As part of this module and to be a part of the degree show we have to create an artist statement and an audio visual showreel in order to portray what we do as a professional, why we do it and what makes us unique. A personal statement has to be personal to you and has to consider your audience along with; using the correct vocabulary, punctuation and enabling your statement to flow when read.
When researching how to write my artist statement I came across these six simple tips that talk about how to write an artist’s statement but the tips are transferrable none the less:
- Start with the basics
Jot down some basic information; are there any themes? Having a short list of details will help later when you are trying to tie everything together.
- Try not to get too technical
If there are some truly unique elements involved in the work (printed on a special material or you shot through a hand-crafted lens, for example), feel free to include that information. Otherwise, leave out the details about your gear.
- What would you like someone else to say about this work?
If you would love for someone to say “these photos bring sunshine to my home”, then you already have a pretty good starting point for your statement. Lead off with something like “I have done my job as an artist if these photos bring happiness and warmth to your home”.
- Share your background and history
All too often, artist’s statements are all about the art and don’t go into any detail about the artist. How long have you been doing this kind of art? Why did you start? Why do you enjoy it? Inspirations?
- Try not to pat yourself on the back too much
It is fine to say you are proud of this body of work, but try not to go overboard with the self praise. I have seen statements that say things like “an expert of her craft, this photographer captures beauty in a way that nobody else has”. I understand the value of confidence and selling yourself, but these kinds of descriptions will be a turnoff to a lot of people.
- Does it have to be a traditional artist statement?
A friend once suggested that I do a haiku for my statement, which I thought was a genius idea. Different venues will have their own requirements, but take the opportunity to do something out of the norm if you can.
[6 Tips for Writing an Artist’s Statement] http://digital-photography-school.com/6-tips-for-writing-an-artist%e2%80%99s-statement#ixzz2TMvbcvhv
I have decided to write my artist statement as a letter taking from the idea of writing a letter to yourself at the beginning of first year, it also shows creativity as no one writes letters anymore it’s all emails, voicemails and Facebook messages I want to show appreciation for all art.
Here is my finished version:
It has come to my attention that your attention is on me. You’ve noticed my achievement and pride upon completion of a project which has been the driving force fuelling my addiction to media in the last five years. The lustful rush that formulates when working on something that really interests me is seen through the creativity and imagination in my projects. The great gift of life itself, as you know, is full of worldly inspiration that I draw from. How many times have you heard “think outside the box”? Well, I want to obliterate the box.
I hope we will cross paths somewhere in the broadcast and fashion industry; an excellent place to flourish creatively and technically.
P.S My friend Ayn Ran asked to pass on this wistful thought, “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”
Here is also a stamp I created to go on the page when printed out, this will also feature on my website:
Audio Visual Statement
As this can take the form of a showreel this is what I have decided to do. Taking my passion for fashion and creating a small showreel that shows jewellery, bags, and make up shot in a way that they would be set up in the industry, based on my previous experience working in fashion photography houses. I also have my voice reading my written artist statement over the top mixed in with a light hearted track. Originally I did want to do a fashion shoot i.e a catwalk sequence and had set this up with a model friend but unfortunately due to certain circumstances we were unable to commence with the shoot, having to cancel the day before, hence using this time to still create fashion shots. This video also features on my portfolio website.
From the beginning of this process I was sceptical about making this film as it is a truly emotional and heartbreaking story to both my contributor and I, and I also didn’t want to lay our friendship on the line as well as possibly put my contributor at risk when having to re-feel and re-live painful moments of the past. However, I was assured that I had a solid idea and I would be silly not to at least try, and so after many meetings with my personal tutor and discussions with my contributor the final project was underway.
At the beginning of creating ‘Instability’ there was only myself and technical crew, and so I was urged to start early on with pre production, getting recordings, writing a transcript, making a shot list, going through my experimental process of cutting up the audio and reordering with my chosen shot list, and researching around mental health. I had this all done by the beginning of 2013 and I am I am glad I did so as I felt confident with the project and my progression. Had I not started the pre production process early this would have made things very heavy for myself and later on for Dean who joined the project as my Producer. Dean joining the project was a Godsend as the closer it drew to my filming dates the more it seemed I had to do, and when Dean came on board it was just such a relief to be able to delegate jobs and have myself focus on directing and not worry too much about paperwork. I can now say that I will never take on a project again without either planning at least a year in advance or having a producer or project manager, as it is evident that even though I may want to you cannot always do and be everything. The best thing about having someone else produce is that they think of things that you may have overlooked and have a fresh take on things, as very often I was too clouded by being so emotionally connected to the story at hand that I forgot some essential things such as contracts, risk assessments, location releases etc. This wasn’t because I didn’t know I had to do them but because up until two weeks before filming when Dean graced us with his presence I was beginning to drown in paperwork.
We have been very efficient with our pre production work and worked really well as a team which is the greatest thing of all, as we Dean I gel well and are able to bounce ideas off each other making the project a pleasure to work on rather a chore, this is also down to reliability as when you have either a director or producer you need to know that they are 100% reliable, and focused on the job at hand.
The production process went up and down like a yo-yo as we ran into all sorts of problems in the lead up to filming for example the day before I was told that one of my camera men might not be able to come to the shoot as a close relative had passed away. This was of course a blow to the mind but as a director I was able to sympathise and come to a compromise with the crew member as it was too short notice and far too late in the day to find a replacement for the next two days. The whole lead up was nerve wrecking but I managed to keep it together and be professional, staying in my role and setting the crew straight to work once arriving at our destination. I had already scheduled the shots for each day that Dean had then collated within a production pack for everybody, which was really useful as everybody knew what was going on and there was no time wasted in figuring out what to do next. One of my strengths is having authority and this showed when filming as I delegated and communicated clearly and thoroughly with my crew, making sure that everyone was doing their job and getting the task at hand done. However, this in not to say that I was extremely strict with my crew, but I was professional meaning that on set I was no longer a good friend but a colleague at the least and a director first and foremost. There were times where I could see my contributors emotions getting the better of her and in hindsight, having her act was probably not the best idea, although I felt it gave the film more depth. The fact that my contributor was the subject made everything a lot more complicated as her identity had to be kept to a minimum meaning that shots couldn’t be explored as much as we may have wanted and the angles of shots became more complicated, though I saw this as a challenge and was positive that we as a team could make it all happen. We in fact worked superbly as a team communicating and supporting one another and I know that I picked the best crew possible as each one of them worked hard, respected the nature of the film and offered different views and technicalities. I would have liked more movement with some shots, however, as the booking system changed after I had already pre booked my equipment there were a few things unavailble to me and so we had to make the best of what we had. Though thinking about it now, our locations wer so small and complex that we probably wouldn’t have fit a glide or track in anywhere apart from outside.
Post production I think has been the hardest for myself as when recording my contributor for the film, it was the first time I had heard every little detail, action and emotion, which was really hard to listen to over and over again whilst going through the editing stages, often having to walk out of the room or go home with little to no notice. I realised that this couldn’t go on if the project was to be finished and so to rectify things I took my producer and editor aside to explain the situation I was in and assured them that I was going to try my best to separate my emotions and asked them just to be a little patient with me. We went through at least three or four edits before showing people as we wanted to be 70% happy with it leaving room for improvement from feedback from others, this seemed to work as the feedback we got were based on issues we were already aware about but gave us some nice perspective from other points of view. Although this was the hardest stage for me it was also the one I was worried about the least as we started editing early on and I had complete faith in my editor Sean as I knew from seeing his previous work that he was creative enough to come back with something fresh, which he did. Dean and I had many tutorials with our personal tutor and gaining feedback was the most useful thing as we took it all on board and with making a few amendments we managed to get to a point where we were all happy with at least 98 % of it. The trailer took little to no time at all going through three small edits, as Sean and I had previously discussed ideas and he knew exactly what I wanted, making it a pleasure to have him on board also, as he is a very talented editor and knows just what to do in order to make things look amazing, without being asked twice.
Dean and I have worked closely on distribution working on designs and generating new ideas this has been a great process as we watched our film finally coming to life with distribution and pr material. Most of the putting together of the distribution material was done by Dean as he acquired the necessary skills where as I did not, though I helped out where I could but this was Dean’s forte and he took it on as part of his role. The worst thing about this particular part of the process has been trying to gain the rights of the end track within our film which is proving to be rather difficult, however, we have made sure we are clear to hand in our production and have made the executive decision of creating two more edits; one that uses a cover version of the song and one without the song completely. Hopefully we will be able to continue with the original or at least a cover version for releasing as we really don’t wish to take the song out simply because it ends the film and story on a high note expressing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Overall I can truly say that I am completely happy with our production, the film looks great, the trailer is working and has picked up many views already, and the promotional material looks fantastic. It has been a hard few months but with help and support we have managed to complete this project to very high standard. I would definitely choose the same crew over and over again, they have been a pleasure to work with and have helped create something we can all be proud of.
Having a budget is essential to making a film as this will either make of break it. When making a budget you have to be realistic in terms of accounting for time and things that may go wrong, as well as miscellaneous items that may need to be paid for along the way this is called a ‘contingency’. You have to include absolutely everything within a budget which means being very thorough and open minded to costs of cameras and equipment to the cost of parking meters.
Throughout this production we have noted down all costs keeping receipts and invoices as evidence. The budget has changed a lot since the beginning of the project, however, everything was taken into consideration apart from distribution material which we didn’t know the cost of until we had made our designs and set quantities. In reflection there could have been money saved from the night that wasn’t spent at the hotel, though this was a contingency in case we had to pick up any extra shots which we could unfortunately not do due to the circumstances on the second day of filming. I believe we have been thorough and tried to keep costs down whether by shopping around or gaining cashback on processed orders and items.
Here is our complete budget breakdown, now completed:
I have sent my portfolio link to an extensive list of professionals in order to gain some feedback on it so I can improve and advertise myself better.
My list consists of :
* 2 production companies.
* Film producer 1.
* A film director, cinematographer, music video director, photographer, and philosopher.
* A photographer, writer, and artist.
* Award winning Michael Givens
* A freelance producer.
* A DOP & camera op.
* Director of award wining short film ‘Through the Flowers’.
* Enemy nominated director.
Here is some feedback I have received:
In completing this form it is apparent that I have a clear sense of what I want to do and where I want to go, as well as how I intend on getting there, any strategies I may have and back up plans. I’m well aware of the risks and repercussions that may come with certain career paths and have been able to demonstrate I know of additional ways to keep me in the industry game even when my luck may seem down and out.
This is a really good way of seeing how much you know about your near future and makes sure you have some sort of plan, with goals and aims to work towards.
Here is my completed form >>>*professional-practice-portfolio-form*<<<
For my professional practice portfolio I have decided to create a website, which enables me to hold my photography work, showreels, personal information, and other projects I have worked on. This will show future employers the type of projects I have been involved in, my creativity and willing attitude to showcasing my work and skills.
I decided to use a simple website builder called Wix to create my website as I have looked into domain hosting and the costs are impractical for myself at the moment, and this simple site does the exact same job, however, I do take into consideration that the web address may not seem professional but at this stage it is only a slight technicality when looking at what I have created on my site.
I have tried to keep to a simple format and simple colours as I don’t want it to be overpowering, I just want the content to be looked at. I also used a standard font as other fonts can look unprofessional and tacky. I have chosen to use an image of me on the front page so that people know who I am, make sure they are looking at the right and can also see me working with equipment. The advantage of having a website is that you can update it at any time and any point and unlike a C.V you get to see the work undertaken visually. It also gives some free advertisement to the productions I have worked on and for, as I believe it is good work ethic to share and promote each others work which shows employers that I am not only capable of personal project management but that I am also a team player.
Here are a few screen shots of the website which you can visit at http://gpierr8.wix.com/gailenepierre:
Although I have not yet been to see the Creative Futures team, I have been in recent contact with them, having sent them my C.V and link to my portfolio website. I have now filled out an appointment form and we are in talks of arranging a meeting within the next two weeks.
I hope that this will help me craft my C.V correctly and more effectively and help me to improve my portfolio and any other self promoting I carry out in the future. I also hope to discuss my near future with them as they are specifically here to help with future carer plans, C.V’s and portfolios, financing and funding options, and any other queries you may have about the path ahead of you.
I think it’s great that we have provided service like this and I only wish I could have made more use of it earlier.