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Ryan McMurray - Placement Report 08

Page history last edited by Ryan McMurray 16 years, 1 month ago




1. Introduction



Let me firstly introduce myself.  My name is Ryan McMurray.  I realistically should be in final year of the IMD course this year however to unforeseen circumstances last year I’m on placement now instead.  So back to the point, I’m currently working for a new media production company just outside Portadown called BNL Productions.  Having been employed mainly under the job title of ‘Video Editor’ my roles have changed and increased as my time with the company has gone on. 



1.1  History & Development of the Company



BNL Productions is a relatively new, vibrant & versatile media production company based in Portadown.  BNL is made up of Bradley Henderson, Nick Hutchinson and Ryan Loney.  Since the age of 16 the three friends have been in the development, training & study of media and entertainment particularly within the youth service, completing accreditations and qualifications in media & communication, theatre, graphic design and community youth work up to degree level.



            “The company’s aim is to provide a service which is available to all, make high quality products and make the process enjoyable and fun, all crucial factors in developing a creative community.”



BNL only set up as a company just over a year ago.  Since they’re very successful launch last year, the company continues to go from strength to strength.  With their youth work qualifications, the company has got into a specialist market working with youth groups and education boards to produce an array of media products and services.



1.2  Facilities



BNL’s equipment is very impressive for such a new company. Their equipment range includes:




3 dual screened multimedia editing computers with Intel core 2 quad-core processors each with 8 GB of ram.

1 multimedia editing laptop with quad-core processors and 4 GB of ram.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium Package.




2 Canon XL-H1 HD video cameras with rain covers.

2 Manfrotto fluid head video tripods.

Oregon bullet cam

Pag Orbitor Steady cam System




Sennheiser radio microphones

Sennheiser shotgun microphone

Sennheiser headphones

KM boom pole with Rycote softie kit




Pag on board camera lights

2x 1000w flood lights

2x redhead 800w lights



1.3 Organisational Structure of BNL Productions



Below is the organisational structure of the company. As you can see there are three company directors and then the placement students. This structure is very simplistic one which allows for a no nonsense working environment. There are two placement students on the chart however Carolina is only with BNL for three months.





As there would have been no real sub-categories in the organisational chart before I arrived, it meant there was no need for too much delegation. With the addition of me to the company, it means the directors can now delegate work down.



1.4 Organisational Roles



Bradley Henderson- After studying graphic design for two years, Bradley worked for the Southern Education Library Board Youth Service as a part-time youth worker, developing into project coordinator for various projects in the area through the last four years. Bradley oversees the aesthetic properties of post production serving mainly as graphic designer, animation and project author, with sub-roles of workshop facilitation in graphic design, DVD production & photography.



Nicolas Hutchinson- His role in BNL Productions takes the form of project management, producer, public relations officer, output director and workshop facilitation in DVD production, photography, soundscapes & digital music making.



Ryan Loney- Ryan plays a major role as video producer, director, visual editor, finance, business management and workshop facilitation in DVD production and photography.



2. My Role with BNL



2.1 Job Description



They were keen to attract individuals who are able to bring expertise, experience and creativity to a key role in the company. The job description looked something like this



Essential Criteria



-       At least one years’ experience using Adobe editing software

-       A developed, creative background

-       Ability to work to deadlines whilst maintaining high output standards

-       Experience of adobe software techniques

-       Good organizational skills and the ability to prioritise



Job Roles



-       Video Editing

-       Video Recording   

-       Graphic design 

-       Using adobe software in particular Premiere, Illustrator,  Photoshop, Encore, After effects,

-       Pre-planning for a job, storyboarding scripting

-       Doing workshops with young people

-       Web Design

-       Sound editing



2.2 Skills Required



The technical skills needed for this job would include:

-       A strong knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and specific programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Encore and After Effects.

-       Experience in working with Dreamweaver to build and manage websites.

-       Experience in programming languages such as Action script, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and PHP script.

-       Experience in working in multimedia environment with the ability to operate high-end computing systems and servers.



The personal skills required for this job:

-       An outgoing and friendly attitude.

-       Good time keeping. Being able to work to deadlines and prioritise workloads.

-       Able to work as part of a team but also work of your own initiative.

-       Good people skills. The job involves working with young people and other members of the public. It is essential that you have good communication skills and be willing to communicate with strangers.

-       Experience of working with young people.

-       It would also be helpful if you had access to your own motor vehicle as the job involves plenty of travelling around.



2.3 Skills Gained



From my time with BNL Productions I feel I have developed many new skills that will undoubtedly help me in the future in the multimedia sector. These skills are not only technical and computer orientated but I have also developed personal skills and qualities too. Before BNL it was a long time since I had been involved in anything relating to multimedia. I failed to find placement last year and therefore ended up wasting the year and taking a year of absence. It left me not knowing what I wanted to do. I felt like giving up until I got told about BNL. Once I contacted them, they were more than helpful and agreed that I could join their team as a placement student. This was a great feeling. It was good to feel accepted again.



When I first started with the company, I felt quite nervous about my capabilities as a designer. I felt unsure as to whether the skills I had would be good enough to use in a busy new media company. Originally I had been employed with the main job role as video editor. This was something I had little knowledge of as I had only edited small pieces of video before. I quickly developed various new skills using Adobe Premiere. With each day my confidence grew. I was able to cut up video footage and to edit videos with transitions and effects. With video editing, audio is an integral part. I learnt how to sync audio to the video and how to include music and sound effects. Using Adobe Soundbooth I gained essential audio editing skills. My video editing skills didn’t grow as quickly as I had hoped though. It is a very specialist skill and I seemed to find it difficult to get my head around parts of it.



I was given more design orientated tasks as the weeks progressed. I learned new graphic skills and put these to practise designing DVD sleeves and disc prints. I was shown new techniques by Bradley who himself had undergone a graphic design course. As Bradley left for university I became the sole graphic designer at BNL. As my workload increased so too did my understanding and ability to use the programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. With the bulk of BNL’s clients requiring videos made, the graphics for the end user product was very important. I was responsible for creating the covers and disc prints for the DVD’s. As well as this I also gained new skills in using After Effects. Using this I created personalised DVD menus. See Appendix 1.



My skills in web design have also benefitted from my time with BNL. Towards the end of my placement I was given the role of updating the BNL site. I gained an insight into stylesheets, something I have not really done before. It has been transformed into an up to date site with a new On Demand section. Throughout this project I have further knowledge of other programming skills such as PHP and action script.



One of the most important skills I have learned trough working with BNL is my filming skills. I am now capable of setting up cameras and lighting and shooting a film. I have gained this through being present at film shoots and during interviews. Form the basics such as framing a shot correctly to all out action filming, I have been involved in it all as well as green-screening to create amazing effects I got to use expensive pieces of camera equipment. These are invaluable skills that will undoubtedly help my CV greatly.



My communication skills have developed greatly through placement. I enjoy working with clients and meeting them to discuss amendments and needs. Being present at DVD screenings gave me the chance to meet new people and rub shoulders with important community figures. Being involved with the company gave me a sense of pride, in that I was involved with a respected company.



2.4 Social Aspects of the Job



As BNL is formed up of 3 friends, the atmosphere at work is always a laid-back and friendly one. The social aspect at work is always evident. I was always invited out to social events for meals and drinks. The boys were always inviting me to birthday parties or nights out. The average age at BNL is only 25 so as you can imagine, they like to have fun in their free time. We all have different interests be it in music or hobbies but working at BNL has broadened my horizons on all social aspects. A good social environment is crucial to a good work environment and at BNL the social aspect is never far away.


2.5 My Work Area


Below is a photo of the three main editing computers at BNL. My work station is the computer on the left. As you can see from the photo, the setup of computers is very good and the availability of dual monitors makes work a lot easier allowing things to get done a lot quicker.






3. Training Received (formal & informal)



When I began the IMD course I had some knowledge of various pieces of software and applications. Throughout my first two years my skills and knowledge greatly increased. These skills have enabled me to complete my placement successfully. As I already had an understanding of the programs that my job description asked for I was able to start my placement on an advanced level.



3.1 Training



The first sort of training I received was just the basics. I was shown login details and given information on the server and how things were stored on it and backed up. I was shown the email account and given a breakdown of the equipment and what it all did. Apart from this  I received little or no training at BNL. Both Nick and Loney felt confident in my abilities and therefore left me to work on various projects as soon as I started with the company. I found my way around various software packages and quickly picked up basic tools and techniques. One of the things I have found at BNL is the way in which they deal with difficulties or problems they encounter. As they are a relatively new company they are constantly developing their own skills and practises. I found at times there were things I didn’t know and they would help me verbally or advise me of a tutorial on how to do it. This was also the case for them. I was able to help the company on issues and matters that they were unsure about such as web design and flash animation. We worked as a team and each one of us brought their own skills to the floor.



In the beginning Loney would sit with me and show me various things in programs that were new to me such as Adobe After Effects. He would go through presets and tools and show me what each one did. Nick was more involved with video editing so when it came to using Premiere he would be the one I would go to if I was having difficulties. This type of training would be of the informal category. BNL is such a vibrant company it was clear that I wouldn’t need any proper training. Without the need for training, I have developed a lot of new skills and techniques as the months went on. The everyday working environment allows for progression in aspects of design and creativity. As clients changed so too did my designs and my ideas for the finished products.



The only real piece of formal training I received was the filming process. This was something I have never done before my placement at BNL. I was invited to join Loney at a filming session where I was shown the various techniques needed to make a good movie. From that I was involved in numerous films. I was taught about audio levels and framing techniques. I was shown how to use a High Definition camera and tripod and how to ensure lighting is correct. This was one of my most interesting parts of the job. I was also vetted to ensure I was able to work with young people.




3.2 Building for the future



All of the aforementioned pieces of training will help me in the future in the IMD course and also in my chosen career. I have learned lots of things I didn’t know about various multimedia packages. A lot of these packages will be used in final year of the course so to have gained skills and training with them is only a good thing. BNL has a client base within a niche market. They have OCN youth accreditations which has gained them many contacts in important circles. Working with them and picking up skills from them will give me that advantage over someone who hasn’t worked in the area. I have received training that will stick with me forever and at the same time help me to teach myself more over time. You can read more about what I have learned and the training I have received in Appendix 1 of this report.




4. Reflection



Looking back at my time with BNL Productions I feel it has been a beneficial experience in terms of personal direction, learning and development. I have learned so much in such a short space of time.




.......................almost there..............

Comments (2)

Kevin Hughes said

at 1:54 pm on Apr 17, 2008

well ryan kevin hughes here, does this mean you are goin to be in final year with us...

Karen said

at 7:56 pm on Apr 27, 2008

A good start Ryan k

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