Today was the 4Talent day in Cardiff, and earlier in the month my application had been successful, so I was going.
But what is 4Talent?
4Talent is there to help young media professionals find their way into the industry by offering chances of work experience and training days to enhance their skill base.
Obviously this is something that appealed to me having just graduated from a media degree at university earlier this year and currently finding my own way into an exciting, but tough industry to crack.
Leading up to the day all successful applicants were sent over details of the day, being held in the fantastic Sherman Cymru Theatre in Cardiff, giving us all the choice of 1 of 3 workshops, with media professionals giving talks and advice as well as interactive exercises to reiterate what we were listening to throughout the day.
The three sessions on offer were ‘Becoming a Presenter’ by Reuben Christian (@reubenchristian) covering what it takes to be a presenter, ‘How to create your own personal brand’ headed by Lydia Frempong of Butterfly PR offering tips and advice about how to market yourself successfully in today’s media, and finally ‘Creative Content with phone cameras’ hosted by Matt Redd (@MattRedd) and Nat Clements (@natclementsuk). After toying between creating a brand and creative content, I spoke to my university lecturer who wisely advised me to settle on the latter, as even though personal brand is important when freelancing, we agreed having the opportunity to learn a new skill would add to my portfolio.
With more than a slight hangover from the previous evening, I made my way across Cardiff to the Sherman theatre for early o’clock, ready for registration and the obligatory awkward conversation starters that comes with days like these. I was pleasantly surprised at the ‘goodie bag’ we received and how easy it was to make conversation with strangers and felt that this set us all in good stead for the rest of the day. We then made our way to the theatre hall to receive our first talk of the day from Industry Talent Manager at Channel 4 Glynn Ryland (@glynn4Talent) – Glynn’s name was my only note I took during the whole day, must have made an impression. After a warm welcome from the 4Talent Days team we listened to Sian O’Connor speak about her fascinating job which she holds at Channel 4 – Executive Assistant to Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4 – a great insight into the day-to-to running of Channel 4.
We then broke for some slightly less awkward conversation and began our chosen workshops. Both Nat and Matt were very interesting, engaging and better than anything else, relevant to young media professionals wanting to get a foot in the door, with both having very impressive, if relatively new careers in the industry. The workshop focussed on making the most out of your camera phone, and creating simple content that could be spread across the world for free and could completely kick start your career. Having some knowledge about video production, it was very interesting to think of this content in a completely new way, and being able to create high quality and creative content with very little budget is something that I will definitely be doing.
Lunch came and by this time conversation was flowing normally, with yellow freebies flying around the reception hall from Some Where To – Wales (@somewhereto_WLS) – I bagged myself a hoody in return for a follow on Twitter. In groups we were asked to create a short video over lunch, using the techniques we had learnt in the session previously, we then resumed our workshop and played out the created content – which was great to watch and all of the groups had some extremely creative ideas that worked well on camera phones.
We were then all reunited, where Glynn gave a second industry talk to round the day off, we also learnt about the other workshops, which was great to know what we had missed out on. Our final talk of the day came from Danny Hargreaves from Real FX , talking to us about blowing up things and how great that was – and it really was.
The Cardiff Channel 4 Talent has been a great experience, not only for all the information, hints and tips that I have picked up, or learning new skills, I thought the best thing was seeing a load of people my age as passionate as I am about getting into the media industry, learning about roles I had never heard of, and using all of our skills to benefit each other in the future.
Follow me on twitter for more musings about finding my way in the industry @willdotbarker