week 8 round up

Week 8 was a bit of a watershed – we completed part two of this three part course (probably the most difficult part), got to explore of all the projects emerging from the course and presented our work to our industry consultant, Jim Shomos.

In the workshops we discussed self-assessment and conducted peer moderation. Some students hadn’t prepared self assessment in advance as requested – this slowed things up in class and resulted in some unproductive time.  Peer moderation seemed to go well, all the groups appear to be working pretty effectively together with no major ‘dramas’. Peer moderation is a powerful tool – it takes maturity and insight to decide when and where it should be used – and from our perspective, it looks like all of you ‘stepped up to the plate’.

The criteria you are moderating each other by, however, isn’t the only thinngs you need to make a good collaboration…

In the past four to five weeks have you and your group mistakenly doubled up on any task?, been unsure of what you should do next or what other group members are doing? Got your wires crossed about what ‘story you are in’? Missed an important group message? Etc… if so, then now  is a good time to think about how you can improve and streamline the processes, tools and strategies you group use in working together… if you can’t improve your group communication and organisation ‘infrastructure’ then at least take a moment to think about how you might improve the organisation of the project for next time….

I think the project presentations went well – I think we have a great suite of creative works and some real talent in the course. I thought Jim’s feedback was really valuable and should have given you all something fresh to think about and aim towards in this next stage of project development. Jim thinks a couple of the projects in the group ‘have legs’ and urge you to try ‘getting them up’ outside uni. He also asked me to impress upon you the importance of taking any presentation in public and particularly to industry – very seriously and to ensure you put your best foot forward. He has done a few of these consult sessions for AFTRS and other schools and as a result taken on a student project as EP and also been instrumental in realising a student project by introducing them to an experienced producer… Speaking with Jim before the presentations he said he was pretty gentle on the projects, knowing it was only a first draft. In the next presentation (week 12) he will be thinking about how you responded to his advice/feedback and will be expecting more of the works as they will be presented as finished.

One of the benefits of being at school is that it’s a great space to try, experiment, take risks, push the boundaries of what you can do or get away with not doing – and if it falls in a heap, that’s okay – well, at least it’s not going to ‘stick’ like it does in industry or ‘the real world’ as many call it… Over the past 8 weeks there has been more than the usual amount of work handed in late, submission urls’s not checked, course materials and instructions not read or heard or followed, requests for hand-holding, assignments completed on the day they are due … for the most part Emma and I have let this go after a few words – because you are students and you are learning to organise, conduct and present yourselves professionally – but this leniency will only be worth something to you in the long term if you learn how to do it better next time and understand that next year, this kind of sloppiness will hinder you. So, for this final third of the course, I urge you to pretend this is ‘the real world’ – for your sake, not for your tutors.

And once again – well done! We’ve got over the biggest hump in the course and from here it is all about working your projects up so they really shine and are truly engaging – demonstrating your skills, knowledge and learning in practice rather than theory.

Week 9 plan up on blackboard.


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