Originally posted Wednesday July 11th at http://mrbillywhite.com/blog
I want to work in the digital media industry. I mean, I REALLY want to work in the digital media industry. It’s something that’s always been a part of my life. An interest, a hobby, something to waste time time. From when I first went on the internet, from when I recognised music as an art form, from when I watched kids TV and said “one day, I want to do this”, this love has always been my spiritual constant.
So I guess I always knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something in this area of things, but for some reason I didn’t want to progress until I knew exactly what I wanted to do in such a vast, unspecific field. For some reason, I never really thought about doing a general media course and specialising from there. Or, I did, but just wanted to be EXTRA sure that I'd have something particularly in mind if the time came around.
When I was younger - more specifically, from around the age of eleven - I’d make short films with my friends, which I’d direct and edit myself. Sadly, I don’t have any of these to show after my parents swapped out the family computer without my knowledge, meaning that they’re likely all gone forever, now - something that still tears me up inside when I think about it. I also scripted my own five minute radio-style comedy skits which I performed with my sisters to family members - something which proved entertaining (to us, at least), on long car journeys.
A year or two later, I started making my own miniature magazines that consisted of around eight to twelve pages of original content by myself, which I’d print off and distribute to friends around school. One of these formed the basis of a future web project I’d do - Wiiloveit.com - where I self-taught myself the basics of web design and content production. Through this, I was offered a paid writing position for a (now defunct) specialist video games trading company, and caught the interest of a distant family friend that works in graphic design. I’ve since worked with him in the design and building process of websites for local small businesses, and most recently - last weekend, in fact - took part in a professional film project.
This project involved going to a town I used to frequent with my parents as a child - Harrogate - to film a live event at the International Centre (pictured above). The event in question was a choral concert, featuring a number of separate choirs that had all come together to perform “Songs From The Movies”. These ranged from Hakuna Matata to Time Warp, and covered films from Pulp Fiction to everyone's favourite smash hit: Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (no, really), and it was my job to help with the recording of the performance.
To begin, I stood with my camera in a stationary position so I could get the feel of how the show was going to work, having been given very little indication of what to expect, but I soon found myself running around, sneaking past the audience and crouching at the foot of the “stage” area in order to get the shots that would hopefully make it to the DVD. I was initially under the thumb of a professional photographer, but aside from a couple of guidelines, he gave me free reign to do what I liked. So I did that. And I loved it. There were a couple of occasions I know things didn’t turn out too well, but for a first experience, I felt strangely comfortable. Having barely touched professional equipment since leaving sixth form and (purposefully) doing next to no research into what kind of shots I might want to adopt, I was surprised at how naturally it all came to me. That was when I knew more than ever, that this is for me.
Perhaps I don’t particularly mean running around auditoriums trying to film masses of choral singers, but the whole concept of framing, capturing, and connecting with the material I had to work with just clicked with me; it felt right. I’m also not saying that I just want to start snapping for the rest of my life, either, I’ll have to see where things take me, but what I am sure of is that digital media as a general area has become far more than a mere interest. It is my life, and I will do my best to make sure it stays that way.
For the last few months, I’ve been working in the offices of a small group of financial companies that specialise in debt management and payment protection insurance reclaims. This job involves opening post, sending post, scanning and filing documents, and various other monotonous tasks. It is not what I want to do with my life, and started as naught but a temporary solution to my lack of money and requirement to get some work experience while I was deciding on life direction. Whilst there, I've realised just how much I hate the office environment - or at least, this particular kind of office environment. It’s just not for me. And while I found myself sitting in the post room office space for hours on end, I’ve been able to think about what I want to do in a serious manner. I don’t just want to get out of my job, I want to find something better, that I can enjoy and feel enriched by.
A few weeks ago, I sent off a UCAS application to partake in a course in Digital Media Practice. Whilst the concept and structure of university never really appealed to me, I’ve now come to terms with its benefits, and found a course that is perfect for me. I’ve been on a tour around the school campus and now I’m eagerly awaiting a response from them. All I can do is wait. I have no back up plan, here, and I guess I’ll have no choice but to formulate one if this doesn’t work out as I’d like it to. But I sit here in the hope that come September, I’ll finally be able to begin paving the path of my future.
Nothing would make me happier.
Originally posted at http://mrbillywhite.com/blog
Wednesday morning came around and it was seemingly no different to any other average day. I pulled myself out of bed at the last minute, rushed to the bus, went to work and so on.
As the time turned just after half past ten, I was informed that my phone hadn't been switched to vibrate, as is generally customary in the office. Informed, that is, by a startlingly loud series of high pitched bleeps I'd set as my email notification sound only the night before. As I reached towards it, my mind went through its usual thought process after hearing an unexpected ringtone. "Is it friends name kicking off a text conversation?" "Ooh, did someone like a tweet?" "What if it's UCAS, finally?"
UCAS, the online UK further education applications process, had been awfully quiet on updates regarding my university application, but every time the Gmail logo popped up on my phone, a part of me still expected, or perhaps just hoped it to be them.
And this time, it was.
And not just with another questionnaire or general information sprawl, this time things were serious. "Dear Mr White, Something has changed on your UCAS application." I had no idea what this meant, but I safely assumed that a decision regarding my application had finally been made.
Instead of going through the login process while I was supposed to be working, I instead informed my coworkers unceremoniously that I had to take a quick break, and went up to the toilets with a little more spring I my step than usual. Not the most glamorous of locations I'll admit, but just go with it.
I locked the door behind me and pulled out my phone while mentally semi-preparing myself for what was likely to be a rejection. The course I applied for only takes on a small group of fifteen per year, so it would be understandable, after all. Nevertheless, I'd been waiting for this time for too long. All I wanted to know now was whether or not I'd be leaving work and preoccupied elsewhere come September.
The seconds that took the webpage to load felt like minutes. I rushed through all possible emotional states of hopeful and cynical anticipation, and then paused for a moment when it loaded up. A box on the left hand side of the screen caught my eye. "You must reply to your offers by Thursday 26th July". This couldn't mean... could it?
I frantically clicked onto my choices page as the excitement in me skyrocketed. And sure enough, it was there. "Unconditional". I'd been accepted.
I ran downstairs and informed my colleagues I had to take a quick break to make an important phone call. I told mum about the news, and she seemed happy to hear I'd be out of her hair. My dad seemed more concerned about accommodation than congratulatory, but I knew he was pleased. I've told my supervisor at work and I'll be leaving at some point in the next month or so.
But that didn't matter. All that matters is that I know I'll be leaving that place, and now I have somewhere better to go with a future ahead of me. I've U-turned on the dead end job and now I'm en route to the motorway of living. Potentially.
The next few hours were spent jumping around, randomly bursting out into fits of maniacal laughter while forgetting about all the actual work sat in front of me. Recently, the feeling of being happy has often managed to escape me, but that morning, it burst back into life, engines blaring, full throttle. You never know how awesome happiness can truly be until you've been through a period of depression (more on that another time), and let me tell you, this was at the peak of the scale.
Late September, I'll be moving to London and studying at the famed Brit School for two years, doing a foundation degree in digital media practice. The course is officially run by Bournemouth university, mostly encapsulates film work, and all the while I'll be surrounded by the new generation of Jessie Js and Adeles.
This is gonna be awesome.
All feedback is welcome, and I look forward to getting to know you guys again!
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