Tuesday, 10 August 2010

That's All Folks!

Well graduation has come and gone and we have all said our goodbyes, I just have time for one more blog post to say a few thank you's...

Firstly to all the other Cascadians, it has been great working and learning from all of you over the past 6 months and Well Done!

Vivienne, Ash, Liz , Maggie and Upma our leaders! Thank you for all the time and support you gave us!

To all the trainers we had, thank you so much for all your words of wisdom and patience!

Well that's it folks my last blog as a Cascadian.....

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Freelance Session at Channel 4

A few Fridays ago we all spent the afternoon at Channel 4 asking questions and getting advice from some of the industries finest! The session was set up to help us with the next part of our training, becoming freelancers :-) Over the past six months we have learnt skills like researching, archiving, filming and much more but another important skill to learn to how to stay afloat when the work stops and how to network with the people you have met over the six months with Cascade.

We were each set up with two interviews and given 10-15 minutes to make an impression and get some words of wisdom! I met with Michelle Matherson and Alison Foster, they looked over my CV and gave me some pointers as to what I should mention. They asked me about my experience, my background and what TV shows I watched (I left out Big Brother), just these three questions took up the whole time but we were able to chat about that area of TV I should work in and my next step.

Luckily I am staying with Flame Television (yipppeeee) for the next 6 months, during that time I will be able to build up more experience on production and with the contacts I made on Friday I will be sending out emails again in December but in the meantime I will continue to work hard and enjoy everything Flame throws at me!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

The end is only the beginning...

For the past six months (I'd like to reiterate: how can it already be six months??) I've been working at Joose TV, an internet television company based in London. And the other day the boss asks me, "What have you learnt since being on Cascade?" So I gave it a little thought and soon realised the list is pretty extensive. I mean, to put it at even the most basic level, this is the first time I've worked in an office let alone for a production company. So of course my time at Joose has left me with a multitude of skills I'll certainly need to pursue a career in production but equally many that are applicable to daily life. In summary, I've learnt a lot. I think you get the point.

Cascade opened doors and now I'm in a position I never thought I'd be one year on from graduating. Joose have been great at creating opportunities for me and getting me involved in every side of the production process so I can have a real appreciation of how the team works. I now know what I need to be thinking about even from the very early stages, as Production Assistant, liaising with the Producer/Director in the planning and coordinating projects. For me, it has been a particularly invaluable experience working for Joose because I am able to soak up their expertise in social media and interactive platforms, which I believe will stand me in good stead in the future of television. Even just having the confidence to sit in our website development meeting today and throw ideas out there - however stupid, expensive or seemingly impossible - is a good feeling.

To receive training as part of the paid internship has been so beneficial. It's a unique opportunity to be working in the industry and having courses in everything from research skills to camerawork and editing on the side. We've had some brilliant trainers and speakers, including BBC's Andrew Snell and BBC Commissioner Maxine Watson. My favourite session was on Cross Platform Media - given a 360 brief, coming up with an idea to pitch to media consultant Mike Greenwood and Nick Lockey from Maverick TV, plus working with a Web Designer to create site mockups. It was all very Apprentice. And, in TV, when do you ever get to practice something like that?

Ultimately, Cascade training gives us interns the time and space to learn, practice, make mistakes, re-learn and grow in confidence. It means we've got the skills on paper but we've also had the chance to apply these at work.

And really, that's why the end is only the beginning. As Annabell says in the post below, "I know and trust that anyone who goes through the course will have the skills it takes to make it!" So though it's sad that Cascade is coming to an end, I know that our network will continue to exist - we'll share contacts, we may even work together, and all the trainers and mentors will always be happy to stay in touch and advise us on our next moves. We all know we want to work in TV, and now, we all know we can do it too. So here's to the beginning; still Cascadians forever.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A blog post from Annabell

I can not believe 6 months has passed by so quickly..I can still remember going for the Cascade interview and nervously waiting to hear back if I had been successful, I am so grateful that I was. Today after 6 months of invaluable training and industry experience within an independent production company, I could not be more confident that working in television is where I want to be!

At the start of the course It all seemed like things were going to be intense and they have been but with each new challenge or training session came new goals and achievements. From research skills where expert guidance was given in assessing a contributor, telephone interviewing to the editing course where we got to grips with final cut pro, the course has made me more competent within my role of a researcher. My favourite session was the camera training as not only was the hands on experience of getting to know the camera good but getting to ask questions, physically using the equipment to film and having the freedom to be creative with what we filmed, put into reality for me that I can fulfil my ambition to be a director one day!

However I am aware that to reach that stage is not going to be easy but it will be worth the effort and determination. I know this because over the last 6 months I have been pushed by the course and within my company to gain new skills and enhance existing ones. I find myself watching programmes in a new way, far more analytical than ever before! I carry a book with me everywhere I go to write ideas down for possible formats. I ask my friends and family what their watching to understand different demographics. I know the industry is not easy but the course has given me the extra drive to reach my goal. I could not thank everyone on the course that has made it run so smoothly and given us the opportunity to meet industry professionals enough. I will always remember Cascade as a pinnacle part of my career, it may be coming to the end of the 6 months of the course but the contacts I have made with the other people on the course, I hope will remain friends for the future. Who knows we may even be working together, which is something I look forward to as I know and trust that anyone who goes through the course will have the skills it takes to make it!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A blog post from Alex...

Dick & Dom Go Wild

Never Work With Children Or Animals? How about both…

True North are creating a brand new series for CBBC.

Children from all over the country aged between 9 and 12 will be catapulted into animal rescue centres and sanctuaries across the UK. There they will be expected to get stuck in, following the professionals as they save injured animals and nurse them back to health. Not to come up short on the ‘yuck’ factor, there may be a few less glamorous jobs along the way – spare a thought for the poor mites when they’re knee deep in animal poo (let’s hope not literally) or contending with donkey halitosis when on teeth cleaning duty!

So what to expect? Children and animals…I’m sure people say something about not working with… Never mind. I’m expecting fun, chaos, tears, laughs – pretty much the whole spectrum of human emotions – and that’s just from the crew trying to get the shots they need from the kids and the animals. I’m hoping for the children, it will be an experience that they’ll never forget – it certainly will be for me.

Monday, 12 July 2010

A little blog note from Balnek....

It's coming to the end of the cascade project - where did the 6 months go!? I've enjoyed all the courses we 've been on (especially the camera and editing courses) and have had a fantastic time at Darlow Smithson Productions...

During my time here I've worked in production research, archive research, development research and have even done a tiny bit of acting! It has been an invaluable experience which I hope will stand me in good stead for the future.


Copyright and Archive Research day

Very short blog today, we had our Copyright and Archive research session on Thursday and I never realised how much you have to think about when using archive material in a programme. For Heir Hunters we use SO much archive because of the history aspect of the show and I have even more respect for Jane (archive researcher) now :)

I have uploaded a few pictures of the old tapes that film was recorded onto, can you imagine carrying that around in a camera?! Also I have a picture of the archive books we were given to help us find material.

The course was run by Sue Malden and Debbie Langton-Davies