364MC: – Portfolio – Website – How well does it work?

http://chrisgarnervideoed.wix.com/post-production

Above is a link to my finished Wix website for my portfolio. I believe that the website is successful in layout and in terms of its visual style and has received some encouraging feedback from my peers who are involved in the media industry. The website is something I intend to obviously continue with and develop as my career progresses. I have received two confirmed pieces of future work from the success of the website so I know that the website is doing its job but it is something I will refine should work slow down.

The goal is to get the website out there to as many people as possible in order to network and gain a huge list of contacts that will hopefully eventually lead to me becoming part of an editing company. I am going to continue working with the contacts I have built a good working rapport with and I hope that the site will eventually generate a lot of interest and bring me in a lot of work.

 

364MC: – List of contacts

Freelancing obviously relies on the ability to build up a list of contacts as part of the process of networking. As my goal is to become a freelance video editor, any contacts that could become future clients are important to note down and remain in contact with so that they remember you. Although I haven’t had email contacts with them all, I have all of their email addresses and feel it is important to evidence through screenshots the people I have contacted over email. By doing this I have also secured two other projects; one of which I will begin towards the end of May once the footage has been given to me, and one in which I will endeavour to shoot and edit over the course of the Summer.

Salvatore Finelli

As is stated in the email, Salvatore is a fashion model represented by two UK-based model agencies. Me and him have been in discussion about me shooting and edit a promo video for him which will go on his future website as he continues to promote himself. Payment was also discussed which will be incredibly important for me as a freelancer. This will also give me the chance to network more and contact the people he works with which can hopefully lead into more job opportunities.

SALVATORE CONTACT

 

I started my networking with him already and asked if he knew of any video editing companies and he gave me the website of a company based in London; Linney. Although it doesn’t focus itself entirely on editing or film, it contains many different areas that can be applied for and may be something I look into for the future.

LinneyGroup

LINNEY

EDITING COMPANY

 

James Dann

James Dann is a former student at Coventry University and was someone I got in contact with during my second year. When he was looking for an editor to put together his latest documentary (‘Rifle in my hands’ which can be seen below) my name was recommended to him purely by word of mouth. This was the most challenging piece of editing I had done at the time as it was the first official client I had ever worked for and the process was something I was very new to. I had over 200GB worth of footage on a HDD and a rough script of the English subtitles with timestamps that needed to be applied to the video also. James was impressed with my edit that I continued to work with him on two other projects following this: 2 adverts for both Zero Degrees and Outgoing for a skiing promo video as well as a showreel for him. The promo for Zero Degrees can be seen below also:

‘Rifle in my hands’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44oEVlXw-eM
Zero Degrees promo video – https://vimeo.com/58087133

I have continued to remain in contact with James to this day as he is filming many different projects all around the world. He has recently messaged me asking if I can edit a brand new showreel for him. He intends to get the footage to me around the end of May.

Contact information: jamesjoeldann@gmail.com

JAMES DANN CONTACT

Katie Downing

Katie Downing is the Head of English Literature and Media Studies at The Polesworth School where I used to work and have continued to go back and help out during exam season for the last 3 years. Going back to work there gives me a lot of experience as I get to work on software I’m not completely fluent in and is therefore a good learning experience as well as work with the students which improves my people skills and ability as a teaching role. Although I asked via text message if she could write me out a reference, she is currently incredibly busy with marking and exam season and would not be able to write me one out until the end of May. As such, I just took down her email address:

k.downing@thepolesworthschool.com

Six Broken Sticks

Six Broken Sticks was the first band I worked with for my FMP to produce the music video ‘Little Rag Doll’. They were incredibly pleased with the work myself and my team produced that they have said they would like to work with us again on future projects and even recommend us to other bands and musicians. Music videos are something I had incredible fun producing and are some of my most challenging edits. This is something I would love to continue doing in the future and will hopefully secure future work.

SIX BROKEN STICKS

Bad Mouth Men

Bad Mouth Men was the second band I worked with for my FMP. I spoke with their lead singer after I had produced the video for them and gave them my details and also asked for their contact incase they choose to produce any other music videos in the future:

BAD MOUTH MEN

Borderline

Borderline was the third and final band I worked with for my FMP. I believe that they enabled me to create the most professional looking music video out of the three I produced and were really fun to work with. Although I’ve only had email conversations with the keyboardist regarding the organisation for my FMP, I also took down his mobile contact at the end of the filming process incase they choose to film any more videos in the future.

chadmercer7@gmail.com

 

364MC: – Website feedback and alteration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After creating my website, I sent the site out to many of my friends who are also in the media industry to see what advice or feedback they could give me regarding all areas of my website; from content, layout, colour scheme etc

General feedback included the following:

– The site is professional in design and content
– All information is clearly laid out in an easily-readible format
– The consistent positioning of the banner and email address add continuity between the pages
– There is a lot of varied content among the collection of projects
– The showreel that automatically plays grabs the audience’s attention

However, some people raised the problem that the website was too large for their monitors and that certain parts of the website were cut off because of it; namely the email address at the top of the page as well as either side of the tab bar along the top. Whilst the tab bar was still somewhat readable, the email address being cut off obviously posed a huge problem especially considering I will be using this site as my freelancing platform which relies on the ability of people being able to contact me.

PPP Website feedback

What I have learnt from getting feedback on creating things like this is that, like screenings for various drafts of the editing process, you always get things pointed out to you that you initially did not see and makes your project better because of it. I would not have known that the website was cut off for most people as it appeared fine on my own monitor. Now I have edited the site so that it’s fine for everyone’s monitors and all features of the website can appear as normal and readable. If I continue to make any more changes to my site I will be sure to always consult people for feedback.

HOME

 

364MC: – Creating my portfolio

I decided to use Wix to create my website for my portfolio as I believe that although it is a free software, it can achieve some very professional results.

Below is the Home page. As I stated before, I wanted to keep it minimalistic and have gone with a white and black colour scheme to make things easily readable with a sleek and modern look to it. My showreel takes up the whole middle of the page with one of my most eye-catching shots I have filmed which enables it to grab the browsers’ attention from a mere glance. My banner at the top of the page clearly states my name (in order for people to remember it) and the profession I am in. They clearly get an understanding of what the website is about, what I do, and what my name is. I have also provided my professional email address at the top of the page in large bold letters to make this the focus and common feature on each page.

HOME

I have also created an About page which is designed to tell the browser a bit about my media past to show that I am qualified to handle their footage for their projects and that I am more than capable to get it looking to a professional standard. It is almost written like a personal statement on CV in content and also reveals a bit about my own personality so that the client sees me as a person who they can talk and discuss the vision and idea of their project with. I have also included a picture of myself taken from when I was on set on my FMP which shows me holding a camera which proves my media capabilities.

ABOUT

As stated before, it is important for a freelance editor to show that they are versatile in their editing style and to show a number of projects they have worked on across many genres and different applications and evidence of editing technique. As such, I created pages showing projects I have worked on for short film & documentary, music videos as well as other videos which contain short videos and promos. I believe this shows a diverse range of projects I have worked on and I have also provided some information on each of them to show the browser than I can apply myself to the thought process behind what I do.

SHORT FILM:DOCUMENTARY MUSIC VIDEO OTHER VIDEOS

Finally I have created a contact page which provides a direct message page which leads to my email contact as well as serving as a place to explain to the browser how the process goes if they want to send me a project to edit. It goes through step by step of the way in which the transaction will go so that the user can be sure of the order of things and how it works. I have also provided links to my personal Facebook page and Vimeo.

CONTACT

364MC: – Researching freelance editor websites

As I will be creating a website for my portfolio which will serve as my entire professional network and eventual livelihood, it is necessary to make sure that is can compete with many other freelancing or editing company sites. I decided to look at two freelancing companies that deal with video editing in order to look at their typical layout, style and common elements and see how I can translate these or improve upon them for my own site.

http://www.dragonflyproductions.co.uk/

One element that I have already decided I want to include on my own website is to have a short showreel on my homepage as I feel this is a good introductory method to someone who discovers the site for the first time. This is an element that is included on Dragonfly Productions’s website although it is kind of pushed to the side and is incredibly small and almost insignificant to the page overall. The homepage also contains an incredible amount of text which I think is quite imposing to a user and seems to contain information that could easily be included in some of the other tabs where it might be best suited. In my opinion, the homepage should always be kind of light yet eye-catching and intrigue the user to explore the rest of the website. A lot rests on the homepage as it is the user’s first impression of the site and serves as a way to judge if they think the site look professional from a mere glance.

Other notable elements include showing a diverse range of projects that the company have worked on in order to show that they can apply themselves to multiple styles and thus draw in more clients as well as listing every type of video they can work on. This is a very important factor as it doesn’t make your editing skills appeal to a very restricted or niche market as well as being an enabling technique to work with many different people.

The final elements that I want to include in my website are a contact page which will lead to a brand new email address that I have set up for the exclusive use of my career as a video editor. Dragonfly Productions also doesn’t directly list any prices for rates of their services and instead states that price is decided between them and the person who has contacted them. This is a practice I think I will use in my own site as creating set prices is a bit unreliable as the time taken for certain videos differs. For example, a 10 minute short film might end up taking a shorter amount of time to edit than a 3 -4 minute music video which requires many intricate cuts. Therefore setting a price based on length of the video seems very inconsistent with how much time it will take.

The site also uses a very simple colour scheme of white with hints of blue which keeps the site very simple but very easy to read.

 

http://www.thevideoeditingco.co.uk/

I also looked at The Video Editing Company (which you can’t say is exactly a vague company name) to see if their layout and website features corresponded with those of Dragonfly Productions.

The homepage is immediately more visually striking with a large image that fades to two others; enabling the casual browser to click on any of the three pictures to take them to a particular item on the website. Unlike Dragonfly Productions, this site does give a list of prices under a series of different package options. This has made me get a sense of the kind of prices I will need to look at in the future (especially if I am to sustain myself) although when I start out, these prices seem incredibly high right out of the gate from university. This is something I will have to look deeper into in the future.

The page once again has a contact page which is just a necessity for any kind of business. However, although it gives a list of the kind of projects they specialise in, there are no example videos on their site to convince the browser, and so as a customer you would just have to kind of take the company’s word for it. This is something I will definitely not do on my site as I think it’s important to offer examples of the work that has been produced as well as being a reliable platform to host all of my content. The colour scheme is again very minimalist with white and blue used. I will also employ a very basic colour scheme on my site as in my mind it looks cleaner and more professional than if it had some kind of glaring background as it would avert the browser’s attention from the key information and the content of my actual projects.

Overall, I believe there are common elements in both which will be necessary to include in my own site, such as layout with the tabs at the top of the page and colour scheme. Content seems to be pretty consistent and I will include all of my most professional projects I have filmed/edited in the past onto the site.

364MC: – Idea for my portfolio

As I intend for my portfolio to be used regularly and be the most pivotal tool in my freelance career after university, I have decided that I want to create a Wix website which will be my platform for my own professional identity as an editor for my business as well as be a place to host all of the content I have work on in the past. Although I already have my Vimeo page, which I will continue to also post my content to, a website is a lot more professional and is a link that will be exclusive to me and something I can print on business cards and distribute to all future contacts I work with.

My website will contain a showreel on the home page so that someone new to the site can immediately see a short collection of the material I’ve created/worked on and get an impression of my work. From here I also include a short paragraph about myself in the form of a personal statement. This will have to include my past history with media and projects and types of material I have edited as well as my interests so that a client can get a sense of my personality and if they want to work with me. The bulk of my website will host a collection of all the best work I’ve edited and will show work from many different styles, such as short film, documentary, music videos and adverts/promos. This will show I can apply myself to a diverse range of projects and will thus expand my chance of bringing in many people I can work for. Finally, my page will have to focus on a contact page and how someone can get in touch with me if they are interested in me editing a project.

I believe that a website for my portfolio is by far the most beneficial way to broadcast myself and get myself into the public eye of media professionals. This will also serve as the basis for my business and once I distribute the site around will hopefully draw a lot of contacts in once my site gains a lot more notice.

364MC: – Speaking with my Sixth Form media studies teacher

Whilst I had directly looked into the areas of freelancing and editing as part of a company, I thought it would be beneficial to speak with my previous Sixth Form media studies teacher in person who might be able to highlight an aspect of a career in editing I may have overlooked or not even thought of. Although I don’t intend to pursue the career as a media studies teacher, the school still provides great experience for me both in terms of my people skills and also trains me up on software I don’t use all that much, such as Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I have worked at the school as a media assistant during my time at Sixth Form, I have continued to go back and help just before the Summer season to help the students during their deadlines with ideas generation, filming and post-production and was the place I went to work for my professional experience.

I had a conversation with my former teacher and talked about my plans after university and if she could give me any advice for not just a career in editing but breaking into the work environment in general and what skills I might be required to have in that line of work. She said that first and foremost, standing out from the crowd and making a good impression should be at the front of you mind when going into any line of work as you are up against hundreds or thousands of others in a very competitive line of work. As well as this, she also pointed out that aside from knowledge of various types of equipment and software, you must also have incredible people skills and carry yourself professionally, especially as so much of media is based around collaboration and working as a collective team. Especially when I come to setting up my own freelance network, this will be important when I have to liaise with clients and have discussions with them about their project in order to get a sense of the overall creative vision. I never used to be incredibly confident around people and usually always had a huge inferiority complex, but this is something I have worked on over the years and working at the school has helped this out tremendously as I’ve had to cover for classes before and speak to the students as equals and have a laugh with them.

Overall, I’m confident that I have the right list of skills to eventually achieve the career I want but that it’s mostly the online identity and networking that I am currently lacking. This will be something I seek to amend as I continue with my professional practice.