For our presentation we have decided to it as a group, that way we can cover everything and make it look good and not so mundane. Before our meeting I put forward the idea of using the T.V studio in our recording where we could say what we’e learnt and what it is to be a good student mentor as some sort of news report, as this has been where we have been based the past 5 weeks, we also said that we would do it in the first few days in coming back after Easter break.
The group took on board this idea of using the studio and in the part of the meeting that I sadly couldn’t attend worked out how we could do the presentation. It was decided that we would each be placed in a role within the half of the studio that we worked in and we would say what we had prepared about our learning, what we had done in general and what it means to be a good student mentor.
The flow would be as follows;
* Black screen hear the voice of someone saying the studio phrases when going live (Standby studio, standby gallery etc)
*Have someone in the pa/directors position to say their piece.
*Camera swings over to someone in the vision mixer/sound position to say their piece.
*Camera then swings to the take screen of the other person standing in the studio.
*Cuts to being in the studio with someone as presenter to say their bit.
*Then swings over to the last person in floor manager/camera position to say their bit.
*Finally the camera swings away, cut is shouted, then black as house lights going off is shouted.
Here is my prepared speech:
Being a good student mentor means being supportive and I believe I have done so whilst working in the gallery with our mentees, instructing how to set up each station and being on standby should they need any further assistance. This role has helped my people skills progress further as I often get nervous when speaking in front of a group of people. At the beginning of this module I was apprehensive when speaking, but the good listening nature of our group and our pre session planning meant that as the weeks went by I got more confident when talking to the whole group.
I found that using my strengths worked really well as when in the gallery I knew each station and knew what I was doing which meant I could instruct clearly and confidently. If something cropped up that I didn’t know how to fix, I wouldn’t hesitate to try and solve the problem. I found that if you keep calm then the mentees won’t panic. I’ve learnt to teach in groups as I’ve only ever mentored on a one to one basis, however, I also got to do this when explaining panels individually. I’ve also learnt to set boundaries between being a supportive peer and being a friend.
From this course I have furthered my people skills and learnt to teach in groups. I got a lot more out of this than I expected and I feel I have performed better than I have previously in one to one mentoring. And as a team we have worked really well together and received some really good feedback.
Here is our presentation: https://vimeo.com/64297933
At the beginning of this module I was apprehensive as to whether or not I would enjoy the course, but that soon went away with the lessons being about communication, listening, self assessment and group work all of which I am very good at and so I was happy to be doing something I am good at. Then came the doubts about mentoring as the sessions drew nearer, I have previously mentored before, however, this has only been on a one to one basis and the mentees were a lot younger than us. I felt nervous as this time round I would be mentoring as a team to a whole group only two years younger than ourselves, I was more anxious than anything about them not listening to us and thinking that we had no right to tell them how things should be done.
After our first session which was our hardest, as we had to introduce ourselves and get to know our group and explain things repeatedly to each person, I realised that this wasn’t going to be as scary as I thought and the fact that us and our group took to each other really well meant that I knew we could really make the most out of these sessions together. As the weeks went by all of the mentors including myself grew more confident as we were each working in a section of the T.V studio that we knew best (Jess and I in the gallery and Helena and Alex in the studio) which meant we could work to our strengths and yet still be able to learn and help each other our on our weaknesses. This worked extremely well and gave the mentees an equal opportunity to gain a clear understanding of what goes on in each part of the studio and how each role and control station should work.
There were some days where our group were being rowdy and not really communicating with each other well, but overall they have been very attentive and picked things up quickly, taking instruction well and not hesitating to ask questions or for help. I have managed to better my people skills in talking in front of groups, boosted my confidence in my skills, knowledge and can do attitude when it comes to problem solving, and also conquered my fear of teaching an age group close to my own. This module has been very endearing because not only has it helped us to guide, support, and instruct, it has helped us to work close knit as a team and form friendship and professional boundaries, as well as teach a group of people something they have never learnt before, and at the end of it to be able to stand of their own capabilities.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this module and would recommend it to anyone, I definitely would do it all over again, as you get the best feeling knowing that not just you but the people you have mentored have gained something out of the experience.
Today was our last mentoring session with our group. The group came in and sat down and waited around once we let them in, and one person asked if they were supposed to get started and I said yes. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, this will teach them to just come in and get set up straight away without hesitation.
It took a while for the gallery to make decisions on lighting and sound levels which slowed the practice down, however, everyone else had got into their roles and set up their stations ready to go without asking any questions, meaning they had learnt what they needed to do in their time with us and just cracked on with doing it.
The group were a bit slow today but overall they did extremely well and have come extremely far! They have come up with a show about economic fashion, have costumes made to show, got guests coming in to speak to and are doing a few interviews outside as well. This has all been scripted which they worked from today and got through really well. I would say they need to keep an eye on their presenters as they aren’t very enthusiastic or bubbly when on camera and we have pointed out to then that they need to be otherwise their show will look bad and their guests won’t feel like they want to be there either.
We asked them various questions about their show, all of which they could answer which is a good sign, and asked them what are their next steps over the next few weeks. The answer was to work on set design, and we reinforced this as they do need to be thinking about set early on so that they can coincide with what the presenters will be doing with gestures, will they be stood up or sat down, and also what they presenters wear. Both the mentors and mentees agreed that once a set is in place everything else will come together as it will be easier to see it physically than to visualise.
We were thanked graciously for helping them, and we again offered our extended services to help out should they need it and not to be afraid to give us a shout. I feel sad for these mentoring sessions to be over but I am more than confident leaving our group to get on with it as they have had extensive help with roles and control panels and now just need to carry practising to nail their module.
We have had a meeting to discuss our final session plans and talk through our plan for our presentation. (See presentation plan)
As the mentees are well into their sessions now we have decided to just let them get on with what they need to do and practice. We will assess the way they are working and be on hand should they need us. At the end of the session we will talk to them and see how they think they are working together, ask if there are any problems, and get feedback for ourselves on how we did. We will also talk to them about their show and see how they are getting on as last time they only had an idea of what they wanted to do.
This mentoring session proved to be very productive as the group had sorted out a basic script to run from and got well under way with working through it practising all their timings and making mistakes along the way, but learning from them and working them out between themselves, with us only having to step in once or twice.
Everyone was a lot more focused this time around and took their roles a bit more seriously meaning that everyone could do their job. However, a lot of time was taken for the run through’s and therefore we were only able to get through 3 with the last run through being their best. Everybody was listening and taking direction with only a few moans and groans which showed a professional attitude and team work.
The whole group seemed to be better pleased with their progress and with what they were doing within the session and there was a much more positive atmosphere which was uplifting and motivating.
At the end of the session we again told them if they need help they know where to find us and advised them to keep practising as much as they can in order to produce a show that they can be proud of.
Today’s session was a little more challenging than anticipated as everyone had now been given their roles and so we decided to scrap the talk back test and just get them straight into their roles, after going round the room and getting them to tells us what roles they had been given. They hadn’t come with a short script prepared like we had advised them to, however, they had a template they could work from which they had developed in their class. Unfortunately as it was written in celtx it could not be read by the autocue even when it was copy and pasted into word. We tried many ways but as it was copied from celtx it would just simply not work, this happened to be something both I and the mentees learnt and can now use for future reference, so when it comes for them to write a script they now know it has to be written originally in word and saved as a word document.
The group were a bit rowdy today making lots of noise and distracting each other to the point where I had to tell them to be quiet and listen quite a few times, as their director and pa were trying to concentrate. The director was a little flustered as there is so much to think about and he had only done this role one before. He also got a little frustrated with one of the camera operators not listening or knowing what to do when asked, and with the vision mixer not paying attention to his cues and taking them too early.
Jess and I decided to suggest a role swap, so I took the producer and director aside and explained to them that they have someone who is more than capable when operating the camera stuck on camera 2 which is pretty limited, and someone who is not listening to instructions on camera 3 which has more flexibility. I suggested that they think about swapping these two people as it will be less frustrating for the director. They took this on board and agreed that this should happen but they will think about it. Jess, Alex and I later had a further discussion with them this time strongly advising the swap to help the flow of things, they took this on board and we left it in their hands to take the two people aside and talk to them, but offered our support should they need it. I also asked them if it was ok if I stepped in for one run through as director just to show them how it should be and get them with a smooth run through, showing the director just to be switched on but also to stay calm and collected.
At the end of the session we had some feedback to give which was mainly for them to get their heads down now. They have to concentrate and pay more attention to what they are doing and what the director is telling them to do. We re-enforced the fact that no one should be doing anything unless the director has told them to, as we had lights flickering, shots being taken, cameras moving when being taken etc.
Rather than advising them to have a script ready for the next session we told them to absolutely have one as everyone was frustrated with the running of things and with each other because they couldn’t do their job properly. However, this week they have done very well for being in their roles for the first time.
It is clear that many people are doing their roles for the first time and so it will take time for them to really know what they are doing and be comfortable with it, in light of this we have again offered extra sessions if want us to come along and help them practise.
I also had a talk with the director who approached me with some worries and doubts, but I assured him that it will take time for everyone to get comfortable in their role and that it would get easier once they know their show and running order etc. but also that should he or the producer feel someone is not up to their job role they have the power to swap then with someone who is showing potential, however, they need to give everyone a chance first.
I think this session has given the group a lot to think about and they need to go away and thoroughly research their given role now and learn exactly what it is they are responsible for doing. It was very frustrating at times today to the point where we could have lost it but we all managed to keep our cool and there were no arguments or shouting at each other, we just got on and got the job done.
As there was no script for the last session and they had to mock one up which wasted a lot of time we have advised that the Producer and Script Writer work together over the next few days and make a simple script with running order that they can work from in their next session. This will help them a great deal as they now have their roles and need to be practising within them, and they can’t do this if there is nothing to run from as there is then a domino effect and people are unable to fulfil their role.
Hopefully on Friday they will come prepared and be ready to concentrate and put in the work that they need to in order to get comfortable in their roles and utilise our help whilst they still have it. We will be asking them to set up straight away and take control as if it were just them in the studio, with us only stepping in where needed.