As you’re all probably aware from my social media feed, I’ve been avidly watching the new RuPaul’s Drag Race series. It’s not just the entertainment value of the show that has me hooked, but also the determination and encouragement shown by the Queens. I decided I should channel this hard work and ethic into everything I do (as much as I’d love to have the talent of making SICKENING dresses and painting works of art on my face) and seize every opportunity available to me. After all, as RuPaul says: “You better WORK.”
A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Twitter newsfeed and saw that Channel 4’s 4Talent and MyKindaFuture were holding a Pop Up day in Liverpool. As anyone will tell you, anything Media related I tend to be all over, so I was really keen to get involved and to find out more.
I currently work as a Marketing and Sales Assistant for an Entertainment company, and I love my job as I get to shout about exciting shows and productions coming up across three different venues in Cheshire. I’m always looking for new ways I can develop and learn in my role, and I thought the Pop Up day would be a great opportunity to do so – especially as the Great British Bake Off Twitter account is actual GOALS.
I had been keeping an eye on the 4Talent and MyKindaFuture’s Twitter and Instagram feeds so I could get an idea of what the other Pop Ups had been up to, but not too much so there was still an element of surprise!
I arrived at the Royal Liver Building (almost getting stuck in a revolving door because I’d gone through the wrong entrance – but that’s another story), which is a grand building beautifully situated at the edge of the sea front – it could definitely be shown off on Grand Designs.
It’s always so daunting walking into a room full of people you don’t know, but once I got chatting to a few lovely people, it was a lot less scary and I was well set for the day!
Jodie McCallum the presenter was so full of energy and got us geared up for Human Bingo, which is actually really hard but a great way to interact with people! It was really encouraging to hear how Jodie had also been on a Channel 4 Pop Up Day a few years prior, and is now hosting them!
I always love finding out how people landed their job roles, particularly in the creative field, not because I’m nosey by any means! But it’s really inspiring to hear how individuals came to be successful in their field. I loved hearing the workshop leaders’ stories, Trai Anfield, Rad Miller and Max Green all gave us a really good insight into different areas of TV production and explained how they came into their exciting roles.
Next we found out our challenge! We were really being worked hard on the day! We needed to create our own videos of whatever we wanted, and they had to have at least one reference to the Paralympic Games. The Paralympics are shown on Channel 4, and particularly from my Marketing job I loved seeing all the various advertising campaigns that had been put together to promote the fantastic games.
It was time to get into our groups and pick our roles. Now I didn’t spend a year and half presenting on radio for nothing! I decided that ‘On screen presence’ was what I would be best suited to for the day.
I joined a great group, bursting with bright ideas and it was decided we would focus on the theme of diversity. It was a great way to get out into the city of Liverpool and find out what diversity means to different individuals. I definitely learnt a lot from the challenge! Firstly, video editing can be complex and requires a lot of time and effort to edit! I know what it’s like to stick to writing deadlines, and I’ve edited podcasts before too, but videos can have proper technological complexities! Speaking of technological complexities, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR SOUND RECORDING! It was a little disheartening when no one could actually hear what I was saying in the video, but it’s all a learning curve. Thirdly, embrace it! I had to be confident to interview strangers, as well as working with a team I had never met before. I couldn’t believe the talent that was showcased in all the groups’ films, from homelessness to disability, they covered a wide range of issues and were very moving.
As well as making our videos we heard from the Channel 4 Commissioning team, and it was amazing to hear about all the various elements that goes into creating wonderful TV shows! We also learnt about the work opportunities provided by the Production Training scheme which sound fab! I didn’t realise how much goes into making a television programme, especially when we had to work on a two minute documentary! The Pop Up team were so friendly, made us all feel welcome and really embraced our ideas and helped us to expand on them.
If getting involved in television is something you’re interested in, then I definitely recommend attending a Pop Up Day or getting involved with one of the 4Talent training schemes! You can find out more here.