Friday, June 1, 2012
HNC Media Analysis student Nicola Smith talks about her recent live brief working with local crime author Tony Black
When given the chance of working on a live brief you really should grab it by both hands; not only does it look good on your personal statements but the experience (good or bad) of working with the professional themselves could be just what you need!
For my second Video Production my class was given the chance of working with an actual author to dramatise his latest book. His name was Tony Black. A crime author from Ayr making it big. Truthfully the name never rang any bells but the whole concept seemed to make much more sense to me a student just wanting to get her Graded Unit done and dusted a great time and stress saving idea.
Thankfully for me the hardest part was basically done, the story was already there broken down into 13 nicely compact chapters but I still had to turn the basic story into an interesting 8 to 10 minute dramatisation. Basically I still had to script, story board and break each scene down shot by shot and then pitch my idea to my lecturer. I was already nervous enough by this but was then informed that as only two students had chosen the book in the given brief we now had to pitch it to the author himself!
Last time I spoke to an author [John Connolly], I basically turned into some crazed fan girl. I told him I loved him, his accent & informed him at length how his book [The Book of Lost Things] changed my life. We then proceeded to verbally bash anything Dan Brown related but that's a whole other lazily written and badly researched story, dare I say more?
Needless to say, I hated giving presentations full stop. I basically become a nervous mess my legs turn to jelly and my voice becomes shaky. The fact that I was up against another student created the feeling that I was on The Apprentice, fighting to get my creative vision across and land the job. In my mind Tony had suddenly morphed into Lord Sugar, stubbly wee face and all.
Nikki's Idiot Proof Guide to Public Speaking:
Tip 1 - Breath! Theres a reason doctors recommend it!
Tip 2 - Prepare! Get all that hard work into swanky looking portfolios!
Tip 3 - Finally, suck it up & drop kick your phobias out the nearest window! (Just ruddy well go for it!)
After all that, we both got the gig! We also found some extra little bonuses of working on a live brief and that is the professional relationship created with the client. It even brought some interesting moments for the college Tony himself hosted a talk with classes about the writing industry and he was happy to provide links with other media related professionals too.
So all in all, win win, right? Well...you'd think that...
The next few weeks basically consisted of a whole load of paper work, location scouting and emails back and forth between the college and Tony. Sadly though, one thing led to another and time soon began to dwindle without a single scene being shot. There was then a period of silence from the client. No one really knew what was going on when he suddenly re-appeared ready with a quick solution and basically we had to accept the fact that our first ideas were now no longer do-able, we were now relying solely on the client.
In the end, we combined our resources and shot what could only be described as a short advert for his latest novel with simple readings and dramatic cut away shots. Nothing like what I had sweated over originally but thankfully there was an actual product to hand in by the end of post-production so I can't complain...much.
Don't let my experience with a live brief put you off though, this kind of situation happens more often than not (especially in the real working world), so you should still definitely go for it. The experience counts, even if it wasn't all that you hoped it would have been. You may even get a signed hard back at the end of it!
View The Trailer