99% Perspiration vs. Juice Festival – part 2

Ryan Kennedy and Jay Sykes

Ryan’s the one looking goofy on the left, I’m the one with less than cool fashion sense on the right. Who even wears knitted ties?

Juice Festival blog’s Ryan Watson caught up with me over lunch to chat all things creative, and why I make 99% Perspiration.  (You can read part 1 of the interview here, where we talked about questions, interview skills and preparation.)

We chatted about networking skills, building up confidence, creative opportunities, and about the inspiration behind making 99% Perspiration.

Could you tell me about some of the challenges in building up the audience for 99% Perspiration?

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Click here to listen to Sean Rameswaram, producer of Sideshow on WNYC & Studio 360, on 99% Perspiration

Podcasts do take a lot of work, a lot of time to build up – you’ve just got to keep going at it really.  I haven’t increased numbers as much as I’d originally hoped for, but I’ve increased numbers a fair bit since I began.  We’re into the thousands now, it’s taken a long time.

It’s interesting that you say numbers have not gone up as much as you’d hoped by now…

Yeah, I was hoping to have conquered the world by now.  (Jay laughs.)

Continue reading “99% Perspiration vs. Juice Festival – part 2”

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Lungs – A Call to North East Artists

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Lungs is an upcoming contemporary art publication based in Sunderland.  It exists to catalogue the work of emerging North East artists, and to provide a platform to exhibit to a wider audience.

With a limited print run, the catalogue will be distributed to local galleries, museums and art organisations, to serve as a reference of the innovative creative work happening on our own doorstep.

Photographer Angela Wingate is one of a team of three bringing “Lungs” together.  We asked her why this project is so important to her:

Angela Wingate Photography

“I think more than anything, we wanted to show what’s going on around here. Our curating class spent the week in London last month and the culture of the city is so arts focused.  Everywhere!  You don’t get that here.”
Angela Wingate, Photographer & Co-Founder of Lungs

“Everyone assumes you have to travel to London for arts and culture but there is some awesome work being created in the North East.  We want the galleries and art organisations to know that before they call out to artists down south, see what’s going on right here.

62f2b5_4ce67c1b2f284b67835150f097358bfa(1)“We want the Lungs catalogue to kind of serve as a reminder… like, ‘Hey, we’re here!’  Hopefully, it will be received well and we will be able make Lungs an annual publication.  And we’re really excited.”

A call for artists based in North East UK is now open until 15 April 2016. Submission guidelines can be found at lungsproject.org.

An exhibition of a selected works will coincide with the launch of the first Lungs issue in September 2016.  To find out more about the project, you can email the team – lungs.project@gmail.com

Want to help support us, & buy some snazzy stuff in the process?  Head over to our RedBubble – clothing, mugs, books, bags galore!  We’ll have some new designs on the site soon.

nyf-gold-award-jay-sykes-circle-crop1And, as always,
Stay productive, stay awesome!

Jay Sykes
Executive Producer, 99% Perspiration

Blogging 101 – Sophie Dishman

Photo: made on Canva.

Sophie Dishman, a young blogger based in Sunderland, is perhaps one of the most persistent, engaged online writers I’ve ever met.  You’ve seen how irregular the posts on the 99% blog are to date, right?  I envy Sophie Dishman.  She is to me as a tommy gun is to a cannon.

Photo: Sophie Dishman’s Instagram, @MusingsOfAJournalismStudent.

But fear not – Sophie’s been kind enough to share some of her insight with us; a veritable “Blogging 101”, which walks you through from idea germination, some of the must-dos and the must-not-dos which I wish someone had taught me, all the way to how to best utilise the features on your blog, and promote it effectively.

Just follow the link below to find her genius how-to.

Source: How I create my blog posts.

NYF Gold Award Jay Sykes - circle cropAnd, as always,
Stay productive, stay awesome!

Jay Sykes
Executive Producer, 99% Perspiration

Picking a Degree – The South Asian Edit

Hafzah Zamir on the difficulties of pursuing a career in the creative industry, whilst being surrounded by Asian academic success

Hazfah Zamir - 99 reduxYou’re probably reading this article because you are thinking about picking a degree, or even considering whether the university lifestyle is even your fortè.

Being South Asian, when it came to picking my degree, there was a sense of pressure to say the least.

Coming from a South Asian community, or to be more specific, a Pakistani community, it was difficult when it came to choosing the career path for me.

I remember picking my degree and being torn between a dream and reality (as clichè as that sounds).  The dream was that I wanted to be an artist. Since I was a young girl, I had aways been into the creative side of life; from painting, to theatre, to literature, to photography and film-making (to be honest the list could go on).  But ultimately, my reality was that the careers that were made for South Asians were more on the…  academic side.  Growing up, I was surrounded by family who went into the conventional Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Accountant category.  I knew this was not for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I did have the capability to pursue these careers, but there was one particular night that I remember vividly.

It was late and I was thinking about the career that I would want to go into.  I mean the right thing to do was to be academic, be successful, make my family proud.  But would I be happy for the rest of my life?  Of course not.  I’d be stuck in a dead end job doing the same thing day in day out that I didn’t like and be depressed.

But this was always a worry for me; I didn’t care what society thought of me, but I did care about the griefing my parents would get because of a few comments made by some distant auntie visiting from Lahore coming up to my Mama and being like:

“Oh your daughter is an artist…  My daughter is doctor, earning thousands.”

Girl, please!  If you’re going to sit there and evaluate my life, the life of someone you barely know, you need to go and reassess your own life.  Yes Lahori auntie, you’ve been shut down.  *Snap snap*.

But anyways, I therefore decided to start looking for a degree where I could get the best of both worlds (sort of like the Hannah Montana of degrees).  I looked and looked and instead of just giving up and following suit to the conventions of my society, I instead found Public Relations.  As a combination of business and marketing, it allowed me to appear academically successful in my society, whilst creating creative campaigns and working a lot with social media.  I managed to find a degree that would also satisfy me.

When people ask my Mama what I do, she isn’t rather proud to say that she has a daughter that is a trainee Public Relations Practitioner.

And me?  Well, currently halfway through my degree I can happily say that I get to be as creative as I want and branch out into doing other opportunities, which gives me the satisfaction that I once thought was only a dream.

Creatives.  Do not let societal norms affect who you are and your dream, because at the end of the day, this is your life.  Please let me be that first step that changes your life forever.

Stay Productive, Stay Awesome!

Words by Hafzah Zamir

99% Extra – Mike Duddy

Mike Duddy is a freelance Sound Recordist / Post Sound Mixer / Audio Engineer, based in the North East of the UK.  His recent projects include working on ITV’s Beowulf, the BBC’s Dumping Ground, and on various feature films.

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Mike taught two sessions with our first year radio production students yesterday (where I lecture on audio production & journalism) on how to use boom poles effectively, and what to expect from a career in sound recording.

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So, the essentials.  “Being a boom operator is all about creative problem solving.”  Mike explained the art of being as discreet as possible whilst carrying out the role on set, whilst seeking the best quality audio possible.

“A little difference in space makes a big difference in sound, so you have to get as close to the dialogue as possible, without getting the boom in frame.”  They’re the very basic principles, of course, but the more you research and the more you practice, the more skilled you can become.  Down to memorising the spacial qualities of each lens being used.  That way, “if you hear a crew member shout out for a specific lens change, you’ll know instinctively how close you need to be.”

Mike asked the class what qualities they thought were essential to boom operation.  Second suggestion in both groups; being tall.  “Being tall is helpful, of course, but it’s not essential.”  What’s more essential to the profession is patience, steadiness, an ability to pick up scripts and sequences, and most of all, top-notch stamina.

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“You’re always chasing the best “polar pattern” (each different kind of microphone picks up a different shape of sounds around it).  It depends on the actors, of course; Hollywood types are professional at repeating movements and delivery in the same way with each take.”  But that’s not always the case, and a lot of the time he’s just acting on instinct to best capture the dialogue.

It must be a difficult task, to predict the movement of actors, but I was even more surprised when Mike revealed how he achieves this:  “I’ve learned to read neck muscles, they’re usually the first sign that someone is turning their head.”

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We’ve chatted about some of the fundamentals of recording sound, but what about the business end?  Some students asked Mike about how easy it is to pursue a sound career in the screen industries.

“Broadcasting companies like ITV and the BBC take on very few staff across their TV projects, and mostly use freelancers.  It’s standard to get on board with a fixed term contract, for instance my work on Beowulf was a 27 week contract.”

His advice mirrors Joanna Makepeace‘s recommendations in the latest episode of the 99% Perspiration podcast; “It’s mostly ad-hoc work – you’ve got to email producers, email line producers.  You’ll often get work from knowing people, knowing sound mixers, knowing boom operators, knowing film crews; so get out there and meet people.”

“It is quite a competitive industry.  There’s a lot of jobs, but a lot of people.  Stay professional, keep emailing.  Don’t pass up opportunities to meet people, to do work experience.”

“A lot of people say they’re keen to get into the industry, but many of them don’t get out there, aren’t proactive.  You’ve just got to do better than the guy next to you.”

“I watch a lot of TV shows, and you can get names from the credits and shoot them an email.  And then put yourself forward for shadowing, ask if there are any opportunities going…”

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And finally, one of our students asked the all-important question of how much you can make from a sound design career working in TV.

“You can get up to about £300 a day working with TV crews as a boom operator.  Which is better than a lot of professions!”

“And there’s a lot of work in commercials as well – there’s massive companies who spend millions on 30 seconds, so that’s great to get into; not just for sound, but for other industries too.”

If you want to find out more about Mike Duddy, and what it’s like to have a career in sound recording, make sure you check out his website.

 

 

Episode 19 – Making the Most of your Creative Degree

It’s somewhat ironic that what followed the episode entitled “Never Stop” was an absence of podcasts for an entire month. Let me start with an apology. I’m one-man-band; making this podcast alongside everything else in my life. I’ve started a new semester at the University of Sunderland, where I’m now lecturing three radio/journalism classes, which has taken up a great deal of time & energy. I’m also working for the arts networking organisation ArtWorks-U, making occasional videos for the university, producing four weekly radio broadcasts, and sporadically working on a handful of other projects.

Life is chaotic, unpredictable and hectic… And I love it.

As such, I put 99% Perspiration on the back burner. To my own detriment, as much as yours. It’s not good practice, I know. But. The show must go on.

You can expect weekly episodes from 99% Perspiration once again.

Episode 19 is the very first live special of 99% Perspiration. It was broadcast during Freshers’ Week at the University of Sunderland, where I work as an Academic Tutor of radio. They invited us to create a special, live, one-off programme tailor-made to incoming students – “Making the Most of your Creative Degree”.

Click here to listen to Episode 19

Click here to listen to Episode 19

A big thanks is in order for Matthew Donnachie and Grant Lowery, who were our sound-designers on the project.

I’d love to hear back from you about whether this is useful (or not) if you’re not based at the University of Sunderland – our Twitter is @99Podcast.

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Our guests on Episode 19:

Click here to listen to Jill on Episode 19

Click here to listen to Jill on Episode 19

Jill Kirkham is the Programme Leader of Fashion Product & Promotion at the University of Sunderland, and there are tons of opportunities and tips available for fashion students which will be applicable to fashion-conscious listeners.

Click here to listen to Lily in episode 19

Click here to listen to Lily in episode 19

Lily Clifford is the Learning and Engagement Officer at the National Glass Centre, based in Sunderland.  Lily began volunteering at the NGC whilst she studied at the University, and this volunteering experience led her straight into her current role.

Click here to listen to Sarah on Episode 19

Click here to listen to Sarah on Episode 19

Sarah Heseltine is currently a Graduate Intern within the Student Recruitment team at the University of Sunderland.  She joined us to give us insight into extra-curricular opportunities at the University; in particular the Student Ambassador scheme which she was involved in.

Click here to listen to Episode 19

Click here to listen to Sinèad on Episode 19

Sinèad Livingston is a graduate from BA Community Music, in partnership with the Sage Gateshead.  She’s currently setting up a musicians’ creative network, and working alongside me on a radio programme called ArtyParti on Spark FM (Wednesdays at 3pm) – and you can hear more from Sinèad on episode 4 of 99% Perspiration.

Click here to listen to James on Episode 19

Click here to listen to James on Episode 19

James Hamilton is currently studying BA Journalism at the University of Sunderland, and currently presents Drive Time on the student/community radio station Spark FM.

Click here to listen to Rute Correia on 99% Perspiration

Click here to listen to Rute Correia on 99% Perspiration

And Rute Correia, who you can hear more from in Episode 18 of 99% Perspiration, is an incoming student of MA Radio (Production and Management).  She previously studied at Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal, worked with Nintendo of Europe, and now creates the weekly White Market Podcast and runs creative company Rute’s Loot.

Episode 12 – The Power of Persistence

Click here to listen to Episode 12 of 99% Perspiration

Click here to listen to Episode 12 of 99% Perspiration

Advice from two employees of Eutechnyx, a videogame production company based in Gateshead, UK. Luke Withington is a games programmer, and Erin Turnbull is a HR manager. They’ve got tons of advice if you’re interested in working in videogame design, or programming – and they also offer an awesome sounding graduate scheme, Level Up.

And a brief clip of my gold award-winning radio drama, “SeaBurn“. In the podcast you’ll hear it had made “finalist” but since recording the podcast before leaving for the Big Apple, I took the gold award in the New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs awards for “Best Student Drama Program”.

The music this week comes from John Carl Toth – an incredible music composer from Tennessee, who specialises in creating soundtracks.

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Until next time,

Stay productive, stay awesome!