Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Choosing the right media career - for YOU

There are literally hundreds of career options in Media. But which one is the right one for you? I get many students who have the wrong notion of what the Industry is about. Some come in with stars in their eyes, seeing only the glamour that is associated with the media. They either want to become actors, news anchors, or someone who is seen on screens.
There are some who think they are great photographers, cinematographers, or DOPs (Director of Photography) as they are called now. But making those short films using a handycam, shooting a documentary with a DSLR does NOT mean that you become a DOP overnight.
Or just because you have directed a couple of short films does NOT make you a Director in the Industry.
Some also are very passionate about going into film production. I have seen many students who, after a few days find that job exhausting, and learn the hard way that they are not fit for the production side. There is also a notion that just because you do a course in Management in Media, you get a management position (which pays more) in media!
I have also met many who think they know all about digital marketing just because they have some great posts on their FB and Instagram accounts, or have a good number of followers. Again, just that much is NOT Digital Marketing.
I am definitely NOT trying to discourage you all. Because there I have so many of my former students who, despite the hardships, 18 - 19 hour days,  exhaustion, still enjoy their job in production. I have many who have learnt the ropes after a lot of hard work and are reaping the benefits, earning super salaries. Some of my students have become independent producer too, while some know much more than me now in Digital Marketing.

What is important is that you should think hard, understand your strengths and weaknesses and recognize them. Don't fool yourself, because the Industry is very clear about one thing... it does not recognize your religion, caste, creed, or your financial status. It recognizes ONLY professionalism.
There HAS to be a balance between your knowledge, your passion, and your skills. Just because you are good at something may not necessarily translate into a rewarding profession - for you.
It is good to look up to someone, but it is important that you make your own way, tread your own path and make a fantastic career in media.
I invite everyone who wishes to make a career in media to meet me. If you have the inclination, I have the time! (Pun intended).
Send me an email, or call 022 39554277 / 78 to fix up an appointment with me. If some of you wish to come in together, you are welcome. We can have a counseling session. I am OK with individuals, or groups.
Come, let's meet. I am Director, MET institute of Mass Media, Bandra. I am giving a brief intro below. You may also email me on my personal email ID: mangesh.karandikar@gmail.com

The author is Director, MET Institute of Mass Media, Bandra, Mumbai. 
MET IMM offers a 360o  practical, hands-on approach with live projects in all its 
Advanced PG Courses in Mass Media Management in 

Advertising
Entertainment (Film, Television and Digital Media Production)
Digital Marketing
Journalism znd Public Relations. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

PG in Media - Degree or Diploma?

This is a question I have been often asked during my 16 years in media education. There are benefits and limitations in both. 



So what do you get in a degree course? Well, you get a degree, of course. Along with that you get very good theoretical and conceptual understanding of the subjects. After getting a PG degree, you can further do your NET/SLET and get into the teaching profession, or do your M.Phil., or Ph.D. Teaching is a great profession, and many have made careers in teaching. I too, am a teacher in media! Only, teaching is not just a profession, but a mission. And unless you treat it such, you are bound to fail. And I do make a sincere request. Do spend at least a couple of years in the industry, learn the ropes before you enter the teaching profession. This is for your own good, and more importantly you will do justice to the profession and your students who look up to you.

Alternately, you can enter the industry. But unless you have practical knowledge / training the industry might not treat you well. In many Universities, syllabuses are not updated / revised for years. And then by the time it is, 3 batches are out with outdated knowledge. Secondly, most departments / institutes do not have even the basic infrastructure and equipment to train students even in the basic skills that are necessary along with the knowledge. This is never because the faculty who run the department are not aware, but simply because of budget constraints. Thirdly, faculty who teach are many times hired for their 'degrees' and not for the experience in the industry, or for skills required to teach the new generation of students. Lastly, many Universities have a poor placement record, or actually do not offer placements at all! 

When you look for a degree course, you must check the computer labs, find who is teaching in the courses, how is the industry connect, are there any industry faculty giving the latest 'gyaan' to you, and then choose.

So what about a diploma? Does it have to be a 'recognized' diploma, affiliated to a University, or the AICTE? Well, many students do think so, and parents do too. But does the industry care? Really? Actually, no. The industry cares only about talent, skills, and professionalism. What is the use of a degree or even a diploma if you don't have the basic skills, desperately needed by the industry today? What is the use of a 'Management' diploma in media, if you are not trained to produce it? You can't 'manage' media, or it's people if you don't know how to produce media content in all formats.

Even in diploma courses, you have to be careful in choosing the right one. Institutes with Diplomas have the flexibility of updating the syllabus. Private institutes usually have good equipment as they are not limited by Government budgets. But you need to find out before joining...Ask the following questions:

Who teaches in the institute? 
Are there any faculty with real industry experience?
How is the curriculum? 
Is it updated? When was it last updated? 
Does the institute have a studio? Sound lab? Cameras and lights? Blue/green screen?
Do students get live projects?
What is the percentage of practical knowledge imparted?
Ask these questions. DO NOT get swayed by those beautifully printed brochures. In a degree course many students are happy with the degree. But how many are actually happy with the degree curriculum, teachers, and institute? This is also valid for a diploma course. So also find, search for students from the institute, get in touch with them and ASK. Try and find alumni and ask them. I am sure you are all adept at Facebook and Google search. There are so many other things you can check. Does the institute call industry experts to guide students? Who gets called? Ask.

In conclusion, I would summarize it as follows:
1. The Industry cares more about professionalism, knowledge and skills than a degree or a diploma.
2. If an institute / university does not have equipment, studios, and industry faculty, or faculty who can train you for the industry, your degree will be good for a Ph.D. further, or the teaching profession, unless you are very talented yourself.
3. Check with existing students and alumni about their institute. Probe. Learn, and then decide.
4. It is a myth that to enter the media industry, a degree is required. 
5. The industry requires and respects talent, dedication, and professionalism, not whether you have a degree or a diploma.

The author is Director, MET Institute of Mass Media, Bandra, Mumbai. 
MET IMM offers a 360o  practical, hands-on approach with live projects in all its 

Advanced PG Courses in Mass Media Management in 

  • Advertising
  • Entertainment (Film, Television and Digital Media Production)
  • Digital Marketing
  • Journalism & Public Relations. 

He is  available for counseling students. Do email : mangesh.karandikar@gmail.com

Sunday, May 12, 2019

For every face you see on the screen, there are hundreds that work behind it.

"Behind every face you see on the screen, there are hundreds that work behind it. And those are more stable professions."


Imagine a film without a story and a script. Of course, you do come across some without any story, pun intended. Or imagine a a news bulletin without a teleprompter, newspaper without a journalist, a film being made without a lightman and the chaiwala, or a travel show without a team of researchers.  I could name HUNDREDS of such professions and job functions without whom, you will simple not be able to produce a media product.

You could say that you you are a YouTuber, independent, operate your own camera and lights, but what about those who did the programming for you? Those who enabled encoding of your videos? You require people, and the media business is not a job, or a profession, in which you can produce AND distribute content without several people working behind the screen.

I salute all those people and all those professions which allow us, enable us to create those dreams on the screen. The only film that I know of (do correct me if I am wrong) which publicly recognized these efforts ON SCREEN was OM Shanti OM by Farah Khan.  I simply loved the last part where all the people behind the scenes were duly recognized. Kudos to her.

The media profession is NOT just about glamour, it is a lot of hard work, sweat and blood, unending hours of work, but it is worth every second, when you see it on the screen, and get applauded.

Films are not just a source of entertainment and time-pass, they allow us to escape from the real world even if for some time, they provide us knowledge and information, make us nostalgic, help in companionship and conversation building, and release tension. Films have their own language, film making is an art, but a film is also a result of hard work, planning, and sweat and blood.
To make a film, one should understand the Language of Film. With this blog post I am beginning a series which talk about the 'Language and Grammar of Films' As film makers, we use a language that not only tells a story, but we also create a product which could have a profound impact on the audiences. We tell our stories in a language that the audience may not understand, but certainly FEEL.

To know more about the courses that will help you enter the media industry, click on :  http://bit.ly/2vFfLTb  And do share the link of this blog...

Do keep visiting.... meanwhile here's something for you...

Do you know what is a low angle shot? It is a camera angle where the camera is place at a lower level, angling upwards, making the character look bigger. So please tell me which one's you remember, the one that you think is the best low angle shot you have seen in the comments section below.

The author is Director, MET Institute of Mass Media, Bandra, Mumbai. MET IMM offers PG Courses in Advertising, Film and Television Production, Digital Marketing, and Journalism & Public Relations.




Friday, May 10, 2019

The Language of Films 1 - Low Angle Shot

"For every face you see on the screen, there are hundreds that work behind it. And those are more stable professions." 

Films are not just a source of entertainment and time-pass, they allow us to escape from the real world even if for some time, they provide us knowledge and information, make us nostalgic, help in companionship and conversation building, and release tension. Films have their own language, film making is an art, but a film is also a result of hard work, planning, and sweat and blood.
To make a film, one should understand the Language of Film. As film makers, we use a language that not only tells a story, but we also create a product which could have a profound impact on the audiences. We tell our stories in a language that the audience may not understand, but certainly FEEL. 
Let's consider the Low Angle Shot. The dictionary(dictionary.com) meaning is as follows:
low-angle shot[ loh-ang-guh l ]
noun (in motion pictures or photography)
a shot taken with the camera placed in a position below and pointing upward at the subject.

So how does this affect the audience? Remember the scene in the Hindi film Dabangg? When Salman Khan kicks in the door of the warehouse and walks inside, remember how the camera is placed? The camera tracks BACKWARDS Salman walking (more about camera movement in a later blog post), and is lower near the ground. The name of the film is Dabangg, right? So shouldn't Salman look like one? So he appears larger then life, and has the Dabangg effect on the audience. What an entry!
If you are a Star Wars fan, remember how Darth Vader is mostly shown in low angle shots. Christopher Nolan has used low angel shots for the 'Joker' in The Dark Knight a powerful image.
Can you remember more such shots? Do comment...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Selecting the Best Media Institute for your PG

So are you done with your graduation? Just appeared for your final exams? And now looking forward to join a PG Course in Media, Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, Film making, Television, Digital Marketing?

There are several courses and institutes. But how do you choose? Here are some tips:
  1. Look at the syllabus: Check out the syllabus of the institute. Is it updated? Ask the institute when it was last updated. Does it include the latest requirements by the industry?
  2. Check out the faculty: Media training requires faculty that are trained in the latest techniques and technology. It requires working journalists, working PR professionals, film makers, ad professionals, because that is what gives you the edge over others. See how many faculty are in-house, and check their qualifications and experience in media. Check the list of faculty on the website of the institute.
  3. Contact students, get a feedback: Either when you visit the institute, or search online, connect with students who study in the institute. ASK them how their college/institute is, how is the teaching/learning, etc.
  4. Connect with the alumni: One of the best parameters to judge the standing of an institute is its alumni. Find out from the institute, get names and contact the alumni. If a institute hesitates to give you names of students or alumni, you know what that means!
  5. Industry Connect: How many people from the industry visit the campus? How many come in for guest sessions and regular lectures? What is their qualification? Standing in the industry?
  6. Infrastructure and Equipment: Media training CANNOT be taught only in classrooms. Does the institute have a studio, shooting floor, audio recording facilities / recording studio? Does is have a green screen, blue screen? Are students allowed to make sets for their shoots? Does the institute have video editing lab? Does the institute have cameras and lights? ASK these questions. Don't hesitate. It's your right to know.
  7. Internships and Placements: Do you get internship from the institute, or you are left on your own? Which organisations are the students interning with? How many organisations keep returning to the institute for interns?Same with Placements. Where are the students placed? Do students get to make a choice? How many chances do the students get for placements?
  8. MUST visit the institute:You MUST visit the institute before you decide. NEVER fall for beautiful looking brochures and hand-outs. Also, don't believe everything just because it's on the website. VISIT, ASK QUESTIONS. See for yourself the facilities, speak to students, connect with the alumni.
Remember, this is the last frontier before you enter the industry. The industry worships only one thing - PROFESSIONALISM and PROFESSIONAL TRAINING. So be sure, and make an educated choice.

I wish you the very BEST for your future in the world of media.

I am always there to assist you, counsel you. For any queries or concerns, connect with me on my personal email ID - mangesh.karandikar@gmail.com

To know more about the courses that will help you enter the media industry, click on :  http://bit.ly/2vFfLTb  And do share the link of this blog...

Do keep visiting....

The author is Director, MET Institute of Mass Media, Bandra, Mumbai. 
MET IMM offers a 360o  practical, hands-on approach with live projects in all its 

Advanced PG Courses in Mass Media Management in 
  • Advertising
  • Entertainment (Film, Television and Digital Media Production)
  • Digital Marketing
  • Journalism & Public Relations. 

He is  available for counseling students. Do email : mangesh.karandikar@gmail.com

Friday, March 15, 2019

Digital Mutants - A Reality?

In my last two posts I have written about Digital Mutants, as a hypothesis based on observation, experience and pure guesswork. I am not a prophetic, and certainly not Marshall McLuhan. When I wrote about Digital Mutants, it was just an idea, so I decided to do some research. What I read is not surprising, and at least partly vindicates my stance. 



Here is a small review of the literature I have found:

A study done by researchers in Kings College, London found that there is a 39 per cent difference in the DNA of the highest and the lowest users of social media. They have attributed inherited genetic factors rather than environmental effects to these differences. You can read the full articles here:

Another interesting article detailed what neuroscientist, writer and broadcaster Baroness Susan Greenfield addresses in her recent book entitled “Is Social Media Changing our Brain? You can get the gist of in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HffWFd_6bJ0

Another study found that 48 percent of the individual differences in CIUS (Compulsive Internet Use Scale) score were influenced by genetic factors. Here's the link to the research article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25582809

I also found an article which says meditation can alter your DNA which is essentially a psychological process affecting your physiology. For research minded readers, there are several articles and research papers online. In conclusion, scientists and researchers will prove if I am right or wrong. 

For me, the world of Digital Mutants is a reality.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Digital Immigrants? No More!

Marc Prensky coined the terms Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives in 2001. He explains how Digital Immigrant teachers - those who were not born in the digital age have learnt to adopt the new technology, and learnt to teach Digital Natives - the younger generation who are born digital.



I always call myself a successful digital immigrants someone who have not been just a witness, but an active participant in this digital media evolution. I have imbibed the digital DNA into my own, and sort of become an instant 'digital mutant' several times over, simply to survive, and not perish in the digital tsunami. I teach digital media production and marketing to students doing their postgraduate courses in advertising, entertainment, and digital marketing at the MET Institute of Mass Media, and have to be constantly on my toes, upgrading myself, to remain relevant.

But that will change soon - sooner than we thought. India has one of the world's cheapest data connectivity, and with fast proliferating mobile networks, it has spread to even the remotest corners of the country. With the country also being one of the youngest in the world (about 45% of the population is between 18 and 35 years of age - and that's HUGE), there will be no place for the 'Digital Immigrants', they will be extinct anyway.

People ask me that since I write so much about digital media, is it good or bad? Well, if you get enslaved by it, its bad, whereas if you enslave it, its good. But more than that, it is time that we, digital immigrants accept it as a way of life, and not treat digital technology is the 'other'.I know many of my friends who used to be apprehensive, and even abhor digital technology; now they all have started using it. They have not choice but to do so.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A World of Digital Mutants?

For people in their 50's like me, the evolution of digital technology has been surprising, overwhelming, disrupting and overwhelming. I had not even seen a television set till I entered senior college, had seen the computer only in SciFi and James Bond movies let alone touch it. I never thought I would ever make a film, simply because my family did not have deep pockets. For us, even owning a telephone was a luxury, and no thought of a mobile phone ever crossed our minds.

I remember the time when I was first introduced to a computer in 1989; I was almost afraid to touch it. I remember how gingerly I used the mouse. I bought my first computer in 1992, which was a 386, with a 120 MB hard drive and a 4 MB RAM! And when there came along a 1.2 GB hard drive, we thought it could not get better than this.

For the last about 100,000 years, we, the Homo sapiens have evolved with nature. We have got used to the sun, the moon, the weather, and the sunrise and sunset diurnal cycle. We feel the seasons changing, and we have adapted accordingly. We did accept the industrial evolution, survived the wars, and so many catastrophes, but put digital technology on the timeline of evolution, and it forms just a very small fraction.



The life expectancy of humans is about 75 to 80 years. Some of us, who were fortunate to have been exposed to this technology adapted to these changes and adopted the new technology, whereas some simply feel lost in its labyrinth. Rather than evolving with the digital technology, which is necessarily a slow, adaptive process, we have to simply accept it. So we pounce upon the latest gadgets, imbibe them into our system, use them, and get ready for the next fast change. Its almost like we include a piece of the digital DNA into our own, transforming, mutating into a new being.

How else do we explain the dependence on technology, the socio-economic problems that are so prevalent today? But more on that later....

There is no time to EVOLVE, because if you don't mutate, you do not survive.

Quite simply, we are (turning into) a world of Digital Mutants.