Career Development


Research, 5 Year Plan & CV

Career Development Task 5 – Criteria 4.1 & 4.2

Research:

After a quick search online, I found an array of film and media related job openings. Pictured below are a couple of screen grabs of what I found. The jobs vary a lot in salary and experience but there are jobs out there so I plan to keep an eye on these websites after I complete the course to see if anything suitable becomes available.

These job adverts were taken from The Guardian website and mandy.com:

5 Year Plan:

Year 1 & 2 – The first two years of my plan are solely dedicated to completing the college course and getting the HND under my belt. I hope to get a good understanding of the the media industry that can prepare me for work after the course is finished. I hope hat the HND course will continue to teach me a wide variety of skills so that at the end of the course I can make an informed decision about which area I would like to pursue as a career. I plan to enter competitions as part of the course and in my spare time and hopefully create films that I am pleased with.

Year 3: Provided that the HND course goes well, I’m hoping to get on the BSC course so that I can continue to learn more about film making and the media industry. The BSC is very important to me because I think a degree will be very useful to have on a CV for potential future employers. A BSC degree will hopefully separate me from other candidates should I go for a competitively sought after job. Over the course of my time at college, I hope to have developed a website that showcases my work so that I am able to show potential employers if they want to see what I can do.

Year 4: Year 4 of my plan is dependent on how well the college course goes. With a BSC degree under my belt I would feel confident in going for a job in the media industry. However, I would like to have a project that I can call my own, so after the BSC I would really like to create a film from start to finish. I think just after finishing my course would be an ideal time to do so because I will probably have enough spare time to really commit to it, if I had a job then I would probably not be able to spend as much time on it.

Year 5: By this time I hope to have established myself as a film maker. I really hope that I can continue to work in the film making industry and put my degree to good use. By year 5 of this plan, I hope to have a career at least lined up. Although, jobs in the film making industry are almost non-existent in and around Melton so I would probably have to move away to somewhere with a bigger film industry like London in order to find a job that offers what I want, which I am prepared to do. If I don’t find a job that I want then I plan to carry on doing what I do now but on a larger scale. Over the past couple of years I have acquired some useful contacts and worked for some businesses that were pleased with my work so I would continue to do filming and editing work for companies in the local area.

CV:

Gareth Skinner – 15/01/1993

My name is Gareth, I’m a 21 year old student currently studying an HND in Film making and digital media at Brooksby Melton College. I have 12 GCSE’s at grade C and above, including Maths, English, French and Science.After studying for the past 4 years, I hope to find employment in the film making industry. My website showcases my previous work, including the video projects I have done for my course. Click here to see my Video Projects page. I enjoy working on film sets on my own or with a team and welcome the opportunity to enhance my experience on productions. I also enjoy photography in my spare time and have had a number of photography jobs for local companies that have been a success. I live in the Melton Mowbray area but enjoy traveling to wherever work takes me so please contact me if you have a project that I can work on.

A Practical Guide to Finding Employment in the Moving Image Industry

Career Development – Task 4 (Criteria 2.1 & 3.1)

This guide will take a look into the moving image industry and see how difficult it is to find employment. It will also look into ways you can improve your chances of finding employment.

Roles: There are many, many jobs in the film and TV industry, from pre-production, to post and beyond. A film or TV series requires an immense amount of work from all areas, from initial script-writing, to camera operators or to editors for post production. The point being there are plenty of roles to go for. Lighting and sound design are both huge employment areas in their own respect but also sought after in the film industry, all professional film or TV requires a sound department and a lighting department. Higher up roles are usually much harder to come across in terms of looking for employment. Directors and producers for example are often personally tracked down based on the merit of previous work, especially in high profile productions. Having said that, it’s not unusual for companies to put out job adverts for directors or producers.

Working Patterns: Working patterns vary depending on the job. Directors will be expected to be present on the set every day during the filming process, whereas an editor for example might not be present until the filming process has finished and simply work from home, because an editor is not usually required on set. Working hours also vary immensely depending on the production, the hours may be unsociable because of filming times. If a film is being shot in the middle of the night then the crew will be required to be present whatever time it is, it’s just part of the job. However this might be completely opposite to other crew members roles. In some cases, such as editing, there might be no set hours of work and just a turnaround date that the edit needs to be completed by. It all depends on the type of company or production you are working for and what you are contracted to do. Freelance workers contracts may differ from those if you are working for a production company.

Financial: The financial side of matters also depends on the type of employment and the type of production. Your working position will dictate how much you get paid. If you’re working for a production company for example then you will be paid a salary based on your position, whereas the self employed will be hired for a pre-agreed price.

Training: Training for a job in the film and television industry is quite a well populated area, there are colleges and universities nationwide that offer film and television courses. Apprenticeships are also available when you look in the right places, after a quick search on the Skillset website I found a page of apprenticeships in the media industry (pictured below). Some of the training courses can be quite expensive, for example college courses can be up to £9000 per year but the experience and knowledge you gain by completing a course is almost essential for finding work in the industry.

The digital media and film making industry is a very difficult industry to find work in, especially in small towns and cities. The vast majority of major companies involved with film making are based in London and other major cities across the world, most notably Hollywood, Los Angeles. LA is well known for its film making culture, with renowned places like The Los Angeles Film School, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Studios and many many more. However, finding work in film making in the UK is a little different. If you want to work for a film making company, you’re probably going to have to move to where the action is, most likely London. London has many film companies and studios that will obviously lead to a higher demand for people involved with film making then anywhere else in the UK, whether it be for camera operators, runners or even general admin. Pictured below is a list taken from Wikipedia showing the most notable Film Studios in the UK and the majority are located in London and the surrounding areas. Having any position with a film company can be a very useful tool for climbing the employment ladder however, with many companies recruiting internally for new positions. The BBC for example often recruits for new positions internally rather than externally, which means you could have any position at the BBC and be considered above many others purely because you already work there.

There are a number of websites that can help people find employment in this industry, The Guardian newspaper has a section online that is dedicated to job hunting, although the jobs may not be exactly what you’re after it is worth looking through to see what’s available. There are also specialist websites that are solely for people looking for jobs in the film industry such as starnow.co.uk and filmandtvpro.com to name just a couple.

Although finding employment is difficult in this industry, there are plenty of roles to choose from, camera technicians, sound and lighting technicians, editors and many other roles will always be needed by somebody, somewhere. With this in mind, it is very useful to have a show reel or website that demonstrates your best work, if you produce good stuff and have something to show for it then somebody will notice your talent eventually and with a strong online presence you can build a good reputation for yourself through YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook etc. Websites can be a great way of attracting interest from everywhere, nationwide or even worldwide.

I think by picking a specific subject you want to work in and producing high quality productions is a great way for potential employers to notice you. For example if you wanted to be a director, film as much as possible and show your finished pieces on websites as much as you can. Employers will want to see what you can do. The same applies for people who want to work in post production, lighting or sound design.

With jobs few and far between in this industry it is becoming more and more common for people to set up businesses on there own. Starting your own business by yourself does have significant advantages, freedom to control your own workflow and having total control is an appealing thought to many, along with keeping the majority of the money you make. However, there is also a considerable risk with being self employed, for many business owners there is not the security of working for a company. Although having total control of your business can be a big plus, it also carries big responsibility with it, you are responsile for any failures, debts and legal issues should they arise. Despite all this, I do believe setting up your own business is a very good way to go in this industry because it gives you a chance to prove what you can do. If done well it can also get your name out there, if you do your job well then it significantly improves your chances of being noticed by employers elsewhere.

Structure of Television in the UK and the Threat of Rupert Murdoch

Assessment Task 1 – (Criteria 1.1)

How is the television industry structured in the UK. Write a short illustrated report that critically reviews details of the structure and ownership.

Structure of Television in the UK and the ‘Threat’ of Rupert Murdoch

 

I will be looking into the funding and structure of television in the UK, including an in-depth look in to the BBC, Sky and the threat of Rupert Murdoch’s power in the media. The UK television industry is made up of major broadcasters, independent production companies and local community television. The major broadcasters in the UK are BBC, ITV and Sky with a combined view count of over 65 million. Independent production companies fill in the gaps that aren’t taken by major broadcasters; companies like Talkback Thames and Tiger Aspect are two of the most successful independent production companies in the UK. Talkback Thames is the production partner for both ITV and BBC on huge programmes with the likes of Simon Cowell and Sir Alan Sugar teaming up with the London based company for their respective shows.

Firstly, let’s look at the BBC. Uniquely funded by the public’s television licence fees, each household with a colour TV annually contributes £145.50 to the BBC, roughly 40p per day. Combined, this totals a yearly income of £3,656m for the BBC from licence payers alone. Commercial operations including BBC Worldwide, BBC Studios and Post Production create a £155m profit (before tax) and grant income such as funding for BBC Worldwide by the Foreign and Commonwealth office creates a £265m income. Adding all this together with various other sources of revenue such as royalties from overseas, it is estimated the BBC receives a total of £5,102,300,000 per year. Dividing this vast amount of money is a huge responsibility that is entrusted to the BBC Management Board, who shares out the money between all aspects of the BBC, including its television programming, online presence, radio and administrative departments. The BBCs cost per service can be seen in the diagram below:

Capture-BBC

The BBC boasts that an impressive 96% of the population use their services, with the average viewer/listener spending 19.5 hours with the BBC each week. I think these statistics show that the BBC is using the licence payer’s money effectively. More information on the BBC’s funding and how the money is distributed can be found in the BBC Annual Report.

The BBC is split into managerial departments, the Executive Directors Board and the Senior Staff Management Board. The Executive Board of Directors is responsible for the management of the BBC and ensuring that the BBC delivers the services that have been agreed with the BBC Trust. The Senior Staff Management Board meets three times a month to delegate issues from the Executive Board and ensure the organisation meets its objectives effectively.

BBC Management Board –

BBC-Management-Board

ITV is funded differently to the BBC. Instead of license fees funding programming, ITV uses advertising. Placing adverts in breaks and between shows brings in millions of pounds each year for ITV. Depending on when the advert is shown, an advert can cost a company hundreds of thousands of pounds to be shown on ITV, for example a 10 second advert being played at prime time will cost significantly more than it would if it were shown during daytime television because it is being shown to a much larger audience, however only big companies can afford this type of advertising. The money from these advertisements is mostly pumped back in to funding ITV television shows.

Both ITV’s and BBC’s television and radio programming is regulated by OfCom, an independent regulatory company whose legal duties include ensuring people who watch television and listen to the radio are protected from harmful or offensive material and people are protected from being treated unfairly in television and radio programmes or from having their privacy invaded. Ofcom are responsible for regulating all television programming in the UK, including ITV and Sky. This brings us on to Sky and the Rupert Murdoch ‘threat’.

Sky is also run very differently to the BBC. Instead of being publicly owned, Sky is part of a huge, privately owned company known as News Corporation, a multi-national conglomerate run by Rupert Murdoch. Sky TV is mainly funded by customer subscription charges and television advertising. With over ten million UK customers paying monthly subscriptions for TV, phone and broadband services combined with advertising and other sources of revenue, BSkyB brings in an estimated £6.791b in revenue each year, however instead of this being pumped back into the company, a lot of this is simply profit for Murdoch and his empire, but enough about Sky TV, let’s take a look at the man behind it, Rupert Murdoch.

Born Keith Rupert Murdoch in 1931, Murdoch is the founder and chairman of News Corporation along with chairman and CEO of Twentieth Century Fox, making him the most powerful man in media. Owning a string of the world’s largest and most read newspapers, television companies with hundreds of millions of viewers and various other companies worth millions, you can’t look too far without seeing something that is at least partly owned by Mr Murdoch. This domination in the media industry is why it is estimated that Murdoch is today worth over $8.3 billion. So why is he being called a ‘threat’ to the industry he is so involved with? The concern stems from Murdoch owning a vast amount of the media that we see and read every day and being able to influence what we think. Whilst it is true that Mr Murdoch’s media empire controls a big percentage of the information we see on the television and read in the newspapers, the thought of him being a ‘threat’ is a notion with which I don’t entirely agree. The fact that I am writing a piece on his so called ‘threat’ is proof enough that just because he has control over what is printed in papers, does not mean that he can control what people think. I do agree that some people are influenced by what they read and see in the press, but there are people who aren’t as easily influenced. There will always be people who have a mind of their own and won’t take what is printed in The Sun, for example, as fact. With modern technology, it is easier than ever for anybody to express their opinions online, so I don’t think anybody can control the entire world’s media to the extent of it being a threat. Another thing to consider is that Mr Murdoch is not the one writing the articles and the news, news is simply reported. So is Rupert Murdoch really the evil, mind controlling super-villain that the press paint him out to be? If he was then why would we even be discussing it? Surely if this was the case then we wouldn’t even be aware of the phone hacking scandal that caused such uproar in the media.

So to conclude, no I do not think Rupert Murdoch is a threat to the moving image industry. The BBC controls the majority of media in the UK and Rupert Murdoch is simply competition.

News Corp - Media Reach UK

 

This graph shows News Corporation’s reach in the UK. As you can see, BBC has a significant lead in TV and Online compared to Murdoch’s companies.

 

 

 

BECTU

Assessment Task 2 – (Criteria 1.2)

Who are BECTU and what do they do?

BECTU

BECTU is an acronym for Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematographic and Theatre Union. Founded in 1991, BECTU is a UK based trade union that supports over 25,000 workers in broadcasting, entrainment and media industries. For over 20 years, BECTU have been proving services to thousands of members, offering personal advice, training courses and career development opportunities along with other benefits and general support of people in the selected industries. BECTU belongs to the Federation of Entertainment Union that consists of seven sub-unions such as The Musicians Union, The PFA (Professional Footballers Association), The Writers Guild of Great Britain and others.

A few years ago, the BBC offered their staff a flat rate increase of £475 and for employees earning less than £37,276 a 1% increase on their pension schemes. The BBC also froze the pay of employees earning over £37,726. This offer was significantly less than that of other public sector employers. BECTU criticized the BBC for this proposal, calling it ‘insulting’ and ‘unacceptable’ because it was below the assumed rate of inflation at the time, so needed to be higher.

After many executive meetings and discussions, BECTU began a campaign. This campaign set out to persuade management at the BBC to rethink and come up with an improved offer for their employees with regards to pay and pensions. The campaign received decent publicity and gathered support from thousands and in the summer of the following year, the BBC responded with an improved offer of a £400 pay rise for employees, along with a 2% increase on their pension’s schemes. Although this offer does not sound much, it is double what the BBC initially intended to invest. BECTU members decided to vote on the proposed improvements the BBC offered, resulting in a 65.8% approval rating which led to BECTU accepting the offer.

This case is a perfect example for who BECTU are and what they stand for. They acted as the ‘voice’ of employees who feel they were receiving unfair treatment. Without BECTU, this case would have been opened and closed without anybody being able to change it; however with the help of BECTU and their campaigning, workers received a much better and fairer deal. BECTU continue to offer help, advice and support to thousands of members with payment issues and have become a useful and important part of the entertainment and broadcasting industries. I think BECTU are a very reassuring union to have support this industry, this case shows how they can offer superb support to workers and provide answers and solutions effectively.

Banned Media

Assessment Task 3 – (Criteria 1.3)

PART 1 – Initially discuss and explain the purpose and process of the regulatory bodies for TV, film and advertising in the UK.

PART 2 – Examine 1 TV programme, 1 film and 1 TV advertisement that have been banned by the relevant regulatory body and critically reflect on the regulatory bodies decision to ban the production.

Television

FOX has recently removed an episode from the latest season of Family Guy. The episode contained a clip showing mass deaths at the Boston Marathon, and although the episode was written and produced months before the tragic events that took place, FOX took the decision to remove the episode ‘Turban Cowboy’ as it would have caused extreme controversy in the aftermath of the Boston terror attack. Despite the episode being pulled, clips from the episode have been seen online and have been called ‘sick’ and ‘tasteless’. I think the decision to pull the episode was a good move for FOX as it would only provoke huge controversy and upset thousands of loyal Family Guy viewers, however if it wasn’t for the circumstances in Boston, I’m sure this would have been aired and the controversial clip would have been just another slightly crude Family Guy joke like many others that the fans of the show have come to expect from a show that continues to push the boundaries of comedy. The clip in question has become the source of absurd conspiracy theories about Family Guy ‘predicting’ the Boston terror attacks that took place in April this year. This level of controversy has all took place even though the episode was never aired on television, so if FOX had proceeded with the airing I’m sure there would be a call for the show to be punished in some way or even be cancelled.

 

Film

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a 1974 horror film directed by Tobe Hooper. The film is basically about a group of friends who get kidnapped and violently murdered by a disfigured character who wears a mask made from the skin of his previous victims. This film was deemed too graphic, violent and disturbing for release and was banned outright in many countries including France, Sweden and Singapore; it was also banned by British film censors in 1975, again in 1977 and then again in 1984 but after a change in policy the film was finally released uncut in 1999, 25 years after it was first banned.

 

Advertising

A recent commercial by web hosting company CrazyDomain.co.uk has been banned in the UK for being ‘sexist and degrading to women’. The advert features ex-Baywatch pinup Pamela Anderson being squirted with cream in a co-workers fantasy. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it could cause serious offense to viewers but the Australian web company called it ‘anything but degrading to women’ and they deliberately portrayed Pamela Anderson and her on screen assistant as ‘attractive, dynamic and confident business people’, a contrast to the male ‘nerdy’ characters. Despite Dreamscape Networks (The Company behind CrazyDomains.co.uk) objections, the ASA banned the advert for portraying sexually exposed cleavages and giving the impression that men viewed female colleagues as ‘sexual objects’.

 

The ASA are the regulators for advertisements in the UK and it is their job to ensure media is not misleading, offensive to the public or harmful. In 2011, the ASA took action to change or remove over 4000 adverts in the UK. For films, the BBFC (British Board of Film Censorship) look at issues such as drugs, violence or sex to determine a suitable rating for the film prior to its release.