Comment from a Professional

“On 18 May 2015, at 21:38, Greg Moore <> wrote:

Hi Danielle,

Thanks for your email. I like that you included your CV on your website. This is a great feature and makes it much easier for professionals to find out about your experience. You could make it a bit more appealing maybe as it looks a little bland and once you have some more experience make sure to add it to your CV as it is great for employers to see.

In terms of suitability and quality I think that you have created a professional looking website. You have included everything needed to show your skills and attract people. The showreel would look better a little snappier but I understand that you may not have much more footage so maybe you could make it shorter. Having a short showreel wouldn’t put employers off if it looked good.

The main advice I can give you is to keep practicing and try to get some experience. This will look great on your CV and will help you to develop your skills. Maybe you could try shadowing someone for a week or two?



This was great to hear and has really given me some confidence. I am glad that he picked out some faults as it means that I can now change them, for example I will decrease the length of my showreel to make it snappier. I am also glad to hear that my portfolio looks professional meaning that hopefully I will be able to gain some experience from it after I send it around.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 12.09.58Another comment I had back from someone is shown to the left. Tony Klinger contacted me back from Stage 32 with some great advice. He also said ‘I can ask the camera guy to give you a few days as an intern assistant with him or her. Send me your e mail address so that I can keep it on file.’ This was great to hear and I have replied to him with my contact details. As I live close-by this would be a great opportunity for me.

My Portfolio

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 12.48.19I have made my portfolio and I am very happy with the outcome of it. I included all of the elements of professional portfolios I found during my research meaning that mine is up to a professional standard. To further this I brought a domain, which makes it easier to find online. Luckily my name was available to buy meaning that it is kept simple and looks even more professional.

Three key points I was told by my university lecturer for advice on portfolio’s were a clean design, simple and easy access. I believe I have fulfilled these as my page layout is simple and a continuous scheme is across all of my pages, none of my pages look too busy and it can be found through my domain linking it directly to myself.

I developed the style through one of the themes offered by Wix that I then changed to suit my personality and the look that I intended on it having. I think that I have done well with this and I feel as though it portrays both my work and myself well.

Part of this portfolio included making a showreel for myself. I done this by gathering pieces of work that I have been a part of making and editing snippets of them together to make it look eye catching and to show off my skills. I would have liked my showreel to include a bigger range of work however I will develop this over time and will be able to add them onto it.

References,. ‘Free Website Builder | Create A Free Website | WIX.Com’. N.p., 2015. Web. 05 May. 2015.

Portfolio Research

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.26.06Before creating my portfolio I carried out some research to build a list of what I need to include in it as well as to get an idea for the style I want it to be. I carried out a search for camera operator portfolios and easily found a good range of professional camera operator’s websites. Each one had a unique design that portrayed the type of work they do and their personality.

I gained some great ideas from looking at other peoples portfolio for example this one shown to the left has a downloadable CV and kit list. This is great for employers as it means that if they liked your website and your past work, they wouldn’t need to contact you to simply as for a CV, they can download it quickly and easily from your website. I will definitely be incorporating this idea into mine.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.24.33Other features I found on all of the portfolio websites I looked at were a showreel, news page and contact details. These are all features I will be including in mine as I see them as the most important features of a portfolio. A showreel is needed to show people your past work by showing off your skills and productions you have been a part of. The news page is a link to their blogs which detail their productions with some step by step of their productions similarly to my blog for my FMP where I shown the complete process of my production. This further shows off your skills through maintaining all professional standards of productions and showing your other areas of skills such as lighting, sound, directing, producing and many others. The contact section is of course crucial otherwise people would never be able to contact you regarding your work and possible job opportunities.

Another portfolio I found consisted mainly of links to their past productions. I think this is good to include so that the entire production can be seen other than the short snippets you have included in the showreel. I do however, think that a showreel should also be included which I could not find on this portfolio as it meant that you would have to watch quite a few of his productions to see his skills which of course is time consuming compared to a showreel that is a minute or two long.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 11.25.23This research has been beneficial to me and I feel, as though I have planned out a professional looking portfolio with everything is needs to be successful. I will be buying a domain for my portfolio to make it more professional and easier to find similarly to the portfolios I have looked at today. I will be using Wix to create my website as I have used it many times before and find that it includes many options to create a website to suit the style you want.


Ben Cornish | Lighting Camera Operator,. ‘Ben Cornish | Lighting Camera Operator – Portfolio’. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.

Ryan Blackwood,. ‘Edinburgh Camera Operator – BAFTA Winning Filmmaker’. N.p., 2015. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.,. ‘Scott Johnson | Freelance Camera Operator And Video Editor | Glasgow, Scotland | Portfolio’. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Apr. 2015.,. ‘Free Website Builder | Create A Free Website | WIX.Com’. N.p., 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Engagement in Professional Networks

Whilst engaging in networks I made sure to keep to these three key points:

  • Maintain your network
  • Help others not just yourself
  • Good communication

Film Festivals
Throughout my time at university I have tried to attend a variety of film festivals. Recently due to focusing on my final project I haven’t been able to attend as many as I would have liked to this year. I have however, continued to attend events help by Northants Film Network which is fairly local to me. They often have guest speakers such as Alec McPhedran who is managing director of Skills Channel TV as well as other directors, editors, DOP’s, writers and producers. This is a great way to hear information from professionals, get your work seen and develop your contacts. I think this is a great way to meet other people trying to become professionals to hear how they are doing and how they are going about it. I have also spoke to some of the guest speakers after the event that have gave me advice on getting a job.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.04.07After finding out about MeetUp I created an account and found that there are 810 MeetUp groups closeby to me. This looked really promising so I carried out a search for groups involving the film industry and video production and there were unfortunately no results. I then went up to set a MeetUp group hoping that people might have an interest in creating one with me but then found that you have to buy a package that was fairly costly. This was very disappointing and means that this website wasn’t much use to me. I decided to have a look at other groups that are available however to see how the website works. I think the website is a great idea and it seems to be used by a lot of people. It might be something that I go back to when I have more money to create a group and I will keep my eye on it to see if anyone creates a group. Other than that it is unfortunately no use to me at the moment.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 09.18.07I have had an account set up on Linked In since a few years back but I never really used it so I decided to start over and create a new one. This was nice and simple and they helped me to build up my profile with prompts along the top of my profile of things I needed to fill in. This included my education, work and hobbies so that people can find out about you. After setting this up I could invite my contacts from my email address so that I started building my connections straight away. I then went on to do a search to start networking with media producers. Unfortunately some of their information was hidden unless I upgrade my account but I was still able to get a name and their company meaning I could try and find a way of contacting them through a search online. Furthermore, the website includes a group search which I carried out for film production which came back with 694 results. I joined a few groups and have been speaking to people who are working in film production. This has been great and I feel as though I have started to create some good friends along with contacts. This website has been a great use to me and I have only just started using it meaning that my connections will continue to increase and therefore my networking will. The website is very professional and easy to use and I think it’s a great way for people to network with people in the same career or even with similar interests.

Film Community
My first thoughts of Film Community was that the website didn’t look professional. This continued to be the case even after I had signed up and started using it. My profile was easy to make which included my film industry category along with films made and films in development. This is a good way to get your work seen by your connections. This looked really basic as it is listed simply underneath a profile photo with no creativity. The website is a good idea but is fairly hard to get around and it doesn’t seem to be highly used. I found that most of the content was based around film festivals rather than ways of networking. This has unfortunately meant that the website hasn’t been very useful for me to develop my contacts and network. I will however, continue to use it as I noticed it is more used on Facebook and Twitter which is a simpler way of getting involved with the members.

Stage 32
Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 10.07.45Stage 32 looked like a brilliant website as soon as I looked through their home page. After signing up I seen that this website continued to increase on usefulness. My profile looks professional and they even give you the chance to create a username making your profile easier to find. After setting up some of my information I started to receive network requests straight away. This included filmmakers, screenwriters and actors. I was thrilled that people had added me as I expected to have to do a search myself as I have done on every other type of networking. I continued to finish my profile as was even more amazed when I saw that I could upload videos to it along with a CV. This means that anyone on my network will be easily able to view my work and get my CV meaning that it could lead to a job. I then went on to do a search and build up my network. This was easy and detailed as you could search for a name, a location or an occupation. The list of occupations was very detailed including camera operator, boom operator, director and pretty much every type of job in media production. This means that I can easily build my network across more people than simply trying to contact the director or producer as a top contact. I decided to take a look at camera operators, as this is the job I would like to go into and I could get some advice on my portfolio as they have experience in this. I could also ask them if any are looking for an assistant so that I can start developing my career. This website has been the most useful way of networking for me as I have managed to build up quite a few contacts of which I am in contact with. Recently they have created a new section of ‘meetups’ meaning that they have incorporated ‘MeetUps’ idea of a website into theirs which has far more people signed up and is completely based around the film industry. I carried out a search and found 3 results near my location. This is a low amount but my hometown of Kettering isn’t very big and I would be willing to travel further. The groups however, were very useful such as ‘Filmmakers in Northampton’. This would be a great opportunity for me to meet people face-to-face rather than emailing them.

In conclusion, the most useful ways of networking I have engaged in is through film festivals, LinkedIn and Stage 32. I managed to build up my contacts quickly through all of these and I will continue to do so. They are all very professional ways of networking that means that it creates a professional look for myself along with helping me to find professionals in my area of interest. I have contacted many people through these networking options and I hope that it helps me with a future career. They have certainly helped me to develop my portfolio with advice on what to include and change as well as giving me examples of their own work for inspiration.

References,. ‘FILMCOMMUNITY.COM’. N.p., 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.,. ‘Film Northants’. N.p., 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2015.,. ‘Find Your People – Meetup’. N.p., 2015. Web. 18 Apr. 2015.

Stage 32,. ‘Stage 32 | The Premier Social Network For Film, Television And Theatre Creatives’. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.,. ‘Uk | Linkedin’. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Professional Network Research

To develop my online presence and my professional development I have been researching into the professional networks and communities of practice both physical and online.

One of the biggest styles of networking for media production students is film festivals. There isn’t much research I can carry out for this, as throughout my time at university I have kept up-to-date with them and attended as many as I can. I did however find a website with some information on how to network at film festivals from KFTV. ( Their website gives you 10 tips for networking which include having the right resources with you, wearing the right clothes, being confident and many more useful tips. Another website that gives some similar information is Film Underground ( This website gives some information about approaching people after meetings or during breaks as well as passing around a notepad in the seminar to collect names and addresses of other attendees. This is a really good idea and is something I had never thought of doing.

Whilst at my last film networking event in Northampton with Northants Film Network, I carried out some primary research by asking other attendees how they network. Most of them replied saying they use LinkedIn and attend film festivals throughout the country if they can. This wasn’t very useful as I already knew about these but it was good to hear that they seem to be an effective way of networking. Another person then mentioned a website called MeetUp ( I had a look at their website and found the below statement.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.46.50‘Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.’

Although this may not be a professional way of networking I thought it might give me a great opportunity to meet people like myself who are looking to become professionals. This is useful for future productions as well as potentially useful contacts for a career.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 12.47.14Another way of networking that I already knew about was LinkedIn ( I did however do some further research to find out how it can be used to help develop my career. They state their mission as ‘connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.’ This shows that it is a great website to use to meet and connect with professionals. Furthermore, they have ‘300 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe’ showing that there is a very high amount of professionals using it not only in the UK but also internationally. This gives me a great chance to build some contacts that may be useful for future careers. It also gives me the opportunity to talk to people and get their opinions on my work and possible tips to develop my skills further and qualify for more job roles.

Film Community ( is a worldwide network for filmmakers and film industry professionals. Their website states ‘Membership of this professional networking platform includes Film Studios, Directors, Producers, Screenwriters, Composers, Actors, Sales, Film Marketing + Distribution, Agents, Entertainment Lawyers, Film Commissions, Film Critics, Arthouse Cinemas, Film Publications & Magazines, Film Schools and over 2,000 international Film Festivals.’ This therefore seems like a great website to build contacts on. It does however, seem to be mainly based on film festivals rather than creating contacts through their website like LinkedIn. I will however, be engaging in this website to find out if these contacts become available after becoming a member of their website. The site in terms of style looks very basic and not very professional so it may not have as many professionals on it as they say.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 14.40.28I found a film collections and filmmakers community of practice on Presto Centre ( Their website says ‘The PrestoCentre is a non-profit, membership-driven organisation that brings together a global community of stakeholders in the audiovisual industry to share, work and learn.’ It then goes on to say that they work with ‘experts, researchers, advocates, vendors, public services, educational organisations and professional associations’. After taking a look through the website I believe it could potentially be quite useful. As well as the film collections and filmmakers community I also found that they have a video production and post production community that I would also be a part of. Their website consists of a series of video presentations from the workshops such as ‘Setting up a film digitization workflow’. I don’t know how much this will help me in terms of contact but it will certainly help me to develop my knowledge.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 14.39.31A website I found called Black and Blue ( had a great article named ‘100 Great Resources For Cinematographers, Camera Assistants and Film Professionals’. As well as information and links to job and industry, this article also had a section about ‘Social Networks and Technology’. This gave me some great links for networking such as ‘Society of Focus Technicans’, which is a society of camera assistants, along with ‘Facebook Camera Assistant Society’ and ‘Alliance of Young Camera Operators and Cinematographers’. These are exactly what I’ve been looking for as they link directly to the job I am interested in doing.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 14.27.25Lastly, I came across Stage 32 (, ‘The world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television and theater creatives’. Their website focuses on four main areas:

  • Networking – Connect instantly with nearly 400,000 global members either privately or through the Stage 32 Lounge. The talent in our community ranges from novices to Academy, Emmy, and Tony award winners. This is networking on overdrive.
  • Opportunity – Your Stage 32 profile allows you full control of your material. List your reels, loglines, headshots, resumes, awards and more. Put your talents on display. Be seen. Be heard. Win every day.
  • Access – Through a variety of online and live events, Stage 32 provides access to managers, agents, producers, directors of development and other high level decision makers who can truly make a difference in your career.
  • Education – With over 300 film, television and theater executives teaching our Next Level Webinars, Continuing Education Classes, and Happy Writer Labs, Stage 32 is the premier destination to receive the information you need to take your career to the next level.

This website looks like it has everything I was looking for. I think that it will be really beneficial to me and I hope that I will be able to build up my list of contacts quite easily on it. The four main areas that they focus on fits my needs and the website is easy to use and looks great.

I feel as though this research has really benefitted me and has gave me many ideas for collecting contacts through both virtual and physical networks. Over the next few weeks I will be trying out all of the sources of networking I have found to build up my contact list. I believe that online presence is the most important thing for a professional as it is a great way to get your name linked to the media industry and get your work seen.


Facebook,. ‘Log Into Facebook | Facebook’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.,. ‘FILMCOMMUNITY.COM’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.,. ‘Film Northants’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.,. ‘Networking At Film Festivals’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.,. ‘World’s Largest Professional Network | Linkedin’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

Luzi, Evan. ‘100 Great Resources For Cinematographers, Camera Assistants, And Film Professionals’. The Black and Blue. N.p., 2010. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.,. ‘Find Your People – Meetup’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Norton, Emma. ‘How To Network At Film Festivals | KFTV Blog’. N.p., 2013. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.,. ‘Film Collections And Filmmakers Community Of Practice | Prestocentre’. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Stage 32,. ‘Stage 32 | The Premier Social Network For Film, Television And Theatre Creatives’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

Professional Options

After the last few of my productions I have decided I would like to focus on becoming a camera operator for video. For this I will be having a look at my professional options open to me and the skills that are required to inhabit these roles.

There are 5 main points I have been told to remember for getting a career:

  • It’s who you know not what you know
  • Get experience through internships and volunteering
  • Learn your craft
  • Know specifically what you want to do
  • Have a good body of work

I have been working on all 5 of these areas as will be shown in my blog posts. I have done this by networking, job searching, researching and developing my online presence.

Firstly I decided to take a look on Creative Skillset ( to find out more information about the job role so that I know specifically what I want to do and how I can do it. Their website gives a lowdown of the job role which includes:

  • Preparing and operating the camera and all its equipment
  • Working with the Director and Director of Photography to achieve the visual style of the film
  • Managing other camera department staff and communicating with Actors

Furthermore they state that no specific qualification is required for the role although a higher education course in the area of media would be an advantage. This means that I have a good advantage when applying for a job as I have studied Media Production at Coventry University where I hope to achieve a BA (Hons) degree.

Under the heading ‘What’s the best route in?’ they have said ‘You can expect to begin your career as a Camera Trainee or Runner, progressing to 2nd AC and, as you gain more experience, to 1st AC. You will have to continually build upon your experience and competence when operating a variety of cameras in order to achieve the role of Camera Operator. From here, you may move on to become a DoP.’ This has given me a good idea of the type of job role I need to start looking at to start my career.

After looking at some jobs as a camera assistant I found companies stating the same skills and responsibilities. This includes being hard working, polite and to be able to work on a variety of cameras. This is something I need to develop which I can do by loaning out different cameras from our loan shop at university. I can have a couple of days to use this camera and get to know its features. Furthermore, I will be trying to use different cameras on productions so that I develop my filming skills with it. I am however, fast learning and could possibly ask the company which cameras they intend on using so that I could look into hiring one from somewhere beforehand. I also found that many of the camera assistant jobs include assisting with lights as well as the camera. Luckily, I have experience of lighting from the short films I have produced over my time at university although many adverts state that a lot of experience is not needed as long as you have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.

To further my research I decided to carry out some primary research with the contacts I have built up from my engagement in professional networks. I contacted both camera operators and producers to see if there were any professional options open to me and to see what skills I required for these roles. I received a few replies unfortunately with no work at this moment in time although they said they would keep me in mind if something does come up. This was really good to hear and gave me inspiration that my work was good for them to keep me as an option. They both did however; give me some advice through telling me the skills I would require being a camera assistant. Their list included:

  • Carry out instructions with accuracy and attention to detail
  • Good colour vision
  • IT skills
  • Knowledge of how the relevant camera equipment works
  • Good communication skills
  • Work as part of a team
  • Work under pressure and in stressful situations
  • Be able to frame and compose shots

As I had already realized and stated beforehand, I need to develop my range of knowledge on cameras and develop my skills on a variety of cameras used that are used by most companies. Apart from that the list of requirements seemed to fit my knowledge and skills I already have from my time at university. Luckily, I will be able to prove most of these through the productions I have made such as working in a team, carrying out instructions to accuracy, IT skills and communication skills with the rest of my crew.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 13.45.58After reading some books that offered encouragement and advice on getting a job such as Careers in Media and Film by Gregory, G which uses case studies to help students to make the most of the opportunities in the competitive career world and Creative Labour: Working in the Creative Industries by McKinley, A which gives an insight into the unique employment issues affecting workers in film, television, theatre, arts, music, radio and new media also with case studies. I had a look to see if there are any jobs around at the moment to see if there is anything open to me. I found a lot of them are unpaid/voluntary for a short term. This is a good option for me to develop my skills and get some experience although I would prefer to get a contracted job alongside a camera operator. I will however, be applying for these positions whilst I contact camera operators I have found through my networking to see if any of them would mind having me work with them. Doing it that way however could mean that it is unpaid meaning that I may need to ask for the producers contact details to see if I could be part of the team and therefore get paid as I will be training to become a camera operator. Whilst I look for a job I will continue to freelance and work with different cameras to develop my knowledge and skills further, which will benefit me when applying for camera operator and assistant jobs.

This research has allowed me to realize which areas I need to develop on and where I need to look for job opportunities. I believe I have the experience to become a camera assistant and look forward to hearing back from companies regarding my applications. In the meanwhile as said beforehand, I will continue to develop my skills across a range of cameras and continue to freelance and build up my portfolio. I will be trying to gain experience through shadowing, internships, placements and volunteering. As I know that entrants for camera operators get work through networking, portfolios and web presence I will be researching and developing these in the next few weeks.

References,. ‘Camera Operator | Creative Skillset’. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Mar. 2015.

Gregory, G., Healy, R. and Mazierska, E. (2007) Careers in Media and Film. London, Sage.,. ‘Mandy’s Film And TV Production Directory’. N.p., 2015. Web. 8 Mar. 2015.

McKinley, A. and Smith, C. (eds) (2009) Creative Labour: Working in the Creative Industries.Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan


There is still a list of things I need to complete before I start filming my documentary. Below is a pre-production checklist I found to make sure I have completed everything I need to before I start filming.

Pre-production Checklist

As I am still waiting to hear back from the possible cast members I have contacted for an interview, I am still unable to plan any dates or travel arrangements meaning that my production is on hold until I have confirmed that these people would like to take part in my production. Until then I can continue to confirm my crew members and ensure that they are fully aware of their roles for my production.

I plan on filming my documentary at the start of March which gives me a sufficient amount of time to finish planning and confirm dates with my cast members. The hand-in date for this project is 8th May meaning that I will have enough time to edit my film and re-film any parts if necessary along with distributing my film through various companies and websites.

I look forward to hearing back from any of the scientists and professors I have contacted as an interview with them will help to make my documentary more factual and interesting. Furthermore, I look forward to finding out about possible future technologies along with people’s opinions on whether we should be using them or not.

To help distribute my film and gain awareness I will be making a Facebook page along with a film website which will give my audience daily or weekly updates for my film before I have finished producing it. I will then be uploading my film for my followers to watch online. I am currently in the process of creating a logo for myself to give my audience a memorable image for any of my other films they watch. Once I start production I will then be able to produce a film poster along with a DVD case and a trailer.