Business cards - a personal odyssey

I got my first business cards when I was 20. At the time, I considered it pretentious - and I'm sure that was also the view of my peers when they happened to notice, but the fact was that I was starting to be asked for my phone number and email address by people who may want to pay me money for work. They were very formal based on a template at the company I ordered from, and were basically what I thought a business card should look like; if slightly different from the black text on white card "business" business cards. I didn't have a website, and just a single personal email address through which all of my email went. I still have a stack of them somewhere, gathering dust.

Time passed, and as I prepared to move on from film school back into the world, I got my own website and domain - and therefore new cards. This time I went with a style which has usually been described as funky. Again, they were based on a website template with custom colours, but they were significantly less formal; whilst still standing apart from the black on white formality.

These are currently the cards which I give out to the places where I work, and at certain other times - usually for people who already know me but don't yet have the full set of contact details. They fit neatly into existing systems for card indexing, they're reasonably distinctive amongst many cards, and all of the information is on the front with a plain white back (for additional notes). What they lack is any aspect of me - after all, they're once again based on a template at the site I used.

So what I now have are these half-sized cards from (they also do full-size, postcards, stickers....)

Utterly generic front (top left) with all of the relevant information, but on the back I was able to select photos to upload. I selected images from 3 different projects to match different areas of expertise:

  • Pirates(bottom right) - on which I was VFX Editor, and certainly the film which I'm most likely to mention to people at networking events. By giving them this card, they can associate that conversation with my information.
  • Cherry on the Cake (bottom left) - an animation graduation film from the NFTS, representing my interest in animation editing. 
  • Brixton 85 (top right) - a short film at the NFTS, and one of the most successful from my time there. The director Tom Green went on to direct episodes of Misfits, and is currently working on a BBC drama. This card therefore represents my interest in drama editing, and from my showreel it's usually the clip that people most remember when I'm meeting up with them to discuss work.

I carry these cards around with me at all times in their nifty custom case, and by far collectively they're currently my most-used. Certainly in networking contexts, being able to hand someone my card and show them the image from the film most relevant to the type of opportunity I may be offered, and then talk a little about it - it's a great visual aid, and hopefully something which will inspire them to check out my website to find out more. Next time I order them, I'll probably get different sets with different job titles - these were a trial on a special order, and they'd only accept one 'front' - but they've proven to be pretty popular.

Then, of course, there's the issue of social networking. I have a large number of links (LinkedIn, Twitter, various UK job site profies) on the top right of every page of my website - do they belong on a card? Increasingly so, it seems. And since I know that I've instantly followed (or at least looked up) someone on Twitter when they've included their username in a presentation, it seems increasingly relevant. At least until the next big thing comes along?

Cherry on the Cake - coming soon to a festival near you

Cherry on the Cake (2009)



Writer/Director/animator: Hyebin Lee
Producer: Michelle Eastwood
Production Designer: James Spencer
Cinematographer: Felix Wiedemann
Editor: Judith Allen
Sound Design: Gunnar Oskarsson
Sound Editor & Dubbing Mixer: Linda Brenon
Composer: Jon Opstad
Mother, Mary, Cherry and Berry voice : Michelle Archer
Father and Policeman : Rupert Degas




.... yes, Cherry's been doing fantastically well on the festival circuit, and I'm very much hoping to be able to go to the London Film Festival's screening at the very least.


Director Hyebin Lee is now represented by Casarotto. Expect very interesting and fantastic things.


... I haven't had much to say lately largely because of a lack of editing work. A lack of freelance work (owing in part to the recession, no doubt in part to my lack of contacts having just emerged wide eyed and blinking from the NFTS) means that I've taken a staff job as a tech/ edit assistant at a small post-production house in Soho. I've learnt more about the technical side, advised people on how to set up what they need, and generally been "of use" to those who are working here. Plus it's a regular wage, which just wasn't happening on the freelance side. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get back into the paid editing/ assisting work.

Graduation film update


From the TV graduation project, 'TV or Not TV?', some clips have been uploaded to YouTube by the producer/director, Guy Press. Please rate and/or comment them!

TV or Not TV? YouTube Channel


And the animation  which I edited, 'Cherry on the Cake', has had its DVD packaging finalised and it looks glorious. It's now ready to be sent off to festivals.

DVD cover for Cherry on the Cake DVD interior for Cherry on the Cake


Please follow the embedded links above for further information about the projects and how to contact the producers for any enquiries you may have.

New uploads - showreel, two sketches

Having just joined vimeo (username jaaed), I'm using the handy embedding feature to self-promote. Which of course is what blogs are for.... sort of.

So here's my new showreel, updated from the previous to include my graduation films from the NFTS and some of the animations I've worked on at the school:

Editing Showreel Jan 2009 from Judith Allen on Vimeo.

... and here are two of my favourite sketches from my most recent editing project, 'TV or Not TV':

TV or not TV - 'Corporate Woman' from Judith Allen on Vimeo.

TV or not TV - 'The Facts of Life' from Judith Allen on Vimeo.

End of an era, and the freelance fear

Barring the usual paperwork, signing-offs and graduation itself, my time at the NFTS is just about over. The cafetiere and coffee bean grinder have been taken home, the relevant exports have all been done - and copies made for me to be able to advise remotely on any unclear points. The animation is still going via Avid, as each shot is worked on seperately in the animator's After Effects and then exported in HD whenever we need to see the entire film or a sequence of shots, but I now have that on my own MacBook Pro and we can FTP new material whilst it's still being completed.

So now comes the fear. The freelance fear, of course. I'd like to think that by having a website, showreel of sorts, and profiles on the usual networking and jobseeking websites that I'm getting a good start on the background self-promotion, but as just about everyone says - it's the contacts that count. I'm certainly building them up - in no small part thanks to the NFTS, but they mostly seem to be the type which could be more useful in a few years' time once I've had a bit of experience. Agencies all want broadcast credits, and there's always the danger of getting stuck in a genre which isn't where I ultimately want to be.

The first step certainly seems to be the hardest right now. But by continuing to work on my online presence whilst keeping my eyes open and monitoring job-seeking and professional development websites, I'm keeping calm and not worrying too much..... yet.