Website Update

Now that I’m coming to an end of my academic career I have plenty of content to add to my online presence ready for the professional working world. With my new jobs at the Alma Theatre and the Redgrave Theatre, along with wrapping up some freelance projects it’s important I add all of this online to keep building upon my portfolio presence.

I feel certain at aiming myself towards the theatrical and live event market, taking this into account I need to rework my website towards these elements with film and television as supporting elements. My brand of ‘Lighting Designer, Colourist & Media Practitioner’ I have decided to cut down in length, first by removing the title of colourist as this is an avid interest but not something I want to pursue as a standalone career. Lighting Designer remains my primary title as this is my main area of interest and aspiration as a professional career. Finally taking my new jobs into consideration as ‘Theatre Technician’ I feel this is a common title in my trade so it will be useful to capitalise on this. Rather than restrict to just theatre, I feel the idea of ‘media’ helps to embody a wider range of work. When updating and reworking my website I have taken the title of ‘Lighting Designer & Media Technician’ as the base element to build upon.

Home Page

Once completed I will put my showreel as the video on the home page, current I’m using ‘The Creative Carnival High Speed Shoot’ simply due to its stylistic impact, very much the case of something to show off. I’m happy with the opening statement and have added some new production stills for the scrolling gallery. The first few put emphasis on lighting showing it in a studio, location shoot and theatre, along with evidence of working as part of a team. After I continue with a range of skills on various shoots (e.g. camera, set design, steadicam). This gallery automatically changes every few seconds so the user can see as many examples before clicking off the page.

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Credits

Simply the case of updating with the latest freelance projects I have collaborating on. Additions include ‘Phone Whore’ at the Alma Theatre, ‘Duet’, and the Afrika Eye Film Festival. This does not include full time places of employment (e.g. North Somerset, Redgrave). The length of the University projects run up until my input on the project. The live events list their broadcast dates.

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Contact

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Once again the case of updating the page, for this adding some additional testimonials from Matt White, Nick Bentley and the NSCP. I debating taking away some quotes but felt adding these didn’t oversaturate the page with writing. I have changed my contact details from red to black so that they stand out further, also opting for a lighting production still rather than one of me operating the camera.

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Film/TV

I wanted to undergo a re-design of this page as I feel its slightly too much information. Ideally I want emphasis on the product, encouraging the viewer to watch content. By having to scrolling through pages to get to additional content immediately delays this process. I loved the idea of having scroll over graphics with the films information whilst everything is displayed in a series of boxes across the page.

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I tried adapting the ‘lists’ function to serve this purpose as Wix doesn’t offer a pop up or roll over function for videos (can be done with photos). I found through using the lists it can generating a separate page with more information by clicking on the video title. This immediately makes organising easier as the website will generate its own content as I add to the list, a function I have been utilising with the current design of my site.

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My problem with this function was the size of the videos, also restricting the content to purely videos so I can’t prove evidence of ongoing productions easily. Instead I have opted to build my own video gallery, having evenly spaced content across the page in a 3×3 grid.

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This is immediately more eye catching, building upon the heavy graphic stylings of the site. The next step was adding the additional content for each page, as pop up windows can’t be generating I came across a cheat for this process. In short adding a duplicate page with the text on top, then making either button a link to each page (button to text, exit to original page).

https://www.wix.com/support/html5/wix-app-market/adding-apps-to-your-site/kb/how-can-i-add-a-pop-up-to-my-wix-site

Considering content I have vaguely run to a chronological order, however I wanted to highlight particularly strong pieces of work on the first page of videos, also focusing on my work lighting primarily. For this reason I have pulled ‘Creative Carnival’ forward as its a strong piece of visual media, whereas I have knocked back ‘Billy’ as it doesn’t demonstrate much creative input as a colourist.

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I’ve added titles to match the existing house style of my brand, including a page title and brief description how to access more information. There is a variation of video footage (full films or trailers) and production stills dependent on the stage of the production. I can now use this template to copy across to the second page of stills and slightly amendment for the ‘Other’ page.

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By clicking onto each title you are now presented with an individual page outlining the duration of the project, my role and a general overview. In the case of ‘Bristol Vibes’ I have also opted to include additional photos, this will be dependent on each project.

Other

I’ve continued the design template from the ‘Film/TV’ page for consistency across the website. The only difference is the emphasis on imagery rather than video. The main page features only imagery to represent the nature of the project, the individual pages may feature some videos where appropriate.

I toyed around with the idea of renaming this section so the emphasis of the site doesn’t feel centralised around Film & TV. However I really couldn’t think of a better term than ‘Other’, currently I don’t have enough live event experience for a dedicated section in the website. The diversity of work cannot be represented through a singular title, therefore I have kept the ‘Other’ page title. The wording of “a selection of” means I can only include the best representation of myself without the need to demonstrate every single piece of work I have created in recent years. For example I have opted to remove the Baggator publicity materials as it strays too far away from media production.

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The design of each individual page varies from the stylings of the ‘Film/TV’ section, but keeps constant throughout this section of pages. I have maintained the idea of symmetry and boxes, aligning three media elements with a text box featured as a fourth box. Some sections include a video to demonstrate the topic whilst the majority consist of pictures only.

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Final Tweaks

To accommodate to this new style I have had to increase the length of the webpage, using the red strip on the left hand side as a measure. I have spaced the menus buttons further apart from one another whilst maintaining an equal distance. This has meant my ‘Credits’ and ‘Contact’ section have increased in height to accommodate for the additional space, avoiding any of the pages looking too empty.

Evaluation

It’s taken a lot of work to get the new design of my website together, I’m extremely happy with the end result. The fact I break down each project featured individually may seem slightly over the top, however this is as much of a personal portfolio as it is public. I have selected the pieces of work that I feel are my most professional and best represent me in my field of work, so I feel indulging my audience with additional information should be an option if they choose to investigate any project further than the grids.

I feel the new design to the main content pages helps to pull together my house style, building upon a clean cut and concise brand, whilst maintaining the colours and shapes that can be associated with the brand. The website is a rich source of information about myself with in depth content for every project I regard as a representation of my professional self. I cannot see any need for change on this site for the foreseeable future, only the case of adding content.

Now I have secured my new website design I can carry this across to other marketing documents. I like to use the website as my base brand as it features so many styles in itself (e.g. buttons, titles, grids, pictures, etc), making it easy to pull content from it and directly transfer across to CVs, Business Cards, Showreels, etc. This is definitely a strong representation of my professional self.

www.joshuawakley.co.nr

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