CONTRIBUTION AND COLLABORATION
Knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are, I decided to stay away from the more administrative/leadership roles as well as the more technical roles. Seeing as I’ve always had an interest in design, I volunteered myself to take on all design related tasks from the very start of the semester – the second week into the subject. Since then, I’ve delivered a couple of different poster designs – which we didn’t end up using – as well as the handouts/flyers that were distributed during our seminar. Other than having the handouts printed, guillotined and distributed, and the directional posters printed and put up within building 5, I helped prepare the snacks/lollies and moved/arrange props and just offered help where needed during the seminar. On the topic of collaboration, there wasn’t much physical, if nothing at all, collaboration required and involved in the tasks assigned to me. Upon completing the design work, I would just post draft versions on the Facebook group and based on the comments/feedback given to me, make changes to the original design. I’m always opened to criticisms and take all feedback positively.
I’ve always had an interest in graphic design. So by offering to come up with the posters and handouts for the event, I had hoped that it could potentially turn into something I could add to my portfolio, as well as to expand and hone my (basic) skills/knowledge in Photoshop. Adding onto that, I’ve attended all the seminars prior to our seminar and observed how each group functioned and how each group did things in terms of roles, staging and, particularly, the handouts, and used the information I managed to gather as my main point of reference. My main struggle with the task was in the technical end of things, in which I’ve spent a lot of time Googling and self-teaching on YouTube trying to understand the mechanics of how it all worked/alternatives that are worth the try. This (the time spent on researching + I work over 20 hours per week), however, significantly reduced my efficiency and this perhaps was an inconvenience to my group mates.
As mentioned above, I had the handouts printed, guillotined and distributed, the directional posters printed and put up within building 5, helped prepare the snacks/lollies, moved/arrange props, ushered in people, and just offered help where needed during the seminar. I’ve also attended all classes and group meetings, and the actual event. I’m in a bit of a 50/50 situation when it comes to group discussions. I would readily participate in discussions related to my tasks/discussions on the design aspect of things; as well as provide my opinion on other general areas I was comfortable in providing feedback for (though it may have been unconstructive/unhelpful in the end) but when it comes to the question of which guest to contact, I just draw a complete blank. As to what hindered my participation, I’ve narrowed it down to three things: (1) as an international student, I don’t know much about Australian filmmakers/editors/producers etc, much less which ones are reputable/worth the effort to try and secure (2) by the time I look them up on my phone/whatever device that’s readily available to me, we’ve moved on to the next potential guest/topic (3) succumbing to intimidation – I feel more comfortable knowing I’m talking about before saying/offering to do anything; I just didn’t see the point of saying something I wasn’t sure about, that probably wastes everybody’s time and serves no benefit to the group. But though I wasn’t helpful in that aspect, I still paid attention to what was happening and tried to catch up with the discussion.
CONNECTIONS AND INTERSECTIONS
The “Wanted” seminar series was a good learning experience, for both my personal and career growth. On the topic of my personal growth, I’ve realized that by pushing myself to take on tasks that I’m not 100% familiar with (but still am interested in) – i.e. agreeing to come up with poster and handout designs even though my knowledge of Photoshop is rather limited – is the best way for me to learn; it gave me that extra push to do pursue my interests (something I’ve been putting off for quite a while now) and I also learn better/faster when there is more at stake. In terms of content, I’ve learnt/reaffirmed that filmmaking is not the right path for me. Though I enjoy being involved in the creative side, I’m much more interested in the money/marketing/business side of things. In terms of group interactions, I’ve learnt the importance of communication and to not be afraid to ask for help whenever needed.
Acknowledging that I haven’t taken much initiative to help in other areas outside my assigned role, but taking into account that I tried to take on the more general tasks that – i.e. printing, putting up posters, distributing handouts, ushering, the heavy lifting stuff (anything but the technical stuff such as camera/sound/lighting), and seeing as I’ve completed all tasks given to me on time/by the deadlines agreed on – I did what I was supposed to do well, at least I’d like to think I did well and I hope the others did too, and by the deadlines given to me, I’d say the grade I awarded myself is pretty fair.