Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Thankyou for a great event!

Thankyou to the team behind the Bar Camp event at Media City - it was great fun!
Welcoming, friendly, really informative and a fantastic networking opportunity.
As a "user" of technology, rather than a tecchy person, I set out to learn, absorb new language and ask lots of questions - thanks to the patient souls who explained things so brilliantly.
Met lots of people, got new twitter friends and was exceedingly well fed and watered.
Absolutely bowled over by the wonderful new BBC buildings - I've had the studio tour, and been in Bridge House but I liked this building much more!

I came with some of my super-talented friends from Animated Yorkshire, animation supremo Zane Whittingham, composer extraordinaire Matt Oglesby and tv producer, voice over artist and twitter superstar Julie Roberts, who had an equally exciting time.
Enjoyed chewing the fat on some juicy topics in the sessions - How do your emotions affect the way you view online content? How children play online games. A memorial for Martin Luther King. Wordpress. Connected TV. Kinect. Plus a chance to watch and play lots of games and to play with some new stuff.
The small moments are often the best - those people you talk to in queues for lunch, or that you have a coffee with or a chat at a quiet moment. There was a great spirit of generosity and openness. Great to feel part of all of the excitement at Media City - there is a real energy here. Got me really thinking, inspired and open to new ways of doing things - thankyou so much!

Animation is Magic

Animation is the most wonderful, varied and delightful of artforms.
At Animated Yorkshire we bring together 2D, 3D and stop motion animators plus sound and post production people.
Our members work is wide ranging from cartoons, illustration, fine art, experimental film, through to web advertising, kids tv and games and to product and architectural visualisation.
We offer support to people working on their own and in small companies, through a range of courses, business support and networking events.
We run an agency to promote 22 of our leading members - profits go to help get more networking activity going!
Why not come to our next event? A preview of the wonderful Bradford Animation Festival on the 20th October at the gorgeous Barnsley Digital Media Centre - all welcome!

I've got a new I-Pad, what can I do with it?

Well pretty well as I arrived, the chap in the sign up bit thrust a pen in my hand and said, go on, run a session.
So I got out my brand new toy, and asked the good people of Bar Camp for their ideas.
Forgive my lack of tecchy speak, but I hope you find my guide helpful!
I had bought my I-Pad as a good portfolio to showcase animation at networking events, I had no idea just how going to be so useful for other things as well!
There were a few people working out if it was worth their while buying one, and few folks with android versions comparing the differences between tablets - there was no overall conclusion, all devices seem to have their benefits. One chap had a rather fabulous Asus Eee Pad Transformer with a nifty detachable keyboard which looked rather good. He liked it and was pleased with the range of apps and the flexibility of not being tied to the Apple brand.
There was a discussion about Jailbreaking - you can download free software which lets you put anything you like on the I-Pad. Software is legal, but you will invalidate your warranty if you put anything on that apple doesn't guarantee - so only to be done if you really know what you are doing.
The academics in the room loved using the I-Pad for taking notes and cutting and pasting from the internet. Favourite apps included Dragon Dictation and Daily Notes . Lots of people using Dropbox to access files from other devices.
People liked to use their I-Pads as remote controls for other gadgets through apps such as Remote and Android users liking XPMC Remote. Using Plex to stream all kinds of media from your mainframe computer and to Apple TV.
Lots of fun to be had with kids on the pad, a gorgeous book The Bear Ate all the Brussel Sprouts. Great games Peggle, Plants vs Zombies, Trainyard, Bop-It! and Angry Birds were all mentioned.
Good free and discounted stuff through Living Social, and help in the kitchen from Big Oven - even gives you a shopping list before you start cooking!
Some like reading books on theirs, but many still prefer their Kindles and they find the screens too bright.
I've been getting creative with my I-Pad and getting stuck in making music with Garage Band, android and linux users were getting pretty excited by Ardour which sounds amazing.
Of course I love it most for Animation - I love the National Film Board of Canada's app - access to some of the best animation ever made. Dailymotion is pretty good too. You can have a go at making your own animation with I Can Animate, but there's lots of other stuff out there to look for.
Thanks everyone for a relaxed but really informative session!

Dear BBC How Do I Work with You?

I thought I’d pluck up the courage to ask the questions on many people’s minds at BarCamp, who might like to work for, or with the BBC.
I run an agency for animators, and am looking for creative contracts, but I also wanted to ask some questions on behalf of my friend, who is still hanging in there in the BBC Talent Pool, eager to know if there are still openings for her.
The spirit of BarCamp is great that someone like me can ask these questions, and lots of lovely and helpful BBC people leapt to my aid!

So – for the likes of my friend, do not despair. Hang on in there! There have been masses of applications to the Pool, and the BBC people there were genuinely apologetic for those who’ve been waiting for a long time – the record is apparently 531 days between application and getting a job!
They haven’t fully recruited yet at Salford – still a quarter of new staff to find, and still some high-level jobs to fill.
This is as departments have been moving into Salford at different times and vacancies have been filled when needed – in 2010, 2011 and some will even come up in early 2012.
The BBC Talent Pool (where people submitted a general CV) is now closed to applications, and people who have already applied will be considered for all relevant jobs. Over 70% of the jobs so far have been filled from the Talent Pool, and there is commitment to use applicants for the Pool for remaining jobs where possible.
The Future Media Department are still on the lookout for skilled people, and there are lots of openings in Mobile and Connected TV.
If you want to update your CV for the talent pool, please send to
People who aren’t in the Talent Pool, can still apply for jobs individually if it is advertised. The North recruitment team will first look within the Talent Pool to find suitable candidates to shortlist but they will advertise if they need to find additional candidates – on
Linked In is an important recruitment tool for the team who are recruiting for BBC Future Media. It gives a rich picture of applicants skills, experience and networks, when shortlisting. Include portfolios and evidence of your work and keep your connections and testimonials relevant and genuine.
If you want to be kept up to date with which jobs are coming up, connect to Linked In with the recruiters Brett Davies, Gareth Allen and Stephen Kirk.
The BBC North 2011 Jobs Linked In Group is also useful.

So for us freelancers and companies, there are lots of opportunities to work with the BBC.
They buy in a lot of technical and creative work from individuals, companies and larger agencies. Freelancers need to show evidence of working as credible businesses.
They have just completed a review of the Approved Suppliers process, and have simplified their contracting requirements for contracts under £30K. As ever, there is a lot of competition, and people wanting to work with the BBC need to be pro-active and find ways to stand out from the crowd.

External suppliers meet up bi-annually, the next networking event will be in November.
For further information check out

Good luck!

Bits of video from the event!