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Media moving and shaking

3 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know it has been a while since my last post (gosh that sounds a little bit like it’s been X number of days, moths, years since my last confession). Either way, I’m sitting in front of my computer ready to update. I have been quiet for the past few weeks because I was preparing myself for a job interview, for a new role in the media company I work at. The role is that of a Production Assistant in the Sports gallery, I had my interview and although I was informed it was last roughly an hour it was actually 1/2. I guess that’s because some of the answers I’d given to some of the questions answered other questions they wanted to ask me. Well, the top and bottom of it is, I was offered the job.
So, I will be working as a PA in the Sports gallery when my start date will be I do not know, but I am hoping to continue with my media activities on my days off.

The other news to share is I went for an informal chat with a media group who are launching a potential idea that is still in the early stages of funding and approval and have asked me to get involved with the media-related production work side too. It’s mainly and in some way mostly Virtual Reality related with me appearing on a mirror screen, that is all I can say for the time being.

 

That in additional to directors and producers I have worked with saying that they have projects coming up and want me back on set, with home-baked treats of course. One of which has said his next project is Sept/ Oct, so looking forward to that, whatever it is. Well, I can’t let the crew down. So that has given me something to think about, in addition to a project that is being filmed not far from me in September. Granted it is 2 months away, but an early bid to get involved for a few days would be awesome so that I am sort of looking forward to, I’ve emailed the team and all I can do is wait.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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How to save a life

26 Jun

Hey Mediadreamzers

I know I have used words from a song for my latest post, but it basically summons up what I have been doing for the past 3-4 days. With work I was offered the chance to go on a First Aid At Work course, and naturally I opted to go on the course. Tip to those wanting to pursue a career in media or for self-learning as it is great to have on your CV and it helps to have as a life skill.

On the first day, there were a mixture of others, people in media, teachers, network rail workers and people who work in construction. In total there were 18 of us. The first day all basic stuff; what is in a first aid box, role of a first aider etc before moving onto videos assessments and basic treatments. The second day was kicking up a gear to slings, dressings, mind-map presentations on various conditions and treatments before spending the afternoon role playing. After being split into groups; first aiders and casualties and acting scenarios and I admit there were moments where. We all ended up laughing as everyone who were casualties were over the top dramatics with screaming and whaling in pain. Final assessment of the day was a car accident with numerous casualties, bystanders and one in the group going into mass hysteria/shock.

Unfortunately the final day of the course that person came in with a lost voice. Apart from summarising everything from the past 2 days it was recovery position and CPR before being split again and demonstrating what treatment used to help an accident and the symptoms of a casualty. One thing that was hard and I mean really hard was learning something called the ‘Roll Technique’; this is something used when a casualty has a suspected back/ spinal injury and you and 5 other people have to turn them to the right or left. The hard part is co-ordinating everyone tasks to help turn the casualty, then it was kicked up a gear, others from the other group started to try to distract us, deliberately but my god we did it.

Out of the 18 of us there only 17 passed; there was a guy from TNT there who did not understand the majority of the tasks both written and practical, so after a word or two the guy left where he chooses to return and do it again, I don’t know. One thing that I have thought about and decided to do is look into getting trained using a de-fibrillation machine too. So I am Fire and First Aid trained, hopefully more to learn soon.

Just going off on topic onto another I maybe involved in an upcoming production, it’s early to say too much at present but will hopefully will officially confirm all in my next post.

Nunquam Deditioneum

All Fired up

7 Jun

Hey Mediadreamerz

It has been a while since I have sat in front of my mac to say what I have been up to in the great sphere of media. I am fast approaching my second month of my three month probation with SIS, and it was on Friday that was really busy for me.

Instead of spending the whole day in the office I had decided to sign up to the Fire Marshall training course. Why, for numerous reasons; wanting to learn something new, if and when I am in a work area in and outside of the office and there is a fire, so I know what to do if there is a fire in my home and is also something to add to my CV for future job applications. Tip; good for anyone to have as an extra skill and good for when you go for job interviews.
When I first got to the venue I thought it was only going to be women, then three men joined the group and I must say 5 hours do go by really fast. It was videos, discussions and then heading out into the carpark to use the different extinguishers. Word to the wise- When using the CO2 never touch the base or the funnel as your hand(s) will freeze to it and you’ll get frostbite.

So now I am qualified as a Fire Marshall, I just need to wait for my certificate to arrive, which lasts for three years. Next on the agenda is three day First Aid Course, which is probably gonna be in about 3-4 weeks. plus when the three months are officially completed I can work with the editors, camera-crew, AP, producers, sound mixers and anywhere else with the company.

Next thing is running/ jogging Race For life, or as I brand it R4L on Sunday, wish me luck and hope that I finish at a decent time.

Nunquam Deditioneum

My Week at New job

10 Apr

Well half a week if I am going to be picky.

Hey Mediadreamzers

Thank you to the people who have started following me, I hope what I have written and with upcoming posts interest you. I now have a chance to sit and share with you what my first week has gone.

It was great starting after Easter (I hope everyone had a fab Easter break, I know I did especially not working Good Friday or the Monday). I got to the office and met Rory and after another tour and getting ID and paperwork sorted it was off to the VT Library where work and my training began. Rory showed me the main jobs that need to be done each day; morning archiving sports footage and adding metadata to various clips, sourcing footage and getting to grips with the software and other really cool features that are part and parcel of the job. The first day ended so far I left like I had been in the building for 10mins, I guess that feels like that when your enjoying yourself.

The majority of my work is archiving, sourcing footage, responding to emails, ordering supplies etc. I’m hoping that everything I am trying learning goes in and stays there, I have objectives to complete. I also got to chat to my production manager/ mentor, Richard, about other factors and jobs I will be doing too.

I have also decided that I am going to look into the courses and qualifications available, and that interest me. Add a few more strings to my bow and open many doors.

One thing I am looking forward to is not having to work part time anymore and doing something that I really enjoy and love. Roll on next week for more learning, work, media oh did I say work.

Nunquam deditioneum

The outcome

31 Mar

Hey Mediadreamzers

 

Forgive the late response regarding what I said in my last post on my interviews, I did not want to jinx the outcome of either one, now I feel can share.

As promised I said I would let you know the outcome of my interviews.

The first interview for the assistant producers role was with Psychic Today and with it only taking me an hour and 10 mins to get my interview I used the extra 40mins I had to read my notes and ready myself for the type of question I could potentially be asked. I met my interviewer, Joanne, and the questions commenced; ranging from what makes a good producer, what did you think to the shows structure and style of Psychic Today, what could be done differently/ what are my thoughts on the shows I watched. I answered all questions with so much detail that I made poor Joanne use so much paper, I even added ideas and suggestions for the channel and the website. I was then told a little more about the role, my responsibilities, the hours and where that could lead to. Interview lasted 30mins and I was informed that I would hear something soon.

Result- I was offered one of the assistant producer roles, and a training date, but because of the position being freelance based and other factors coming to light I had to decline the opportunity.

 

The Second interview was with a non-production based company called SIS(not to get confused with the Secret Service), which stands for Satellite Information Services; the company has contracts with BBC, ITN and SKY NEWS & SPORTS. The interview was for a media assistant position, and is a permanent position. One thing I arrived 50mins early and read through the meticulous notes I had made about SIS as it had been advised that I do my research (planned to read up on the company anyway). I also looked at competencies/ situations and planned answers to potential questions I could be asked, so I am not surprised like a deer in the headlights. Once in the building I met Richard and Rory where I was taken to a conference room and the interview commenced. Rory asked the questions, there were four pages of questions and situations that I have demonstrated certain skills in, whilst Richard took notes of everything I said (I was asked other questions like what do I do in my spare time, what takes priority in my life, if I could do something spontaneous what would I do; I said have a party in the style of James Bond. I then asked my questions before being given a tour of the various buildings on site, where I met the sound mixers, graphics, producers, production managers, editors and all people in media. The total time I spent at SIS was an hour 35mins interview and the remaining time taking the tour.

Result- I received a phone call on Friday 13th of all days I hear you cry and the day I learned of the outcome. The conversation began with SIS thanking me for attending my interview and that they enjoyed meeting me, in the back my my mind I could hear the cliche sentence in my head and the word unsuccessful. However, it was not to be; because Richard and Rory enjoyed meeting me I have been invited back to Milton Keynes for a second interview.

At first I did not know the criteria for the second one, then I learned to read up more information on the company, and read up on my competencies as the interview is going to be mainly scenarios and situations I could be asked. So I spent two days before my interview reading and researching everything I could find. You may think me over-prepared but it meant that I didn’t forget anything. Well, I went for the interview this time with Richard and a lady from HR and it was roughly the same questions as before giving examples of my competencies and any questions I had. What I felt was 5 mins was in fact a 35 mins interview, and before I left I was informed that a decision would be made either tomorrow, or near to the end of the week.

Result- Tuesday I received the phone call saying that SIS wish to offer me the job. That certainly knocked me for 6 as it was an enormous surprise. As I mentioned it is a non-production job, but it gives the opportunity of using my degree, learning technical and broadcasting skills with the chance of career progression. Plus the bonus with the opportunity is it is stepping stone in the right directions and I am not too far away from the capital for future work as a researcher/ assistant director, and of course there is the potential to progress further, or work at Pinewood in the future. So I was immensely surprised and happy, and I have accepted the offer which I start on 8th April thinking it best to let Easter come and go.

The next step I am taking is to sort out accommodation in the area, researching the areas and what I am looking for, registering with estate agents and then going to viewings. If I am lucky enough to find a property before I start then that will be a bonus in my favour, but I guess its a case of wait and see.

As I mentioned this is a non-production role, but that will not stop me from continuing to work in productions if and when I can, certainly refusing to give up that dream. So most of what you see from now on will be what I am doing and learning from SIS and any upcoming opportunities.

In between all this I am planning and organising fundraising activities for Race For Life (R4L is what I call it). At least it gives me something to focus on. The good news with that is I have to quote Harry Potter ‘Exceeded Expectation’ on my fundraising target and will continue until the race, please feel free to checkout my just giving page http://www.justgiving.com/kathrynsmith7.

I will still share what I am doing and learning and progressing with SIS, and the future.

 

Nunquam Deditionem

Interview 1, Interview 2, Interview 3

3 Mar

Hey fellow mediadreamzers

First let me say thank you to the people and blogs that have started following mine. If I have not visited your blog site yet, I apologise and will try to do so very soon. Most of my time has been dedicated to training for R4L (Race For Life), I think it looks cool abbreviated like that. In addition, I have been making little short films and editing them on the progress of my training and ideas for raising money towards a cause close to my heart. I have made earrings, necklaces and metal bookmarks.

I know I am digressing a little, so I will get back on track. I have been applying for a variety of jobs, and heard back from a media company in Milton Keynes for a roles as an assistant producers role which I am going for an interview for tomorrow so I am reading up on the company. This role is permanent/ freelance so if I am successful I can fit the work round other media work that I am or could be working on. Another was an out of the blue opportunity with another company also based in Milton Keynes for next Monday that is permanent. Although this role isn’t production based it is with a media company with the potential of learning broadcasting and production technology. There are other interviews lined up but these are going to be upcoming.

There are other projects lined up hopefully for the Spring, which I am looking forward to hopefully getting involved in if I can. I am hoping to get something permanent or frequent media work, if I do end up moving to MK I won’t be too far from my media contacts near the capital. When I have heard back on these I will share.

Nunquam Deditionem

Productive with Pinewood & PROCAM

16 Oct

Hi Mediadreamzers

I now sit and write about the past couple of weeks, much of which has been filled with great excitement. The first is an event I had the privilege of attending at Pinewood Studios; a friend of mine put on a one man comedy show at Pinewood Studios last Friday and I and about 150 other people were blown away by the humour. I now make this my 6th visit to Pinewood and as I keep saying it is like my 2nd home, it is always nice to head down to the greatest place in the world. Once there I was directed to the John Barry Theatre and as soon as I entered I was greeting by an enormous room and suddenly one of my Facebook friends saw me and called me over, and it was great catching up with other people I know in the industry. The show was amazing, which was mirrored by the fact that it was a sell out! It was so funny that my cheeks were hurting at the end of the hour and half and my sides ached from pain of laughter. There was a scene that was re-enacted by my friend Terry and a SFX guy I know called Alex involved trick wire, a pair of glasses and a fake treadmill, and the was funny, especially the reaction from the other people in the gym. Soon the time went by and it was time for us to leave John Barry’s theatre, not before  One thing that did knock me for 6 was some of the people that attended came up to me after the show and said ‘Hi’ something I did not expect, but it made my day, or in this case evening. The rest of the night and the early hours of Saturday morning was spent at a restaurant called ‘Palm Suite’, not only was the food great (if your ever down at Pinewood go for the Piri Piri Chicken, it does not disappoint), but the company was bloody marvellous, especially when a friend I met and know on Facebook bought his dog in just as the restaurant were closing and there were all a handful of us left; Shelby, a very affectionate dog and very photogenic/ affectionate dog. Eventually it was time to leave as the owners of the suite needed to go home. Great event, wonderful night, brilliant people.

Following the event, I then packed my case again to travel to Manchester for 2 days working shadowing with a company that hires  camera and sound equipment. I traveled up the day before ready for the 2 days arranged, and after a 45mins walk I found the location, and after meeting the crew in the warehouse on the Tuesday I spent the 1st part of the day working with a guy called Jake who showed me how to set up a camera that is commonly used in the industry, checking equipment back in from production companies that were returning equipment from shoots. I was then rotated to another area of the warehouse with a guy called Rich. I learnt a lot from Rich and I learnt that there are no stupid questions as I had so many about camera, sound, their system checking in and out, usage of equipment and anything else that sprung to mind. First day a lot was covered and the first ended quickly, then 2nd day was just was fast and I surprised remembered a majority of what I had been taught and I was trusted enough to set up lighting panels for testing and how to check and set up a monitor. Sadly I had to leave to catch my train and during the 2hr 30mins train journey, I reflected on everything I had learned and hoping that everything I have learned helps me progress further forward and hoping to put what I have learned to good use. Maybe my next opportunity will let me show of my training and experience.

 

Nunquam Deditioneum

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