Sunday, 29 December 2013

Collaborating on Group Projects - how do you pick the right people?

Animators need sound designers
One of the most important aspects of studying any form of film-making,  whether it is animation or live action - or any other media - is learning to collaborate with other people. As a film-maker, you cannot possibly hope to become an expert in everything; you will always need help from other departments. Animators may need help from modelers, designers, texture artists - finding people with the skills you need to finish your film is all part of getting the job done.

For their next animation project, our first-year animation students are collaborating with sound designers, making sure that their project successfully incorporates music, sound effects and Foley in an appealing, seamless way. Of course, animators can do their own sound effects, so why ask for help? The answer is simple: a student who has spent years studying sound design will do a much better job.

Where do our students look for help with their projects? The answer is the Bucks Media Collaborations Page, which you can find here at Facebook. It's a great way to find other students to help out with your stuff, and also a good place to offer your own services.

As with any project, when you start looking for help, you may get more than one offer. So how do you pick the right person? On a commercial project, you will always ask to see samples, or demo reels (usually online), so that you can pick the best candidate.
For unpaid projects, where you are relying on volunteers, you need to avoid upsetting your talent by making excessive demands. After all, they're not doing it for the money. But it's still OK to ask to see work samples - this is good discipline for anyone who is pitching for any kind of work. We all of us need to have our best work online at a website or blog to make it is easy for people to find us, and see if we are the right person for the job.

Collaborating with other students is where our undergraduates begin to learn so-called "soft skills"; the sort of skills you are going to need in the work place, to make sure you get along with your colleagues, get what you need to do the job well, but also to be respectful of your colleagues, and treat them decently.

If in doubt, always ask yourself this question: how you would like to be treated, if you were in their shoes?


(Editor's note: For more on the Bucks Media Collaborations Page, see this article. To find out more about how to work successfully on group projects, check out this piece. )

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