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Placement

August 19, 2010

When it came to my work experience I hadn’t really put any thought into where I was wanting to go or what I wanted to do so when I spoke to Phil about what sort of thing I was looking for (something hopefully involving video production) and I was offered a place at GTI (George Thomas International) I was happy to accept.

George Thomas International (also known as GTI) is a web based company that specializes in several different aspects of media including music production, web design and more recently designing app’s or the iPhone.they seemed to find business through calling around for new clients but also operated through two main websites which were: www.Kaboosh.net & www.george-thomas.com/ (just to mention both websites are under maintenance right now so neither are available for viewing)

My Placement was based over 2 weeks where I worked a total of 10 days starting on April 19th and ending on April 30th. Although we did not fill out a health and safety form we (James, Dom and Myself) looked out for the fire escapes and where to meet in event of a fire as well as health and safety with computers because the only thin we had to worry about was prolonged exposure to computers and how we would be sat at the computer

The Friday before my placement was to start Phil took me and Dom won to meet the team we would be working with. We first met our ‘boss’ Joe who was one of the team and focused on contacting new clients as well as interacting with current clients. He had a chance to talk to us all about what software we had used. He understood that I hadn’t used flash much before and informed me that they would find some work suited to what I was capable to do. I also met both of the Rob’s, who are also part of the Kaboosh team. One of the Rob’s covered designing all the graphics for the websites and once the graphics were completed, they would be handed over to the other Rob, who would work on the finished piece by including the design into a website, He also occasionally made calls to clients as well. There was also The Kaboosh teams leader Steve who was in the office from time to time as well but seemed to mainly overlook things in the office but went out a lot to meet with clients.

The company seemed to have many pieces of work for numerous clients on the go at once with a number of these clients including: Peter Dickson, Shakeway milkshake group, Chris Moyles, Scott Mills and also their own website as well. The main focus of work they were doing for these clients was specifically web design but also in the case of Peter Dickson and Shakeaway they had made iPhone App for them and were working with them both in a talent contest style project to find some singers for a song they were planning to release.

The main focus of the work that I was doing was mainly Flash and Photoshop based making short animations like the two below.

This was a basic animation where were colour changed from side to side making it look like the colour was sliding. The colours of green and blue were chose as in the animation I made it to represent a nightclub. I accomplished the changing colour my making lines of colour fading from blue to green on photoshop and then flipping the image on flash and having them fade in and out simultaneously to get the right effect. The rest was just a simple pasting the other parts onto a different layer above the colour.

I used the same colour sliding effect on this animation too to help keep up the theme as they were both for the same project but I also added in some little extras. I had the TV producing static as though it was working this was easily don by moving and flipping the image of the static I had found and it managed to pull of the effect I had intended. Also coming from the microphone I had airwaves like you see sometimes in cartoons over radio stations. I made this possible by making 3 semi circles each slightly bigger than the last and have them come in and out one after another.

One other piece of work I worked on was an introduction video for the home page of Peter Dickson’s website. I originally had no footage to work with so I had to find my own off of the internet (which I wasn’t sure if it was copyright friendly) and make it that way. They showed it to Peter who was happy with what he saw but sent me some official footage to replace my own which helped to improve it as the footage was of much better quality. Sadly I didn’t get to finish this project as in the end I didn’t receive a piece of footage I needed to complete it which was a shame as I was happy with what I had produced up to that point of the project. Although I never got to meet any of the clients I had received interaction from them through email which helped to make me feel like my work was appreciated.

I have always understood how Copyright works and what I can and cannot do. During this work placement, I did find some copyright issues I had to deal with.When working on the Peter Dickson video I had to find my own footage to use. I went about this by ripping videos from youtube as well as downloading footage too which I knew was illegal but when I spoke to the Kaboosh team didn’t seem to mind. None of this footage though ended up in my final piece as after it was viewed by Peter he sent me some copyright free footage to use as well as some images as well.

The company had an effective way of contacting potential clients with calling them as it seemed Joe was very good at what he did by getting people interested the company (mainly the Kaboosh site) and was able to get numerous offers for the site as well as more work for the company. The Celebrity based work seemed come from from Steve as he has links into the entertainment industry and the company seemed to off more high profile celebs discount rates to get them in which would look good on the companies testimonials.

My placement managed to help me with my own work as it helped me to get more familiar with software I had little or no previous experience with, It has now left me feeling a lot more confident in using photoshop and flash. I also got to work with video editing software which I have used many times in the past but the extra work helped me to hone my skills in it.

When starting at the beginning of my work experience I was excited in what I was looking forward to but as the two weeks passed I started to become bored and frustrated at the repetitiveness of the work I was doing as it seemed to be the exact same thing again and again and it even got to the point by the middle of the 2nd week where we had nothing to do, I then started to recommend funny videos for them to put on their student website. I don’t particularly feel like it was Kaboosh’s fault that we ran out of work to do but as we were the first group to go there I don’t think they knew how much work we would be capable of doing and at that speed either, so learning from us the next group may have had a more consistent rate of work to do.

From my work experience I feel that I have found out that some of my strengths of working in the industry include: I was able to follow instructions I was give very well completing the work to them as well as giving my own input on ideas about how I would go about things. I managed to pick up using new software very quickly as having never used Flash before and only used Photoshop once or twice, I managed to take a grasp of each of them using them to complete the work I was set in quick succession. When in the office I was always confident to talk to members of the office if I had a query makings sure that I wouldn’t fall behind.

Although I cannot think of many weaknesses the only main one I can think of is maybe I could of asked for more work to do and although we finished all the work we were set towards the end I had a lot of down-time doing nothing and maybe I could of filled this with extra work although I did send some of this time going over work I had completed slightly tweaking it to make it better and to run smoother. If I was working on these projects on my own without the company I still feel I would of succeeded as I feel I am pretty well self-motivated and although some of my projects may of looked different in the finished product I still think they would have been of the expected quality required.

After my work experience it has helped me to narrow down what area of the media I would like to go into and I feel I would be best suited in video production most especially in post production as I feel editing is something I would like to do as a profession but I would also like to be able to use software like flash too as I have found a liking for it now, now that I have had the chance to use it properly in a project.

When going into my placement I was quite sure was to expect so my expectations were quite low as I didn’t want to be overwhelmed but after being introduced to the team and what they were working on they did rise considerably. But after this unfortunately they were never met as it seemed to be quite a dull experience in the end as it didn’t seem to lead to anywhere,and I don’t feel I have properly learnt what it is like to work in the industry as it seemed it was too laid back and felt like the pressure to get the work done was far too relaxed. I feel this was a shame as I was looking forward to working here at the beginning.

In conclusion although I have came out of my work experience feeling disappointed it has left with what to look for is I was to look for a job in the industry. I am also more clear on what part of the industry I am wanting to go into. Although my work experience was not successful for me it is always vital to take part in whatever work experience you can get as although it may not work out well for you they may be able to point you in the direction of some work that may benefit you and if you made a good impression they may pass your details onto someone who may benefit from your work. Kaboosh as a company itself seems to work well under its relaxed work ethic they don’t seem to be very strict but I feel if I was to work for a company I would expect a little more disciplined workplace as it was a little too relaxed for my liking.

Since I left Kaboosh I haven’t hear from them and although it does not mean that they were not happy with the work I did I feel it may been they may have found someone more suitable for the work they are wanting them to do.

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