or music video. I also got his number so I can contact him for work experience and any other opportunities.

Documentary Production for TV & home video

Anthony Masi  Skype Q&A with David Robinson

This session was an overview of documentary production for TV and home video. Our lecturer David Robinson Skyped Anthony Masi who is the owner of MasiMedia LLC. He has produced the horror genre's most successful cinematic television, DVD and Blu-ray retrospectives, including HALLOWEEN: 25 Years of terror, HIS NAME IS JASON: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, THE PSYCHO LEGACY, and STILL SCREAMING: The ultimate Scary movie retrospective. 

Anthony Masi also produces independent films, and has written, directed and produced content for the Starz, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Lionsgate, FEARnet, National Cinemedia, the Shout Factory and Mirimax. He got into making films unexpectedly and chose to focus on the horror genre as he is a big horror film fanatic. It began of the 25th anniversary of the HALLOWEEN movies and nothing had been done, so he decide to film a documentary about how it shaped the genre. The documentary came out six years later and that's when he started his company- MasiMedia. Masi told us that making his documentary's are expensive as it cost half a million dollars because actors have to be flown in and to use movie clips in the projects are expensive to use. It costs ten thousand dollars per minute, but it is cheaper to remove the sound and leave the visuals. Each interview takes about half an hour and there is 45 minutes for the documentary plus movie clips, so I lot of editing is used.


Anthony Masi also discussed tips for making documentaries.
Here are the tips:
Lighting- subjects look flattering, a shine under the face always looks good.
Make-up- hire a make-up artist if you can afford it.
Try and interview as many people as you can in a day, if not everyone- it keeps costs down.
Give camera a rest- can burn out.
Get what you need right away.
Tell them to stay the question in the answer and talk slowly.
Edit out erm and like.
Have someone sign the release form before the interview.
Ask questions that aren't listed/ surprise questions.
Don't send the interviewee's clips before the release.

After visiting the MasiMedia website I was able to watch trailers of Masi's work, which I thought was really good and were some of the best documentaries I've ever seen. After the session David Robinson told us about an upcoming opportunity for us to help film a documentary in Liverpool that involves Anthony Masi. I'm really looking forward to helping out with this project and I believe it will be a great opportunity where I will gain experience and network. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Creative Futures 5th March

Creative Futures 2013

Live:Events Fun And Work

Alan Wight

Alan Wight is a photographer, who started a business in 1991 as simple conference organisers. The business Cascade has four aspects: event production, meeting support, media and hotels. Cascade's clients include: The National Trust, Iceland Foods, Muller Dairy, Poundland, DWF Solicitors, GAME Stores and many more. He has 25 years of live event experience in the corporate and charity sectors, organising events all over the world for a huge variety of audiences and clients. These include a mass audience of 33,000 computer gamers including liquidation announcements, exhibitions  parties with Girls Aloud and taking 900 people to Disney World. Alan Wight spoke to us about 'Production in a Converging World' - how video production , design and live events are all changing and the challenge we face to stay relevant and commercial. He demonstrated how technology had changed from when he founded the business. Some of the examples he gave were: they way people consume media has changed and YouTube has become popular, printing has gone digital, the invention of PowerPoint has enabled people to create digital presentations, better projectors than projector reels and the invention of the iPad, camera and camcorders have gotten better and the invention of Mac's have enabled people to become digitally creative.
I thought Alan Wight's talk very good, it covered all-kind of methods to be creative in a business which I thought was very good. I think he was very good at creative thinking and I really admired that because it is a vital skill that is needed in the creative indusrty and a skill that I have and put into practice on a daily basis. This talk also showed me I can think outside of the box to succeed in my area of study.


Creating Futures Creatively at TAPE Community Music And Film Ltd

Neil Dunsire

Neil Dunsire has a background in the music indusrty as he was part of a published touring band for over five years. He gained experience working in the arts indusrty and with a degree in Music and American Studies. He is now a director at TAPE currently studying at the School of Social Entrepreneurs as part of the Scale Up program and project managed a number of ambitious arts projects and corporate film contracts. This includes work with Waitrose and the Princes Trust which TAPE were finalists in the Arts and Business Awards 2012. The talk by Neil Dunsire had an insight to the workings of a charitable social enterprise -TAPE Community Music & Film Ltd, working in the arts and media and the different opportunities for volunteers, employees and project participants. We watched a clip from the Waitrose and the Princes Trust project which had a £64,000 budget and the Aire Park project which had a £600 budget. TAPE have their own equipment, however I thought the budget for Aire Park was quite expensive for what was produced on the video. I thought the video was very basic and simple for the budget. Also the sound wasn't good as people's voices weren't clear, and people who were being interviewed was looking at the interviewer not the camera. I picked up on these as I learned these techniques at ffresh. However Neil Dunsire said we are welcome to visit TAPE as the studio is run on a community basis and they have employment opportunities. I think it would be good for me to get some work experience therefore I could go to TAPE for some experience.


Getting a job in the media

Phil Hirst

This was an interactive session looking at working and improving the chances of gaining employment in the media indusrty. The session was hosted by Phil Hirst who initially was a feature writer for a newspaper group, he then joined BBC Radio Merseyside followed by BBC Manchester. He is currently a producer/director of production indie, Planet X Media producing films and TV series for BBC, ITV C4 and Sky.

After the introduction we was handed a sheet, where we had to answer the questions on the sheet.
 These are the questions and my answers:
1. Why do I want to work in the media?
To peruse a career where I can work and think creatively and create media that other people can which I enjoy doing.   
2. What am I good at?
I am good at being imaginative, thinking creatively, working as a crew, working technology, being decisive and drawing.  
3. What do I want to do?
Initially I want to be a music video director, however as I'm constantly leaning and developing new skills and in areas of my study, I might find a new career choice. 
4. What have I got to do to succeed?
To succeed I must put myself out there and take the opportunities I am given such as work experience. Networking is key and I can do this by going to events and working hard at work placements. I can use social media sites to promote and market myself. I should also research my chosen career to follow the right tracks to getting that career. 

I found this to be very interactive and really made me think about my future and why I want to do it. The session then went on to talk about the chances of gaining employment. Here is what was said:

You must be a graduate 
The majority of new entrants happen to be graduates
Significant work experience instead of higher education
Once in a media organisation your starting qualifications are largely forgotten
There will be more jobs for graduates in 2013 and those with no degree will struggle to get jobs

You need to study Media Studies
Divided opinion in the industry about the value of such courses
Strong interest by media employers in specialist subject e.g. Science, Languages, Economics, Politics, Engineering
Stronger commitment and passion for the area often shown by non Media Studies students with relevant practical experience
Need practical experience and know the latest technology such as cameras and software
Networking is key, there is less of a risk to employ a person you know through networking
Need to do work experience as companies will think your a burden as they think you won't bring any skills 

Working at the BBC
Mostly not a '9-5' job
Wide variety of jobs
Training excellence
Fast moving environment
Good career development
Creative atmosphere
Pride in your job
What kind of people?
Thorough research of organisation and job
Enthusiasm and passion for the area
Broad general knowledge and curiosity to learn more
Practical work experience
Determination and persistence

Get some work experience
Enter competitions
Be aware of all opportunities

BBC Work Experience
Placements throughout the UK
170 different departments
Available to anyone aged 14+
Up to 4 weeks
Varying criteria

Why the BBC offer it?
It benefits the organisation
Staff development
New Ideas
Is an opportunity for the BBC to get involved with the wider community; to spot new talent; and to assess an individual's potential. They also play a part in developing the industry's future skills base and diversity. 

How I can get in
Top tips:
1. Don't always go for the obvious
2. Make a statement, stand out
3. Be persistent
4. Sell yourself
5. Make them know you are the right choice
"If you demonstrate an interest in us, we'll demonstrate an interest in you"- BBC

Why do you want it and how to make the most of it?
Imagination vs reality- gain an insight into the industry and to learn about different jobs
Learn skills that will make you more attractive to potential employers
Gain confidence
Make a good impression and ask the right questions

Top 5 tips:
1. Make it count- make the effort, put 100% into media course, work experience or project. Work hard and wok 'smart'.
2. Make friends- not what you know but who... now more like it's what you know,  can show, and who you know!
3. Make media- short films to hone your skillset and practice them, work with friends/on own, get access to cameras and edit software. Buy if necessary. Watch television!
4. Make your own luck- jobs won't come looking for you, it's Mohamed to the mountain, find out what's happening then target your effort, people, resources.
5. Make it to the finishing post- determination is essential, get used to rejection, pick yourself up and go again. Impresses people. Ask for feedback. Tweak what you do. Learn from mistakes. Refine your message. Then look for the next opening. Have x lines of inquiry out simultaneously.

Overall I really enjoyed this session, as it was more interactive then previous sessions and I learn't a lot in the hour.

Design Studio Overview and Insight (Fashion)

Jane Davies

Jane Davies is a fashion designer with own label, project manager, freelance designer, TV presenter and fashion advisor. She has exhibited Premiere Collections NEC, sold to independents across the UK, orders from 2 department stores, global coverage of collection, large design contracts and job offer from Ungaro. Jane Davies started off studying at Newport Collage of fashion and went on work placements. She then opened her own shop and sold to private clients. She designed children's wear, swimwear and jersey pieces.   After her shop getting destroyed she then had to pick herself up from a all-time low and went on to be fashion advisor and became very successful. Jane Davies talked about her experiences in the fashion industry and the challenges she faced and how she overcame any obstacles. I found this session very motivating because she explained how you can get over hard time and how to ease stress, which I found useful because sometimes thing don't go as expected and we have bad days. She taught me to always think positive even when its hard to. She also talked us through some of her collections and what she achieved from them. 

Monday, 4 March 2013

Creative Futures 4th March

Creative Futures 2013

Opening Address-What's current in the creative industries?

Sarah Mair Gates
Opening address was the first talk which was introduced by Dr Stuart Cunningham who also gave talk on what's current in the creative industries and Skillset Cymru. Skillset Cymru is the Welsh arm of Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative industries. It is also a industry body with funding from government and industry. It works with the indusrty, sector bodies and government departments to ensure that training and education is responsive to sector needs. Skillset Cymru is overseen by an industry National Board for Wales made up of independent production companies, broadcasters, trade associations, unions, sector support organisations and Skillset support organisations. I thought it was interesting to learn about what's current in the industry at the moment because I need to know all about the indusrty when apply for jobs so I know what's good and bad.

 Sarah Mair Gated who was from Creative and Cultural Skills and a representative from Creative Skills Cymru, gave a talk about Creative and Cultural Skills. I learn't that they are a Sector Skills Council for: performing arts, visual arts, craft, design cultural heritage, music and literature. They do research, development of national occupational standards, apprenticeships, careers information and events, national skills academy and industry relevant training.

Key Note address- Painting over the cracks

Professor Paul Haywood
The next talk was by Professor Paul Haywood, who I thought was an excellent speaker as he really tried to connect with the audience and engage us in his talk. However I didn't really find his talk too relevant to my course but it was interesting that he touched on media city in Salford and the re-branding of Salford. I found media city an interesting topic, because it is goal was to become a leading international hub for the creative and digital sectors. It is a vibrant place to work and live and also the new home for the BBC, ITV, Coronation Street, SIS, University of Salford, Lowry Outlet Shopping and over 80 small businesses.I think this part of the talk was relevant to me because my course is media-based and also I have visited Salford keys and seen media city on a Geography re-branding trip. Much of Paul Haywood's talk was more art based but I still found the talk interesting.

'How not to be a designer!'

Robert Ball
Although I found this talk was more targeted to deign and graphic students, I got some good information on how to create a good portfolio. Robert Ball shared his experiences in the industry  how he made it into the industry and what not to do when your in the industry. He told us to keep our portfolio simple, and it shouldn't take long to load and leave your best work to the second page but put your other good work on the first, like a sandwich. Also don't include any idea or roughs in the portfolio but keep them separate and handy include they want to look at them. And of course your portfolio should be well presented. I thought these tips were useful. Other advice that Ball included was to enter student award because it helps get you a job, always work hard in an placement as it could be rewarding at the end of it, ask for help from others and try to avoid getting inspiration from the internet  Instead go out and find something without the use of internet sites such as Tumblr. 

To Imagine, to create, to Learn

Yann Seznec
The last talk of the day was To Image, To Create, To Learn by Yann Seznec from a company called Lucky Frame. Yann Seznec had appeared on Dragons Den pitching his idea of a Wii remote sound loop, but was unsuccessful. Yann came across to be very interested in his own work that you could tell he was really passionate abou, which was important because in the creative industry you have to come across as passionate and enthusiastic. Seznec also showed us some of his work including: mushroom spurs that included a laser and he spurs triggered instruments to play, gelkies which are chips and components in jars and also the weather cage in Bangor. He then went on to talk about interaction and interface and how he used interaction and interface on children in Scotland in a workshop with coloured paper as part of a music game. Seznec finished off by going through the apps Lucky Frame has created. The apps that have been created were games about creating sound: Bad holet, wave trip and mujek.