One of my objectives to help me progress was to improve my confidence through networking and working with clients. Its imperative Producers have good interpersonal skills for a good working relationship with their production crew. A producer must motivate others and develop a close working relationship with the team in order to maintain the highest level of performance throughout production and of the best standards.
I have taken part in numerous events held by Channel 4 since completing work experience in February 2016. Being a part of events run by Channel 4, I have been able to network with industry professionals and meet employees in all areas of Channel 4 from commissioning to Press to voiceover teams! Having good networking contacts will help me in the future as I need to be familiar with all guidelines, from commissioning to health and safety to editorial guidelines. Having contacts in lots of different areas mean jobs could be delegated or advice can be obtained quickly and you never know where your next contributor could be! Through networking and connecting, I have expanded my knowledge of different areas within the Television Industry that I previously had no knowledge about. Talking to Katie Buckley from the commissioning department during my Channel 4 work experience, February 2016, I was able to obtain information about documentaries on channel 4 that reflect society and real life which is one of the genres I am interested in working in. Having discussed guidelines with Katie, I am now more confident in the content Channel 4 require and can apply it to my future work. I need to know commissioning guidelines for any programme I may be working on. The guidelines are available for public use on the Channel 4 website and can be viewed here.
Furthermore, from networking I have realised just how effective word of mouth can also be in obtaining work or simply influencing others. A disabled charity personal to me, MDUK, contacted Channel 4 Talent manager’s to speak at an event they were holding in July 2016, about disability in the media industry and both Gabriel and Laura, from 4Talent recommended I go instead, to speak about my experiences at Channel 4 as a disabled employee. This also led to me being at another event specifically aimed at disabled people getting apprenticeships at Channel 4 (August 2016) where I was part of a Q & A panel to answer questions that disabled people may have regarding working for the Channel. Doing speeches at these events developed my ability to speak at public events. These improved communication skills, will help immensely in the future when it comes to working with a team of people I don’t know.
Above: MDUK ‘Disability in the Media’ event. July 2016. Guest Speaker.
Above: Channel 4 Apprenticeship week event. August 2016. Guest Speaker.
Through speaking to people at the events I have been to, I found out about a Facebook page specifically aimed at Runners, People looking for TV work: Runners (Which can be viewed here) which is a go to site for employers who need runners. This site has proved valuable in providing me with lots of information from CV tips, legalities and what is expected of the runner role. This is a job page I check regularly now and continue to in the future in order to get runner jobs. I haven’t applied for any jobs yet due to the short notice nature that jobs get advertised but now Summer is coming and I will have a lot of free time, I can apply for jobs with my current CV. The site is run by industry experts so ensure all jobs are paid at least NMW and take applicable steps if employers are neglecting staff especially those just starting out such as myself where many will take free work just to get in the industry.
Receiving feedback both positive and negative from professionals has been an important and useful learning tool for me enabling me to develop and learn. Listening to feedback from Addie Orfila on the Production management course (February 2017) and acting on it shows my capability of effective listening, a tool that is important in production. Addie gave me constructive feedback on how I could have improved the tasks set but she also told me what I did well on the tasks. Using positive feedback will inspire and motivate my teams in the future as it has done me and will show I can communicate effectively. Gaby and Laura, my Talent mentors at Channel 4 (February 2016) supported and encouraged me, gave me guidance and constant feedback on how I was doing. They believed in me and had patience. This makes me feel encouraged and inspired and will help with personal growth. I know these are two people I will have contacts with for as long as I need it and are people I can go to for help or to answer my questions. Below is feedback received.
feedback my kinda future – My Kinda Future – Partnership with Channel 4. February 2016
feedback channel 4 – Gaby power Channel 4 Talent specialist. February 2016
Further on from the Children’s TV Producer course, Adrian sent me a detailed feedback document. There was a lot of constructive feedback that will enhance me in the future and improve my learning. Before this course I knew very little about the role of a Producer. It was the first time I had seen a lot of the documents we discussed and so I found it difficult when completing the tasks due to lack of knowledge and experience. However, the knowledge I learnt and the feedback gained meant I had a better understanding when it came to completing the Production management course with Addie and I feel this was reflected in the tasks I did on that course. Detailed feedback from the Children’s Television Producer’s course can be found here.
Feedback given to me from Addie Orfila on the Production management course, (February 2017) was written in note form as we discussed it as a group.
I have learnt networking takes place 24/7. You never know who you will meet and what they can do for you. A table of networking contacts I have made can be viewed here.