I look back on the CV I put together in 2013 and wonder what I was thinking. I was heavily driven by the graphic design element and went really over the top flooding it with various screen shots and large text, so much so it went onto 3 pages. At this stage in my life I cannot justify having such a long CV, most of the achievements it boasted don’t attribute to much in the grand scale of life.
Last year I underwent a major re-design of my CV, using my online presence as a way to work an overall house style to my brand. The main aim was to highlight my roles on professional productions, using notable companies as a vehicle for my ability (e.g. BBC Bristol). Condensing the information to a simpler form also made it easier to reorganise everything so I would end up cutting down irrelevant points (e.g. school awards).
The fact my previous version was so heavy on graphical elements I ended up going the complete opposite end of the spectrum for a clear cut and precise brand. I incorporated a red stripe in-keeping with my website house style. I then divided the document into the following sections: Experience, Employment History, Specialist Skills, Additional Experience, Qualifications, References. Since last year I have been using the following CV when applying for any form of media role, keeping it fairly generic but specific to the fields of camera, lighting and colour grading.
This year I feel like I know exactly where I want to be going as a career, this has allowed me to change my branding to make my marketing for specific for the type of career I want to get involved with. Personally I would label myself as a lighting designer who likes to dabble in colour grading as a hobby, but can still work as a general media practitioner. Taking this into consideration I decided to scrap my CV and start from the beginning, heavily influenced by my existing online presence.
This time around I wanted to try and fit all of my CV onto a single page. My thoughts on CVs have changed slightly as I now view them as a single page advert to grab someones attention, all of the in depth conversation should be covered in the supporting application, found online or brought up in an interview discussion. By this logic I can purely list titles of various projects, shifting the emphasis to my role on these projects as opposed to who I was working with.
Now I am marketing myself as a lighting designer foremost I have found most of the relevant experience has come from university or freelance projects. Name dropping something like BBC Bristol doesn’t help, if anything it distracts. I want to be associated with my craft and let the variety of projects demonstrate my versatility. The organisation of all the information remained fairly simpler to my previous CV – listing specialist kit, qualifications, employment history, projects and references, along with a brief introduction.
I started by building the design for the single page, with a red stripe running down the left hand side. This box would comfortably fit relevant equipment as roles and qualifications tended to take several words and be a tight squeeze inside the box. My employment history and qualifications were transferred across comfortably onto the main white body of the page. Rather than listing some projects I opted to list various roles relevant to my craft (e.g. Lighting Director, Colourist) then list some examples of projects where I carried out that job.
With all of these elements on the page I needed to continue to make my CV consist and direct. The opening text to summarise myself I dramatically cut down, purely listing my length and type of experience, then name dropped some companies to demonstrate a professional standard. Finally I added references to the bottom of the page, I played around with a second red box for this.
In terms of branding I carried across the fonts and colours from my website. Each section titled with ‘Impact’, labelled as white text inside of a red box. I used black as sub-headings as it was bolder than any other colour so demanded attention, any smaller text after in red with exception for the content inside the red boxes.
I am extremely happy with this version of my CV and it has obvious proved successful judging by job opportunities presented to me with this sent as supporting material. The content is clear and concise, purely listing roles and qualifications without the need to justify their importance through sub-text. I really like the opening few lines as it paints the image of someone with a vast amount of experience from a diverse range of work. The fact it builds upon my current house style is bonus. I plan to keep using this design for a while to come, I will keep this up to date as I find more work in my industry, potentially shifting the content to a more theatrical and live event emphasis (e.g. removing film roles such as DP).
There’s been a lot of back and forth between the entire production team to try and lock down a final date to wrap up filming. Matt got back to me asking if I was available for the second shoot, having responded communication then broke down. I emailed him again on March 15th and since then we have all got the ball rolling and are now looking to finish up the production on April 29th.
It’s been a while since the last shoot so it will be nice to catch up with Matt and Alistair, see what they have been up to and potentially fish around for more opportunities to work together in the future. I have really enjoyed our small production team and feel we work really well together, definitely a professional relationship to maintain in the future.
Following filming the other day I have dropped an email through to Matt (Director) and Alistair (DP) as mentioned on the set. Both were really impressed by my ability and enthusiasm, definitely making a positive impression. I’m not sure if this will produce any work but I felt it was worth providing both of them some proof of my style of work and see if they can consider me for any future opportunities.
Matt has emailed back thanking for my input and letting me know that he’ll be in contact regarding the next day of filming as Will and I expressed interest. I am yet to hear anything from Alistair. Now the ball is in their court so I anticipate hearing from either of them regarding the second day of filming or some additional work.
This morning Will (Sound Recordist) and I (Camera Assistant) arrived at The Thistle Hotel to meet with producer Matt and director/dp Alistair. We all instantly clicked as soon as we met making the entire filming process really enjoyable. Matt having written the script was playing the featured actor. Having uploaded all of the kit from the car we scouted for our first shot.
The idea was to film in the hotel’s bar to start the day, however with breakfast in full swing we opted to shoot the corridor sequence of the actor walking to the hotel room door. I instantly made myself known when I suggested a different corridor than originally arranged, thankfully Alistair loved my recommendation starting a positive representation of the way I work. Relying on the natural ceiling fixtures I found myself ensuring lights kept on (as they were motion activated) and holding back traffic during the takes.
As the nature of the film was indie we were working with a wide variety of gadgets and budget equipment. Using the term ‘budget’ doesn’t mean cheap or low quality kit by any means, but something that is more of a domestic market than a professional production company. Shooting on a Canon 5D I found myself assisting with assembling tripods, monopods, shoulder rigs, etc; alongside setting up lighting (KinoFlo 4Ks) and focus pulling. I really put all of my efforts into the role, as the shoot progressed I gained more confidence and gaged I could suggest some creative input to Alistair.
Following from the corridor we went back down to an empty bar for a sequence of shots of the actor drinking at the bar. Once again setting up some grip equipment, noting technical specs and acting as clapper loader. Following the end of this sequence I was introduced to the female actress and makeup artist before taking all of the kit up to the booked hotel room for the rest of the days shoot.
Alistair opted for two 4K KinoFlos to softly flood the entire room. The idea was for simulated daylight using full CTB gels and half diffusion, some sequences had these gels removed for a shifting perspective in reality and fiction in the narrative. These lights didn’t have to be shifted often as we were very restricted for shooting space, so I would have to make subtle changes every so often. I continued to slate for these scenes along with assisting with lens changes, noting technical specifications and pulling focus in shots.
Additionally my gaffer gear I have built up over the past few weeks proved extremely useful. Everything I had found a use, the fact I had all of them on my person instantly gave a professional appearance to myself and my craft. For example when asked to gel up lights I was able to go ahead and slice off strips rather than needing to ask Alistair or another crew member and slow down the entire process.
Once again I was able to prove my ability as a practitioner by suggesting some additional cutaway shots (i.e. close up of feet), and nailing the focus pull when the scene changed as it unravelled. Alistair was really impressed by my ability complimenting my work ethic. I am glad to have had such a positive impact on the shoot, I felt like I was on top of my game throughout and had my fullest abilities to offer to the shoot. Following the hotel scenes we were able to call it a wrap for the day, there is another shoot that is yet to be scheduled and hopefully Matt will arrange this so Will and I can collaborate again.
The shoot was really enjoyable and successful, it was great to do something a little bit different from the usual university shoots. Matt and Alistair were really nice guys and good at what they do, it felt like a professional film in the work ethic despite running on indie stylings. I think I really impressed both of them, we are eager to keep in contact so hopefully I will get opportunities to collaborate with them again. Alistair was great as a DP and I felt the two of us worked extremely well together, by the end of the shoot we didn’t even need to talk to one another to know what was going on – i.e. lens changes, turnover camera, etc.
Unfortunately we couldn’t synch up our schedules for the postponed schedule in January. As a result Matt chose to drop me and Jordan from the project. It’s a real shame and slightly unprofessional the fact he has been accommodating for everyone else’s schedules but as soon as we have an issue with the date he decides to remove us rather than accommodate. Jordan and I were both scheduled to shoot for ‘The World Of The Willows’ which took priority over this work experience opportunity. Admittedly I am not aware of the exact circumstances so I cannot make a fair verdict.
However Matt recently contacted me again asking if I was still interested in Camera Assisting for the film. This makes me assume the shoot never happened in January, it seems due to various logistical issues filming has been pushed back until Tuesday 17th February.
It is great that this shooting opportunity has arises again. I was excited for the film and really disheartened when production was pushed back so that I could no longer collaborate on the project. Admittedly it isn’t a huge role and strictly relevant to my career craft of lighting, but nevertheless it is a good day’s experience and another credit to have under my belt.
Tuesday 17th February is filming for all of the hotel scenes, the house scenes will be shot on a separate day that is yet to be confirmed. I had a brief email chain with the Director/DP of the project discussing equipment availability, but the vague nature of what we are actually filming has made me reluctant to provide any university equipment. There is plenty of kit already on the shoot so it isn’t a necessity I provide some. Nevertheless I shall be bringing all of my gaffer gear to help the DP as best as possible, hopefully being able to continue to build upon my lighting skills over camera assisting.