Ages ago, when I was first freelancing as a younger, more arrogant and more naive version of the nitwit you see before you, I started putting a portfolio together. The beginnings of this portfolio included the corporate videos I had worked on while at O’MAGE- and while I was more proud of those videos than anything else in the world, they proved to be the bane of my life for the next couple of years.
The acquisition of the final edits necessitated the sacrifice of entire spindles of blank CD’s and DVD’s and vast tracts of my 300GB external drive (300GB was a lot of space back then, I’ll have you know, you little bastards).
I wanted high res versions of the videos because I had the romantic notion that, given a few days off, I would edit all of the videos together with a mystical, rights-free-but-still-bitching track I had yet to find and create a ‘super showreel’.
The time never came, or perhaps I just never tried hard enough to make it. I met with a couple of freelance editors, got a couple of quotes and in the mean time focused on building a body of work in the digital field.
Let me go back a few years further even (imagine a cool ‘whooshing’ sound effect). Understand that when I went to AFDA, where they still made us shoot on 8mm film and edit on old-fashioned flatbeds. I get what they were trying to teach us- or maybe they were just trying to get away without spending any resources on us, I forget…But my point is, that I learnt to do a lot of things the hard way first, and so, getting my work in front of people who would pay me to do more work, had to- in my mind- be a laborious palaver.
Fast forward again to 2010 ( this post is like an episode of Lost)- I was working full time, but after getting a call from a local agent to come through for an interview at a BIG agency, I took a couple of evenings and a full weekend to put together my latest ‘portfolio’. I designed the cover and each page of the print-out myself, as well the DVD covers, which contained my still-unedited video work.
The agent- the bloody agent- almost laughed at me. She sneered at my poor attempts to tart up my modest body of work and cancelled the interview with her client. I made it all the way to the car before I burst into tears.
In the last three years, I have rebuilt this portfolio one word and one piece of work at a time, sometimes delving back into the past when I have to. It’s only gotten easier thanks to the widened proliferation of the internet, increased speeds, the general improvement of CMS’s and, of course, the cloud.
The cloud now means that when people want a copy of my portfolio, I no longer send a 40 page bore-a-thon ‘designed’ in PowerPoint. I send a URL- the cloud does everything else for me.
Having everything in the cloud means I no longer have to set foot inside another printer’s, or burn another disc. It means updating the look of my portfolio can take as little time as picking a new theme does. It literally improves and simplifies every aspect of the work I do.
Obviously, this makes the tree-hugger in me happy, but it also makes the sensitive writer part quite happy too, because I can update the descriptions of the work as soon as rereading them starts to make me cringe (if only examples of the actual work were as easy to improve with the benefit of hindsight).
Sliced bread can go and fuck its own face. Cloud computing is the greatest invention of this, or any other century (except for vaccines, heart transplants, the Hubble telescope, CERN and chocolate).
Last month, I swallowed my pride and applied for another job through the same agent who made me cry. She asked for my portfolio and I sent her the link to my online portfolio (free, plain-as-dry-toast 2014 WordPress theme and all) and do you want to know what she said?
Fuck yeah, it is.