#364MC // Professional Experience // Michaela Knight’s Showreel 2017

All footage in this showreel can be found on my vimeo page which is linked below:

Showreel 2017 from Michaela Knight on Vimeo.

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#364MC // Professional Experience // Research & Development // Camera Assistant #2

In my previous post about camera assistant research I concentrated on the roles available in this day and age, the requirements and how to gain experience and access to those opportunities.

Whilst doing that I came across a couple of freelance Videographers and their online portfolios showcasing their business and skills and decided it was worth documenting as this is something that would help me when creating my own portfolio. Below I’ve included some screenshots of the few that I came across and found appealing:

One of the first videographers I came across was Charlotte Armitage at charlottearmitage.com

I loved Charlotte’s website it was clean cut, and modern. The moving image behind each page (Portfolio, Contact etc) was very relevant and the shots were beautiful. She has a vast portfolio of experience without over loading the client with information – everything is laid out clearly. The contact page is also thorough with information or her details and how to contact her for bookings which is, obviously, essential when you’re a freelancer.

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The next freelancer I came across was Jon Collins at ukjoncollins.com. I wasn’t as much of a fan of his website as I was of Charlotte’s – I found it a little over whelming and the colour scheme was quite intense. However, it reminded me a lot of one of my favourite films ‘Trainspotting’ with the muted black and orange theme. Minus the colours, the wait it is laid out is simple enough with all relevent information at the top.

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Lastly I came across freelancer Tom Farmery at tomfarmery.co.uk – I was really drawn to this theme. It felt modern and clean yet was detailed enough that it didn’t look too clinical and provided all the information a client would need. One of the things I noticed everytime I clicked onto a different persons website, they all had a distinct logo or branding for their company. Much like my own I feel like the logo has to be distinguishable to a certain extent without being confused by another logo.

WEBSITES:

https://www.tomfarmery.co.uk/

http://charlottearmitage.com/

http://ukjoncollins.com/

#364MC // Professional Experience // Research & Development // Editor

For as long as I can remember, ever since I watch MTV Behind the Scenes of how music videos and films are created – I fell in love with the post production editing. I was intrigued with how someone could take raw film and turn it into something that creates a certain emotion and how special effects can alter the appearance of almost anything.

I’ve researched into editing jobs before so going back and refreshing my memory and seeing how it might of changed was exciting. I went straight to the creativeskills website as this is a reliable source for information on any media production career and the requirements needed. For an editor they are as follows:

  • Working closely with the Director to craft the finished film
  • Working in an edit suite for long hours
  • Running a team of assistants and trainees on big productions
  • Have technical aptitude
  • Have wide experience of the post production process
  • Be familiar with a variety of computer editing equipment
  • Understand dramatic storytelling to create rhythm, pace and tension
  • Be creative under pressure
  • Have imagination and an understanding of narrative
  • Have excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Have highly developed aesthetic visual awareness
  • Be able to lead a team
  • Have patience and attention to detail
  • Have good organisational skills
  • Understand the requirements of relevant health and safety laws and procedures

Traditionally, you could go from being a Runner to a Trainee, Second Assistant, First Assistant and eventually to become an Editor. However, with digital editing, 2nd Assistants are now only employed on very big budget films.

As a Trainee with at least two years’ experience you would have to work as an Assistant in television or on low budget films for a considerable period of time before becoming First Assistant on feature films. Some big budget productions take on Trainees and Second Assistants, and it is important to keep up to date with films in pre-production by reading the trade press.

If you can work with an Editor as an Assistant, you may be allowed to carry out the assembly edit of some sections of the film. If you can become an experienced Assistant, you may also work as an Editor on short films, which will enable you to showcase your talents.

It’s really rather easy to become an editor from the comforts of your own home – technology has granted consumers access to a variety of editing softwares to use for their own devices without having to be hired by a large company. These prosumers are able to create anything from being multiple roles all at once, editing software now comes with every computer and smart phone device whether that be Windows Movie Maker or Final Cut Pro everyone in today’s society is an editor to some extent.

I remember when I used to create home movies and edit them on Windows Movie Maker to then show my mum pretending it was a movie premier. This passion has followed me through the last 6 years of studying media. Editing is a very delicate and time consuming process that I think a lot of people overlook. I have spent countless hours editing together a piece of work that may ultimately end up only being 3 minutes long. But that makes the process all the more beneficial and rewarding to think at the end of it all, you put that together.

An editing job is something I feel anyone can get into with practise and experience, like most things, it also doesn’t require any qualifications as the best way to learn is through shadowing others – much like I did when I shadowed the head editor at BBC Bristol a few summers a go. Editors sometimes get overlooked when being credited as everyone might see their work it’s the Director and actors who get more recognition for the piece. However, being the editor is a vital part to any film or tv show and with the exposure we have as consumers today to access editing software it’s inspiring to see more and more people learning to create amazing media content.

References

Balmuth, Bernard. Introduction To Film Editing. 1st ed. Boston [u.a.]: Focal Press, 1989. Print.

“Editor | Creative Skillset”. Creativeskillset.org. N.p., 2017. Web.

 

 

#364MC // Professional Practice Portfolio // Work Experience // ‘Sustain’ Final

The time has finally come where we wrap up on the set of ‘Sustain’. It has been one hell of a journey and I have learnt and experienced so much more than I ever thought I would. Three months of working 24 hour weekends in all weather conditions and till late hours and I wouldn’t of had it any other way.

‘Sustain’ was my first ever time on a real film set and also as Sound Assistant, before this I had only dabbled with Sound and kept myself to camera op but I’m so glad I challenged myself with Sound as it has quickly become something I am very passionate about and would love to pursue further in my journey as a media creative.

To say that this was easy would be false, to say it was extremely fun and rewarding would be more accurate. It was one of the most difficult things I had ever put myself through but it never felt like ‘work’ – around talented, fun, encouraging and enthusiastic individuals made every day feel like we was just kids making home movies with a lot better equipment.

From this experience I have come to understand that to make a master piece you need a lot of hands and creative vision – each persons opinion and talent was put to good use and learning how each person had a certain role which would overlap into other roles was exciting to see. Often on days we would have people helping Sound who usually work as First AD or even Editor. Everyone was knowledgeable in each area which I feel confident to say I am now too. I have mingled and experienced first had what it’s like to be a DoP, Editor, Director and so on and couldn’t be more thankful for this opportunity.

I have included some photos from our shoots and I can’t wait to work with these incredible artists in the future.

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#364MC // Professional Portfolio // Work Experience // The Session – ‘When She Smiles’ LIVE at The Empire

A friend of mine got in touch and asked if I fancied helping out filming a local gig at a club called The Empire. Of course I jumped at the chance and agreed. Once again, filming a live gig is something that was very new to me. The band are called The Session and once inside I was playing around with the settings to try get the correct lighting for an indoor gig where the natural lighting is so minimal.

However, I ended up just letting the camera do it’s work and put it on auto which I feel like is the worst thing for a budding cinematographer to do. In all honesty I found it daunting to try set up the camera in a more professional way and with the time to prepare quite short I felt it was the only option.

The footage above came out fairly decent but I’d definitely go back and re-shoot with more knowledge behind me on how to shoot an indoor gig professionally.

#364 Work Experience – ‘Sustain’

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(Sustain (2017) promotional poster)

A fellow student on my course posted a couple of weeks a go about needing help for a new feature film coming out titled ‘Sustain’ the new film from Midlands Director David Hastings & Producers Troy Dennison and Keiran Bowers (Checking In, Brink, The House of Screaming Death). A Birmingham crew with amazing talent and even more amazing personalities.

On January 14th I was fortunate enough to be picked as Sound Assistant and start my first full day on a real film set. I have been to 3 shoots already lasting 12 hours each.  I’ve learnt so much already from these first few days, about sound, about cinematography and editing. Director David is truly an inspirational man with a lot of experience under his belt and his crew have been so welcoming and informative with any questions I have.

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(A slightly awkward shot of me with the boom pole…)

The filming goes on until March with a week long shoot in February, being Sound Assistant is a lot more taxing than it sounds but it’s hugely rewarding. Considering I’ve never been the one to choose sound as my role in previous productions with uni it’s become one of my favourite things to do and has opened up my skills in the film environment. I’m loving learning different positions and get to experience a piece of everything on set.

One of the difficulties with filming that I found during these past few days was that trying to record sound outside is almost impossible. To make it even more challenging we had wind and rain and was on a busy street with cars and planes constantly flying/driving past. We managed to make it work and Sam, the editor, is incredible with sound editing and can work with the material we got.

On  Sunday 22nd January, Karen the first for sound, had to leave to film something else at 6pm so as sound assistant I had to fill in the role and take charge. At first I was intimidated and nervous to speak up but after the first couple of takes I found my voice and was able to really take charge in my area – giving the director the nod when the sound was perfect or the shake of the head when it wasn’t and discussing what works best and what doesn’t. It was really satisfying knowing that I had some sort of power during this production, if the sound quality is awful then it has to be re-done. In a sense I felt like a mini director of sound saying when to cut and when to go, cause if sound isn’t ready no one is.

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(The first official production still from Sustain featuring Brett Drewsbury as Keiran Flank and Laura Evenson as Kara Marshdale.)

I’m really excited for the next couple of months to see where it takes us and meeting more cast and crew. I’ll continue to blog about each shoot with what I’ve learnt from each session. Watch this space…