Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Creative Futures 6th March

Creative Futures 2013

Working as a Freelance Photographic Artist

Alison McLean

Alison McLean has been working as a freelance experimental photographic artist since graduating from N.W. School of Art and Design in Creative Lens Media in 2010. She has recently formed the GlasfrynArtistsgroup GAP, a local collective of cross-discipline artists and creative's. Her work with collaborative group LampPostCollective is being shown at Liverpool Look13 International Photo Festival in May 2013. The session included hints and tips for working as a freelance artist. Topics included: the importance of networking  use of social media and blogging, collaborative working, useful organisations, support networks and basic business practices to make life easier.
Points from the session:

Set up your own website:
Free websites e.g. carbonmade-
Work with a grpahic designer
Spelling and grammar-
Get someone to go on your site
Improve traffic with video, blog, keywords
Interactions e.g. freebies and compectitions
Keep it up to date

Social media
Google Plus
Blog e.g. Wordpress, Blogger
Social media management e.g. TweetDeck, Hootsuite
Write in the third person
Copyright issues

Business Cards

Getting work

Graduate networking events
Linked-in business groups
The pub
Redeye, the photographer's network
Chamber of Commerce
Have a 'thing' to wear that will make people more likely to talk to you at networking events and remember you

Keeping inspired
Creative Wales
Keep a file

Tax and Business Courses
Business bank accounts
Money saving expert

Overall, I thought this session was really useful as it was the only photography session I could attend, so it was good to learn more about the photography industry and what I can do to promote myself as an photographer.

Designing for mobile and selling your own Apps

Tim Makin

Tim Makin started web design in 2001, in 2004 he started a degree in Interactive Multimedia at Glyndwr. After graduating in 2007 he took a junior web designer role at Drumbeat Creative. He then took a move from the design side to development where he progressed to the Head of Development. In 2010 he co-founded Wink Nudge; Mobile app and development agency.

In the session Tim Makin talked through the important design considerations for producing content for mobile devices and the best steps for achieving success. 2013 is expected to be the first year where access to the web via mobile devices will surpass computers. Therefore businesses need to have their content accessible by a mobile device, more than ever before. Digital designers must understand how to design for mobile and desktop. This is evident as companies such as the BBC actually design for mobile devices first. Below is what was discussed in the talk:

Where are we now?
Web access on mobile phones to overtake desktop in 2013
Half of the UK population own a smartphone
75% of these are Android or Apple
1 in 3 Facebook users access via mobile
Mobile email has over taken outlook

Mobile distribution

Mobile Websites
Multi-platform/ accessible
Don't need to publish to an app store
Use of SEO (To be found on Google)
Use existing skills

Device integration
Push capabilities
Better performance
You are in the app store!
Full screen

Best of both worlds

User goals
Will actions change because its mobile?
Dedicated or responsive

Make it easy to access
Don't overload

Lots of items
Easy to group

Pop over
Works well on smartphones
4-12 items

Tab bar
Up to 5 items
One tap

Lots of items
Many sub categories

Makes or breaks a site (users want to know the error)

 User wants to save time- auto suggest is good for this

User experience
Tap-able areas 44 pixels
Device orientation
Not always connected
Text 13+ pixels
Gestures (no hover)/ interactions

I thought this talk was very interesting as I learnt a lot about designing and making apps. Tim Makin said that you should now basic HTML and Java Script as it will always come in handy. I know the basics as I did A-level ICT so these skills will be practical if I wanted to make a app, when editing my blog and when creating a website. 

Make your own Damn Movie!

Jason Devitt

Jason Devitt started off in theatre work, stage and props, moved into computer generated imagery (CGI) work and special effects (SFX) work, plus SFX make up. He then decided to write a screen play for a TV series, which became a series on Sky TV; Vampires which was then re-edited into a move and released on DVD. We was shown a clip of this and was also showed the seconded Vampire movie which is just about to be launched. The session is an insight of independent movie making, the cheats and ways to get things, and a review of all the stages. 

Need to have a winning concept- basic concept needs to sell, see what's popular (Thats what distributers want).
Keep it simple, keep it stupid. People want to be entertained.
Make a film for your audience.

Write it- don't read it or correct it until you finished it. 
Expect at least three drafts.
Show no one till you're at least finished the first draft.

1. Money, money, money!
Know your filming plan inside out.
Realistic estimate plus some on top. You'll always over-spend x20%
Who to go to: crowd funding, local business and rich family, film funders BFI etc.
Be positive about what your doing.
2. Pitch your idea well.
Use two known successful films/ TV series.
Elevator method- break it down to one sentence that explains the movie. 

Who you really need (Key people)
1. The people/ crew.
Director, producer (you- the dictator).
Camera man who is on your wavelength-or do it yourself as you have the vision.
Lighting, sound- sound is the most important thing in the movie.
Runner/ helper/ assistants- perform jobs
Make-up/ hair- Only if you need it, actors can do it their self
Catering- Food
Storyboard artist- Is God! (Could be you)

1. Locations
2. Back-up locations
3. Back-up plan for actors and weather

1. How to chose them- Have they got chemistry? Do they fit in?
2. Willingness
3. Punctualitiy
4. Talented

1. Plan ahead
Shooting schedule (Link scenes that can be done together)
Make sure everyone is early
Set everything up the night before
Turn off mobiles!
2. Legal bits
Contracts are understood and signed
Image release forms (have 100's of spares)
Image release for buildings etc.
Permission to shoot
Insurance (cheap on-line)

1. Lighting
2. Sound (Most important factor)
3. Storyboards
4. Acting for screen
5. Audience 2ft away
6. Overact technique- Get  the actor to act over the top before filming, then tell them not to act when actually filming
6. Minimum of 4 shots, CU, MLS, LS, ES, MS, use depth and be creative
7. 180 degree rule/ thirds rule

1. Screeners (Watermark them all)
2. Send the festivals what they need and only enter the relevant ones. Festivals provide (usually free) exposure and possible distributors.

1. Get the advice on contracts
2. Internet vs DVD and Blu-ray

Overall I thought this session was really good and I had a lot that I had learned during the session which I can put into practice in my own films and our upcoming short film. Jason Devitt told us about an software for special effects which is free and we can use called Das 3D. We can investigate the software and see if it is ideal to use for our short movie or even or music video. I also got his number so I can contact him for work experience and any other opportunities.

Documentary Production for TV & home video

Anthony Masi  Skype Q&A with David Robinson

This session was an overview of documentary production for TV and home video. Our lecturer David Robinson Skyped Anthony Masi who is the owner of MasiMedia LLC. He has produced the horror genre's most successful cinematic television, DVD and Blu-ray retrospectives, including HALLOWEEN: 25 Years of terror, HIS NAME IS JASON: 30 Years of Friday the 13th, THE PSYCHO LEGACY, and STILL SCREAMING: The ultimate Scary movie retrospective. 

Anthony Masi also produces independent films, and has written, directed and produced content for the Starz, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Lionsgate, FEARnet, National Cinemedia, the Shout Factory and Mirimax. He got into making films unexpectedly and chose to focus on the horror genre as he is a big horror film fanatic. It began of the 25th anniversary of the HALLOWEEN movies and nothing had been done, so he decide to film a documentary about how it shaped the genre. The documentary came out six years later and that's when he started his company- MasiMedia. Masi told us that making his documentary's are expensive as it cost half a million dollars because actors have to be flown in and to use movie clips in the projects are expensive to use. It costs ten thousand dollars per minute, but it is cheaper to remove the sound and leave the visuals. Each interview takes about half an hour and there is 45 minutes for the documentary plus movie clips, so I lot of editing is used.

Anthony Masi also discussed tips for making documentaries.
Here are the tips:
Lighting- subjects look flattering, a shine under the face always looks good.
Make-up- hire a make-up artist if you can afford it.
Try and interview as many people as you can in a day, if not everyone- it keeps costs down.
Give camera a rest- can burn out.
Get what you need right away.
Tell them to stay the question in the answer and talk slowly.
Edit out erm and like.
Have someone sign the release form before the interview.
Ask questions that aren't listed/ surprise questions.
Don't send the interviewee's clips before the release.

After visiting the MasiMedia website I was able to watch trailers of Masi's work, which I thought was really good and were some of the best documentaries I've ever seen. After the session David Robinson told us about an upcoming opportunity for us to help film a documentary in Liverpool that involves Anthony Masi. I'm really looking forward to helping out with this project and I believe it will be a great opportunity where I will gain experience and network. 

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