I have contacted several Media Professionals, including: Filmmakers, Photographers, Art Directors, Script Writers, Lighting Directors, Media Graduates and contacts which I met and found out about at networking events (such as the Photography Show).
Most of them have not replied to me. (Cardy O’Donnell, Charley Fletcher, Sacha Séméria, Luca Gabriele Rossetti, Lalit Bhusal, Jamie Clarke, Georgia Kuhn, Tom Young, Tom Cockram, Robin Dutta, Rajesh Shinde, Sheikh Shahnawaz, Emmanuel Johnson, Michael Aryan, Paul Bates and Lewis Khan)
Photographer Eddie Macdonald has replied to me stating that he will give feedback but has not yet given it.
I have had verbal feedback from Lighting Director Gurdip Mahal, on the phone.
He said “It is a strong portfolio, it shows a range of skills and experiences and works very well on a phone as well as laptop. It is good how you have stated the roles you are interested in doing and shown proof of your experience in the roles on your projects and portfolio pages.”
Photographer and Former Coventry University Student, Russell Whitehead has also given me some useful feedback. Using his feedback I have checked the links and they are now working.
Filmmaker, Vlogger, Actor Director, Producer and Comedian, Rupan Bal has replied with a very simple reply.
I have had a tutorial with Mez Packer and she is convinced that I am “on the right tracks” I have a clear plan of what I would like to do with having a back up plan with Marketing. She has suggested that I attend scriptwriting workshops (which she will send me more information on) and continue networking and getting advice off Media Practioners and Professionals.
Mannisha Mahal Online CV
This is my online CV, I have another one which I shall send to employers. The only difference between the two CV’s is that the online version does not have my address and mobile number as I have been recommended by professionals not to publish them online for privacy and to only make my email address available to the wider public; my other CV has my address and mobile number on it.
I have created a portfolio website in order to showcase my work in one formatted area as well as to advertise my services. The website has my showreel, a section about me, my portfolio, a list of my projects, the services I offer and my contact details.
The link for my website is: https://www.mmahalproductions.com
I have looked at quite a few portfolio websites and have been inspired by: Lighting Director Gurdip Mahal, Photographer Russell Whitehead and Art Director Vito Salvotore.
Gurdip Mahal 2013: available from http://www.gurdipmahal.com [Accessed 12.02.2017]
Russell Whitehead N.D: available from http://www.russellwhitehead.com [Accessed 12.02.2017]
Vito Salvotore N.D: available from http://www.vitosalvatore.com [Accessed 12.02.2017]
On the 29th of February I attend talk by filmmakers Erin Cipolletti and Ryan Michael. They came to Coventry University to speak to the Media Production Students about Josephine Doe and the realities of independent filmmaking. First they spoke to us about their experiences and the struggles they have encountered, they then gave us the opportunity to ask questions and network with them.
What I learnt from them was to never wait and “just do it” (as said by Ryan Michael). He emphasised that waiting can delay the process and you will always end up waiting not actually succeeding, he suggested that you pick a date to shoot and then plan towards that date; if you have a date you will have a deadline and are more like to succeed.
They both recommended new filmmakers (like myself) to go to as many film festivals as possible as this will help get a sense of the atmosphere, a knowledge of the type of films accepted in film festivals as well as help with networking.
Erin explained that she began her career as a runner then became an intern and helped a lot on sets. She explained that the best way to progress in the film industry is to help as much as possible on sets and be the one that the “important people” on a set remember due to your helpfulness and because they can rely on you; never say no but don’t try to be over friendly with the directors and producers as they will then find you annoying and always in the way.
On the 21st of March, I visited The Photography Show at The NEC, Birmingham. There I had the opportunity to speak to professionals in the Photography industry, expanding my network and learning more about upcoming equipment, software’s and products.
I have learnt that wedding and portrait photography has a very high demand in comparison to any other type of photography. Most of the exhibitors there were portrait or wedding photographers, companies selling props to portrait photographers or companies selling photo books for weddings or companies providing photo booths for weddings.
I met a photographer, Eddie McDonald, who spoke to me one-to-one about lighting during a photo shoot. He is a photographer for commercials and sportswear. He explained that his technique of lighting a model or a product for a photo shoot is very experimental, he stated that he often moves the lights around and simply just see’s what looks best for the particular desired effect. I found it very useful talking to him as he explained his techniques very informally and in a simple manner, which helped me understand them and made feel confident that I would be able to successfully light and conduct a photo shoot.
I also had the opportunity to speak to a representative from Trov. He explained what Trov is; Trov is an insurance company, through which you can insure your equipment on-damand for days or weeks, depending on your needs. They operate via an app, on which once set up you can swipe to insure a piece of your equipment and swipe off to turn the insurance off. He also told me about an ambassadors scheme which they provide; the aim of the scheme is to help amateur photographers become professionals, supporting and guiding them. I am interested in photography therefore I found the scheme appealing and have began conducting some more research on it and finding out about other photographers who have become Trov ambassadors such as Tom Young, Lewis Khan, Tom Cockram and Georgia Kuhn. I am going to try and contact them in order to gain feedback on my portfolio and ask them more information about the Trov ambassadors scheme.
Furthermore I spoke to a company that sells 3D lens which you attach to DSLR cameras in order to create 3D footage and all you would need to view the footage is blue and red lensed glasses. The company was called Kúla, I particularly remember them because their business card was the blue and red lensed glasses that they gave me to view the footage with. I thought that was a very clever branding and marketing strategy as they did not have standard rectangle business cards, like most of the other companies there.
Palette Gear, was one of my favourite stalls at the event as the product they were selling is something that I would be very much interested in purchasing. Palette Gear is a module control system that you can magnet together, set up and connect to your laptop/ computer, the modules have buttons, dials and sliders which you can use to edit photographs and footage on your normal editing software. Palette Gear works like an attached keyboard or mouse, as in you can attach it with a usb. It is designed to make editing more precise and faster. I tested it out and edited a photograph at the event and felt like it was much easier to edit the photo using the Palette Gear as I was just turning the dial and moving the slider and not taking my eye off the picture, making me see all the changes and improving my concentration.
Overall I found attend the event useful as it gave me an insight into equipment and services available, I was able to speak to professionals and expand my network.
Georgia Kuhn: available from http://www.georgiakuhn.com [Accessed 27. 03. 2017]
Lewis Khan: available from http://www.lewiskhan.co.uk [Accessed 27. 03. 2017]
Tom Cockram: available from https://medium.com/trov-photography-ambassadors/trov-ambassador-tom-cockram-c36fd56a1425 [Accessed 27. 03. 2017]
Tom Young: available from https://medium.com/trov-photography-ambassadors/ambassador-tom-young-5d5739e0769f [Accessed 27. 03. 2017]
I have client based work lined up for the end of May. I have been approached by a client who has asked me to edit together several footage clips from her wedding. She got married in July and had a few ceremonies and parties before her wedding. For her wedding day she had a professional wedding photographer however for the ceremonies and parties in the lead up to the wedding her family recorded the events using their own camera. Unfortunately her family have lost the SD card on which the footage was, lucky she has been able to contact people that had attended the ceremonies and parties and has been able to accumulate footage that they have recorded on their mobile phones. She would like me to gather this footage, that has been recorded on mobile phones, and edit it together to make a video that will make up for the lost footage.
This will be a challenging job as the footage quality varies and I would like to create a smooth edit, trying to make it look as professional as possible.
After conducting some research on films made on mobile phones and devices as such, I have found out that this is becoming very popular. Tangerine (2015) was shot on an iPhone 5s and has become a very successful film, winning 23 Awards and having 36 Nominations. This has made me more confident that the final edit can be of a professional style as long as the footage is workable. I am yet to see the footage, I will be given it at the end of May. Every project which I conduct I aim for it to be completed to the best of my ability; with this project I am feeling the pressure slightly more than I possible would if I was creating a documentary, commercial or short film because I will be working with footage that is very personal to the client and she has been disappointed before. When she approached me she said that this is her last hope in creating a visual piece to remember her wedding; consequently I want to ensure that I please her. In order to make this happen I will work very closely with her and show her my progress at several stages of the process so that she can give me feedback and I can ensure that she is happy.
Tangerine (2015) available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3824458/ [Accessed 29. 03. 2017]
I have created a showreel to show potential clients my experience and style of work.
I have been contacting several Professionals in the Media Industry to try and get information, tips and advice from them on the Media Industry and roles that I am interested in (such as: Floor Manager, Art Director and Script Writer).
Contacts That Responded
Rupan Bal is a Punjabi actor, director, producer and comedian, living in Canada. He became famous through his videos on YouTube and later in debuted in the Punjabi Film Industry with the film Haani (2013). I wrote to Rupan Bal because he successfully made it into the Film Industry via YouTube and I would also like to do this therefore I believed that he will have useful tips and advice for me.
I was proved right, he replied back to made explaining that “script writing is the most important tool” of filmmaking. I have found this very useful and now with his advice I will focus on expanding my script writing skill. I have also taken the responsibility to write the script for my FMP, Worthless Woman. I aim to continue talking to him so that I can get more advice and will aim to get work experience with him so that I can develop myself as a professional.
He later gro back in contact with me explaining that he will be in England shooting a music video and he has offered me the opportunity to work with him and shadow him while he is here.
Usefulness: 8/10, he has helped me to understand that script writing is the most important tool to filmmaking and has offered me to the experience to work with him and shadow him on a music video set.
Cardy O’Donnell is a full time script writer and has worked on Brookside, Grange Hill, Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and Doctors. He has been a part of a team that has won 2 BAFTA Awards. I have contacted him because I feel that he would be able to give me very useful advice on script writer due to his experience in script writing.
Usefulness: 8/10, he has given me some very useful information such as to always keep a notebook with me and make notes of things I may hear in my surroundings as they could be useful when scriptwriting. I feel that this will defiantly help me to make my scripts more realistic as the dialogue will be more real.
Sacha Séméria has experience as an Art Director for Film and TV, I have contacted him as he may has some useful advice for me based on the Film and TV industry as well as on the role of an Art Director.
His advice has been useful, I will try to get as much experience as possible on film sets and have order Fantastic Mr Fox to watch.
Usefulness: 6/10, he has given me some good advice in what I should do next (get as much experience as possible on film sets and watch the making of Fantastic Mr Fox.
Luca Gabriele Rossetti
Luca Gabriele Rossetti is an Art Director that specialised in film, TV series, commercials and Games. I have contacted him because I would also like to become an Art Director that specialised in film and TV; therefore I believe his advice would be very beneficial for me.
He has suggested that I attend his course in order to learn from a professional such as himself, I have started to look into the course and am gathering more details.
Usefulness: 4/10, his advice on joining his course and learning from a professional is useful however he has not given me any direct advice yet. I feel that he has yet only advertised his course.
Lalit Bhusal is a Director, Producer, DOP and Actor. He owns his own production company called CamBudda Films. I found out about him through an actress that I know, as she is also a member of CamBudda Films.
I had a 17 minute conversation with him in which he gave me some very useful advice about filmmaking, such as: always be truthful, plan for everything and pay a lot of attention to pre-prouction. He also offered to support me and help me in upcoming project if I need it. He has called me once again since our first conversation and has offered to provide me with feedback on my first edit for my FMP. I have found talking to him very useful as it has given me a better and more person insight to the filmmaking industry; therefore I would rate the usefulness of the conversation 8/10.
Contacts That Have Not Yet Responded
Aisling Murphy is a lady I met whist doing work experience as a Runner for MTV Crashes Coventry. At MTV she had an internship with the Production Development Team and had a big responsibility in MTV Crashes Coventry. I chose to contact Aisling because while on my work experience I had the opportunity to work with her and discus my plans for the future as well as get advice from her. I remembered that she had an internship with MTV but was not sure how she got it; therefore I thought by contacting her I could get some more information and possibly be able to develop my skills so that I can apply for an internship in the future. She has not yet replied to my email.
Dhoombros are group of Pakistani men, in New York, who make YouTube videos, short films, vlogs and have recently started making a series of a drama “Hum Kahan Chal Diye”. They Write, Produce, Direct, Shoot and Act in their own productions. I decided to contact Dhoombros because I find them inspirational, their Hum Kahan Chal Diye series is well written, consequently, I wanted them to give me advice on how to write a realistic script as I enjoy writing. They did not reply to my email therefore I decided to contact them directly through the website but they have not yet replied to my email or message on their website.
Haroon Rashid is an Entertainment Reporter for BBC Asian Network. He has a very broad network and has met a lot of inspirational media practitioner therefore I decided to contact him, for advice on how to start networking and approach directors and established media practitioners. He has not yet replied to my message.
Hussain Asif is one of the Dhoombros. He Directs and Acts in their videos and is the lead male protagonist of Hum Kahan Chal Diye. I contacted him because I felt that if I directly contact one of the Dhoombro members, I might get a more personal and informative response on how to get into the film industry through social media and YouTube, like they have done; as the Dhoombros did not reply to me. Nevertheless he has not yet replied to my message either.
Gurinder Chadha is a Director, well known for her films such as: Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Bride and Prejudice (2004) and It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (2010). I have contacted Gurinder Chadha because I would like my films to be like hers, reflecting the Indian Culture, therefore I felt that she would be the best person to get tips and advice from. Also if could get work experience with her, that would be a priceless experience. She has yet not replied to my message.
Mark Harrison is a very experienced Floor Manager, he has worked on shows such as: Robot Wars, Would I Lie To You?, Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear and National Television Awards. I have decided to contact him as I believed that due to his experience he will have very useful tips for me on how to get into the TV Industry and become a Floor Manager (as a Floor Manager is one of the roles I am interested in perusing). He has not yet replied to my email.
Jenna Wild has taken many roles in the TV industry, including a Floor Manager. She has worked several production companies and broadcasters including BBC. Due to her knowledge in the TV industry she would have a range of tips to share with me on TV and Floor Managing, therefore I contacted her. She has not yet replied to my message.
Michael Bodell is a Senior Floor Manger for Al Jazeera English, Arise News and London Live. He has previous worked for ITV and BBC. I have contacted him because he has a lot of experience in TV and the role of a Floor Manger, therefore he would have a lot of tips and advice to share with me on the roles (as Floor Manager is a role that I am very interested in). He has not yet replied to my message.
Cassandra Vance is a very experienced Art Director, Set Dress and Production Designer. I have contacted her because she has a lot of experience therefore would be able to share some very useful advice and tips with me. She has not yet replied to my message.
Giuseppe Paganin is a scriptwriter, with a lot of freelancing experience. I have contacted him as I believe he would have useful tips and advice to share with me about script writing. He has not yet replied to my message.
Erin Cipolletti & Ryan Michael
Erin Cipolletti is a Writer, Actress and Producer. She has written, produced and acted in Josephine Doe, she is also well known for Absentia and The Prestige. She came to Coventry University to speak to the Media Production student about Josephine Doe and filmmaking, with Ryan Michael. Ryan Michael is a Director and Producer. He has produced and directed Josephine Doe. I met them both when they came to Coventry as I attended their talk.
I contacted Erin because she mentioned a podcast which helps with scriptwriting and I wanted to find out more about it. I contacted Ryan to get some more advice on filmmaking. Neither of them have gotten back to me yet.
When planning a production I find the creating the visual look of the film exciting and fun to do. Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics explains that “creating the look of the physical environment where your scene takes place” is the responsibility of the Art Director, suggesting that I find the role of an Art Director appealing. They are responsible for the “visual qualities of the location and set, set dressing, properties, props, costume and make-up.” I conducted some further research into Art Directors and from Creative Skills Set I found out the skills required to be a successful Art Director are to:
- “Have a good all-round knowledge of interior design and architecture
- Have a practical understanding of building and construction
- Understand the work of other TV/film departments
- Have a good knowledge of computer budgeting software
- Have excellent free-hand drawing, perspective and technical drawing skills
- Possess a good eye for decoration and detail
- Be able to conceptualise ideas
- Be able to think visually
- Have a methodical approach to work
- Have strong leadership skills, to motivate and direct a team
- Be able to see the broader picture and to co-ordinate effectively
- Understand the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures, particularly relating to potentially hazardous working conditions or materials”
I have also watched some videos to expand my knowledge on Art Direction, including:
What Is Art Direction in Film?- This video suggests that Art Direction is “the world the audience see.” I have also learnt that an Art Director is also known as the Production Designer
What Does A Production Designer Do?- This video explains the roles, responsibly and procedures of the Art Director, from pre-production to production. I found this video very useful and informative.
Lootera – Art Direction- This video gave me the opportunity to see Art Directors working and creating a set, seeing the struggles and understand what could potentially go wrong.
In addition I have contacted three Art Directors (Cassandra Vance, Sacha Séméria and Luca Gabriele Rossett) asking them for advice and tip on how to become an Art Director. All three of them are very successful Art Directors with a lot of experience in Art Direction. Cassandra Vance has not yet replied to me but Sacha Séméria and Luca Gabriele Rossett have replied. I am taking their advice on board by watching videos of makings such as Fantastic Mr Fox and considering attending Luca Gabriele Rossett’s course.
Full conversations are available in my 364MC: Professional Practice Portfolio- Professional Contacts and Networking blog post.
Creative Skills Set: available from http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles/283_art_director [Accessed 12.03.2017]
Lootera – Art Direction 2013: available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUKbZiJyBAY [Accessed 12.03.2017]
Rabiger, M and Hurbis-Cherrier, M. (2013) Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics Focal Press: New York
What Does A Production Designer Do? 2015: available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnV0GNtHlyU [Accessed 12.03.2017]
What Is Art Direction in Film? 2015: available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6w-NkVwIio [Accessed 12.03.2017]