Time-based work includes things like movies, installations or performances. These can be really difficult to present in a portfolio, but that should put you off making them. This resource looks at some things you should consider when presenting this kind of work in a portfolio.

Time based (web, animations, projections, movies, installations, performances):

Time based media is particularly difficult to present in a traditional portfolio. There is obviously no substitute for actually being at the installation and performance or watching the whole movie with all the sounds. Yet there are some things you can do to communicate the experience and information about the product more clearly. Here are some tips for presenting this kind of work:


Master: Always include the actual video or animation on a memory stick, CD or DVD. Make sure it is in a widely used format like Quicktime or mp4. You can find out what format is suitable and what platform they normally use. You should not rely on interviewers having access to internet, but should put your video or audio online as a backup.

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Software: Make a sheet of screen grabs from computer programs. You may have used a sequence of different programs in synthesis and it is really important to indicate what your skills are and what you are able to do.

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Photographs: Document performances, projections and installations with photographs and present in sketchbook and worksheets. Find a friend who you can lend a camera to and instruct them on what is going to take place and what kinds of images you want. Ideally, include images of both the performance itself, but also where it is being presented and any audience that see it.


Video: Document performances, projections and installations with video and include on showreel. This could be brief highlights of the event with some clear titles indicating when and where it was and if there are more details in the portfolio.


Showreel: Put animations, movies and documents of installations on a showreel, rather than attempting to deliver them all separately. If there are a series of movies, then just cut to the most exciting bits. Present the CD well, in a box, with info about the order and length of the movies. Titles between each should indicate clear details.


Fasten: Attach CD’s, DVD’s and memory sticks to something so they don’t fall around. They should really have cases and be attached to the correct sketchbook or design board to make it easier for the interviewer.


Details: Anything in sketchbook or worksheets of this nature should have clear explanations of: place, time, event, duration and software etc. Simple details can really help the interviewer understand what you have been doing and it also shows your awareness of the audience. If you have a series of pieces of this nature then you can use the same ‘house-style’ each time to convey this information.

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Package: Produce the packaging for any DVD or CD. This will give it a more professional and considered feel.

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How: Show how you want the work to be seen. There is no point just showing the outcome of a video or animation if there was a particular way in which you wanted the work to be viewed. If you intended it to be projected on the floor or surrounded by certain things, then the interviewer needs to see that too.


Evidence: If you have had your work in an exhibition, then include images of the show with the audience there. This gives a sense of scale, but also shows that you are keen to participate in shows.

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Notes: don’t be afraid to explain the obvious with clear notes and short sentences explaining what took place. You can be reflective with these points and that shows you have evaluated the situation and experience.

Daniel Freaker Daniel Freaker Educational Consultant, Editor for Pearson Portfolio. danfreaker@pearsonportfolio.co.uk