James McGahey - Placement Year Blog #2 turn off the lights.

James McGahey - Placement Year Blog #2

My placement year has come to an end and the year has gone so fast. I’ve learnt so much whilst I’ve been at Dynamic, from software skills to organisation and communication skills associated with the creative industry. Each project I’ve worked on has been enjoyable and has tested my knowledge, helping me gain experience in different areas of the business.

Filming on my own.

Within my first six months at Dynamic, I’ve been an assistant to a variety of shoots across the country and also in-house filming. I recently filmed some green screen footage for Balfour Beatty in house as the sole videographer. This was a big achievement for me as it showed how much more confident I’ve become with the equipment and the process we go through to achieve the best footage possible.
As well as filming the project I was also assigned to edit the footage once it had been taken into post. This refreshed my memory on how to key out someone from green screen and then also colour correct, so it fits the scene its being put onto. Overall, my first experience of filming by myself was a success and the final video was great.


ReAssure Code of Conduct.

I was assigned as the lead designer for the ReAssure Code of Conduct module which allowed me to work on the module from start to finish. It started off with a meeting with the project manager (PM) and the client to discuss the ideas that the PM had and how they wanted the module to look. Sitting in on this meeting allowed me to gain an understanding of the module and apply my design input. After the meeting I had a clear understanding of what the PM wanted from the module and also what the client wanted in terms of design.

Being the lead designer on a module gave me a lot of freedom when it came to the designs, because I could express what I thought would work best for the module and how it could be laid out. The PM originally proposed the idea of a detective scenario by which you would work through the module as though you are working on an investigation into the different codes of conduct. The client loved the idea but wanted to make it less like a detective movie from the 60s and more professional to fit in with the visual identity of their company. The PM and I took this on board and made a start on the designs.

I was assigned five days to create all the frames for the module and was pretty anxious as the script was around 36 frames and required a lot of illustrations. In addition, I’d only just been given the idea that the PM had in mind an hour before. I made sure that I understood what was wanted and I knew if I had any queries about the script, I could ask them without hesitation.

I thoroughly enjoyed working on each frame that I created, as each interaction made me think about how it could work and what design would fit best. I managed to complete the designs within four days which gave me an extra day to send the designs back to the PM and receive any amends. Luckily, the amends that where sent back where all positive and required minimal change and then it was ready to send to development.

Once the module had been fully developed, it was sent to the client for review and we received some very positive feedback. I was happy to see that my designs had been turned into a reality with subtle animations to bring the module to life. Some of the feedback we received from the client was:

“…I am too David, well a happy lady! Very pleased with the final version. Thank you for steering us in the right direction.”

“…I did have one person who emailed to say it’s the best of all our ReAssure courses.”

This feedback was good to hear because it showed that the designs I’d created were liked by the client and it felt like such an accomplishment. Overall, it was great to see a project through from start to finish and receive feedback from a very pleased client. Hopefully, by showing my potential in this module, will allow me to be the lead designer on some projects in the future.


Major Supermarket’s Conference Video.

Dynamic was asked to create a 15-minute-long video for a leading supermarket to show at a conference they were hosting. From my own knowledge of video editing, it’s really hard to keep the audience engaged for a long period of time. Therefore, when I was editing the video, I made sure that I had a very captivating backing track that would catch the audience’s attention. This supermarket provided us with some very well-shot video footage of the different things they do for our environment and the products they sell. Some of the videos had a backing track that was different to the one I used in the final export, which meant I had to time the music to make the video flow between each bit of footage. Usually, a video of this length, would have taken me around four to five days, but I managed to complete it within three days and received some very positive feedback from the client.

‘Everyone loved it and watched all of it without getting distracted.’


Team meeting presentation.

Just after writing my six months’ blog, I was asked to create a presentation about myself to present at the team meeting. This was a bit scary though, as I’d not presented in front of a lot of people before, but I felt confident in my ability to present from previous university presentations. As I was presenting in front of everyone in the office, I wanted to make sure that the design of my presentation was on point as my current position is Junior Creative Designer. I knew I wanted to use the Dynamic brand guidelines to make my presentation as relatable as possible to the company, so I used the Dynamic blue throughout most of the design and also incorporated the current trends we were using for the different tenders. I also added my own twist to some of the designs by using different shapes and overlays to make the pages that had minimal text look in keeping with the style of my presentation. On the day of the presentation I became more and more nervous, with one of my colleagues winding me up about how I couldn’t mess it up, and if I did, I’d look stupid – he was joking, obviously (I hope!). But when it was finally my turn to present, all my nerves went away and I felt ready. The presentation went well and I received some very positive feedback from all the staff at Dynamic; I felt as though I had shown my ability to present in front of an audience and also shown some of the work I’d been working on in my last six months at Dynamic.


Being offered a full-time job.

A couple of weeks after my presentation Ben, my line manager, asked me to have a one-to-one meeting with him without any notice. I was a bit confused as we’d only just recently had a catch up about how everything was going and I also knew what I was working on at the time. In the meeting I was delighted to hear that Dynamic had offered me a full-time job after I’d finished my final year at university – I was ecstatic! I accepted the offer straight away and messaged my family and friends to tell them the great news. He said the reasons why I was being offered a position was because of the contribution and effort I had put into Dynamic and the feedback from my colleagues on my performance was very positive.

“My feedback for this project is that James has been diligent, enthusiastic and conscientious.”

“PVH particularly stood out for me as an outstanding contribution. James worked in collaboration, understood the aim of the video and came up with very impressive individual animations that were creative and suited the subject matter.”

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