Professional Experience Session

Today the Media Production group met up to discuss professional experience projects available through the university in oder to establish a record of work for collaborating into a professional practice portfolio. The amount of opportunities on offer this year are incredible; more than any year previous. In this post I will only be discussing those projects I am personally interested in.

Taken from the professional practice portfolio media blog:

It is not enough to produce a simple professional portfolio and CV if you are determined to get into the media: you need more. So, this year, we are offering you all over seventy professional activites that you can get involved in to boost your professional experience and your Professional Practrice Portfolio.

Culturae Mundi

Aside from Iceland, New York, Italy, France, Eastern Europe and LA (I’ll come back to them at a later date), there are projects based around the Culturae Mundi (world culture) where we will be working closely with people from the Students’ Union, various clubs and societies in the Union and staff from the University. Small projects will involve one day of shooting and editing time: big projects will last longer and involve more dedicated commitment. All require a dedicated crew to produce work for the website to be delivered to precise deadlines.

For example, I have signed up for filming and editing large cultural and social events such as Bonfire Night, St. Patrick’s Day, St. George’s Day, Chinese New Year etc. We are having a meeting regarding filming on the 5th November next Friday and I shall be posting a reflection on that meeting on this blog.

BBC Big Screen Olympics

Working with staff from the BBC, Coventry City Council and Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull Partnership, we will be producing video blogs for one or more of the Olympic sports. The videos will go online and be screened on the BBC Big Screens in Coventry, Birmingham and, nearer the Olympics, around the country. I have signed up for several events including the Swimming, Volleyball, Cycling, BMX and Mountain-biking.

The plan is that third year students will direct and produce, while second year students will crew. Each video will take one day to shoot and then will need to be edited. I believe this is a remarkable opportunity to work with external organisations on a project with a real outcome and one which may well lead to more work nearer the Olympics.

Iceland Drama Short

The plan is to shoot a drama short in Iceland in February/March. Cost will be about £500 but IEMS will provide £200 and the rest will be raised through professional fundraising means.

There will be an open invitation for scripts which will happen in mid November and all involved in the trip will vote for the best. Production roles are to be allocated according to ability and dedication to the project. Apparently I can apply for as many roles as I like, so naturally I would more than likely be signing up for director, first assistant director, DoP and producer, as they are the roles which interest me most and that I have had the most experience with in the past. This is a brilliant opportunity to get a high-quality short in my portfolio before I start my final media production.

The aim is to employ a professional Director of Photography and to shoot on RED cameras. This truly is a professional, serious project and a great opportunity for getting used to how to use industry-standard, high-end kit.

Cities of Conflict Documentary

A documentary that examines the lives and aspirations of young people in four of Coventry’s twin towns – Dresden (Germany), Arnhem (Netherlands), Caen (France) and Lidice (Czech Republic) – all of which had troubled histories in the recent past. It will explore the rise of the far right in these towns and wil look at the extent to which the European dream of closer political and economic ties is faring in practice.

It is proposed that it will be directed by Steve Dawkins but that student crews will travel to one or more of the four towns.

This is a great opportunity to be involved in a larger project, one that I can chose to have as small or large a part as you wish. As I am not yet sure what I am doing for a final project, it is a good opportunity for me should I choose to do a documentary for my final project in terms of developing the skils needed.

Cost will vary depending upon the length of each trip and the location but all will be eligible for IEMS grants.

Cycle America Documentary

The ‘Cycle America 2011’ documentary that was filmed and produced by Arturs Liepins and Rebecca Horsburgh (former Coventry University Media Production graduates) is currently in post production and are in need of an editor, preferably with skills in Final Cut Pro. I have edited many videos now using Final Cut 7 and also X so I put my name down for helping on this project.

By editing a film on a professional level, this will be a fantastic opportunity for developing my technical and post-production skills, which I can also incorporate into my degree work. The documentary has already had a lot of publicity and interest, and now the filming has finished it is important that the film is edited by somebody with experience but who is willing to work for no salary.

Stephen & Dale cycled 3000 miles across America and raised over $4500 towards Coffee Kids Charity.

A promotional video has already been produced and viewable online via this link:

Other information can be found at



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