17 September 2008
In memory of Jane Mercer, FOCAL International has established the Jane Mercer Training Award. The Award is intended to provide assistance to those wishing to further their professional development in the footage industry and its associated areas. For further information click here
I applied for the Jane Mercer Award towards the end of my Fine Art BA at Middlesex University. During the largely self-governed degree I'd embarked on the discipline of moving image, particularly digital video. Having spent a large amount of my time developing good editing skills (FCP), I sought to advance my post-production expertise further than my self-taught dexterity could take me.
I was initially interested in exploring colour grading in order to make basic improvements to the aesthetical projection of my videos when using cheap stock - which as a Fine Art student I could only afford. When MAC introduced their COLOR program in 'Studio 2' it meant that to buy such a program for my practice could become a realistic consideration.
The 3-day course was an absolute pleasure. Soho Editors had sourced an enthusiastic and experienced professional who'd been involved with the Apple developers of COLOR from the beginning. With his wealth of knowledge and experience in the TV & Film Industry, he was able to offer advice about much more than simply the COLOR program logistics.
Although I stemmed from an uncommon - Fine Art - background compared to other trainees – mostly from within the Broadcast Industry - spending time listening to their discourse was perhaps more insightful and informative about the Industry's working practicalities than any kind of training course could offer.
The experience gave rise to contemplations of merging my Fine Art strivings with Industry application, and opened up a whole new avenue of career I could possibly venture into. Thank you FOCAL!
I was the fortunate recipient of the Jane Mercer Training Award for 2008. I am currently doing a degree in Music at the University of Surrey, but have now started my placement year working at BAFTA, digit ising their archive.
With no previous knowledge of film technology or archives, having a chance to take part in the training week has been a valuable experience. The course has also helped me prepare for working in BAFTA’s archive – introducing me to the different file formats that I would find and to the process of digit isation. I also found seeing the various archives, such as the BBC, ITN and the BFI very beneficial, as well as finding out about all the methods and expert ise that need to go into restoration work.
As a music student, I found the session on entertainment copyright law particularly interesting, as well as the video editing session at the Imperial War Museum, which has influenced me to find out more about post-production as a career.
The course has given me my first insight into the footage industry, and I thoroughly appreciate being given this opportunity by FOCAL International and the Jane Mercer Training Award.