Running through the centre of Bristol at ten to nine on a Thursday morning is not how I had imagined my day would start. But then, I didn’t imagine that I would be in front of a green screen presenting, nor did I imagine that I would meet such amazing new people. I guess that’s just what happens when you go a C4 Pop Up.
C4 Pop Up’s are workshops set up by Channel 4, hence the snazzy abbreviation ‘C4’. However, they are not just workshops, they are networking havens, places where creativity is encouraged from talented individuals right down to your odd socks.
I had attended a C4 Pop Up a couple of years ago in Marketing so when I saw the Pop Up’s were accepting applications I decided to apply. The great thing is, you don’t need professional experience, and I was lucky enough to be offered a place.
Unfortunately, as me and my dad soon discovered, Bristol city centre doesn’t seem to offer many parking or stopping places, leaving me with no alternative, but to run a mile to the event venue (which I had little idea where it actually was). I arrived with five minutes to spare, and let’s just say the run was worth it.
The day unfolded with a few ice breakers such as Human Bingo (aka the odd sock appreciation ice breaker) and then it was time to get down to business. The Pop up was aimed around TV production and we paired off into our own mini production crews. Each crew was made up of an on screen talent, a producer, a director, an editor and a technical manager in charge of sound, lighting and the camera. I was lucky enough to be able to be in front of the camera in my crew but you learn so much about all the other roles too.
My mini production team was called OneWorld Productions which felt a fitting name as to the brief that have been set out. Our task was to create a one to two minute short film which was linked to the values surrounding the Paralympics, as we were looking at factual TV as opposed to fiction. We decided to focus on mental health, with other groups focusing on visual impairments, the effects of social media and how close our childhood aspirations are to our adult careers.
We wanted the film to be relatable to our audience so we went out into Bristol and interviewed members of the public about how they dealt when they were feeling stressed and nervous. We also backed up our film with statistics and presented these, with the help of the green screen which had the stats on. We left the message that raising awareness of mental health issues is important just like raising awareness of sports men and women with disabilities is important.
We only had three hours to storyboard, film and edit the entire piece which proved difficult, especially when our team encountered difficulties with the green screen. It was amazing how we were able to finish it and pull together as I team as it made us bond really well. Even though there were a few technical bumps the amount we had been able to achieve was pretty incredible. There was a few moments where we felt like we were on ‘The Apprentice’, but with more of a friendly atmosphere.
We also got to meet experts in the TV industry, as well as employees who had gone through some of channel 4’s larger 3 to 12 months schemes (and the lunch is always good!). At the end of the day our films got showcased and votes were counted for the best films. Even though ours didn’t make the cut I had still managed to make some great friends and would recommend it to anyone who wants to have an edge in working in the media industry.
Overall, it let me have a clearer insight into the industry, allowed me to broaden my opportunities and open my mind to new things.