“The Impact of Social Media on Breaking into the Music Industry” // my FMP

2018, music, photography, student

Hello!

I feel like the only thing I’ve talked about for the last three or four month is my FMP – my final major project, ‘my degree’s equivalent to a dissertation’ (I hate having to say this); the big project to show what three years of uni have taught me.

My FMP included making a 10-20 video, 10-20 minutes of audio, 20-40 pictures and 3000-6000 words of copy. I also had to do a pitch presentation and contextual essay but that’s the boring bit.

And the topic I chose was how social media effects musicians trying to break into the industry – how social media effects how much work they get, what defines success and how both social media and the music industry have effected musicians and those wishing to work in the industry at the beginning of their career. It was a really interesting investigation and I learnt so much about the industry I’d like to go into in the future – social media is a massive passion of mine (as in creating content, not just scrolling through twitter for hours) and I love music so making digital content within music is a huge dream of mine.

So I thought I’d do a little run down of my project! For anyone that’s interested in what I did, interested in the topic or maybe a multimedia journalism students looking to what their final project may have to look like!

For our project we had to pick a publication to write for, so my project is done in the style of BBC Three.

The copy articles I don’t want to just drop in here otherwise this blog post would be thousands of words long, but I wrote four articles about a variety of topics – an introduction to the topic, a look into a relevant example from this year and a couple of listicles. I didn’t think my writing was going to be very good but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how pleased I was with my copy in the end. If you’d like to read it, I put the copy doc (and the full final hand in doc if you want to read 100 pages of that – it’s not all words, it’s just everything I had to hand in) you can have a look at this Google Drive folder.

My pictures went hand in hand with the copy, but in the style of the publication BBC Three don’t use a lot of pictures so I made a few stylised edits but predominantly used my pictures as if they were promotion on social media which all felt very relevant to the project. I’ve chosen a selection to include here:

This is the thumbnail I made for Episode 2 of my video series interviewing Producer Connor Panayi. This is my favourite photo from the whole project

I then edited that thumbnail to look like a tweet from BBC Three’s account – using the photo, a screenshot from my own twitter to get the font and the style and a screenshot from BBC Three to get their twitter profile. I think it looks pretty legit

I used this style for my Radio interviews as well

This edit was used as an image in one of my copy articles – I was writing about music that had blown up on social media and wanted a more relevant way of using images that also showed my ability to use and manipulate photos (from the point of view of the grading of the project)

I actually took this photo when I worked at Reading Festival last year but 1) I really like it, it’s a well taken photo so why not use it? 2) It was a really relevant way to show how people get so passionate about music

This photo was taken on a shoot for one of my videos but I loved having the opportunity to photograph live music – the Blue Lion Band were amazing and if you get the chance to see them you definitely should, they’re incredible

Another still from the Blue Lion Band shoot (and another one of my favourites)

I also made a couple of infographics to represent some of the statistics in my articles and I really enjoyed making these, I’m going to work more on my graphic design skills in the future for sure

I was going to include a full portfolio of my photos but I don’t have enough space in my Google drive, so if there’s anything else you’d like to see shoot me a message and I’ll find a way!

Onto audio – I did my audio as two radio interviews as if it was a Radio 1 Breakfast Show takeover promoting the new BBC Three series. I uploaded both episodes to YouTube so you can listen to them here:

And lastly video – the pride and joy of my whole project. Making video content has always been my favourite (I’ve been on YouTube since December 2013) and I wanted to use this project to push myself with my videography as much as possible and boy did I.

It’s the most high quality video project I’ve ever shot – with the help of friends and the beautiful 50mm lens, I think the quality and aesthetic appeal of my video is better than anything I’ve ever made on my channel. I taught myself how to use AfterEffects to make a title sequence for the end of the video and I daren’t calculate how many hours I spent editing the whole project. The video element of my project is the one I am most proud of and I’m so happy to share it.

So rather than one long documentary, I made a three part episodic series and a series trailer.

Series Trailer:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:


I’ll be honest, I was aiming for a First with this project – my life and soul went into it and I was (and still am) really proud of it. Unfortunately I didn’t quite achieve this but I was awarded a high 2:1 (68%) for this project.

Overall in my degree I will be graduating with a 2:1 – 69.06% (only 0.44% away from a First). Yes, I did want a first and I thought I’d done enough but you know what – it is what it is, I did my best and I can’t change it now. I’m going to be writing a blog post about holding too higher standards for yourself at some point in the future because getting those results were somewhat heartbreaking.

But either way, I’m proud to share my project and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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the final hurdle

2018, lifestyle, photography, student

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks feeling a little bit like I’m drowning – it’s taken me a couple of weeks to catch up on the YouTube videos I made but never edited or uploaded (I’ve just uploaded the weekly #4 and scheduled a January favourites video as of writing!) and I’ve not written a blog post since my rambly, somewhat obsessive post about The Greatest Showman… and I haven’t even been busy?

My brain has been busy but my life, really, hasn’t.

I’ve had one assignment. I’ve been putting off doing my big FMP project because if I start then it’s real and actually have to do it, which is a really stupid reason to be scared of starting a project but it’s true. There’s been some Sonar Film stuff, there’s been some personal stuff, but realistically I just haven’t had the motivation to do anything and it’s sad because there’s a creative, organised, ambitious human stuck inside the body of an unhealthy, emotionally unstable twenty-one year old who has the rest of her life in front of her.

But today that changes.

I applied for my first job today. My first real world, potentially starting a career, maybe graduating job. It was highly speculative and I almost certainly won’t get it, but there’s an ‘almost’ there and that’s worth a shot.

I’m feeling a lot better about everything, I’ve got a presentation next week and then after that the only thing I really have to focus on is my final project.

But that doesn’t help with writing blog posts or making YouTube videos, does it? A schedule does though! In the last week I have made a February content plan and it’s slightly more realistic than my January one was.

On the other hand, I was very proud for not beating myself up about not writing a blog post every week or getting behind on editing for YouTube – my mantra for content creation is ‘no pressure’ and I’m finding myself applying that to more aspects of my life and it works.

As soon as you take the pressure off and start to think of what happens as a result not as a consequence, but just a result then suddenly it feels a lot more achievable – even with uni. “No pressure” means I do the best I can whilst being conscious of my mental health and what grade I get is an indication of the best I could do when I prioritised myself – I think that’s an okay mindset to be in?

Balancing uni and blogging was always going to be a struggle – I don’t think there’s been any point over the last three years where that hasn’t been a struggle (how I wrote five posts a week this time last year I genuinely have no idea).

My conclusion is that stuff gets busy, sometimes I can’t prioritise what I want to do and sometimes I don’t have the mental capacity to do anything at all – but being aware of that, learning to recognise it and finding ways to combat and prevent is will never be a bad thing.

In three months I will have handed in my final project and the final hurdle of university will have surpassed. Whether I leap, climb or fall over it is yet to be seen but it’s in sight and I’m going to fight my hardest to jump as high as I can.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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BA vs Bsc | the stigma of creativity

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Little bit of a late one tonight – had an assignment due today but I’ve only got one more after this, so hopefully no more late night posts after that!

This is something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while – I do a BA course at university, meaning a Bachelor of Arts course, I know a lot of people who do a Bachelor of Science degree, but there’s also BEng (Engineering), BMed (Medicine, I think?) and other kinds of degrees, but I’m focusing on BA and BSc today.

When I was at school, the focus of most of my teachers and my peers was academic and scientific and very ‘intelligent’ – I vividly remember someone I used to be friends with saying something along the lines of “At least I’m not going to study media” and as someone who went on to study a media-based journalism degree, I took this a little bit personally (she was a dick anyway).

Being a creative student already has a stigma and association of being ‘easy’ or irrelevant or a waste of money and I just want to fight the corner of the BA for a second, but not the academic BA – the creative BA, not the history or English or geography or academic courses but the journalism, TV and film, fashion, photography etc.

Think about how much you like film; think about the people that make the movies – sure, a lot of them probably don’t have a degree in film or post-production or anything but think about how the importance of film and the entertainment industry has changed and what a messy industry would be if no one was trained. I think it’s so naive of people who study something like history (nothing personal, it’s just the first one that sprung to mind) to be like ‘why would you study that? If you’re good enough at XYZ you’d just do it, you wouldn’t need a degree’ when they in particular know exactly what it’s like to hear ‘yeah, but you’ll only ever be a history teacher, won’t you?’

Sure, I know nothing about the kind of jobs that people on academic courses can do, but also I didn’t know about so many jobs that I could do before I came to uni and got a taste of the industry – you probably don’t know anything about what’s available to the people you went to school with on a course you’ve never heard of.

One thing that a lot of people I went to school with made me feel, particularly my maths teacher and my sixth form team (maybe getting a bit personal now) is that I wasn’t clever enough – I struggled a lot with my A Levels and I was made to feel really stupid because I struggled with A Level maths, which is renowned for being ridiculously hard! Just because I can’t do A Level maths, doesn’t mean I’m bad at maths. I was doing maths today to figure out the lowest mark I’d need to get a first in one of my units. At work, I’m the one that’s good at maths because I know that 75% off something is the same as dividing the price of something by 4. I really like algebra.

Conclusion: without sounding really cocky, I am quite clever and I am good at learning things fast – I love learning new things and I bought a book called ‘What is Life: When Chemistry Becomes Biology’ because I like learning! I haven’t read it yet, but that’s beside the point.

I have a big complex about intelligence because in primary school, I was told I was really clever but then my friends got invited to Gifted and Talented courses and I didn’t, in secondary school I didn’t try because I thought I was clever and I fell behind and became averagely intelligent, at A Levels I really struggled and now I realise that my entire school life was corrupt and I’m actually okay.

I quite often put myself down and call myself stupid as a defence because in my head if I don’t say it someone else will probably think it so I might as well say it and recently people have been really taken aback and have told me not to say it and I don’t know what to think any more.

School really didn’t do me any good.

After I finish my multimedia journalism degree, I want to go get a Master of Arts post-grad degree in marketing and social media because I love social media and working on social media as a means of promotion. So many people have said ‘Yeah but is social media really a career?’ and I find it so disheartening that people will use twitter and Facebook and partake in a social media campaign without even thinking about it, but they don’t think about the fact that someone has been paid to come up with this campaign! Your favourite band releases music? They’re a PR and Social Media campaign. New film cast doing a press tour? Yep, that’s PR and Social Media.

I know exactly what I want to do and it’s so disheartening to be told (especially by your friends) ‘yeah but that’s not a real job’, ‘yeah but it’s not hard anyone can do that’ – just because it’s an creative industry that you don’t really have an understanding of or haven’t noticed you’re a part of, doesn’t mean it’s not real.

For the sake of my maths teacher that bullied me and my sixth form administrators – this is what I have learnt about and achieved so far on my creative BA, not academic course in two years:

  • photography (technology and software)
  • videography (technology and software)
  • audio (technology and software)
  • so much editing software, that I’ve taught myself off my own back
  • presenting skills
  • writing in so many different forms for so many different audiences
  • editorial roles in traditional journalism and how they’re applied to new journalism
  • social media and promotions
  • work experience at Channel 4
  • work experience at BBC Three
  • work experience at NASS Festival 2016 and (fingers crossed) a variety of festivals in 2017
  • Marketing Manager and President of Sonar Film, my university cinema society (2017/2018)
  • working with the other Presidents in the Sonar Media Group (TV, Radio and Magazine) to collaborate and cross promote (more social media)
  • I’ve been invited to press showings of new touring musicals in return for a review on my blog

I started this list as a ‘fuck yeah’ to school, but it actually worked as a little self esteem boost. I’ve learnt a lot from my course but I’ve also learnt a lot myself from who I know and what I want to learn regardless of if my course allows me to.

I look up to anyone who is clever enough to do an academic course, but I couldn’t hate it more than when someone naively assumes the world is exactly how our Oxbridge-orientated school told them it was like, because not everything is about academics  – the entertainment industry is huge and important and I couldn’t be happier to be in it.

Thank you for reading (sorry if this post is a bit rambly and makes no sense, it’s 11.47pm but I got it up on the right day!),

Sophie xx

 

 

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

less is more | photography

2017, lifestyle, photography, travel

Hello!

I’m not very good at planning these photography posts, but I’ve taken a few photos in the past few months that I’m actually really pleased with so I wanted to put them here.

I hope Aimee won’t mind me using this photo, but I took this photo on our last News Day at uni for my second year and I got some really good feedback on this photo and the other photos I took throughout the day and that was quite good for my non-existent self-esteem.

This sounds silly, but I was taking photos to try and use in the thumbnail for the video I uploaded yesterday but I tried to take an artsy cover photo and I quite like it.

My mum and my sister have been down visiting this week and on Easter Sunday we went for a long ass drive to a variety of car parks to look out at the sea and we were in Lepe (I think it’s spelt) and we went for a walk on the beach and had chips by the sea and it was lovely.

The second seaside carpark we went to was in a town called Milford on Sea which was on a clifftop and it was really sweet – the weather was deceptive as it was not that sunny, there was a big grey cloud but that did not stop us enjoying our ice cream!

Next time we go back we’re going to investigate the beach huts and actually going down onto the beach.

I’m not sponsored by New Forest Ice Cream, but if I was this is the kind of photo I’d take. I’m very, very proud of this photo even though it was all on automatic settings, but the depth of field on this camera just makes me really happy, the blurry background looks well dramatic. Perfect promo pic.

I know it’s not a lot of photos and most of them were taken literally yesterday but I’ll be honest, I haven’t planned a photography post properly in months because I’ve had a lot going on and whilst I would love to plan proper shoots for these posts I have to prioritise uni and assignments and real life unfortunately – if I had it my way I’d spend all my time on blog and video plans but I’m borrowing a lot of money to get a degree so I should probably do that first, right? (Reluctantly)

But, I finish uni in just a few weeks (bit scary, I’ll be in my last year soon…) and hopefully this summer is going to be super creative and making lots of stuff and writing and taking photos and videography and just making and creating, lots of stuff. So hopefully the blog and my YouTube channel will get a lot more interesting over the next few months. I can’t wait, this summer is going to be fab.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Snapchat: SophieALuckett

My last assignment deadline!

2016

Hello!

Since the beginning of October, I’ve had nine assignment deadlines at uni and today, just half an hour ago I submitted my last one of the semester. It’s been so stressful; so stressful.

I did three units this semester – Producing the Package (where I make a full news package), From Concept to Commission (where we pitch ideas and then write the features) and Who’s the Boss (doing an academic presentation and essay).

I’ve had to make two full, multimedia packages (video, audio, copy and pictures), a pitch presentation, a 40-page workbook, a PowerPoint, an academic presentation, two features and an academic essay… and it all starts again next year. I’m hoping 2017 will be a better year for my brain.

I’m so glad I get about five weeks off for Christmas.

My deadline were every two weeks at minimum so it wasn’t even like I could have a big day and chill for a day or two – I’ve been constantly working for about three months and I’m physically and mentally drained, like my chest actually hurts. Time management has been difficult this semester because making sure you prioritise the rights things while working on everything just feels insane?

My results so far have been really surprisingly good and I’m really pleased but I’m also really excited to have a month off to recover over Christmas.

I still don’t know Who the Boss is.

(Credit to Josh Stokes for his joke that I’m shamelessly recycling, it just makes me laugh a lot).

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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500 Blog Posts!

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

How did we get here? How have I written five hundred posts? Well, I haven’t yet, this is the 500th but still?? I’m so blown away.

I started blogging on September 8th 2014, according to the first post I wrote anyway – it was a review of Fall Out Boy’s ‘new’ song ‘Centuries’ in a very matter of fact, journalistic style that my lecturers would probably like. Well, probably not but that’s why I’m doing a music journalism unit after Christmas.

Blogging has become my favourite thing, I’m totally obsessed – it’s something I do five out of seven days a week over three different blogs and on those other two days I’m thinking about blogging! I follow so many bloggers and blogging communities on Twitter and Facebook and I love going to blogging events and doing everything I can to improve my writing and expand my blog. If I could blog for the rest of my life I would, hands down (though I do love vlogging a lot as well and I just hit my three year anniversary on YouTube!).

Writing has always been something I love a lot – when I was a child I wanted to be an author and after flitting around between unrealistic dreams of being a gymnast, a dancer, an actress and a singer (how stereotypical) I came back to writing. One day, I will organise my life enough to be able to finish my book properly but I feel like blogging as much as I do has helped improve my writing so much and makes me much more conscious of what I write and the tone I write with. Having this platform to write on makes me so happy.

My blog isn’t ‘successful’ in commercial tones – I don’t have a massive audience and I’ve never worked with any brands and the thought of having an ‘agent’ or ‘management’ just feels ridiculous because I’m just me but blogging has helped me so much – I feel so much more confident in both writing and myself, I have dedicated myself to writing regularly on this blog for two years and it’s helped me with boring stuff like emails and letters (but, I’ll be honest, I quite like writing emails and letters).

This blog has given me something to write on a work experience application, it helped me get a job and it’s given me a bunch of really cool opportunities. I’m so grateful so thank you for reading.

Genuinely, thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Autumn Photography

2016, lifestyle, photography

Hello!

I actually really like photography – I don’t study a course that has ‘photography’ in the title and I did one unit last year and I can barely get any really high quality fun cameras out at uni but I love taking photos and I thoroughly enjoy it.

I have a DSLR camera that I got for my 18th birthday (that’s two years ago that is so scary) and I don’t use it enough, so here’s me making an effort to use my camera more and taking photos of the pretty Autumn leaves.

I took over sixty photos (I know ‘real’ photographers take hundreds every time they go out but I’m working on it!) and these are some of my favourites.

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The leaves are so beautiful right now even a camera can’t capture it properly.

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I describe this statue as the one that always has a pigeon on it’s head, ironically not with a picture on it’s head in this picture.

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I live right opposite this park and I get to walk through all these leaves every day.

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The. Colours. Are. So. Pretty.

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Is my gorgeous best friend looking beautiful in the Autumn light when she didn’t know I was taking a picture? Yes, this is candid. She did not know I was taking this.

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I’m not so good at capturing lens flares right now, I’m still remembering what the camera settings mean after nearly a year after finishing the one photography unit I did at uni.

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I definitely tried with the sun flares, I love the details in all the little branches in this one.

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This tree was so little but the colours were so beautiful and striking – this is one of my favourites.

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This was the first time I’d ever tried using a 70-300ml lens and it’s a very different experience. I’m not sure if I like this one, it seems a bit foggy when it wasn’t but I’m trying new things!

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This is another one of my favourites – the framing is gorgeous, the colours are gorgeous and it really shows off the prettier side of Southampton!

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Another one experimenting with lens flare, but I like how the way I’ve edited this makes it look like I’ve put a filter on it when I’ve just played around with the settings in camera raw. I’m not sure about this one because the sky on the right looks blue but it looks grey on the left but the sun between the trees looks so good and I kind of do like it.

Did you like this post? Should I do more of it? I might make it a monthly post to encourage me to use my camera more is that okay?

I love photography so much but I don’t use my camera enough, so I think the incentive to pick up my camera would definitely help! Especially over Christmas time.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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