New Blood? Yes, I could do with a transfusion. Here’s some tips.
The New Blood deadline was yesterday, so I’m writing this hot and fresh. The past month has been the maddest yet. You go into New Blood knowing how tough it’s going to be… and boy, were they right. It was also one of the most gratifying processes though… knowing your work will be looked at by a fine panel of judges is cool, even if they don’t like it. Let’s hope they do though, ay?
I haven’t done a post with tips for future students yet – and I’m sure most New Blood tips are already out there… but here are my own based on my experience, and what I’ve witnessed over the past four weeks.
*Disclaimer: If my entries fail to win any pencils, please feel free to ignore these tips, not read them, laugh at me for my audacity or even stroke my face with pity.
- TAKE TIME TO FIND THE WINNING IDEA
Take the time to research without the fear of feeling like you need an amazing idea to run with instantly. Do not run with a half-good idea. If you haven’t found one and there’s still over 8 days left until the submission deadline, keep generating a load of ideas and one will pop out. Then you have a week to craft. Golden. If two or more mentors tell you the idea isn’t good enough, it probably isn’t.
2. LIGHTBULB MOMENT EARLY ON? ROLL WITH IT
If an idea hits you early on and people like it, take that as a great sign. Start generating the content and iterate the hell out of it. If you get finished earlier than the deadline, take advantage and use that time to put in a last minute entry. I didn’t manage to do this as my two entries took so long!
3. TRY TO GET MOVING QUICKLY
It can be good to keep discussing your idea with every single mentor and your partner until the cows come home – but if it’s good and you have good feedback, don’t keep asking for more feedback for the sake of it. Start crafting early on and generate more ideas at the same time. Your earliest work will never be the done deal, everything will shift as you evolve your idea and build on your work. That’s when you can go back to your mentors for more feedback, as they’re likely to add something extra.
4. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
Always trust yourself and your idea, and your own determination to see it through to the end, and make it work if you truly believe in it. There are times where you might be working with a specific mentor who suggests you take a different direction and tells you that you need to do a certain thing, but if you don’t agree and you know you can make it work the way you want, trust your gut instincts. You will be annoyed for not trusting yourself. Which takes me to my next point.
5. STICK TO YOUR GUNS
Always take advice and feedback from mentors on board. They have more experience than you and they’re there to help and take your work to new heights. BUT one thing I have learnt is that it’s also important to stick to what you believe in. Mull it over. Sit on it. Try various combinations of their suggestions, think about what you want to do and explore what they’ve said. It might spark something great that was missing but if you truly believe that it won’t, that’s also fine. The work is in your name therefore its your responsibility to submit what you think is your best entry. You might be wrong, their suggestion might have been right but we’re all here to learn and that’s a part of the process.
6. ASK ALUMNI
One day during the New Blood storm it was announced that an alumni team were doing an hour of mentoring, and we had to sign up for one of five slots on a google doc. Of course, everyone instantly jumped on it and the five slots got snapped up instantly. I nope’d out of that and decided to cold-email some SCA alumni who’d made some cracking New Blood entries. I had three full meetings that day to discuss my entries with people who, not only had been through it, but are now working in the industry and have their ear to the ground. Be bold and find people who made things similar to what you’re aiming towards. Play smart.
7. DIRECT YOUR SUPPLIERS
If you get a voiceover made, or a piece of music. Be sure to sit in and direct them in their work – do it live. In person or on a zoom call. Make sure you don’t get something you aren’t happy with, and don’t have a long drawn-out back-and-forth process which could have been avoided if you’d just sat there with them in the first place.