Focus Business Communications offer a wide range of services, ranging from video and audio content production, audience analytics, promotional services and educational videos. The team are very welcoming and work together well with good communication to get the jobs done effectively and to go the extra mile for the client. I will be spending a week with Focus to gain a deeper understanding of the media industry and what part they play in it.
For my first day at Focus I spent a while researching the business to further understand what it is all about and the types of services they do such as what’s involved in content production, promotional services, audience analytics and presentation skills. I was introduced to the various high-tech equipment and informed on what they are for and how they are used. I also spent some time with Janita who spoke to me about marketing, especially regarding social media and how it’s used as well as the importance of different aspects. The majority of their marketing is through word of mouth and referrals, despite this the website and social media is used as a reinforcement to give examples of their work and demonstrate their skill set. I gave my thoughts and ideas regarding the website, and worked with Ian as he made some slight adjustments to the template. I also observed how Ian prepared the audio file in preparations for the audio recording for the following day to ensure everything was organised and ready for Tuesday.
On my second day, I shadowed the process of audio production and how it works for a the show from the series ‘The World’s Most Evil Killers’. Fred Dinenage came in first to do the voice over, followed by a series of actors to do the dubbing over the voices of the German witnesses. It was very interesting to experience the process of how Ian and the producers would discuss and adapt the scripts and various related things as it went on, in order to develop the content and maximise the quality of the final content. It is very clear that not only is the quality of the content important to Focus but their clients experience giving them the best service they can is equally as important. Later in the day I was given a previous project Focus had done, so I could experiment with editing, cutting and rearranging footage effectively to make it the most visually interesting while fulfilling the purpose of the video – this has really helped me to develop my editing skills working with Paul and Ian by seeing how it is professionally done which will in future help me push my work to the next level.
On day three I began by looking at what I had created with Paul to further develop the previous day’s project with his help and advice. Ian and Paul then showed me how they would set up a live stream using a vision mixer along with various other equipment. This technology can then be used to do a live broadcast on a range of sites, including Facebook, which can be useful for a range of things such as marketing a new product or enabling a wider range of people to see virtually attend a conference or seminar. After this, we went to do some filming and interviews at Solent University to get footage of the preparations for the Mayflower 400 project. We began getting the footage in the conference room, where discussions regarding the event where taking place, so we could show the hard work and preparations that are going into the event which will take place in 2020. For the first interview I was shown how the equipment is used and then observed the process of the interview as Adrian asked the questions. I then got more involved in the process by being responsible for the audio by holding the boom pole for the microphone, learning how to hold it, what is the optimum position it should be in while ensuring it isn’t in the recording frame – I have to admit, it was a lot harder that I thought it would be holding it in the correct position for a prolonged amount of time, therefore I have a new admiration for crew members who hold them for hours on end!
On my forth day I mainly focused on editing. I started the day working with Paul as co-editor arranging the footage, and beginning the editing process for the 4-part series of interviews from the Mayflower 400 project. This has put all my editing skills into practice and helped to push them further, with help from Paul. By chatting with Adrian it has really opened my eyes to future prospects and opportunities that are available to me and other young people. I then worked together with Paul to create a video about my week’s work experience, which you can see below.
On my last day I went with Adrian and Ian to a ‘Museum Hack Day’. This is where six museums facing challenges in the industry in the changing, developing world came together with people who have a range of skills and expertise to help them to entice more people. It was a very intriguing day of networking, full of ideas and interaction. In groups, we worked with the museums and their individual challenges to come up with innovative ideas to solve the problems. The museum I was working in a group with decided that there are other things they need to accomplish first before progressing further in the technological side of things but gained lots of ideas and learnt a lot from attending the event. The other five museums then presented their ideas to a panel and the winning idea won £2000 to help get there project started.
Note: This is a guest post written by Mia Parmiter, a student at Itchen Sixth Form College in Southampton, Hampshire.