Seminar Blog Post #3

It’s been a few days since the largely successful seminar. Since then, I’ve had time to think about my contribution, how the group worked together, the significance of the seminar exercise and how much I have to take away from the experience.

I believe my contribution was very adequate. There could have been more input from me in some areas, but due to the uneasy footing of the group – as demonstrated by the blowup between Max and Jenny – sometimes criticism was avoided in order to negate possible confrontations. That’s fine, as the creative direction was productive, even if it wasn’t something I liked on an aesthetic level. I completed the run sheet and helped decide on the format and sequence of events, along with Georgia and Regina. In the end, the run sheet might not have been overly useful as it was pretty linear and simple, though it helped visualise the whole seminar. My initial role as timekeeper became, somehow, computer operator, who didn’t really keep time. I had to coordinate the screens and make sure the show ran somewhat smoothly. It didn’t, since we got evacuated, but it came back OK.

As mentioned, the group had a few issues here and there. 80% of the group shared a studio last semester and produced two episodes of ‘Rock Bottom’, a live production that seemed to be enjoyable for all. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had at uni, so we’d thought the group would be able to cooperate this time around too. It wasn’t that simple, and that seemed to hinge on an overall lack of motivation. I feel into this trap too, as did most of the group members, who found the assessment boring and irrelevant. The end product wasn’t exciting, compared to ‘Rock Bottom’. The new members of the group integrated well though, and Jess was fantastic at pulling us all together.

Sadly, the idea of the seminar still irks me. Why couldn’t we be making media? The networking side of putting together the guests was great, but Max was fully capable of handling that by himself, and seemed more than happy to do it. We certainly didn’t know anyone better, so why push aside viable ideas in favour of long shots? That left about one job that was directly related to media, and that was marketing. Monika did a fantastic job of that, and regardless, it was probably my weakest point in this course. Ultimately, I conceded to the role of assisting Jess, working on the rundown and carting stuff backwards and forwards before and after the seminar, and none of that will have a great bearing on my future experiences.

I found the Q&A at the actual seminar enthralling. The guests were fantastic, so it was awesome to hear their stories. I could have talked to them for ages, but being at the front of the room and one of the organisers, I didn’t want to take away any of what little time we had for audience participation. I managed to grab some time with them before the show, so I’m happy about that.

Other than what I learnt at the seminar, there isn’t much else to take away. I’ve dealt with large groups putting together complicated projects before, but it’s mostly been related to media. This was significantly easier than that, and the skill set was much smaller. In the end, there really didn’t seem to be much I could – or really wanted to – take away from this. What helped the most was the experiences I’ve gained in collaborative practice. Every time there was an argument or a moment of confusion, I tried to take note, as those instances are the ones that could be avoided, if someone know what to do. I will now call people when I need something done urgently. I’ll make sure that everyone involved has a responsibility, and they are accountable for its completion. On top of that, deadlines are amazing. I love them.


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