Self Reflection: Media Industries Television Seminar

I was super excited that we got to have a seminar on television, as in the group selection phase it almost was a no go. The lead up to our seminar was a pretty short one, wanting to have it done as soon as possible we opted to do ours in week 6 – leaving us roughly 4 weeks to prepare everything! It all seemed a bit daunting, but we seemed to have a really solid strong group which was a bit reassuring. After the division of groups we immediately began discussing how we’d go about our seminar, we knew we wanted to keep it entertaining, unique and fun; so when the game show idea came up we were all sold. After this we quickly split ourselves into smaller teams as we instantly knew working with that many people would be  a challenge. We had a promotional team, networking team, technical team, props team and a games show/ question team. I was on the networking team which meant I was one of the people who’d be contacting people to be a guest at our seminar, and then on the day greeting them. This actually proved to be a very difficult task as people just weren’t responding. 2 weeks in and we had not one guest locked down which was quite distressing. THEN within another week we received an  influx of replies, and had the complete opposite dilemma – how / who do we say no to? We made a list trying to evaluate who would be the best options and how we could have a diverse range of guests.  We settled on Anna Gregory executive producer at Fremantle Media, Jeff Shenker a  production manager for channel 9, Lucy Maclaren a producer at Renegade and Ronn Frimm the senior news director at ABC. And the guests were sorted, us networking people just had to send out confirmation emails and figure out  a meeting spot. I also took on the role of making the rock candy, it took a few goes to get it right but with the help of my mum we got it looking pretty cool – the taste however was not the best! It was a cool little extra however, which aided the theme and enabled us to generate some hype in the lead-up to the event. Throughout the lead up I was also our teams communication point with the steering committee, so I was constantly going back and forth keeping both the group and Ronja updated on the happenings.

On the day of the seminar we arrived at 9.15 to get all set up. A few of our team members went down to collect the props from the television studios, a few went to collect the technical equipment and the rest of us stayed back folding up pamphlets, cutting out posters and sticking labels on the rock candy bags. As it reached 10 am we were starting to get a bit worried as the doors had not been unlocked yet and we had a great deal of setting up to do. As 10.30 came around someone finally came and unlocked the doors for us and we got to work. So stressful! There were people running around everywhere setting up props, lighting and the cameras. I got to work setting up the computer for the powerpoint, realising there were a few slight changes that needed to be made. I was also told our introductory video had to be inserted and edited slightly so I began doing that, but soon had to delegate this job as Katrina and I had to go and collect our guests one at 11.15 and the others at 11.30. We collected 3 of them perfectly on time and got them back to the room, however, Lucy was running late so I waited for her and we got to the seminar a few minutes after we had anticipated starting so quickly got Lucy in her seat and I headed to the powerpoint and then the seminar was off and running!!

I thought our seminar itself went SO well! The guests were all really cool and so informative having heaps to say and lots of helpful tips, they all got along really well too! The format was unique and engaging, we managed to keep on time, everyone enjoyed the catering, Conor was a fantastic host and the Q&A went super well, people getting right into it.  After the seminar a lot people stayed around to talk to our guests who were more than happy to discuss things with them which I thought was really great and the point of the seminar. I am really impressed with how well my group worked together and couldn’t have asked for the seminar to go any better! We received heaps of compliments from our fellow classmates and each of the guests sent emails complimenting our work and saying how impressed they were with our professionalism; which was  really good to hear.

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Wanted Seminar 6: On The Line

I was pretty impressed by the final seminar in the series, it was so theatrical and addressed its Matrix theme SO well. There were binary code curtains which covered the door to get in, little shots of pills (red or blue lollies) handed out as we walked in and the whole mood of the seminar room was fab. It was darkly lit with just enough light to make sure that the guests were visible, I thought the idea of bouncing the light from the LED’s was such a great way to create a softer light on the guests and an awesome green filter placed over one of the two lights was a great touch in keeping with the Matrix theme and dulling down the brightness of the lights. The music was a great touch also. I was impressed before the seminar even began!

They had a really good variety of guests, having people who work in the digital field across different areas of the media industry such as film, online and the written word. I thoroughly enjoyed the honesty of the guests, and also the debate that went on between two of them as well.

Although I am not looking to get into the digital field when I graduate, I did take away some great advice from the speakers. They made it very clear how important interning can be, often having the ability to land you a job such as in the case of Anna Horan. I liked that they recommended you be pragmatic about money and have another source of income while you are interning or working on a  passion project. I also found it very interesting how big Linked In is becoming in the employment sphere, and thought that was a good thing to keep in mind when looking for employment.

Overall, I thought this seminar was really well done. The speakers were interesting and informative. The hosts were great at keeping the flow going and so well prepared. And the theme was executed beautifully!! LOVED the pizza too. Only slight downfall would have been the lack of promotion for the seminar. Solid end to an amazing series of seminars

Wanted Seminar 3: Femme Fatale

The third seminar in the Wanted Series was the Femme Fatale, women in the media industry seminar. I was really looking forward to this one as the promo video was pretty spectacular along with all their other promotional material. I loved that they had such a diverse range of guests too, with Jenni Tosi CEO of film Victoria,  Brodie Lancaster a writer and Elizabeth McCarthy producer at 3RRR.

To begin this seminar there was a quiz that posed questions regarding stats about women in the media industry, asking the audience to vote for the answers they thought were right. This quiz was a perfect way of establishing the tone of the seminar and contextualising the scope of women in the media industry. In terms of staging the use of a raised platform was very clever as it allowed the guests to be so much more easily viewed by the audience. Michael Kean was also a fabulous host, he kept the show running seamlessly. I thought his explanation as to why he, a male, was the host was a really good one.

I gained quite a lot from the content of the seminar. I enjoyed hearing about the guests experiences and struggles to become so successful and it made me realise that even today it can still be a struggle for women to make it within the industry. It also emphasised the importance of remaining strong and confident and not letting things bring you down or deflate you. Overall I felt like this seminar was very successful and I was quite impressed.

Wanted Seminar 1: Non Fiction

The very first seminar in the Wanted series was pretty well done, especially factoring in the amount of time they had to organise everything, just 3 weeks!  They kicked it off with four amazing guests: Terry Cantwell, Genevieve Bailey, John Hughes and Maya Gnyp.

The promotion for this seminar was well done, I saw many posters and heaps of posts on Facebook in the lead up to the event.  On the day we were given a bag of nuts as we walked in with the same logo as the posters which was a nice consistency, and the branding ‘nut-fuction’; a sucker for a god pun I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was a little disappointing that the trail mix was the only food provided though, especially given the length of the seminar.

The guests were very informative and knowledgable in their various spectres of documentary. The main thing I took away from each of the speakers was how important it is to be passionate about what you’re creating, and the importance of knowing who your audience is and how to communicate to them.

Technically the crew did an awesome job with the set-up on the day and there weren’t as many technical issues as I had anticipated for the first group. In terms of format, I don’t think the pitch segment worked so well. Maybe if it was modified to be a more specific pitch it may have worked better or if the guests had been given the idea before the seminar? It just felt a bit all over the place and as though the guest were reiterating what they had said in the questions immediately before. I also didn’t think the tweeting in questions to a hashtag idea worked too well and was rather disappointed in how the Q&A had no audience interaction people’s questions ignored due to a lack of time.

Overall, I think this group did a great job and offered a really good start to the Wanted Seminar Series.