Challenge: People not turning up to meetings.
How I overcame the challenge: When some students haven’t been able to attend the meetings, I have written down everything being said within the meetings. This is not only just to record what we have got out of the meetings, but it enabled me to tell the students what needed to be done – through our private messenger and page where we share the work that has been produced.
Challenge: The client not replying to an email.
How I have overcame the challenge: This challenge I faced was important to overcome as it could have slowed down the process of the project which was getting permission to film. I overcame this challenge by a follow up call to the client to discuss the plans to shoot the video. After the conversation I later sent another email with all the information he needed.
Challenge: Being more exposed
How I have overcame the challenge: There are a lot of roles within my project management role and the final say has to go through me. This leaves me more exposed than others even though I have never had this job role before. I have made sure I have researched how to lead a creative team and I feel this has helped me greatly and the job role has given me a lot of experience. I have also realised it is OK not to know everything and that I am also learning too.
Challenge: I have no one to delegate to
How I have overcome the challenge: Although at times I have been overwhelmed I have been realistic throughout the project. I have tried to prioritise work and evenly distribute it within the different job roles within the project for example, giving even amounts of work to the photography, 3D, motion graphics and video team.
Throughout the project I have organised meetings to discuss our progress and set tasks to make sure everyone is staying consistent with their work-flow. Yesterday I assigned a number of tasks;
“Firstly more research needs to be done into how to create effective videos for each of the three (we only need to create video one however treat it as we would be making all three).
1. Video 1 location – Video Team/Project Manager
C-tex factory, University textiles room permission
2. Video 2 Pre install – location – video team/Project Manager
C-tex factory, Uni textiles room
3. Video 3 location – how to – video team
C-tex factory, Uni textiles room
4. Storyboards for each video – all teams – work together to put each job role within the storyboards:
Need to be presented in a professional way
5. Shoot schedule for Tuesday – Video team
Monday- Pick up kit
Wednesday – Go to c-tex and film shots that require Rob and Owen.
Thursday – Focus on the machine and film all of the technical aspects, Thursday film in uni room to get time lapse of the textiles environment. Consent forms will need to be filled out and scanned in.
Power sockets are available as well as extension leads. lots of space. Floor is even. Good lighting. no wires are across the floor.
Power sockets are available, even floor, dull room. Space is moderate.
6. Content required from each team
Video one: film the machine, the client looking relaxed and friendly, rough edit and final edit, time lapse of textiles environment, screen recording. technical feedback from professional editors
Video two: Footage of key elements of the machine, more detailed shots and longer screen recording. rough and final edit
Video three: Footage of key elements of the machine being put together, more detailed shots and longer screen recording showing how to set up the software. Also show usb key that is required to gain access to the software. rough and final edit
Video one: Create visuals to show subtle colour differences between fabrics to show the audience that the machine can pick up slight differences
Video two: pre install – plan 3d graphics (stills) of setting up the machine and placing it on the rolling machine
Video three: training – plan 3d graphics (stills) people being trained on how to use the machinery
Motion graphics team:
video one: create motion graphics for the statements I have sent you, animated logo
video two: pre install – research/storyboards/location create motion graphics for the statements I have sent you, animated logo
Video three: training – research/storyboards/location/
create motion graphics for the statements I have sent you, animated logo
video one: sales – one of you come to shoot to take action shots
video two: pre install – research how you can interpret photography within the video
video three: training – research how you can interpret photography within the video
Please remember to use the FRIENDLY CONCEPT throughout all pieces of work
3D and motion graphics could you all please have a few rough ideas created by Friday so we can sit down and and discuss which content we are going to use and which ones we are not so you can develop these ideas to their final stage”.
As our final chosen concept was the ‘Friendly Business Concept’ the video team put together a prototype to show c-tex how the end product would briefly look. The explanation and justifications of the chosen concept were presented to the clients in person and they liked our choice and liked the look of the prototype, which gave me clarification to carry on producing work content within the friendly business approach.
See prototype below:
As part of the de-brief from the presentation, our client Rob Ricketts wanted a series of shots that will be included in the video so he can create short sentences about the machinery so it could be included as animated captions in the video. So my job this morning was to get the photography/editing crew to put together a brief storyboard with the points we will need explaining in the ‘textile industry terms’ as Rob will use correct vocabulary. See image below:
Getting as much information as possible into the emails are a better way to communicate other than sending several emails that could annoy the client as he is busy too. Therefore as well as mentioning the captions for the video, I also mentioned setting up dates for filming.
As project manager it is important to know how to lead a creative team throughout university projects and especially project 3. I have conducted research to find out the best way to lead a creative team to get the best out of my job role for the project. Here are some statements I found;
1. Set the bar
It is important to set deadlines and jobs in order to get everything done before the main university and client deadlines. See ‘Figure 1’ for an example during my project management role:
2. Identify traits of the individuals
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each individual benefits the works outcome as you can optimise the strengths by assembling the right skills and talents for the project.
This has been capable to do due to working with most of the students for the last three years and the newer students for several months, also I have worked with everyone in groups before. For example, Andrew and Christine are both edging towards a career in photography so they are in the photography team, William Cuthbert and Raed in the 3D team and are working towards an animation job role, Josh and Chantelle are in the video team and are focussing on a film editing career and Will M is interested in a job whereby he can be a creative designer therefore he is a graphic designer within the project with Emily, who is also interested in directing. I have got myself, Josh and Emily to attend the shoot days, I will be there to help and assist camera and lighting with Josh and I have made sure Emily can put her Directing skills in to action.
3. Cater to strengths
Knowing the ways in which people produce great work is as important as knowing what specific skill they can add to the team. “Sometimes you just need to empower,” (Evan Fry, 2016). As there are several groups with different jobs roles it is also important that they work together as a team to create high quality work for c-tex. During our meetings I have gone round the several groups to see the work they are producing and giving them an idea to what work to progress to keep them on track of our ‘Friendly Business’ theme.
4. Suggest – But don’t necessarily impose
Some creative are often protective of their process and their ideas so it is ideal not to go in and tell them how to do things because usually it’s not welcome within a creative group;
“In any process, like a pitch, we kind of know the beats. We know there’s a client meeting, when they’ll want to see a strategy, then early work, then finished work. Sometimes helping someone is as simple as putting a calendar up and outlining when certain pieces get done or being clear about when they’ll get feedback on work. It can make it more efficient and make sure the thinking happens at the right times without the worry getting in the way. Some people are more predisposed to organisation than others. But sometimes it’s about making little lightbulbs go off.” (Evan Fry, 2016)
Throughout the project I haven’t told everyone what to do, more so guided so they have time to process there ideas and still be creative.
5. Keep them producing
The work produced by us is being used by c-tex to connect to their international audience. Encouraging the team is important so they keep going for it and keep producing the creative work in their teams. From a leadership view, I have to remember why they’re here so they don’t lose perspective.
‘Figure 2’ displays myself contacting the student personally to have more of a friendly approach rather than asking in the group chat, whereby someone could be less willing to respond with everyone else being able to see the conversation. This can be more of a personal reminder to keep the team producing quality work.
Premier Quality Services Limited. 2017. Premier Quality Services Limited. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.pqsl.org.tt/. [Accessed 16 January 2017].
Co.Create. 2017. 10 Tips For Managing Creative People | Co.Create | creativity + culture + commerce. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.fastcocreate.com/1683221/10-tips-for-managing-creative-people. [Accessed 16 January 2017].
See the C-Tex Concept Pitch Presentation here:
As part of this client project, me and my team-mate Joshua went and pitched our four concepts and prototypes to the client to gain feedback before we start storyboarding and creating the sales video.
Here are some points that were made after the presentation:
- The no text idea works well but we will need some text to explain key points so the target audience understand how the machine works and what it does.
- The audience will find it easier to read the text rather than a voice over.
- We need to contact each other via email to discuss storyboarding and text that will be inserted on the video to start translating in English, Portuguese, Turkish, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.
- Need to show little colour difference between fabrics but show that the machine it can determine and spot the difference.
- We don’t want to see any cables within the video on the machines so editing them out may be required.
Overall C-Tex enjoyed the prototypes of our final concept (friendly business concept) and agreed to our justification. They also enjoyed the ‘family’ concept but understood that it may not be able to be created within our deadlines. I will be keeping in touch via email to discuss the storyboarding further so we can progress to create the video.
As all of the students within the group use Facebook regularly, I am using the group and chat features within Facebook so I can communicate and for all of the work to be posted on the page so everyone in the group can see. This can inspire all the students and gives them chance to feel like a team. Sharing all of the work that is being produced by others may give them inspiration to keep on track. Notifications pop up on their smart phones and computers, which gives them chance to engage regularly inside and outside of university hours. If a student cannot make a meeting I set up in university, we can keep them updated by using these Facebook features.
As project manager there is several benefits of creating a project workflow for the C-tex project development:
1. Instant Communication
This can be used instead of meetings, showing step by step tasks for each team.
For my Project Management role a work flow chart enables me to outline specific events to prevent overburdening team members. This eliminates unnecessary steps to save time and recourses.
3. Effective Analysis
Using colour to outline the status, start date and deadline date helps the students identify what part of the project we are currently developing and when they need to be done by. Outlining who is responsible for these deadlines also allows the teams to focus on each deadline one step at a time.
4. Problem Solving
Flowcharts break a problem up into easily definable parts. The defined process displayed by the flowchart demonstrates the method of solving a complex problem. A flowchart reduces the chance that a necessary step for solving a problem will be left out because it appears obvious. In this way, it reduces wastage of time.
5. Proper Documentation
Digital flowcharts allow you to easily change anything efficiently and quickly unlike flowcharts that are documented on paper.
Flowchart Benefits. 2017. Flowchart Benefits. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.edrawsoft.com/flowchart-benefits.php. [Accessed 11 January 2017].
As a year group we have been assigned different roles within this university project, which is creating a sales video for C-Tex, a textile company that makes software based equipment for online colour monitoring. We have come up with four concepts that will underpin three videos, the other two being created at a later date for Project 5.
–Family Concept: Works well with the company as they;re small/intimate. We got the feeling C-tex doesn’t want to be corporate. Each owner has their own bubbly personalities. Young company and up and coming. Fun atmosphere. They’re happy being where where they are in the industry.
–Talking Heads: Videos based around interviews explaining the equipment with cutaways of examples of what they are saying. But can this be easily understood by international audiences? Rob Ricketts mentioned each individual may be hard to understand so this is where subtitles could come in. Lots have people have used this method, has this worked in the past? Why has it? Why hasn’t it?
-Dinosaur Concept: The textile industry is very out of date, you can walk in to offices nowadays and rarely see a computer being used, a lot of companies still run by the books. C-tex are very up to date with technology so this concept could show how out of date the industry is compared to C-Tex and how they are changing the industry. Would this message translate to the international audience? Would they understand it?
-Friendly business Concept – Similar to the Family concept but less personal. This concept outlines c-tex and represents them well, a small friendly based business whose owners are all close friends. They are professional and casual and this concept can be used throughout all three videos and any ideas from the other concepts can also be used within this one concept.
As Project Manager, I have assigned the group to conduct research for each concept to be completed tonight in order to move forward with prototyping tomorrow, in which all will be presented to the client on Monday.