At school I had always been interested in communication and had a passion for film so I wanted to do a degree in Media Production and have a career in the Media Industry.
I know it’s a highly competitive industry where a blend of creative and technical skills are critical, so I have always ensured I have gained as much practical experience as possible to enhance my academic studies. This way I can develop a network of contacts, gain insight into the industry and better understand where my strengths and personal interests and skills lay. It also means I am developing a portfolio of client work that I have worked on to show to perspective employees when I graduate. This is why I have my own website – it showcases my work for clients and project work completed for my studies.
As I was looking for an internship I was drawn to Focus because they not only produce a range of high-quality video content for organisations, but because they also work with their clients to implement video communication strategies for internal (employee) and external (customer) audiences. This means the services they provide to clients goes beyond what is normally associated with an Audio and Video Production company as they act as a Digital Communications Agency with an in-house Audio and Video production team.
Focus responded quickly to my initial contact and took the time to meet me and discuss my experience and future career goals and explore how their work for clients would fit with my career objectives and my studies. Since starting my internship I have found that approach also extends to how the Focus’ team works with clients.
Whilst at Focus, I have been working on a variety of projects that all helped me gain a better understanding of how editing for clients in the media industry works. It has also helped me understand how I work best as an editor. For example, on my first day I was tasked with adding image overlays to a future edition of Focus’ own Out & About podcast series as well as colour correcting and editing a promotional video of the Digital Marketing Summit 2017 (see below).
At college, I was always encouraged to adapt a linear approach when it came to editing projects, whereby I focus on a single project from start to finish before I continue with another one. However, at Focus, I now realise that is not how a busy Digital Communication Agency works. I have found myself working in a multi-client and multi-project environment as part of the team. This means working on 2-4 different jobs a day. Multi-tasking to tight client deadlines while maintaining creative input and high quality control has been a challenge. I have actually found it motivating as it makes editing so much more enjoyable than spending hours working on the same project. The tasks I’m set are always suitable for my current skill set, and allow me to get creative with transitions, shot choices and colour grading.
I’ve also developed a new-found confidence as an editor whilst working at Focus, as the team are so skillful and approachable that I’m able to ask for help or advice whenever I need it without a fuss. I’ve also been able to develop a range of new skills outside of video editing, such as recording voice-overs and filming 360 videos (see below).
360 video is an exciting up-and-coming technology that’s already shaping the way we view the world, so Focus being able to create such immersive content like the 360i Southampton tour highlights that they are always looking for new, creative ways to entertain, inform and educate client audiences.
In summary, I am very much enjoying my experience here at Focus as after every day in the studio I go home feeling happy, confident and accomplished. Each day I’m learning something new, whether it’s a keyboard shortcut that makes editing a little easier, some new software or a new skill that can really make my CV stand out from other editors. I look forward to continue working with Focus into the future.
Note: This is a guest post by Vicky Chapman, a student at the University of Winchester who is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Digital Media Practice. Vicky has been working as an editing/production intern at Focus on a part time basis since November 2017. She can be contacted at Focus or at vlcproductions.co.uk