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Throughout this course, I have experienced a lot of things; I had to work with people to tight deadlines, I had to produce, direct, film, edit, write script, research, write essays, make news stories and programmes etc. While doing all these, sometimes everything went perfect but sometimes I came across with difficulties. All of the tasks I was given helped me to explore my own strength and weaknesses. In this part, I will be explaining my strength and weakness by supporting them with examples.
One of my most significant weaknesses is procrastinating. I tend to take things easy. When I work alone, the reason why I procrastinate is my self-esteem. I always think that I can do my work successfully anytime I want and I have no problem delaying it. On the other hand, when I work with others, this mostly happens when I feel that things do not work out well in the group. Doing this does not create so many problems when I work alone, however, when I work with others, it can be so problematic and annoying for them. I believe I would get better marks, if I did not delay my essays in these two years. Equally, avoiding procrastinate could make me work more cohesively with my friends in the group. This year, I will try to avoid doing this.
Being quiet in the class is my other weakness. This gives people the impression of me not being confident or shy. However, the reason why I do not talk so much in the class is I am in a foreign country and I do not feel comfortable talking since I am not a native English speaker. The difference of language, culture and the people always holds me back in the class. Even though, I was always aware of my weakness since my first year in university, I could not get over it. When I am in Cyprus, I am the opposite; I am really talkative and outgoing. For this reason, I do not make this a big deal because; after finishing my studies, I will go back to Cyprus and work there.
Writing script is my other weakness. During the course, I always had difficulty writing script for news stories. It always took me a lot of time to do it. Although, I tried to develop this skill, I could not make it to reach the stage I wanted. When I look at my future goal, I know that writing script is not going to be my job. Therefore, instead of focusing on my script writing weakness, I will try to develop my other skills during this year.
Self-confidence and being perfectionist are the most significant strengths I have. I believe that I can do anything I want to do. Since primary school, I always tried to achieve my goals without getting help from anyone. Whenever I had an important exam or homework, I always did them by myself without getting help from my family members or my friends. Similarly, when I had problems with my school, friends or my coursework, I always tried to solve them alone. By doing all the things alone, I felt happier, because at the end, I mostly always succeeded. I also heard so many compliments from my teachers, family and friends about my confidence and success. I grew up as a confident person and I believe in me a lot. However, sometimes, the self-confidence and perfectionism I have can make me really stressed. In group work, many times I find myself complaining about others in terms of the work they do. Mostly, I do not feel appreciated with their work, because I believe that they do not do it as good as I can do. To exemplify, last year, I had to do a community research portfolio and a ten minute documentary within the community. My partner wrote half of the research portfolio and sent it to me. I got really disappointed and stressed after seeing what work she did. The reason was I was expecting a better work from her, but she did everything in a perfunctory way and it was not as good as it should be. Similarly, while we were doing the documentary, I had to redo everything she did, because I felt that they were not properly done. Although, I can make myself really stressed and tired because of my confidence and perfectionism, I believe that being confident and perfectionist are really important strengths.
Being ambitious is my other important strength. I am always quite ambitious about what I do. Since I was a child, I always wanted to be the best at everything and I never gave up on something. While I was in high school, my goal was to learn really good English, go to university in London, finish my bachelor, masters and PHD and become a lecturer in one of the universities in Cyprus. My ambition made me leave my family back in Cyprus and came to London to study this course when I was sixteen. In the beginning of this course, I had difficulty speaking and writing in English. I read books, watched English TV programmes, studied some books for academic writing. In one year, I realized how much I improved my speaking and writing and now I do not have problem doing these. Similarly, in my first year, I wanted to learn how to edit and be really good at it. I watched editing videos, practiced a lot and achieved what I wanted in really short time. I believe I will be where I want to be in some years, because my ambition will help me a lot.
Being a good researcher is my other strength. A good researcher is the one who has the interest, curiosity and the persistence to find answers to unanswered questions. S/he gets knowledge of the subject and s/he is also patient and ambitious. I believe I have these characteristics. Last year, I had to do a community research portfolio and a documentary within the community. The interviewees and the information I needed was really difficult to get, but I did not made myself stressed at all. I visited so many locations, I called so many people, I read a lot of books, I searched so many websites, I watched several documentaries, etc. In the end, I got what I wanted. There were times that I had so much difficulty in finding the characters of the film as well, but I never gave up on researching. I wanted to make my documentary as perfect as I can. As a result of all the hard work I did, I got a really good feedback from my tutor. This year, I will try to build up my research skills more.
My other important strength is editing. Before starting my studies, I did not have any editing experience and it was one of the most important things that I wanted to learn. Throughout the course, I practiced a lot and I learnt a lot of aspects of editing. I used my skill to help my classmates as well. I believe that my editing skill will be really useful for me in the future because; I will be making videos in my entry time as a hobby.
Details of appropriate assignments to develop skills and knowledge.
During the two years of my course, the assignments I did were given by my tutors. These assignments made me gain an invaluable knowledge about every part of the production and the media. I started with a blank knowledge and now I am able to make news programme, make documentaries and short films in many styles; I learnt the stages of production, roles of director, producer, researcher and production assistant, editing, using camera, lighting, writing script, etc. I am good at many of the things I learnt, while I am also bad at some of them. This year, I have an opportunity to choose what assignments I want to do and I will use this opportunity to develop some of my strengths.
As I mentioned before, one of my most significant strengths is research. I am planning to do a research assignment into Turkish Cypriot Community in London to build up my research skills more. The assignment will include interview transcriptions and all relevant research that I will do. The interviews will be about Cypriots' immigration reasons to London, their work, family, cultural life, courtship, London, the troubles, going back to Cyprus and reflections. The reason why I chose to do a research about Turkish Cypriot community is, since I was born, the Cypriot media and TV channels have been making programmes only about the political situation of Cyprus; before and after war, division of the island, peace between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot communities, Turkish Cypriot immigrants in London, economy of North and South Cyprus, etc. are the main themes of these programmes. The programmes contain a lot of research and interviews with local people. Last summer, I had a work experience in a Cypriot local TV channel; I was doing research and going to interviews for a TV programme called 'Agenda'. While I was doing this, I realized that I really enjoyed doing it. After finishing my studies, I will go back and work in the same TV channel as a researcher until I finish my Ph.D. Doing this assignment will be a really good experience for me.
The other assignment I would like to do this year is researching MA Film courses in London and completing my entry forms. I will be searching online and visiting universities to find out which university and course is most suitable for me. By the end of this semester, I will start doing my contacts and visits for information and interviews. When I finish my research, I will make my application. I plan to finish all these by the start of May.
The last assignment I want to do this year is researching 'how social media is being used by film makers for marketing and promotion' and writing an essay about this topic. This essay will help me to analyse and evaluate the different ways in which social media as platform is being used as an alternative way to promote and market films by filmmakers in the media industry. The research I will do will be commenced in order to explore the future potential of social media as an industry in the world of film making, as well as to understand the different approaches and steps taken by film makers in order to reach as wide an audience as possible. The reason why I want to do this assignment is to understand the true power and potential that social media and to discuss the issue with the filmmakers themselves.
What I hope to achieve from my assignments by the end of the year.
The first thing I want to achieve from my assignments is to having my MA course research done and my entry forms completed. I am quite confused about what course, which university I should apply and how I will do it. Doing this assignment is the greatest chance to find out what MA course is most suitable for me. Deciding on what course I will apply and completing my entry forms will remove a great burden from me.
The second thing I want to achieve is to do a research into Turkish Cypriot community, get as many interviews as I can and improve my skills. I am really ambitious about this assignment because of the topic and the interviewees. The interviewees are the only generation of Cyprus who experienced a lot of difficulties in their life and who will extinct soon; they experienced war, hunger, poverty, separation, sadness, horror and anxiety. This makes the interviews I will get really valuable for me. Last year, I started to keep an archive of interviews I did with elderly Turkish Cypriots both in Cyprus and London. I will be able to use these when I start to work in the TV channel I worked last summer. Apart from that I have the idea of turning the entire interviews I have into a book in the future. My future plans make this assignment really important and necessary for me. I have already started to visit the Turkish Cypriot Community Association which is in Haringey. The organization has quite a lot elderly Turkish Cypriot members. I will visit the place every Thursdays and Fridays which are the days that old generation Turkish Cypriot immigrants gather. I will be able to achieve my goal and finish my assignment by the end of the year.
Activities and planned dates for completion of my assignments and the written coursework
I have decided to divide my assignments into three pieces this year.
Overview of MA Courses in UK containing research and completed entry forms with references: 25%
Research into Turkish Cypriot community in London containing a 8000-10.000 word interview transcription and all relevant research and a 2000 word (minimum) Reflective Analysis: 25%
A 5000 Essay on "The effects of Social Media as a tool used for film making and promotion; an investigation of both dependent & independent filmmakers around the world", 25%
The deadline for all three pieces is 1st May 2011.
In this study plan, I analyzed my personal strength and weakness and what I seek to achieve from my assignments by the end of the year. I believe I have chosen the most appropriate tasks for me. Doing these tasks will make me gain responsibility of planning and completing my assignments independently and make me use my own communication, research and skills to complete them. I will work hard to complete all my tasks and achieve all my goals which will make me ready for my future studies and goals.