My work placement at Butch Auntie involved producing audio/visual animations for projections at live events including a wedding, champagne promotional event, club rebranding and a gig. During my 7 week period working for Butch Auntie, I was required to work from home, and using the relevant software and the usual production pipeline, I was provided with briefs in which I would be required to hit regular deadlines with high quality work that would entertain their client’s wishes.
Working from home may seem like a dream job, but in fact, it requires much discipline in resisting the temptations that surround you. In a normal working environment such as an office, you are surrounded by work colleagues and a controlled working environment that only allows for one break in a day, working your normal office/shift hours, however when working from home, the controlled environment is jeopardised by possible distractions. This became an issue during my second week of the work placement in which I went home for Easter. Trying to juggle my time between seeing my family and hitting my deadlines with high quality work was a struggle, especially when you live by the sea. But, in the end, I decided to come home early, learning that working from home requires focus and discipline to stay on task and stick to the working hours and breaks that I would maintain in an office environment.
Working from home meant that the main forms of contact were email and phone. Since the main form of communication has been email, I have learned about the importance of communicating with your colleagues, asking questions and regularly checking up on the progression of projects and the work produced. At the beginning of my work placement, I really struggled to grasp using email to communicate with my colleagues as I’m often used to communicating verbally and I believe it helps bring a better social connection between your workmates. In the end, however, I learned to often leave my Hotmail account open in a tab so i could regularly check for emails, and if I didn’t I knew I’d have an inbox full of emails waiting for me to reply to.
Time management was a skill I needed to quickly grasp working for Butch Auntie as regular deadlines for feedback meant I would need to work quickly to produce better quality work. The importance of time management became clear after the first week in which, I managed to miss my first deadline by a few hours and the second deadline I missed completely due to travelling home. This wasn’t exactly the best start to my work placement, and helped me to quickly establish an expectation of regular deadlines and make sure I was hitting them. As I got better with time management and hitting regular deadlines, the next step was to produce high quality work at a quicker pace. On the projects that had less technical constraints, I was able to produce more work of a higher quality, however this is something that wasn’t always achievable as some projects required more technical skills, meaning I had less time to spend on the quality and creativity.
The technical side of this work placement often proved a challenge, as I had to get to grips with a new piece of software, After Effects, as well as do whatever possible to achieve the visual elements their clients required. This often meant doing a lot of research into technical tutorials for both after effects and Maya. I often found video co-pilot to be extremely useful, teaching me the core skills of After Effects. I also began to learn more about the technical side of file formats, often being asked to produce specific file types, so that Pete could adapt the files for screening himself. These technical skills are essential for my growth and development coming into the third year, and have taught me to go out of my own way to solve technical challenges instead of relying on Alan to provide the answers.
Overall, my experience at Butch Auntie has been a crucial opportunity for me to gain knowledge and experience of the media industry that I wouldn’t be able to achieve working on a university project. I have been introduced to new complexities of working to a brief, for clients, by meeting regular deadlines for live events and I tried to make the most of this opportunity in my own personal development. I will be continuing to work for Butch Auntie over the next week or two, following a project we have already begun right through to its completion. From this I hope to work for the company further, not only to expand my portfolio of work, but to gain further experience and skills that future employees would value when I leave university.