My name’s Matt Cooper and I’m a Bournemouth University Media Production graduate. Aside from trying to fit all of that into one sentence, my biggest challenge since graduating has been getting a foothold in the industry. I jumped at the chance to get some work experience with Bright Blue Day, excited to see the inner workings of a prestigious advertising agency.
First impressions count
Stepping into the bbd office was not dissimilar from entering the TARDIS. An unassuming door in a parking complex opened to reveal a wall of shrubbery, the glowing neon words Bright Blue Day nestled in the centre. Certainly an impressive first impression.
bbd and Media
I enjoy the variety media work brings; it was what first drew me to the industry. Whether bustling on a set or holed up in an edit suite, you can always find the variety to keep things fresh. My workload at bbd mirrored this, giving me the creative freedom to experiment and learn within a professional setting whilst still having access to more experienced people when I needed steering in the right direction.
I managed to work on a range of projects which was a refreshing way of re-familiarising myself with my skill set whilst allowing me to build upon it. The familiarity of cutting together footage in Premiere was contrasted with the challenge of teaching myself basic animation in AfterEffects, meaning the balance between doing work I’m good at and improving on work I’m not provided an experience which was neither overly challenging nor too monotonous. The veritable yin to my yang.
Chocolate makes everything better
Plus, I got to do a location recce at Montezuma’s – an actual chocolate factory complete with vats filled to the brim with melted, chocolatey goodness (I now completely relate to Augustus Gloop as all I wanted to do was submerge my face in one, hygiene standards be damned). There was a distinct lack of oompa-loompas but their hairnet wearing counterparts were just as friendly.
Having recently graduated from Bournemouth University, I’ve spent several months job-hunting without much success, so being able to use my technical and creative skills again has been a great motivator in reminding myself why I enjoy media and that I’m capable enough to work in it.
Misconceptions can be misconceiving
An interesting dimension to my time at bbd was a thawing of my perceptions of advertising. With the growing awareness of data misuse and hyper-consumption present in society, I feel many people are inherently distrusting of any form of advertising, regardless of its intended purpose. When I see an advert whilst scrolling through my timeline, I subconsciously picture a mega-corporation sliding its tendrils into my wallet like the Upside-Down in Stranger Things; somewhat lovecraftian and undoubtedly negative.
But working with people from bbd I have seen the care and craftsmanship which goes into creating these campaigns. I’m reminded that whilst there are unscrupulous agents of capitalism out there on the hunt for easy sales, there is a beauty in the mastery of a craft, a mastery which Bright Blue Day showcases with the ease of a company working at the top of its industry.