Need help with portfolio
Posted 07 August 2012 - 05:55 PM
I am looking to do theatre production next year as a BA at university so therefore need to produce a portfolio of my work but have no idea how to go about doing it. So any tips or hints any one could give me would be great. Or even better than that a copy of someone's would be amazing. Also on the basic guidelines given it says to give some past bar plans but I have no idea how to do this professionally as all my past ones are on scraps of paper.
Any help would be appreciated thanks guys!
Posted 07 August 2012 - 06:59 PM
Get an A4 display folder with clear pockets, and put small sections together, designs, sketches, CADs, and photos of the build up and the show, also a programme -especially if you get a credit.
The best one at the front of the folder, followed up by the others. Keep the folder up to date, and reduce the emphasis on old shows.
Remember that most of the best shows and songs were first draughted on a fag packet or paper napkin, some before CAD was invented! Modern shows are still a few freehand sketches before the draughtsmen get the CAD package open.
Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:03 AM
They want to know what they can teach you as a person, not what you already know. My interview was a 20 minute chat so that the lecturers could get to know me, and learn whether they wanted to spend three years with me. They wanted to know whether I thought I knew everything already, or whether I understood that there was more to learn (hence university!).
If you don't have any outstanding work to present in a portfolio, then don't create a portfolio. If you have some nice photos, then print those and take them along as a demonstration of what you can do, prior to them showing you the ropes. Don't try and force second-rate work into a portfolio just because you think you need one; you're quite able to get into university without one.
(that said, I do understand that some universities require one for interview... :/)
Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:12 PM
Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:57 PM
Thus, make sure you have an elite, concise selection with key pieces of text that you can use as prompts. - They're not going to look down on you for little experience, but they will if your portfolio is messy and full of you doing dangerous things.
In interview remember to keep talking if they ask to look through your portfolio. - Nothing worse than silence as they examine your work. when they have questions they will interrupt you so be ready.
If you have the skills you could try presenting your portfolio in a different way (Mine is on an ipad, so equally shows that I'm computer savvy) creating a booklet, video, website, etc.. but you should only do this if you can create something of high quality and are comfortable to use it under pressure. (Remember to take all necessary equipment to show it with you, and a back up paper portfolio as well)
Aim to impress the interviewer from the first page to the last.
Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:04 PM
Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:18 PM
This is a good piece of advice. On our course we don't insist on a portfolio or a portfolio being specifically relevant to production (plenty of good students come with a design or perhaps creative media / music history) but to demonstrate your suitability you will need something to talk about. Having it right there in front of you gives you stuff to work with. Use show programmes to remind you of what you were involved in and start a conversation, to be honest I don't view names in programmes as evidence on their own. When you can talk about your role on the show, that counts as evidence for me.
For me, I also don't spend much time looking at the seemingly endless certificates that come out of BTEC Production Arts that say you have a basic understanding of the Fitting Barndoors to an Acclaim module etc. Not that they aren't great, just they don't tell me much about you.
If an institution doesn't specify that you HAVE to bring a portfolio, don't hide it in your bag until the interview is basically over. Wait to be invited to show it, but do make sure the panel know you have one and they will generally bring the interview around to it.
Also, don't be put out if it seems like your hard work is being skimmed but realise that if you hide your most interesting thing under a load of filler, it may be missed. Interviewing is hard work and 'we' want everyone to be able to show their best BUT we also need to keep moving.
On similar lines, don't be disheartened if it seems like a panel don't seem to have taken an interest in a lot of your portfolio. It's only part of the picture and sometimes one wishes one could say to a candidate "Great, we don't need to see all that. We've already decided" which could be EITHER way so don't assume the panel doesn't rate you if they only politely glance at your portfolio. It might not be bad news.
This post has been edited by indyld: 09 August 2012 - 02:19 PM
Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:25 PM
I hadnít really even thought about an interview yet so its great to get to get some professional advice to help me! should I include any professional work I've done as crew or should I keep it just to my own designs? Iím not sure if a panel would think it was my design or assume it was professional.
Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:00 PM
Put in what you have done, Be honest and say what you "pushed flightcases for and what you designed the lighting for.
Big shows wehre you did a small job will become less interesting as the folio expands. Shows here you really designed, programmed or operated some aspect will have greater value for longer.
Posted 11 August 2012 - 07:26 PM
Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:51 PM
However on the flip of this.. be proud of your work and show that you have passion for the industry.
Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:47 AM
You mention a bar plan - I've not quite got a handle on this one. Are they talking hanging plots, or scale plans? Just convert your scraps of paper into proper scale plans drawn on A3 paper. They won't mind hand drawn plans, but they'll soon spot dodgy ones. If they see a scale plan, even a poor one, it shows you understand scale. As in being a plan, not a rough sketch. Photos, documents, marked up scripts all that kind of stuff - I guess you could just call it a production documentation portfolio - some lighting plans, sound plots, marked up scripts, order forms for hired in lighting, electrical calculations, hookup schedules, gel colours and sizes, hanging plots, production schedules. That's the kind of stuff - and having well used documents is rarely an issue. In fact a computer printed plan, with hand drawn changes and additions is a good one to use.