My Week in TV WC 24/10/16

 My Week in TV, Work Life  Comments Off on My Week in TV WC 24/10/16
Oct 292016
 

Monday

This week I hope to hear from the production as to whether they can keep me on until Christmas. I’m quietly confident as I know they like me and want me to stay and that there is plenty of work. I guess they just have to make their budget work. I overheard a very complimentary and promising conversation about me at one point during the day so there’s hope. Still mostly pulling GVs today.

Tuesday

My job is getting more interesting as I am taking on more varied roles and being given more specific tasks. Hopefully it doesn’t end soon as I’m really enjoying getting stuck in. I also received notes from the series producer covering the episode I did the next time tease for. ‘This is in good shape, I’d be happy for this to be sent, though if we can have til Monday [we] could do a final polish Monday AM.’ Quite pleased with myself.

Wednesday

I heard this morning that my next time went to channel for viewing. Whilst back pulling GVs a colleague cam and asked if I would cut together a small wedding video he and some friends shot for a former colleague. I agreed to do it although tentatively as I’ve heard many horror stories both from professional wedding video makers and those who have done it as a favour. It could be a good lesson, we’ll see. I also heard through one of my WhatsApp groups about a potential job for if I don’t get extended so I’m not so anxious.

Thursday

Rumours this morning are that I’m being extended. This is confirmed sometime mid morning when the post co-ordinator comes over to say they want to keep me on, get me cutting down scenes and interviews, and maybe even move me in with the finishing editor who has been championing me and giving me stuff to cut. I then receive an email from someone who was a client when I worked at The Farm and has kept in touch since. They were asking about my availability for a possible and exciting programme in the new year! Very exciting – watch this space!

I received notes back from the channel for my next time. There’s a couple of shot changes that create quite a bit of work to make it work but we get it done. The series producer will check it out tomorrow morning.

Friday

Today marks my first year as a freelancer. I’m really proud of what I’ve managed – only 5 weeks out of work and that was at my instigation to go on holiday – and 3 great contracts on programmes I really enjoy and have enjoyed making. We sent my next time off for final sign off from channel. I was then given a short interstitial to cut for one editor and a second one to cut down for the finishing editor. The first one is fun to play around with, the second is trickier as I am cutting down someone else’s edit and the scene has little coverage. I’ll get to carry both on next week.

As I’m preparing to leave I receive an email from the SP with new notes from the channel on my next time. Looks like they want a bit more of a restructure. We’ll have to deal with that first thing Monday. All this going back and forth for 30 seconds of TV! Welcome to commissioning editors!

BONUS ROUND! Saturday

I had to call HMRC this morning due to an error on a payslip. Not a rare occurrence in this industry when you flit from job to job as it can be hard to keep track yourself of what work you’ve done and what you’ve earnt. Fortunately it was resolved in under 12 minutes! Also updating my CV (again) and rejoining a talent base website that has just reopened after rebuilding.

My Week in TV WC 17/10/16

 My Week in TV, Work Life  Comments Off on My Week in TV WC 17/10/16
Oct 252016
 

Monday

Today was fun in a number of ways. I was given another small edit task at end of day which the editor seemed pleased with. During the day I also finally managed to find contact information for someone at a company who makes a few programmes I really enjoy and want to be a part of. I contacted and got a reply but it was just the usual ‘thanks, we’ll keep you on record.’ Better than nothing I guess.

Tuesday

This afternoon the monotony of trawling rig footage for GVs was interrupted by my being asked to cut a next time tease by the finishing editor – yay! This was, in his words, something he wanted to be mine so I would cut it, go to him for notes and then work on those notes. The final version, cut by me, will make it to air! This is kinda exciting!

Wednesday

The thought that I have some editing to do today makes me want to get up in the morning. Spent up to lunch cutting the first draft and the time just flew by (the finishing editor later likened the edit suite to the TARDIS in that time just flies by*). After lunch worked to the notes creating 4 work in progress versions before the editor was ready to show the producer. They have a viewing tomorrow so will show it then.

Thursday

Today GV pulling seems even more mundane after a day of editing. Also getting a little more anxious about my lack of work for next week. I’m not so worried as I know I can survive a while without work and I plan to head to my parents for a few days if I end up with nothing for Monday, but I don’t want to think about how long I can stretch my funds for.

Friday

Today is the last day on my current contract. I still have nothing lined up. Little bit worried, but not too much. I feel like now would be a great time to do jury service, something I’d really like to do one day – sounds fascinating (on a side note I’ve just started getting into the Serial podcast. Late, I know but then I argue that most media is fairly timeless). And then, as if by magic, the production co-ordinator came to me not long before lunch asking if I was free next week! They have extended me a week and asked to pencil me through ‘til Christmas! We’ll discuss more next week she says. Yay!

BONUS ROUND! Saturday

Felt like working on a new version of my website. Just a few design changes, add a little content here and there, nothing too major really as I haven’t enough work to back it up – no showreel, etc. It’s not necessarily going to do anything towards my career at this stage, but it feels productive. My main problem is I spent one semester at Uni learning basic HTML and CSS and that was back in 2009. Times have a changed, my website hasn’t much.

*Sshh Dr Who fans, I know that doesn’t quite stack up, but you get the drift.

My Week in TV WC 10/10/16

 My Week in TV, Work Life  Comments Off on My Week in TV WC 10/10/16
Oct 222016
 

Monday

As this is the 4th week of my aforementioned 5 week contract I asked the production manager if they were likely to be extending my contract. This happens often enough in the industry where anything from a few weeks to a few hours before you are due to finish the production manager or co-ordinator may come and ask if you are available to stay in for a bit longer. I took the initiative to ask as I’d like to stay on but need to secure more work. The PM said he was unsure due to budget but would get back to me as soon as possible. I decided to start having a little look as I didn’t want to end up with nothing to do. I received a job alert for an assembly editor on a new Obs doc that sounded exciting but it starts a week too early for me. I may well contact them just in case on the advice of a colleague. At the very least it would give them my name and CV for next time.

Tuesday

Today’s work was little different to before and I worked a little on my plan for getting a new job. I have a few sources and contact I go to when looking for my next job. A lot of stuff is word of mouth. I am part of a couple of whatsapp groups where fellow assistants and editors will occasionally ask if anyone is free for a job they know of and frequently enough I will get an email or call from a PM I have worked with before asking my availability. Also I will get speculative calls or emails from people who have been given my name by an editor or PM or other who I have worked with – this is where my name comes in quite handy.

When I have emailed those I have worked with before to let them know I am free I then have several other  sources for jobs. I am a member of both Talent Manager and Production Base, both of which have regularly updated postings for jobs you can apply to within their pages. I am finding that Talent Manager seems to have more in the field I want to work in but that could just be a current trend rather than an overall rule. I also check out the Unit List which, being run by a production manager in their free time, is less up to date but will usually have a good batch of jobs as well as being a great source for help and advice. Something else I have recently started checking more is Facebook groups. Originally I felt that Facebook was a pretty unprofessional way to advertise and apply for work but actually it rather suits the industry. Again there are a few of groups I am subscribed to with a varying amount of jobs and available workers being posted, you have to wade through the mire to find jobs that are suited to you but nevertheless there are some good ones on there.

Another thing I tried this time around was a bit of research mixed in with some looking under rocks. The Grierson awards nominations came up on my feed this week and I took a look through it partly to see how much I had seen or known about, partly to see if anyone I know or have indeed worked with has been nominated (yes!) but also to find out which companies were making the programmes I like to see if I could apply to them directly. I would go to the company website, have a look at the staff they featured, look at the contacting them page and, in cases where they exist, go to their jobs page. Many of these companies use Talent Manager as a way of sourcing freelancers and provide a link to join their network. Others use a similar web database that is currently undergoing a change to a new website which I am keeping an eye on to update myself on. A lot of companies also have a head of talent or similar. These people are usually responsible for holding a network of freelancers across all roles from which they can provide their productions with crew. Many of them will state they use one of the above systems but I took it upon myself to find out their email address to send them my CV directly. In this way I found several PMs and Heads of Talent who all got back to me in some way or another saying thanks, we’ll keep you on record, and have you added yourself to our database.

Wednesday

Today I was told that my contract won’t be extended for budget reasons. A shame but it’s happened before and I was almost expecting it. I had a nice chat with the production manager who said he will pass my name around and keep me on record – there is hope that the programme will run again next year and I will be on their list to contact.

Due to looking for a new job it is time to update my CV, not a lot to add but always best to get it right up to date before passing it around. I replaced the old version available from my website but decided not to spend the night working on updating the site itself as it is less important and I could be there for hours. I need sleep more.

Thursday

This morning I had a good chat with one of the lead editors about my decisions. I’d worked with him before and on this project he had used me well for shot replacements and such to the extent where I cut a few shots to fill a hole and they made it into the final cut. He reassured me that a decision I had made before starting had been a good one despite it meaning my work outlook is now less secure. I started applying for jobs in earnest, mostly emailing contacts I already have and finding more to email speculatively using the above methods.

Friday

I’ve received a few replies from people I haven’t contacted before, sadly they were all along the lines of sorry we don’t have anything but we’ll keep you on file. In better news it means that I have found the right people at their respective companies and that I now have them as contacts for the future. It’s quite an anxious time constantly checking my phone for responses that seem all too infrequent but I am enjoying how much I can do just from my phone. Technology these days eh?
Everyone finished early to have a few drinks on production. I chatted to a couple of people but found myself unable to talk freely to most of the team as I hadn’t interacted with them before now. One of the downsides to joining a project part way through and only for a short time is you don’t feel such a part of the team. An inevitable shame.

My Week in TV WC 03/10/16

 My Week in TV, Work Life  Comments Off on My Week in TV WC 03/10/16
Oct 152016
 

I thought it might be fun to start a weekly blog about working in TV. Whilst I can’t promise it will be up to date hopefully it might make me blog a little more… Lets see.

Monday

Today was just a simple nose to the grind kind of day. Currently I am working on 24 Hours in A&E for the Garden Productions on a 5 week contract. My job is to trawl through all the rig footage looking for nonspecific GVs to be used as cover, transition, or punctuation shots. It is a little like scrolling through days of CCTV looking for nothing much rather than actual events.

Tuesday

Same as Monday really. There is another guy doing the same as me who worked on previous series’. He is an interesting person to talk to, not least because of his spanish origins but also his inquisitive nature, and we have a lot of conversations bourne of the content we are working on. I also started to panic a little at Wednesday’s schedule.

Wednesday

Today I was on a half work day as I had agreed to go back to my school for a careers evening and give advice to students thinking about getting into TV. Before I left London I met a former colleague for lunch and a catch up. Her job is more managerial but still in TV. She had some interesting thoughts on how she can improve the way her team works but mostly we reminisced and talked of festivals and family.

On the train to Leicester I gathered my thoughts and notes to create a single reference page in a notebook to aid me at the careers evening. I arrived early to check out my old media department and discovered it has gone from good to amazing. When I was about 14 I was shown the single ‘edit suite’ at our school which was filled with the normal crap you would find in an old BBC CTA along with a couple of knackered PowerMac G4s running Final Cut Pro – there I fell in love with the idea of editing. Here I could be technical and creative, the latter of which had mostly evaded me due to an inability to draw and only a modicum of musical ability. When I visited today I was amazed to find they now had 2 (much tidier) suites, each with 4 Final Cut Pro machines also running Adobe Creative Suite as well as two teachers and two classrooms (when I had only one of each) both with numerous more computers all running Adobe Creative Suite. The standard of work had always been extremely high but now the volume of excellence is immense. I am so pleased to see this especially as I had been worried about its future as the original head of department, whose personal project the media school had been, retired as I left.

The careers evening took place in the sports hall where I had a small desk in the corner of a room that was full of big displays and numerous professionals from all walks of life. As mentioned before I had been a little apprehensive both because most alumni of my school are in banking, law, medicine, the forces or other similar professions and I felt a little small in comparison, and also because I wasn’t all too sure what I was going to say. I ended up with a queue of students and parents, many of whom I’m sure I didn’t get the chance to speak to but those I did seemed very happy with what I had to say. Most of my notes were disregarded as I just didn’t have the time to get through it all and I ended up having to talk at such a rate of knots I fear most of my words were forgotten shortly after I said them.

But I think I did a good job of giving them advice. My reason for being there was to do better than I had received. When I was doing my GCSEs we had a careers guy come round for one to one sessions who was useless to me. I had by this time set my heart on editing and when I told him he looked thoughtful and said “Tricky one that. Very difficult industry to get into. My advice would be think of a backup plan in case it doesn’t work out.” His advice sucked. I like to think I did better. I felt pretty awesome about it all afterwards but also pretty knackered.

Thursday

Thursday was basically the same as the beginning of week but for the fact that in the morning I picked up a pen and tablet to play with – all editors like a new toy. Mine was something I had considered before plenty of times but never felt the need to commit. Earlier last week I had been feeling a little ache in my hand from all the scrolling and decided it was high time to invest. I’m quite pleased with it. Now all I need is a carry case to keep it nice and shiny.

Friday

Friday was no different. Still using the pen and tablet. On a bit of a comedown so went straight home after work – odd for a Friday.