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Emma Clifford Media

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Professional development

Evaluation

It was important to me that my documentary sat within the Channel 4 remit. I feel my documentary sits in with Channel 4, the platform I wanted my film to be shown on. My film offers alternative views, and cultural diversity. I feel it could stimulate debate, as a lot of people in society do not believe disabled people should get special treatment or financial assistance. I also think my film will inspire change once you watch it and realize just how hard daily life is for some disabled people. I feel I was able to portray the story of my film in a way that is compelling to the viewer. I think the viewer will want to keep watching to hear the stories of the discrimination disabled people have faced and still do face today.

I feel I effectively used visuals to portray my story in my documentary. I used imagery that was relevant to what my contributors were discussing.

Having experienced using stock footage from the Internet, I now think that in the future, I will use reenactments. This is because, stock footage is not easy to obtain for free or without licenses and where it is available for free, like the sites I used, footage is very limited so I found it difficult to get the cutaway I wanted. I realize reenactments are time consuming and can only be filmed dependent on content received during filming so on this occasion to reach deadlines, I used stock footage from the Internet. I also had the problem that one of my main contributors didn’t allow me to have personal photos of her due to her bad experiences in the past with the Media so this also limited the amount of cutaways I had. As a practitioner, reenactments would better my work and skills so I would ensure I could get contributors that are willing to share their whole lives. This would also follow Channel 4’s remit of diversity and difference and telling a true story and the audience would get a more realistic view into the lives of others. However, despite the setbacks I feel I used the stock footage effectively where I could.

For me, the most useful element of my documentary was adding subtitles. I did this so my audience can understand what is being said and also so it makes my film accessible to a wider audience including those worldwide who can read English better than they speak it.

I have significantly developed and improved my skills in using lighting in a documentary to create emotion. I learnt how to create lighting that sets the tone of suspense or sadness such as the interviews on PIP and I also demonstrated using more light that enabled me to give my subject a happy feel as I felt that low lighting would affect her personality. I did this by ensuring the key natural sunlight and the LED lights I used were about the same intensity so the scene was less dramatic. By doing this I think I highlighted her comedic personality. I learnt how to use natural light rather than manufactured light to create a more natural look to my subjects and I think I did this well. I also used lighting to enable the background o my subjects to be seen. I wanted to show my subjects in areas that they live or work so again I was giving my audience a true image.

 

Expert opinions were important to my documentary because I wanted to highlight important events and real evidence that is happening right now regarding disability and campaigns. Expert opinions in my film mean that my film is unbiased and can be believed by the audience. It was important to me that I dealt with cultural difference in my film. I wanted to show how members of different cultures face the same difficulties as non-disabled people. I did this my interviewing a diverse range of subjects from all different areas of the UK, all with a different story to tell. I took the risks of travelling so far because I wanted to get diverse interviews and it paid off.

 

I demonstrated problem-solving skills throughout the production of my film. When a key, professional contributor let me down last minute, I had to think fast to get someone to take the place. Due to timing I wasn’t able to get another professional contributor but I did manage to get two more contributors to fill the place. I had a personal connection to the two new contributors, (My siblings) I was weary that this could take the emotion away from my film and that their stories wouldn’t be as effective as the story and information the professional contributor was going to give. However an editing decision I made in post meant I used my two siblings stories in contrast with each other. What I liked about this was the audience could quite clearly see and hear that they both have almost the exact same problems yet one difference means one can’t claim personal independence payments. This could perhaps cause the audience to react and sympathize with my contributors, which is what I wanted.

 

From a professional practice point of view, I felt like I behaved professionally and communicated very well to my contributors. Having applied all my knowledge of a production manager I dealt with my clients in a professional manner ensuring they were kept up to date with call sheets and questions. I ensured I kept in regular contact via email in the run up to the scheduled interview. I now know how important client communication is. By doing rehearsal run through I learnt how communication stops awkward conversation when it is time to film and puts the client at ease. However having experienced working with my siblings, I feel like I won’t do in the future again as this has an impact on what they say and how they react on camera. My brother was very nervous and I felt like a lot of his interview sounded like he was reading from a script! I had excellent time keeping, especially travelling all over the UK to carry out the interviews. Furthermore, the ability to find contributors from all over the UK, shows my ability to take risks by interviewing non-local people and also keeps in the with Channel 4 remit of diversity. I have remained reliable in helping other members with their production, and sharing the skills I have learnt. This will benefit me as a practitioner as a skill I need is to be able to share and learn new knowledge.

 

I made my film look like a documentary by using stock footage, archive footage and real footage from my contributors. I ensured my story had a problem to solve which was the investigation of why disabled people have to campaign and I ended it with not a solution to the issues but an opinion which means my audience can also make up their own minds about what they think the outcome should be, thus using another remit point, education. I think I have improved my continuity of films. I ensured my film flowed and was in an order so each person links to the next. The hardest part was analyzing all the footage and outing together clips that went together without it looking like a film of short clips. I feel like I handled this very well and my film makes sense and sounds like a documentary. I feel I used the mise-en-scene effectively also, except in the initial interviews with the white background walls. I showed just enough background so you can tell where my subject was but not too much that it overpowers the shot and takes you away from the subject.

 

One area that didn’t go well for me was sticking to the schedule due to contributor’s availability and cancelations. This meant I was behind schedule and meant I had little time to get my interviews. As a practitioner, time keeping and sticking to schedules are a very important task. Next steps would be for me to ensure I spend more time planning my contributors rather than on the organizational paper work. Interviewing the clients earlier would have given me time to go and shoot re-enactments to use as cutaways for my film.

I did not develop my skills in two camera shoots as my assistant let me down on a few occasions and wasn’t very skillful. I wanted the two different camera angles to try and be innovative with my film but unfortunately I couldn’t operate two cameras confidently so unfortunately forfeited the use of two cameras and shot on a single camera. I now wonder how different my film would have looked with various different camera angles.

 

Having experienced shooting in a noisy public place, a museum, I now realize how important location Recce’s are beforehand. I trusted my client that this place was quiet and suitable but when I got there It wasn’t and as I had no external sound equipment, much of the footage taken at this interview was unusable due to the high levels of back ground noise. In the future I will do a recce of each location to make sure the location is suitable for my film and to avoid wasting time and money.

 

 

Demonstration of Professional Skills

I used analytical, critical, creative and organisational skills during my time at Channel 4 (February 2016) when organising future events and working with social media. At the time I was using skills I didn’t know I had. Visualising problems with  ‘My Kinda Future’ social Media content and giving possible solutions through knowledge and experience, I learnt I was being analytical. Notes taken from my day at MFK can be found here. I realised I was doing a lot of analysing during my week at Channel 4 and found the more I was being analytical, the more I learnt to apply it to every task I was doing. This skill will be important for me in the future as a runner, researcher or a Producer as I need to be able to solve problems by making decisions that are do-able and productive.  I attended a meeting (February 17th 2016) to discuss a networking event for companies and professionals that Channel 4 were holding in March 2016, I was able to use my critical thinking skills and question the location of the event. In my opinion the location was unsuitable for disabled attendees as it was down in the basement area of the building where there wasn’t much room to accommodate wheelchairs meaning any wheelchair users would be excluded from most of the event.

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The ‘Drum’ basement.

At first I was worried my opinion would be dismissed as I was work experience but I had a big impact on the outcome as this resulted in the event having its whole location changed as it was not disabled accessible. Having developed my ability to critically recognise problems in situations, I now feel this is a skill I can use confidently in my future career.

 

I used creativity skills when creating tweets for the 4Talent twitter page regarding upcoming events and opportunities at Channel 4. It was important to get all the relevant information into 140 characters and I enjoyed being creative with my words. My favourite was this:

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Creativity is an important tool for a producer as it shows I can generate ideas. At Channel 4, my creative tweets generated successful marketing as a lot of people applied for the events I was advertising. I have learnt that creativity can be small steps towards a bigger picture to ensure success as a whole team. I feel a lot more confident about using my creative skills in the future and don’t feel as pressurised.

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Using social media to ‘schedule’ tweets during out of office hours to ensure connections are always being made.
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Tweets I conjured up to over 70’000 4Talent followers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Using my creative skills to organise future events at Channel 4.

The channel 4 pop up (November 2016) was my first taste of a real job when I was asked to be a part of the channel 4 crew for the day. I was introduced as a member of Channel 4 and was also a judge for the day so my skills were really put to the test as I had to communicate with all the groups, ask questions, give advice and ultimately give my own personal opinions whilst judging other groups work. This also enabled me to develop my leadership skills and team building skills as I was influencing decisions made, by effectively expressing my thoughts and opinions and motivating the teams by providing support, direction and feedback. What was really useful to me was learning I used negotiating tools. There was an issue with a team where a team member wasn’t being used to their full potential, so I took the decision to move her to a group that were struggling with an area of her expertise. The agreement left both parties happy and both groups produced something of high quality. I believe the decision I made was for the right reasons and choices that pulled off.  Answering questions all day made me feel like part of the team.  I was an important part of the smooth running of the day and can also count this as a runner’s credit on my CV.  I was able to inspire others with my story of my disability and how it hasn’t stopped me from wanting a career in the TV industry. This was the first time I had ever received a professional Call Sheet setting times, objectives and an outline of the day showing me how things work in the industry.

Below: Channel 4 Pop up Doncaster. November 2016. Judge and support member.

I was able to use various skills when planning and organising a shoot on the Children’s TV Producer course and the Production management course (February 2017).  I broke down scripts in order to create running orders and call sheets by looking for inconsistencies that could affect smooth running of filming. I looked at numerous factors that can affect a shoot including:

  • Child actors (licenses, working times)
  • Locations
  • Script
  • Budgets
  • Call times
  • Contingency plans
  • costume/hair & makeup
  • Health & Safety
  • Equipment & Technology
  • Vehicles

All of these things and more need to be taken into consideration when planning a shoot to ensure it runs smoothly. At first I did not notice all of the factors I had to take into consideration. Only when I started thinking critically was I able to ask how?, why?, when? etc.  Once I started to think critically, planning became more productive. Breaking down a real script taught me just how much attention to detail is essential. I found planning a shoot involving children particularly hard as there’s so many other options to take into consideration such as time allowed on set, chaperones and limited contact between crew and the children and it was easy to forget those details when planning each day.  Now I have had an insight into the work required of a Producer, I can continue to develop my skills in planning a shoot. I did learn I am particularly concise in Health & Safety and of the group, produced the best Health and safety Audit which can be viewed here.  Feedback received from Addie Orfila was I have paid attention to detail and my crew would be fully prepared should this shoot go ahead as not only did I look at  general Health & Safety, I included risks of each days filming. I was very happy with the comments and feel confident in this essential area of production. As a next step I need to work on developing contingency plans for if things go wrong and look at planning productively to ensure as little time and money is wasted as possible.

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Breaking down a script into scenes, characters, location, props to help me plan a schedule and running order. (Television Production Course, February 2017 with Addie Orfila.)

 

Evaluation

A producer plays a vital role in any television production. Producers are the people with the ideas or the people made responsible for the idea. They oversee all aspects of production and have many different levels of responsibility dependent on skills and job level. For me, the most essential skills to becoming a Producer are organisational skills and attention to detail. I have significantly improved and developed in both of these areas.

I feel a key skill I haven’t developed is negotiating skills because I am not yet confident enough that I have the right knowledge and experience to negotiate in the financial and budgets department which is an important area for producers and the production they are working on. As a next step, I need to shadow a team working on budgets and finance to learn about the different skills they use in order to get the best for the production they are working on. However I  have learnt that negotiating is not just about finance. I unknowingly used negotiating skills in the Channel 4 pop up workshop when I noticed a team member wasn’t being used to her full potential so I moved her to a different group that enabled her to use her skills productively. I now know that negotiating is also getting the best out of your team and not just getting the best price or equipment. This knowledge will help me in future productions when motivating team members and ensuring they work to the best they possibly can.

The skill that has been the biggest learning curve and the best for personal growth has been script writing. Previously I did not think that this skill was essential to a Producer’s role and I didn’t know it may be a Producer’s job to write the script or even come up with an idea. I felt this was a skill I wouldn’t be strong at and worried that in the future, it would show my lack of creativity. This could be explained by my lack of knowledge of how scripts work and how to make a story flow.  Having completed a script writing course online, I learnt how to write a script and the importance of beginning, middle and end whether this is a fictional film or a drama or documentary script. I have been able to apply different techniques to creative writing such as alliteration in children’s television scripts on the children’s television producer course (February 2017) I learnt alliteration keeps dialogue entertaining and holds attention of the younger viewers. I learnt how cliff hangers and shocks help drama programs flow easily. Having learnt how to write a script, as a producer I can now analyse a script and think about all aspects involved with filming such as time of shoot, locations, budgets, costumes, health and safety, licences and so on. I have realised how a good script connects to the organising of everything behind the scenes. This knowledge will help me with planning shoots in the future. Most importantly I have learned that script writing is another area I am interested in, so it has not only helped me creatively, it has helped me discover a new skill I enjoy and am good at thus broadening my options for the future. The next step for me is to keep an ideas book to jot all of my ideas down and work out budgeting and other costs in order to create my idea so I get experience in producing my own projects.

Taking part in children’s TV Producer course was also a learning curve for me. I had never considered working in children’s television before. The course taught me valuable knowledge about children’s working hours and laws when it comes to having children on set. This knowledge will be useful in the future if I ever work on a production involving children and I now know where to find the information I need regarding licences for children to film and who to contact such as schools and LEA’s. This course also gave me some important contacts through networking who can help me in the future with any production involving children.

Producer Steven Follows, compiled a report in 2014 on gender employment in the UK film and television industry between 2009-2013. His report recognises that between 2009-2013, only 27% of females in the Television and film industry in the UK are producers. The percentages have barely changed over the last 10 years. However, the UK creative industries employ more females overall than those in creative industries in the USA. This knowledge is useful to me as a practitioner as I want to change perceptions of females in senior roles, and this information urges me to push on and succeed. Positivity, succession and leadership are big traits of becoming a Producer so possessing these skills are an advantage to the role I want. The UK television industry is closing the gap on not only gender inequality but also under representation of BAME, disabled and LGBT communities. This is essential to me as a producer as I am disabled. Knowing production companies, such as Channel 4’s 360 charter and BBC’s Extend Hub,  are working towards a diverse and representative workforce means my future is exciting and achievable and means I can put my stamp on the map for future disabled people on and off screen. Applying for jobs means I won’t be turned away for having a disability. The two tick scheme means if I have the skills required, I will be given an interview and support and adjustments will be made should I need it. A significant, positive experience of the two ticks scheme was shown when I applied for Channel 4 work experience. At the time I felt, even though I had applied through the two ticks scheme that my application would still be dismissed. I felt that putting I was disabled would be a hinder to me getting accepted onto any jobs. Having experienced Channel 4, I feel accepted and part of a team. I realise that my disability doesn’t affect the work I produce nor the standard. Furthermore I learnt how to accept myself. Having changed the way I see myself as disabled to a positive thing rather than a negative one, I applied for the ITV insight program that I was successfully accepted on to. I have learnt accepting my disability reflects in my applications as I don’t focus on my disability, I focus on my skills and what I can do. However I am not yet completely confident that having a disability will not hinder me getting a job. I will now need to work on selling myself in person rather than just on paper. Being disabled brings a whole new way of thinking so I can bring different creative ideas to the table and pave the way for a true representation of disabled people. I need to ensure that my personal insecurities do not dominate in future interviews and cover up the skills I do have in order to succeed. The interview and CV tips I learned at the RTS careers fair will help me to do this.

As a next step to further develop into the role I want, I need to continue to apply for runner jobs and researcher jobs to get experience in the smooth running of a production. This will give me the chance to put the knowledge I’ve learned into practice in order to work my way up in the industry.

Professional Context

Cultural factors in the Media Industry

In order for television to connect to an audience, programmes and characters must reflect current cultural morals and values. Television acts like a mirror to society that can discuss personal and taboo issues. Television has the power to influence society and its social views. If a viewer doesn’t relate to a programme they will switch off so as a producer it is important the programmes I am producing are relevant to society at that time. Being disabled, I know firsthand about topics that are represented in a certain way due to stigma. According to Creative Skillset, only 5% of  the TV workforce consider themselves to have a disability. I want to change this.

Channel 4 were one of the first TV channels to take a stand for disabled employees. They made 2016 the ‘Year of disability’ and rolled out the 360° diversity charter that I was able to work with during my time at Channel 4. The diversity remit ensures diversity is shown across programmes on screen and behind the scenes. Channel 4’s diversity charter is a very important tool for me as it gives me the confidence to succeed in the industry and shows me I can get a job and there is a place for me.

During my time at Channel 4 in February 2016, I was able to use my experience as a disabled person to influence others about the needs of disabled people at events or in the Media industry. I sat in on a meeting with disabled activists SCOPE (February 16th 2016) to discuss why there is a lack of disabled people employed in the Media Industry. I used my personal experiences to help them to understand that the stigma surrounding disabled people means that disabled people don’t think they will ever be employed in such an industry so don’t even apply. This meeting inspired me so much; I used the theme ‘disability in the Media Industry’ throughout many of my projects.

Technological Factors and how they affect me.

As a producer in any genre of Broadcast Media, it’s essential for me to keep up to date with changes in society and culture that impact the industry. For me, the most important trend that has evolved, that has significantly changed viewing habits, is the rise of digital media and technological advances. Technological advances affect Producers because trends such as smartphones, social media and streaming services have all contributed to changes in how we view content so these factors can affect the production budget. Due to my experience with disability, I can also take technological advances for disabled people into consideration such as how would disabled people benefit? and would they get the same experience as everyone else? I looked at OFCOM to see what services are currently avialable to disabled people on our TV’s now to ensure I take these needs into consideration in future work.

To further my knowledge of how technical advances impact viewing habits, I attended a workshop on VR (Video Recording) and 360° video shooting at the RTS careers fair, February 2017. I was intrigued to learn about different types of shooting cameras and how certain programs have a certain look to them. I learnt about current trends such as drones, 360° cameras (that can have as many as 24 cameras on one device), HD, HDR (High Dynamic range) and 4K and looked at how they give different viewing experiences. How a camera is moved is important for content and audience. An audience must connect to what is being viewed. BAFTA have even included a VR award to their categories in order to keep up to date with current trends in society. From this workshop I realized there was so much more I needed to learn about television and it’s future. As a producer I must always consider new trends and experiences for the audience but also remember the importance of social interaction. I should always be familiar with current audience research and aware of issues and gaps in the current market, whether that be technological gaps, editorial or genre. Television is still an important platform, and will remain so for years to come, but it will not be as dominant as it once was in the twentieth century.

Notes taken from the workshops that have helped expand my knowledge on technology advances can be viewed here.

Economic Factors

In the Children’s Television Producer course and the Production management course, (February 2017) I learnt how there was a need for employees in this sector as the pay is considerably lower in children’s TV due to the fact that children’s TV productions do not get the same budget as drama. This knowledge is essential to me as I now know not to expect the same salary for the same job and expect the roles and workload to be completely different from drama or documentary. Ideas in children’s TV will be much more simplistic and cheaply done. However starting my career in children’s TV could be a good starting point to learn necessary industry skills.  I found this particularly interesting on the future of children’s television as it will make a significant different to the future industry. Having learnt children’s television has smaller budgets, I asked Addie Orfila, (Production management course 2017) to guide me to information for program tariffs for different channels.  Having read commissioning guidelines that are available to the public online, I learnt that the BBC has the biggest budgets and Channel 4 the smallest due to its public domain. I looked at the Documentary and drama genres  and now have an idea the amount of money each channel allows for a film to be made. Sky do not have tariffs. They pay for what they deem is good TV.  Tariffs can be viewed below:

BBC Program Tariffs         ITV Program Tariffs         Channel 5 Program Tariffs


C4 Tariffs
Channel 4 Commissioning guidelines.

This information will be useful to me as a practitioner as budgets must be accurate and not underestimated otherwise problems will persist.  On the Production management course, February 2017, we did an estimated budget for the script we were working with. Doing this task developed my knowledge of how much, each area of production costs and showed me exactly why costs cannot be underestimated or areas missed out. If your production is under budget then you might not be giving the production it’s full potential due to saving costs early on. Its better to be over budget than under budget

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Designing an ‘estimated’ budget list for the script we produced on the Production management course 2017.

I discovered that as a Producer its good to keep an ideas book as ideas are the hardest things to get commissioned. No idea is out of date, it just might not be the right time to be brought to life.

Working as a Freelancer

I realise that my career will include freelance work. Adrian Johnson, (Children’s TV Producer course, February 2017) told me freelancers rarely work for 12 months of a year. A successful freelancer works 9 months a year tops. The report compiled by Creative Skillset says more freelancers are disabled than studio employees suggesting to me that either disabled people are not getting interviews or they are not getting jobs in studios due to their disability.

Joining the BECTU student registry, I was able to access rates of pay so as a freelance employee I will know whether I am being paid right or charging enough for my expertise. As I am starting as a runner, I researched Runner rates of pay so I know what to expect.

As a freelancer, I am responsible for the paying of my own tax to comply with the law. I found this BECTU Tax guide really useful as a beginners guide to paying your own tax. I also found this information useful. However I am still not overly certain on how to set up a tax code and what else to do as I am not currently earning anything to be considered as a self employed freelancer. The next steps are to investigate further into self employment with a meeting with my bank or a business advisor. The only advice I have received about freelancers from both Adrian and Addie (Producer’s & Production management course 2017) is to ensure I put money aside each month ready to pay tax at the end of the tax year!

Professional Persona

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Blog request from Talent managers at Channel 4. 2016.

Blogging

My experiences at Channel 4 led to me writing a blog for the channel’s website that other disabled people can read which has been effective in giving others a positive perception of me and my abilities. Having my blog attached to a huge platform means my name is now connected to Channel 4. You can type my name in on the 4talent website and my blog comes up. If you search ‘Emma Clifford C4″ in google, my blog is the first page to come up which is actually giving me recognition which in the future could help with potential employment. Blogging also shows my ability to write and communicate through words.


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Google search of my name and Channel 4 on 06/04/17.

 

My blog that is on the Channel 4 website can be viewed here.

Having experienced having a blog on a huge platform, I have witnessed how this is also a networking tool that is great for social media. Even today the link can and is still tweeted on Twitter by 4Talent and through sharing, various disabled companies and job recruitment companies have shared my blog resulting in getting my name thrown out there. Charity MDUK also contacted me asking for me to write a blog for their website which can be viewed here.

CV

At the RTS Careers fair I went to, February 2017, I was able to visit real life industry professionals with my CV to get their opinion on whether my CV was eye-catching enough to potential employers. A number of suggestions/issues were made about my CV. They can be viewed here.

Using the feedback received, I created a CV specifically aimed at a runner’s job, which is the first step I am working towards for a career in production management before Producer. I learnt CV’s just need to include basic skills and information relevant to the job position. Too much information will result in my CV being dismissed.  Industry professionals at the RTS careers fair (February, 2016) suggested a runner’s CV should be no more than 1 page long. My old CV can be viewed here. My new updated CV can be viewed here.

I  understand my CV will constantly change and need regular updating as my career progresses. Each new role I apply for will need a new CV. I learnt an employee can have numerous different CV’s depending on which job they are currently applying for as in the Media Industry it’s quite common to move around roles. I have since applied for runner jobs at ITV. I uploaded my runner’s CV to my Linked In profile for potential employers to view my experience. Linked in page is a good networking tool as future employees can find me and also past employees can recommend me and leave ‘endorsements’ on my profile for others to see. My Kinda Future (a company in Partnership with Channel 4) endorsed my analytical and social media skills from my day working with them. (February 2016) When I was accepted onto the ITV insight program (March 2017) I gained access to the ITV Insight page on Linked in where I search everyday for jobs posted by ITV. Some jobs are paid, some are work experience but any that I am accepted onto will be good experience for me.

Business card

In order to create job opportunities through Networking, I designed a business card to give out to potential employers that included my personal details as I realised at events I could be missing out on potential employment. Business cards are small and easy enough to store in a wallet or purse. The next steps for me are to look at creating a website to put future credits on and a place for all my work so I can also include the website on my business card. I also want to develop a company name and logo for myself  so I can be taken seriously as a freelancer.

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Right now in my career, a showreel is not helpful or relevant as I haven’t done any productions to show off a Producer role. A showreel is irrelevant to getting a job as a runner or work in production management but in the future as I work on productions where I can credit myself as a producer, I will create a showreel.

Interview Techniques

At the RTS careers fair I was also able to learn about interview techniques. This helped me a lot in what to expect at future interviews and what the employers look for in a potential candidate. Adrian Johnson, BBC Series Producer (Children’s Television Producer course, February 2017) also sent me an email with competency questions and answers that can help me with future interviews showing again how networking is invaluable.

The STAR technique

Common Job Interview Questions

Interview techniques – Notes from events

All of these documents will help me prepare for future interviews and ensure I research the role I am applying for and make sure my interview is successful as I don’t feel interviews are a strong point for me. Looking ahead I can practice my answers and questions for future employment.

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A table of all events, job applications, work experience and courses I have attended to develop my career can be found here.

Networking & Clients

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.


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Networking led to me being asked to support at events.

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.

Professional Feedback.

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.

4talent tweet2

feedback my kinda future – My Kinda Future – Partnership with Channel 4. February 2016

feedback channel 4 – Gaby power Channel 4 Talent specialist. February 2016


Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 15.44.33
Feedback from the Apprenticeship takeover event where I was on the Q&A Panel and support for the day. August 2016

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 14.57.15
Feedback from Adrian Johnson, BBC Series Producer – Children’s TV Producer course, Feb 2017

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.

feedback 2feedback script

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.

Objectives & Skills Audit

What role do I want in the Television sector?

I want to be a Producer in the factual and drama genres as I like how audience’s expectations vary dependent on sub genre. They can be entertained, informed or educated. I personally, am keen to work on documentaries as I enjoy informing  audiences of particularly stigmatised subjects. I also like fictional drama’s such as soap opera’s that use typical techniques that producers are accustomed to using like typical storylines, typical characters, dramatised storylines and narrative.

Why do I want this role?

I became interested in the Producer role during production of a quiz show in my FDA in 2015. I enjoyed the creative side in the development stages when we were trying to come up with a suitable quiz show for our target audience. I enjoyed the creative planning of putting together the best team to ensure the best possible outcome and I liked the organisational and administrational aspects of the role involved in pre-production such as producing call sheets, obtaining permissions and health and safety on and off set. I realised that organising paper work for a production is not only a job I enjoy but also an area I have skills in as I have attention to detail. I already possess many skills required to be a Producer, many of those skills have been obtained through my current job in a retail environment. I have experience in management, dealing with conflict and dealing with customers. I also have cash handling skills that can easily be transferred to a Producer role.

What skills do I need to become a Producer?

To become a producer in the television or film industry, I must possess certain skills and qualities in order to succeed.  The skills required to become a producer in Television and film according to Creative Skillset can be found here.

When working at Channel 4, February 2016, Gabriel Power, the Industry Talent co-ordinator introduced me to Strengthscope, an online assessment tool that measures individual’s strengths and weaknesses, that one can work on to be the best they can be. I learnt from this that each of our strength’s contribute to personal growth and lead to peak performance which are important elements in the television Industry. This tool was very helpful in helping me to learn about the strengths I didn’t know I had or ones I needed to work on in the future. Areas I most needed to improve on were negotiating skills, Leadership and management and persuasion skills. All of these skills are key factors in being a Producer. A full self assessment from strengthscope can be viewed here.

The critical skills I currently possess that will help me progress in my career are:

  • Self motivating
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Computer Literate
  • Strong work values
  • Organised
  • Attention to detail
  • Research skills

The areas I most want to improve in order to progress in my chosen career are:

  • Understand finance and budgeting in the broadcast industry
  • Understand scheduling and what affects it
  • Improve my communication skills and confidence by networking
  • Learn about script writing to improve my creative vision
  • To learn about BECTU and how they can help me as a freelancer in the future
  • To be a positive inspiration for disabled and non disabled people.

 

What Route Do I Take?

There are numerous steps I need to take to get to where I want to be. Adrian Johnson, a senior series producer that has twenty years of experience with the BBC, taught a course I attended, (Producer: Children’s TV’ by Alias Academy & Creative Skillset, February 2017.) and told me “Having a degree does not get you an automatic senior role. Everybody has to start at the bottom.” Adrian went on to tell me the typical route to get to Producer level working in a studio. (See pic below) This was very insightful as I was hearing from a person that has gone through what I want to do. Adrian told it how it was and didn’t try to cover anything up. I understand Television is a competitive industry to work your way up in, especially a disabled, middle class female.  Leading with positivity is a tool that will help me stand out when working in the industry. I demonstrate this skill by handling every opportunity I face with a positive, can do attitude. I ask questions and am enthusiastic.

The steps I need to take are:

IMG_2590
A Production team (Studio based) 

Image: TV Producer Training course, 2017. Adrian Johnson

I’ve decided to take the route to Producer through  production management as I feel the  roles are very similar in the administrational areas so this will give me the tools and experience to begin. To start my career, I will start as a runner. Being a runner is a key, entry level position into the industry. As a runner’s role is varied and unpredictable, it will be a good opportunity for me to learn a lot of information from inside the industry and enable me to network and build relationships. Runner jobs will help me to show potential employees that I have good communication skills, initiative, a can do attitude and can work in a fast paced environment. All of these skills can be transferred to my role in both documentary and drama genres.

Additionally, Adrian went on to discuss different team structures are dependent on genre. This was helpful in giving me an insight into the work load and size of team I could be working with in the drama sector. It was interesting to see how in children’s television (all genres)  the Producer often is the director where as in drama they were separate roles showing me how different the roles are. This information will help me in the future as I can keep track of the pathway I need to take to succeed.

genres
Different genre team structures.

 

Proposal.

Title: A World Of Difference.

Thesis:

Those views of what disability is point to the fact that disability is not simply metaphysical and physiological, it’s much more. Importantly, it’s social and cultural; it’s a constructed identity… The stigma is globalised to engulf their entire identities.”Paul Longmore, Disabled activist.

For most of the twentieth Century, large numbers of disabled people were ‘put away’ or segregated in institutions on the grounds that it was for their own good, and to stop them being a burden to others.(Barnes. C & Mercer. G 2003)                                                               Since being diagnosed as ‘disabled’ I have witnessed first hand the judgement and discrimination towards disabled people from member’s of today’s society. The 1995, UK Disability Discrimination Act  (which was changed to the Equality Act in 2010)  saw disabled people protected against discrimination in  relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport. The Equality Act 2010 has replaced:

  • Equal Pay Act 1970,
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975,
  • Race Relations Act 1976,
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995,
  • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003,
  • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
  • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

The act gave disabled individuals independence in public spaces. However disabled people still face many challenges in everyday life. One of the biggest, ongoing challenges disabled people constantly face is the attitude from a non-disabled society towards disability. It is shocking in this era to see disabled individuals  face barriers on transport, in education, leisure activities and public services due to the attitudes of society. As Paul Longmore quoted above, stigma plays a huge part in cultural behaviours and how an individual can relate to another person or a surrounding. Society is not very accepting of illness and disability and a person often becomes stigmatised as a result. This often results in segregation of classes in society. There is no denying power and the ‘mass Media’ are closely related in today’s society. The increase in technology has changed the way people communicate with one another, as individuals, as groups and as communities. Technology has greatly affected the social patterns of people and the way we see things. It has changed the way we interact and has made censorship almost impossible, as almost any image is available to us with the click of a button. The media, whether it is TV, Internet, newspapers or film, is a major contributor to the cultural forms within society. Although disability is seen in a much more positive light today, disability is still often oppressed and hidden and with the recent state of the economy and issues such as Brexit, it seem’s disability is regressing back to the 70’s. Already we have seen cuts to disability payments (PIP) and disabled people who need round the clock care are living in fear of the government putting them in care homes as it is cheaper than paying for round the clock care at home. It is hard to believe the Disability Discrimination Act has only been in place for 22 years. Still today, cultural representations of disability reinforce stigma by labelling disabled people as helpless, tragic, suffering victims rather than people living with a difference. I, myself have been victim to people ‘feeling sorry for me’ as they think my disability means I have a less quality life. My documentary will explore how the Equality Act affects disabled people today. My thesis will attempt to investigate the discrimination disabled people still face in public places but also highlight the changes and acceptance. It will investigate why protests still happen in today’s society and how successful they are in changing rights for disabled people.

Purpose.

The purpose of my documentary is to attempt to change and improve society’s thinking towards disability. I believe, a better understanding of a stigmatised subject will mean less discrimination. It will be observational in that I don’t want the audience to judge people with disabilities but simply highlight the difficulties that disabled people face in today’s society. It’s goal is to bring to light any issues that still affect disabled people today. It will educate my audience on whether  the Equality Act is still effective today and if the act is abided by? I have called my documentary ‘A World Of difference’ as I want my audience to think about disabled people as people with a difference rather than people with a less quality of life. Again changing the way people think will change the way disability is perceived. I want to defy the labelling of disabled people and for society to treat disability as the norm. This documentary is intended to help the audience learn about a topic they know nothing or little about. For primary research I used FaceBook (A social platform of my intended audience age range) to find out what they would like to see in a documentary about Equality Rights.

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-22-34-09

The replies I received were from a mixture of non disabled and disabled people. It was very effective in helping me to understand the topics people are interested in. One obvious answer was invisible disabilities. There seems to be lack of awareness for people with invisible disabilities that are often scrutinised and discriminated against as their disability is not obvious at first glance. This has given me a topic to think about in my documentary that I didn’t think of before. Another comment I liked was the comment about disability signs always showing a wheel chair or walking aid. Again going back to the theme of invisible disabilities, it is about time this was changed. Further research from this comment taught me about UK supermarket chain ASDA that have introduced the first disabled signs as a man and woman rather than that in a wheelchair. This is a huge step forward to recognising invisible disabilities.

sign

Using FaceBook wasn’t as effective as I had hoped. I only received four replies. This shows me that my intended audience are not my circle of friends! I posted on a few disability sites and got one reply. This shows me that maybe disabled people are not using social media as often as non-disabled. I received one message form a disabled individual whose answer to my request seemed really negative. Again showing me that disabled people are angry towards the way society treats them. However the site she passed me onto was very useful in showing my the 1000’s of real issues that affect disabled people.

Topics I want to cover in my documentary are:

  • Discrimination towards disabled.
  • Invisible disabilities.
  • Accessibility for disabled.
  • Attitudes: positive and negative.
  • Equality Act and it’s purpose.
  • Protests and campaigns.
  • Inclusion in social groups.
  • Government decisions and how they affect disabled independence.

I am aware that all of the topics above will have an audience who cares about that issue. Some may only care about one issue and other’s more. I am hoping the vast of different topics will bring in a large audience.

Audience.

My intended audience is 16-35. It is aimed at all genders, all races, all religions, all incomes, all political views and all marital statuses. My audience’s main values and belief’s will be to aknowledge the need for change. The main question the audience will ask is; how can I change things? Disabled people will learn how campaigns can help give them a voice and secure rights and non-disabled people will ask how can they help disabled people when they see them out in public places e.g. public transport. The primary audience of my documentary is non disabled people as they will get an insight into the discrimination disabled people face everyday. They will benefit the most as they will be educated on the need for disabled people to be independent and included into society. I hope their views will be shaped or changed. The secondary audience will be disabled people as they will benefit from the support and value of contributors in the documentary. As disabled people are living their life disabled, it is more important that non-disabled people get an insight into the way they live in order for my documentary to serve it’s purpose of educating and insight. The secondary audience will include people such as carers, family member’s of disabled and advocate charity workers as they understand what disabled people are going through as they live it too on a daily basis by dealing with disabled people.

Looking at publications in relation to disability has given me a lot of information I can use to form my narrative of my documentary. They are filled with facts and figures and case studies that I can use and feature.However all the online publications I looked at were primarily aimed at disabled people. They were great at providing me with information and facts and figures but not so great in providing me with information on non disabled people and how they perceive them. This is why my documentary will be aimed at non disabled people to give them better understanding.

This documentary is intended to be shown on Channel 4.  I chose this platform because Channel 4 are not afraid to break down barriers, or show content that’s never been seen before. The Channel is also committed to showing content made by and featuring disability so it is a perfect fit. Channel 4 offer programmes on alternative views and my documentary fits in well with this statement. Channel 4’s 360 charter is something I am passionate about being a disabled filmmaker. I agree with Channel 4’s view that in order to represent society equally we must include all members in order to get an accurate view that reflects society today.

Disabled people have an important role to play in all of these, whether behind the camera or on screen.”   – CHANNEL 4

Channel 4’s target audience is 16-30 years olds with over half of the 10 million registered users on the database are 16-24 years old. (http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/channel-4s-viewer-database-hits-10-million-unique-registered-users)

https://dinosaurmest3.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/5-who-are-the-primary-target-audience-now-and-has-this-changed-who-was-it-before-and-how-do-you-know/

In terms of their audience, Channel 4 have said:

‘Due to our challenging and alternative programming, Channel 4 resonates particularly strongly with young (27% 16-34 profile compared to 24% for average UK adult*) and upmarket viewers (44% ABC1 profile compared to 41% for average UK adult*). In addition, among ABC1 16-44s, Channel 4’s advertising is seen as more relevant than any other terrestrial channel.’

I think my documentary will be best suited for a channel 4 audience as it will challenge perspective on disability, inspire people and show disabled people can do something and I will air alternative voices and different perspectives.

I looked at Channel 4’s documentary commissioning statement  to look at what exactly they look for in documentaries for their channel. Channel 4 set out four core public purposes that motivate its program commissioning decisions and are also relevant to the statement I want my documentary to have.

Nurture new talent and original ideas
Champion alternative voices and fresh perspectives
Challenge people to see the world differently
Inspire change in people’s lives.

I also found out which department to send my documentary to when it is finished, to see if it is suitable for Channel 4’s commissioning statement. This is useful as I can send it to Channel 4 for constructive feedback. My documentary will not have to be shown post water shed as it will not include any swearing, nudity or anything else that will cause complaints or an investigation by Ofcom.

Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 00.09.02.png

My target audience is 16-35, so this documentary is intended to be shown on other platforms such as social media; Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube etc. so it is accessible worldwide. Social Media also means audiences can react and interact with the documentary using hashtags. this is relevant to today’s society, as you can connect to more audiences. Social networking is free so you can reach a bigger audience for free. trends are ever changing, and today social media is a big trend among the younger generation.

I also looked at other platforms my documentary could be shown on including different festivals. I looked at local festivals, national festivals and international festivals.  I looked at what sorts of films the festivals show and whether they were only a specific genre such as Sheff Docfest which only show documentaries, so had I decided to do a fictional film, this festival would have been no good to submit my film into. I looked at festivals that were aimed specifically at disabled filmmakers or films about disability. As I am doing a documentary on disabilities I have looked at these festivals that accept films from disabled filmmakers or a film about disabilities. I looked at these options as disability is an area that is under represented so felt that my documentary would be best suited at a festival for disabled filmmakers and also it may be more inspirational to other disabled people as it show’s disabled people can do the same as abled people. OSKA bright is a film festival that only disabled filmmakers can apply to. Picture this is also a festival aimed at disabled filmmakers. The table shows the festivals I am interested in sending my film to.

 

FESTIVAL

 

 

DATE/LOCATION FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE

 

 

Together Festival

www.together2012.org.uk

Disabled filmmakers or film about disability

 

UK

No dates for 2017 Festival yet

Free to enter

 

OSKA bright film Festival

www.carosel.org.uk

Disabled filmmakers or film about disability

November 2017

Deadline April 30th 2017

Free

 

Sheffield Doc Fest

www.sheffdocfest.com

Just for documentaries

Sheffield

09-14 June 2017

Closing date 23/02/2017

£35 + VAT to enter

 

 

 
Eastend Film Festival

www.eastendfilmfestival.com

All film categories accepted

June 2017

Last entries: 7th April 2017

Fee: £25 or £50 depending on submission

London

 

Aesthetica film festival

www.asff.co.uk

All film categories accepted

York

November 8th – November 12th 2017

All submissions by 31st May 2017

£24 + VAT

 

 

 

 

Researching festivals has been very beneficial to me because:

  • I have learnt about types of films accepted into festivals
  • Numerous awards available so don’t have to enter one category
  • I have learnt entering film festivals is how to gain exposure as a filmmaker
  • I have discovered festivals aimed just at my film genre meaning less competition
  • I have discovered how little some festivals cost to submit a film and as I am on a budget this is great!

I feel this documentary will fit in today’s society as disability is a widely talked about issue. It is becoming much more prominent in television drama’s such as Breaking Bad, American Horror Story and British Soap Opera’s who are using actual disabled actors rather than actors playing a disabled role. Due to events such as the Paralympics, attitudes towards disability have become more positive so I feel like this subject is of interest to the public. At the minute, there are a lot of documentaries highlighting disabled people living normal lives, doing everyday activities such as ‘first dates’ and many other one-off documentaries about topics such as dating, sex and employment, so I feel there is a gap in the market to show recent changes to disability laws that haven’t been portrayed yet.

Style.

Great documentaries enrich the lives of individuals. They are about real life and real people. They have a unique ability to engage and connect people, transform communities and improve societies. This documentary will feature the characteristics of many types of documentary styles in order to tell my story. It will be an expository documentary. It will speak directly to the viewer using authoritative commentary to help tell the story. It will propose a strong argument and view on the Equality Act and why it is an important breakthrough. It will be an investigative documentary investigating how disability is perceived by society today. It will persuade the viewer to change their views on how they may treat disabled people in public in the future. It will also be participatory as I, the director is affected by this story as I have a disability. I will be able to offer my own views on matters and understanding. I won’t be adding non-diegetic sounds as I want this documentary to be serious and not funny. I will use actual diegetic sounds of the areas I film in. I will produce an objective documentary that focuses on both sides on the story. It will have a divergent approach in that it will explore the process of looking for new ideas. It will look at the contributors and the problems disabled people face and explore ways problems can be solved. I am not seeking to produce a documentary with a strict closed style, such as disabled people are discriminated against, the end, but simply a conclusion as to how society’s attitudes towards disabled people can change. It will portray an accurate, actuality representation of reality in the form of interviews, facts, opinions and actual footage.

The documentary will follow the three-act structure.

  • The intro will start with an introduction to the Equality Act and past struggles for acceptance.
  • The middle will feature stories from contributors and the obstacles they face.
  • The ending will be a positive solution to the obstacles and of the Equality Act.

Subtitles will enable me to reach a wider audience especially the viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Doing a documentary on disability, I want to be able to make my documentary as accessible to as many different disabilities as I can.

Content.

My documentary will contain both archive footage of past protests. There are a number of sites I can take this from but permission and licences may be required. I can also access archive footage from past protests and campaigns from MDUK – a charity I am involved with personally. Actuality footage of real life people and places will be used. It will not be scripted except for questions I ask, that will help flow the story of the documentary. Examples of these questions include:

  • Tell me your story
  • Have you ever been to a campaign to protest about something?
  • How do you feel about…?
  • Are you worried about the future?
  • How does PIP help you and your everyday needs?
  • What are your views on…?

The documentary will follow the stories of at least three case studies and their experiences.

  • Michaela and her struggle of being refused a place on a public bus even though the recent laws of wheelchair users have priority over pushchairs on public transport have come into effect.
  • Lauren and her struggle for access to gigs and cinemas etc. again activities relevant to my target audience

One of the topics I want to cover in my documentary is loss of disability payments. I looked at this short video. I like the emotional style of this video and I want to portray emotion in my documentary. Emotion is one way of changing people’s views on a topic. If it affects the audience so much that they can relate, then more people are going to listen to the message it portrays.

I will also include dialogue from professional advocate charities that help disabled people learn their rights.  MDUK and SCOPE.

I have considered the use of re-enactments to use as cutaways, although this all depends on the content received when I interview my featured case studies. I will also use cutaway shots of the locations I am filming at.

I like the style of this documentary: ‘Disability, the truth, 2011’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ4JOomkyNI

This documentary follows people all over the country to hear their insights; these conversations reveal the truth about disability from the eyes of disabled people. What I like about this film is that it shows many different views. It also shows disabled people in active activities e.g. Kayaking. I think this is important that the viewer can see disabled people are just as active as normal people. I like how the film has shots of lots of different disabilities and doesn’t focus on just one. It conveys that there are hundreds of disabilities out there. I like how the contributors are portrayed as fun and likeable and it is a very positive documentary. I like that this documentary makes the viewer smile, which takes you away form the real reason of disability. In my documentary I want to show disabled people take part in every day activities and show that they are not secluded or limited.

I really like this short documentary:  The Disability Discrimination Act 1995. and want to base my documentary on this style.

I like the use of footage of the protests, highlighting the serious issue, especially as the disabled protesters chain themselves to fences and stand in front of buses, defying what is expected of them!  I like the female voiceover, she sounds assertive yet empathetic all at the same time. The use of facts and relevant case studies make the story easy to follow. The documentary is well lit, the use of cutaway shots are relevant and effective. I like the use of camera shots. The low angles don’t overpower the subjects or make them look small.

Looking at many BBC and Channel 4 short documentaries, I noticed the use of subtitles. I also like this idea as I mentioned earlier it means my documentary will reach a wider audience plus it will make my documentary understandable especially if I feature any contributors with speaking disabilities. I noticed subtitles usually are white in colour, sometimes on a black background and the text font bold.

Screen Shot 2017-02-10 at 09.42.01.png

Legal Constraints.

In the Media industry, there are many limitations, laws and restrictions. A constraint is a limitation or a restriction on something to prevent something else form happening. Not all regulations are provided by the law. There are many types of legislation that companies must follow which help to protect employees from unsafe conditions.

Public liability insurance is important when filming in public premises because it will have to pay out in the event that a mistake is made which may cause injury to a member of the public or which damages their property. I must ensure when filming at locations such as MDUK that I respect their property and belonging’s and ensure I don’t put cast, crew or the public in dangerous situations.

Copyright applies to work that is recorded whether it be film, photo, written.

Copyright exists on all forms of media items such as literacy, artistic, musical and dramatic work as well as films, sound recording’s and typographical. It gives the author specific rights and they can stop unauthorized action of their work meaning they can take legal action. Copyright can also include performing artists and broadcasters in their radio and television programs. I must ensure I do not take anything or use anything without the owner’s permission, especially when using a brand such as channel 4 as this could create bad publicity for them. I must ensure I create a confidential relationship with anyone involved with my film to protect any information about client or production. Ethics are the moral principles that define how a person or a group acts. Principles I should follow are:

  • Trust
  • Liability
  • Truth
  • Privacy
  • Serving the publics interest.

Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right when necessary. I should always be honest and open. I should take notes when necessary. I should be fair and open-minded when looking at facts and offer a range of perspectives so I create balance. I should always respect privacy and not infringe it without good reason. Private conversations and actions should not be bought into the public domain unless it is of public interest. Trademarks are a certain indication used by a business or company that defines that company and makes it  stand out from all the other company’s also making it unique. I must ensure I protect trademarks  when filming in their building and representing them in my film.

  • I must make sure I get all the correct permissions, including signed documents
  • from participants and make sure I represent them in a fair manner.
  • Representational issues are to do with the representation of
  • people, facts, opinions and events

Representation & ethics refers to the construction of reality such as people, places, objects, events, cultural identities and other abstract concepts. Such representations may be in speech or writing as well as still or moving pictures. I must ensure I represent people, places and facts in a fair and equal manner.

Schedule.

—13th February – Research done

—18th February – RECCE at MDUK headquarters in London.

—25th February – All contributors confirmed, including VO.

—3rd March – All pre-production done – call sheets, schedules, Risk assessment etc.

—4th March – confirmed interviews with Lauren, Mickayla

—1st April – All footage shot

—8th April – first edit

—15th April – final edit

—22nd April – voiceover recorded

—1st May – hand in

Bibliography.

Barnes. C & Mercer. G – (2003) – Disability.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35830270

http://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/worcester/9661421.Cuts_could_see_disabled_moved_into_care_homes/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

http://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Images/Publication%20Directory/Current-attitudes-towards-disabled-people.pdf

http://your.asda.com/news-and-blogs/we-re-introducing-accessible-toilets-in-more-than-400-asda-stores

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/lords-committees/equality-act/equality-act-and-disability-committee-evidence.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/clodagh-corbett/subtitles-on-tv_b_4797668.html

http://www.channel4.com/producers-handbook/ofcom-broadcasting-code/protecting-under-18s-and-harm-and-offence/scheduling-and-the-watershed

Production Log

Initial Ideas and project development.

I developed my initial ideas during the planning stages of my project that can be viewed on the planning tab on the Major project page.

There are numerous skills I want to improve during the production of this film. Technical camera skills are not a strong point of mine. Improving my knowledge of camera’s and technical issues will help me in my chosen career in the future as a Producer as I will have the expertise and vision to create creative projects. The demand for multi skilled Producers who can shoot as well as lead with vision has increased in the industry to increase productivity. Knowing how to operate a camera and shoot will give me a competitive edge against other applicants. More information on self shooting and how this can benefit a person in the television industry can be viewed here.

In order for me to become confident in self shooting, I need to improve my technical skills on cameras. The skills I most want to develop during this project are:

  • Framing of subjects
  • Using light – natural and man made
  • Using 2-shot camera techniques to give a unique look to my documentary
  • How ISO and Shutter speed can alter footage and how it looks on screen

Further research

As my documentary is aimed at a Channel 4 audience range between 16-35, I decided to further research Channel 4 documentaries and the codes and conventions they typical use. By doing this, It will help me understand what Channel 4 commissioners look for in their program’s and enable me to apply my finding’s to my own work. I looked at numerous different documentaries that focused on disability that have been shown on Channel 4 in the recent past years. My findings can be found here. I learnt that disabilities can be presented in different ways and the way in which they are presented can affect the way the audience feel. In addition, each documentary represented disability in different ways. Some were voyeuristic so allowed the audience to experience and sympathise with a character, others used less emotion and more comedy. I found I was more drawn to the emotional documentaries showing me that empathy and sympathy impact the way the audience think. It is also important to mention that I found that all the documentaries I looked at focused on basic human emotions of happiness, sadness, love, anger and fear. Using these emotions takes the audience on a journey and this is what I want to do with my audience.

I looked at Channel 4’s commissioning guidelines at http://www.channel4.com/info/commissioning/4producers/documentaries to find out what traits Channel 4 look for so I can apply them to my documentary. I found that Channel 4 Commission documentaries that feature:

  • Warmth and humour
  • Authenticity – Ideas must reflect the real world.
  • Freshness – Tells a story that hasn’t been told before.
  • Innovation – Use of technology that is breaking new ground.
  • Compelling storytelling – Gripped by narratives that unfold.
  • Distinctive and eye catching.

I think my documentary idea is authentic. I think I am covering a topic that reflects the real world today. Attitudes about disability are changing today and are more accepted in society but I want to discover if disabled people are treated as equals in society. I think my idea is both engaging and relatable to a wide, broad audience. I feel my idea can bring a documentary perspective to the topical subject of disability. Disability covers such a broad range. Not all disabilities are the same. I want my documentary to feature different disabilities to offer different points of view.

Research on Framing can be found here

Further research on subtitles can be found here.

Further development of final idea.

Through Primary research, learning that the DDA was abolished in 2010 and replaced with the Equality Act 2010 helped me a lot as now my documentary will be current and relevant.

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 22.39.23

If I had carried on referring to it as the DDA, this could cause confusion to viewers and it would give out incorrect information and this may cause viewers to not take the documentary seriously as inadequate research was done. Viewers may think the documentary was filmed years ago and is irrelevant to now due to using DDA terminology. The research carried out on the DDA in my initial planning is still useable to my documentary as the topics are still relevant to the Equality Act. The Equality Act replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. I like how the Equality Act is not singling out disabled people. The Disability Discrimination Act actually sounds quite negative whereas the Equality Act sounds much more positive and opens future opportunity for me to deliver to a diverse audience. In the future, I could expand my documentary to a series to cover other areas of the Equality Act such as same sex couples or LGBT communities.

Pre-Production

Pre Production is a major part of my production to ensure everything runs smoothly and any crew and contributors involved with my film knows exactly what is going on. Conducting secondary research means I have real facts and through learning these facts and statistics, it enabled me to create relevant questions to ask my subjects and also gave me an idea of professional contributors I wanted to include in my film. Alternatively, I feel I could have done more primary research. I asked questions on social media but I think a focus group or questionnaire may have benefited me more in learning about what society think about the topics I am concentrating on and to discover viewing habits.   This is because I want to create a documentary that is of interest to my targeted audience. Administrational paperwork is a skill that comes natural to me. I have a good eye for detail on paper! This part of the production process is one I enjoyed the most. I felt like I applied my knowledge and skills well to the pre-production process. The experience of using these skills will be essential and useful to me as  a practitioner as it shows I can use analytical, organisational and problem solving  skills which will be essential to a career in production management that I want to progress in.

All pre-production for my documentary that I carried out, can be viewed here:

call_sheet 1     call_sheet 2    call_sheet 3    call_sheet 4    call_sheet 5    call_sheet 6 Contacts List   crew call_sheet 1    crew call_sheet 2    filming Schedule                              Legal Constraints     recce_checklist 1     recce_checklist 2    recce_checklist 3 recce_checklist 4    recce_checklist 5   risk 1    risk 2   risk 3   risk 4 ab   Script – Robert     script MDUK    Script Questions – Doug Paulley     Script Questions – Romina Puma      Script Questions amy     shooting schedule     AV Script  permission 6.   permission 5.   permission 4.     permission 3.      permission 2.       permission 1.

 

Production

When I initially started shooting, I encountered many problems and was not happy with my footage. I was unprepared from a technical level. I was confident with the pre production paper work side of things (Health & safety, call sheets, Recce’s etc) as this is the area I want to work in, and I think it shows in the detail of these items however the research I had done previously on framing, composition and conventions, I did not apply at all. At the time I wasn’t thinking about the look of my film rather just getting the interview done as I only had the location booked out for two hours and I only had the contributor for an allocated time. I couldn’t go back to re shoot the interviews I had done due to time and location issues.  In order to correct the issues I had faced and ensure I  didn’t make the same mistakes again, I took part in a lighting workshop to develop my knowledge and skills. The outcome of this workshop can be found here.

I encountered many issues when filming. I learnt that as a practitioner you should always double check everything. I was told that the camera I was using didn’t need an external mic as the inbuilt audio was good. However when listening to my interviews back, there was a lot of background noise and humming and some subjects were too quiet. This could have been avoided if I had used an external mic to pick up sound.

Also my assistant wasn’t up to speed with camera techniques and although I asked her to set the camera up to the same setting’s I was using, she didn’t. As a practitioner I should have double checked this. She was also confused as to what shots I actually wanted her to take meaning the two camera set up I wanted in order to get different views of the same interview did not go well. All of the footage from the second camera was unusable. In the future I will ensure all crew helping out know how to operate the camera and are able to do so confidently.

Most importantly I have learned that you cannot put a time on interviews. To get the best look, it may take numerous takes and setting up of cameras and equipment takes a lot longer than you think. Rehearsal run throughs are important to put contributors at ease. Having experiencing the issues with my initial interviews, I knew to give extra time to my next contributors and spent time setting up equipment and testing different light settings to get the best look. Equally I also experienced keeping my contributors waiting around whilst I did the set ups which can be irritating. In the future, I think it would be a good idea if I was able to go set up all equipment and have a call time to set for contributors.

I found that when asking the questions to each of my contributors, I was finding myself listening to their stories which then prompted me to ask more questions. This was helpful as it meant I was delving further into feelings and emotion of my subjects and thus giving me a deeper story in my film.

Post Production.

During Post Production, I was able to try and change my over exposed shots with colour correct. I changed the colour to fit with the following clip below.

Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 12.37.06

When I tried the colour correct with a darker image of my shoot it caused the white background to go Pink so I decided to stick with the above shot after colour correct.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 12.14.26

Colour correcting the over exposed shots means they don’t look so out of place and fit in with my documentary. In the future to avoid this I must ensure my camera is set to the correct ISO and Aperture so my subjects are not over exposed.

As I didn’t get enough cutaway shots relating to my subjects and their stories, I found royalty free footage online at the following websites:

https://www.videvo.net/video/child-coloring-/397/

https://www.stockfootageforfree.com/category/people/

https://www.pexels.com/search/surgeon/

https://www.videvo.net/video/scrolling-through-twitter-on-smartphone/4482/

https://pixabay.com/en/videos/baby-baby-feet-feet-newborn-448/

This footage will help my film to flow and stop random jump cuts and also add to the telling of my story.

I decided to be the narrator as I have a personal experience with disability. In order to create the script I was telling, I researched actual facts and figures from various websites so my information is true and revealing and will also help my audience to understand just how important this story is.

I got facts and figures from SCOPE  – a disability charity and GOV.UK and also Department of work and pensions.

Overall, although time consuming as I had a lot of footage, I really enjoyed putting my documentary together.

 

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