Work Experience: David Jones at Focus Biz

English & Media

David Jones, a second year student studying Media, Film Studies and IT, has just completed a week long work experience placement at Focus Biz, an audio and video production company in Hampshire, and has written about his time there in a couple of blog posts for the company. 

The following article is written by David and was originally posted on Thursday 2 February on the Focus blog which can be found here. His second post, along with the interviews he recorded as part of his work experience placement, can be found here.

Work Experience – Demos of 360, 360i, Branching Video and Green Screen

I attended the recent Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on Maximising the Video for Business which was held at the Marriott Hotel in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

Guests listened to a short presentation from Focus on the latest market research on video and best practice being implemented by organisations before visiting a series of 'hands-on' demo areas staffed by members of the Focus team.

I helped the Focus team unload the vehicles and set up the demo stands. A few weeks before, Focus had been at the venue to review its layout and decide how all the stands and data projection equipment and speakers etc would be set up. It became very clear to me how important pre-planning is and having lots of spare cables, extension leads and duct tape!

There were three stands, each staffed by members of the Focus team. They were there to give attendees an opportunity to better understand how audience engagement is enhanced with virtual reality headsets, the value of 360 video (which uses multiple cameras to record surround video), 360i video which adds multiple layers of interactivity such as additional videos, text, images and audio (so allowing people to ‘drill down’ for more data) and video branching which allows an audience to select content within a video rather like chapters of a book or tracks on a CD all within the same video. Finally, green screen video was on display which allowed the audience to see how they looked on TV playing the role of a weather presenter.

Never having been involved in a business meeting before it was interesting to see how it worked. After registration by members of the Chamber of Commerce team, attendees took their places at one of the 4 tables and started talking to fellow attendees. A breakfast buffet was then served, and people could continue to network at the table.  After breakfast, the Focus team began their presentation, explaining to the audience how to develop a video strategy for their businesses and data and statistics about the public’s growing use of video especially on mobile phones and tablets.

At the end of the presentation the Chamber provided information to people on upcoming Chamber events. People were then divided into three equal groups who were then rotated around each demo stand at 12 minute intervals so giving them an opportunity to experience all the video technologies in action first hand.

I was floating between stands, helping people get answers to their questions about the technology on display. The atmosphere was very light, with people laughing and having conversations. Afterwards, we all sat down to have the prize draw (in which people’s business cards were pulled from a bowl at random) and request that they fill in a feedback form. Three people won a book each about how Augmented Reality will help shape the future. A request was also made for volunteers to be interviewed by Tom (a previous work experience student at my college taking the same A2 subjects as me) and myself. We had 4 attendees volunteer to be interviewed as the rest networked and then started to leave. (You can listen to those interviews in another blog).  

Afterwards, I helped dismantle the kit and pack up.

The experience of the Breakfast Briefing and my time with the Focus team has been one of the best weeks of my career so far. I’ve learned countless useful skills that will stay with me. Skills like editing audio and removing background noise on Adobe Audition – something that I had never known before. I also got the chance to watch a live webinar (streaming video) for a client, helping me to understand the pre-planning, organisation and attention to detail that the team needs to focus on to prevent issues and problems. Speaking to each member of the team has given me insight into multiple areas of the business, such as marketing, and the role of online social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Working on editing audio and video for clients and how to use certain features in Adobe Premiere Pro has been invaluable too.

For information about obtaining your own work experience placement, or if you are a company who can provide work experience to our students and would like more information, please speak to our Work Experience Coordinator Alex Morris based in Student Services (W29), or email amorris@itchen.ac.uk.