Professional Practice Portfolio: Reflection and Evaluation

Looking back to the start of the year, I am proud to say that I took part in almost all the projects that I said I would, regarding those offered to me by the University, as well as other professional work that has passed my way. I think it’s noticeable as well that travel has heavily influenced my work; travelling is a passion of mine and I intend to continue travelling for work for many years to come. New cultures and places inspire me to think more creatively about my approach to filmmaking – I like to stand out and express myself, and travelling internationally this year in particular has enabled me to portray some of my ideas through imagery on screen.

I successfully filmed a drama short in Iceland, for which I was First Assistant Director – at the time this was my biggest and toughest challenge throughout my degree as I had to adjust to shooting in a harsh and unfamiliar climate and work with people I had never worked with before. I also took part in the filming of cultural events around the United Kingdom which was truly engaging and really enabled me to open my eyes to the beauty of this country as well as it’s vast diversity.

Over the past 3 years I have witnessed myself develop not only as a media professional, but as a person – I have come to realise the difference between good and great, and the evidence is noticeable in my work. When I pick up a camera I feel at home and I wish to take my passion and enthusiasm for film and share it with others. I don’t want to say confined to the boundaries of where I live; I want to experiment with the tools that make up the world around me. Studying Media Production has enabled me to recognise my place within the media industry as a cinematographer. Art interests me and thus helps support my love for film and visual beauty. I want others to see what I see when I look through the lens of a DSLR.

I have enjoyed working with staff from the BBC and Coventry City Council in producing video blogs for some of the Olympic sports. The videos are soon to be going online and screened on the BBC Big Screens in Coventry, Birmingham and all over the country. My role as producer/presenter was something I enjoyed, though I do not want to do into producing, it was good fun to experience that role first hand. When entering the real world I always think it’s good to have a diverse skill set when applying for a specific job within the media industry in order to relate to others working close to you. Through this I have further learnt about the importance of teamwork and also enjoyed the leadership aspect of being producer.

Taking part in the BMW film shoots were also an incredible experience, not only in terms of working with a wonderful group of professionals, but also in regards to developing my skills as a camera operator. Using glide-tracks and cranes to experiment with shot types really has reinforced my initial decision to study a degree in Media. I took a risk with a few shots, for example when I positioned the crane and 5D in the middle of the road as the car drove towards the camera, swiftly moving the crane above the speeding vehicle – this produced some money-shots.

Of course, being involved in Coventry University’s first feature length film has been a large part of my professional practice and without a shadow of a doubt has been the largest and most engaging project I have had the pleasure to be part of. To turn around such a huge result in such a small amount of time with limited resources was no small feat and hats off to all those involved, everyone did a fantastic job. There were even doubts towards the start of the process as to whether the challenge of a feature was too much for a bunch of students, but through it all the team pulled through and the footage is looking extraordinary. All the long hours seem to have paid off.

As well as being part of Latitude, I have been working on the Behind-The-Scenes documentary of the entire process, from pre-production all the way through to post-production and distribution. So my work has not finished yet, my hand-in for my degree was just one of my deadlines, we plan to take this film further and see where it can get us. The Making-Of is looking hilarious, so we can’t wait to get it out to people.

I am a huge fanatic of social media and I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t help guide me through my final year at Coventry. Up until January I wasn’t really in to Twitter or Flickr etc. perhaps due to the limitations of my mobile phone (it’s one of those that if you drop it, the floor breaks); but now I thrive off it #JustSaying. I love how vast social media is becoming; it is fair to say that it is the future of the media industry, specifically in terms of advertising and distribution. Social networking is a field I would love to venture in to should my path lead me there, as I love communicating with others, in particular those that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach due to distance/difference.

Here is my current show-reel – bare in mind it is currently in the development stages still as I have work going on currently:

All that’s left for me now is to head out into the working world with my head held high knowing that I’ve accomplished a great number of things at my time here, and there’s nothing that I would have changed. After all, I’m happy with what I’ve produced and excited with the prospect of what I’m to produce in the future. Every piece of work I have done has been more professional and more beautiful than the last, and I aim to stick to that until I have reached my limit, and even then I will strive to surpass it.

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