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Mentoring | All your questions answered

Mentoring | All your questions answered

We’ve had lots of questions about becoming an AWUK mentor, so have pulled them together in one blog post.  If you still have questions, please leave a comment on this blog or email mentoring@animatedwomenuk.com and we’ll add them in.

  • Q: Is mentoring going to be time-intensive? 
  • A: Mentoring can be set up to work around you and your schedule. We understand that a lot of our mentors are very busy people, so our SLACK-based mentoring is designed to allow you and your mentor to stay in touch in a way that suits both of you.
  • Q: Who will be the point of contact if a mentee goes AWOL? 
  • A: Dexter or Emma at Prospela can be contacted within SLACK and will reach out directly to check in.
  • Q: Do I always have to maintain the same level of commitment?
  • A: Your relationship with your mentee is unique. You can agree on a level of commitment and communication with your mentee that works for both of you and review it over time.
  • Q: Am I senior enough to mentor? 
  • A: If you are already working in either VFX or Animation and have been for more than 2 years you are definitely in a position to add value to a mentee.  Many of our mentees will just be starting out on their journey and sharing yours will be incredibly valuable.  We will do our best to match mentors and mentees appropriately.
  • Q: I’m not in a creative role – does that matter?
  • A: Absolutely not. Our industries comprise many roles from facilities,  management and accounting to production, technology and more.  We expect mentees who are looking at all kinds of roles and would like the same variety in our mentors. If you’re paired with someone from a creative discipline and you are not from that background, you can provide a lot of help and support both yourself and through your network.
  • Q: How should I be communicating with my mentee? 
  • A: Our programme is designed for you to interact with your mentee over SLACK with the support of the team at Prospela. We’d encourage you to keep your communication on there, but over time (if your mentee is over 18) you might look to connect with them on LinkedIn and perhaps interact over different platforms on occasion. Keeping your communication here enables us to track the success of our programme which is critical to its ongoing support by our sponsor.
  • Q: What should I do if I don’t know the answer to a mentee’s question? 
  • A: The same as you would if you had a question in your day to day life. Ask your friends, colleagues and network to help you.  You have access to a wealth of resources that your mentee doesn’t. 
  • Q: How often should I be speaking to my mentee? 
  • A: This up to you and your mentee. You should discuss this with them so that the plan is clear. In general, we find that communication is more regular when you are first establishing a relationship and can then become slightly less frequent.  It’s important to invest time upfront getting to know each other, building trust and understanding what everyone is hoping to get from the relationship.
  • Q: Why should I be a mentor? 
  • A: There are many great reasons to become a mentor including:
    • An opportunity to develop communication, leadership, coaching and mentoring skills
    • A feeling of ‘giving back’ to the industry
    • It is good for your CV, shows you care about the future of your industry and its composition
    • It encourages you to reflect on your own skills and achievements
    • It’s an opportunity to use your creativity and learn from the ideas and experiences of someone who could be from a different generation, background or have different interests, life experiences or expectations, stage of career, sector etc.
  • Q: What do you look for in a mentor?
  • A: An ideal mentor can help a mentee make the most of career opportunities and support their personal development and self-confidence. They will encourage and support the mentee to achieve their goals.  Mentors actively listen and provide advice to their mentees to help them overcome challenges and get to where they want to be.  Good mentors also provide advice through learned experience.

What are you waiting for? Sign up as an AWUK mentor through Prospela here.

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Homepage, Mentoring, News, 0 comments
Pitch Yourself Perfect | Top Tips

Pitch Yourself Perfect | Top Tips

Animated Women UK Board member Georgina Hurcombe took part in the Children’s Media Conference’s ‘Pitch Yourself Perfect’ skill builder workshop in July along with some other amazing industry experts including Lynsey O Callahan and Louise Bucknole (Viacom), Natalie Llewellyn (Jellyfish), Harriet Williams (YACF), Josie Grierson (Entertainment 1).

The Session was run by Justine Bannister and aimed towards providing insight and tips to enhance pitching skills within the animated Children media landscape.

Throughout her career, Georgina has pitched at numerous International markets including MIPCOM, MIPJR, Kidscreen, Children’s Media Conference, Annecy and most recently MIPTV where she won The Kids series in development pitch with her 3D adventure craft series Pop Paper City.

We asked Georgina to share her top tips for pitching your animated idea!

It can be nerve-racking pitching and going to markets, especially when you’re new to the children’s animated TV landscape!  Here are a few of my pitching tips…

  1. KNOW YOUR PROJECT
  • You need to know your project inside out. You need clarity on every aspect of your project: What style is it? What’s its USP? Who is the target audience?
  • Practice until you can pitch your project in five minutes or less. There are lots of opportunities for speed meetings at markets such as MIPJR, MIPCom, Kidscreen, Maninimation and CMC (which are often accessible to new talent), so it’s important to be able to pitch your project quickly and concisely.
  1. RESEARCH
  • Always research who you’re going to be pitching to.
  • Find out what kind of project the person you want to pitch to is looking for, as sometimes your project may not match their needs – you don’t want to waste somebody’s time pitching them a project that doesn’t fit their remit. For this reason, it’s always good to have a few projects to discuss.
  1. RELAX AND BE YOURSELF
  • Be authentic and passionate – enthusiasm is contagious!
  • Relax – most people you’re pitching to are lovely. They’re looking for awesome projects and ideas and want you to do well.
  1. NETWORK
  • Network, network, network! Luckily, the children’s TV landscape is super friendly. Often you’ll meet other great creatives who you may be able to work with, get tips from, etc.  I’ve met lots of great creatives in markets and made some great friends. There are also fantastic groups you can join, like Animated Women UK!
  1. PREPARE FOR YOUR PITCH
  • Ideally have visuals or a clip to show when you are pitching. Or, even better, have a full bible which you can talk somebody through. The person you’re pitching to will almost definitely appreciate being able to ‘see’ your project or idea as well as hear about it. So have as much creative content as possible even if it’s only sketches.
  • If you are pitching in a pair, always work out who is doing what parts of the pitch in advance and then assess what worked and what didn’t about your pitching format after you have finished.
  • If your pitch doesn’t work out, always take rejection gracefully. Don’t be disheartened.  Lots of projects have gone through significant development before getting to the right standard and others may never come to fruition. Be realistic, but positive.

I hope these are helpful tips and good luck with your future projects!

Georgina

Georgina Hurcombe is MD and Producer at LoveLove Films.  She is also on the board of Animated Women UK.

Posted by Lucy Cooper in Events, Homepage, News, 0 comments