Friday 5 November 2010

BBC BLAST Work experience

I’ve recently finished my three week placement at BBC Tees, supporting and organising a huge youth event based in Middlesbrough. The BBC Blast has been going all round the UK to get kids into creative workshops and promote BBC blast. During 28th-30th October a large festival was held in Middlesbrough centre square.
After hearing about a placement opportunity to support this, I decided to apply through an application essay!  I heard later that I had just missed out on a place, however... The event organiser contacted me the Friday before the placement and said that someone had dropped out and they were looking for someone to join the team for the blast event! I believe it was fate and decided to accept the offer!

During the first day I met the rest of the team, including other people which were on placement also. I was nervous the first day but after a couple of days I was really getting the hang of it!

During the first week, we were planning and organising the main event. I heard Jenny Frost from Snog Marry Avoid would be doing a question and answer session at the main event, so I eagerly offered to help with that as I am a big fan on the work she does! I wrote out the questions. I also was helping with another question and answer interview with Tom Gutteridge who is the creator of robot wars and American idol!

I felt being on this placement was also a great opportunity to make contacts. We visited one of the guys who help run another similar kids event called boro buzz. We discussed the design on the promotional material for this and I handed out my business card!

We also went to TS1 gallery also based in Middlesbrough centre. I had heard of this gallery before but we went to get more information. I chatted to the person who runs the gallery and hope to have a placement with them at some point or even have work in the gallery.

Some of the tasks for blast included making satellite maps on Google maps and writing out question and answer for the famous guests. I was largely involved in the promotional materials. I decided roughly ten posters for the event also.

The rest of the first week we went out as pairs to promote the event in assembly’s and tutorials at school. This really daunted me at first to stand up in front of a large group but I got a buzz out of it and improved as the days went on! One of the schools we visited, a lovely teacher was chatting to me and suggested I did a one hour art class, which is something I want to look into at a later point!

During the second week, we went round schools with the bat bus. This is a fantastic bus with all the state of the art equipment, which opened up into an open space that kids could come and have taster sessions and find out more about the main event!

The first morning of the bat bus, we had a go of the taster workshops and were shown how to use the equipment and help the kids when they have a go themselves. It was hard work trying to pick all the information up and it took me a while to feel confident showing the kids what to do.

The bat bus ran all week and it was hard work and at some points more hard work than the actual event. I learned a lot though.  I think my strengths were was good with the kids and confident approaching strangers and promoting the event to them.

The main event was so much fun; I really enjoyed being a part of it. The atmosphere of the event was great, and the kids seemed to be enjoying themselves!

There was quite a lot of paper work involved in the main event, at first this made me nervous but I picked it up well and gained new skills through this. The placement team all got on well I thought and we worked well as a team. Sometimes I would be working on the discovery truck and sometimes front of house. The discovery truck was the taster sessions and front of house was signing people up and giving out information.

I volunteered to be the photographer for the event, this involved being creative with documenting the event. I took some of the kids, workshops and much more. I will put some pictures that I took on my blog for you to see!

I wanted to tell you guys about meeting the celebrities also. I was involved in the question and answer for Tom Gutteridge. I spoke to Tom and he seemed very nice and interesting to talk too. He knew a lot about the TV business. During the Q&A workshop he showed us a clip of a new TV programme concept, this was brill also!

I also got the chance to take part in Jenny Frosts Q&A. This workshop was fantastic and Jenny seemed genuinely nice and warm. She shared her experiences and was a lot of fun working with her! The photographer took a group shot of us and I found it in two local newspapers! I love her programme Snog Marry Avoid so asked her some questions about that too! 

The last day of the event went well, in the afternoon the work experience team organised the showcase. The showcase aims to show off all the best talent from the workshops. I spotted a fantastic aerobatics/dance group in the area and they ended up being the stars of the show!

In terms of the showcase, I was the stage manager, this involved working closely with the performers and telling them when to go on! I enjoyed this. The showcase was buzzing, we had a live band and there was some great talent.

Overall my placement with BBC Blast was fantastic. I’ve gained so much more confidence and learning lots of new skills. There were so many highlights, I enjoyed meeting all the people involved, doing the photography, being put in the deep end, learning, being part of a team and more!

If you go on BBC Blast Middlesbrough link, my photography work is on there!!

BBC Blast
BBC Blast middlesbrough
Gazette Article
TS1 gallery

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