Showcasing your work!
Over the last month I’ve been going through my university interview, nerve-wracking as they are I found stress can be avoided through preparation, creative preparation that is. For example I create mind maps and tables of strengths and weakness of each university I’d visited to help me decide where to apply and once apply I worked through each prospectus with a pack of sticky notes highlighting things to ask about and what I think they might ask me about, what they are looking for and so on.
Then came the actual interviews. The majority of my interviews didn’t actually ask me to bring anything in particular surprisingly, but being a Creative I wanted to show them what I’m capable of. If you are interested, which I’m guessing you are if you’ve read this far, I am applying for Film and TV Production courses mainly in the South, and so I presented to them a showreel and portfolio. I am not claiming I am an expert with making a showreel, portfolio or taking part in interviews, but I wish to share my tips which I hope are helpful to at least one person. (So far out of 5 of the university I have applied for I have had offers from 3 of them and the other two I haven’t heard from since I interviewed there today and one yesterday.)
PORTFOLIO: The majority of my portfolio was made up of extra curriculum projects, either my YouTube or work experience so I thought it was crucial to include to show my extra work and dedication. However, even with out these extras I still could have found ways to have something to talk about. My portfolio was mainly a ‘show and tell’ tool. For example I was asked what sort of films I make so I turned to the page where I received an A* for a Batman and Robin filmed I’d made, followed by music videos and a web-series. I didn’t include all my projects, instead just included a range of genres to show how I expose myself as much as possible, and the importance of experimenting. When I was asked about my work experience I’d mainly included pictures to show me working that I’d asked other people to take on the day and so on.
My tops tips would be:
1. Include extras, not something you HAD to do.
2.Don’t include everything you’ve ever done, concentrate on including a variety.
3.Limit your writing, use it as more of a flick through and point to get the ideas across.
SHOWREEL: Looking at over 40 hours worth of my old footage I went through outtakes, to shots I don’t remember shooting, home videos all the way back to stuff I shot on my first Nokia. Eventually I decided it was taking TOO LONG and I wasn’t being strict enough of myself. Most the time I found a shot of my best friend who looked so sweet in a particular shot, but it told nothing of my filmmaking skill or script writing, therefore I had to learn to scrap what was useless to me. From work experience I have been told you are lucky if a producer watches 40 seconds of your work, so they recommended to me making a 60 second showreel that established quickly a range of projects then explained in more detail, depending on the genre you’re going for. I experimented through YouTube, of course my home! I made a 1:30minute showreel for anyone to watch and asked for feedback. I was told it was a good length but didn’t need certain shots and sound wasn’t very good, so I went back and edited. THIS WAS SO HELPFUL, I can’t recommended feedback more! Finally on my fourth draft I’d finished! I used royalty free music, my friend made music for me because I wasn’t sure what universities would think of me using particular songs and I wanted to be able to say that everything was from scratch and linked to me in some way, but if you don’t have a friend lovely enough to give up their time and create then I recommended this site for royalty free music: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/
My tops tips would be:
1.Think of every aspect, sound/shots/editing and make sure it shows your best work. If one particular shot gives you hardly anything to talk about then scrap it.
2.Try not to have too much sound on it, for example don’t jumble lyrics of a song to your own dialogue because someone watching it may ask you to talk them through it and you want everything to be clear.
3.Create drafts, get feedback, improve, ALWAYS!
I wish you all luck with universities, jobs, ideas the lot and hope this was helpful to at least one person out there. Thanks for reading, please leave a comment or tweet me @HisLittleEmoo, because as you know I love feedback!