My 30 second visual essay is formed around the same idea as my documentary proposal, which tells the story of my younger brother, Harleigh, who was put into care during his younger teenage years.
March 5th, 12th and 19th.
Having a session in the TV studio was a new experience for the whole group. Bex, our skills instructor took our first session and briefed us on what we going to be doing. She took us through how to set up the talkback system that linked the studio floor to the gallery. She then put us into a few small groups and asked us to set it up ourselves. I think everyone was a bit apprehensive about doing this as obviously it had only been the first time in the studio and we were working with new equipment. She also showed the group how to use the cameras and how to change the focus and use the zoom etc.
The next time we were in the studio we were joined by our third year mentors that would be taking our sessions for the next few weeks. This session was really good as, although it was a bit slow getting into it by doing an icebreaker, they gave us some really important information. They explained all of the different roles and how they contributed to the making of the TV show. They also told us that we would each have to choose a role that we wanted to do to contribute to the show, therefore getting everyone to start thinking about what they wanted to do.
The session after this, our mentors decided the best course of action for everyone to get a chance to try out every different role was to make short, 2 minute shows and then swap roles. This session again was really good as it gave everyone food for thought and got us thinking about which roles we wanted to do.
March 26th and 28th.
Our mentors again took this session and after everyone had had a week to think about what they wanted to do, we repeated the previous weeks tasks, making 2 minute shows, however this session was different as people focused the role they were hoping to get and trying to show the group that they would be good in this role for next weeks decision making.
The role audition session again consisted of 2-minute shows, however at the end of this session we all had to audition and say the reasons why we thought we would be good in the role that we had chosen. I auditioned for the lighting role in the studio as this is the role that I had taken most interest in; This is because this role had most interested me in the practice sessions as I hadn’t really looked into lighting before, and saw this as a challenge as we would be going out live. All in all I am very happy with the roles that everyone has been placed in.
April 16th and 19th
The session after we came back from the Easter break, we had a small script written, which meant that in the first session we were able to get everyone working in their roles and sort out some of the timings for the beginning of the show, however the script only totaled in time to around 5/6 minutes, which was half of what we needed. Trying to sort out the timings took up most of the time we had booked in the studio, however we were making progress.
The 19th however was very unproductive as a fair amount of people turned up around 45 minutes late, leaving only and hour to try and get through as many practices as we could, and have time to pack away. Up to this point I hadn’t been able to fully get in to my role as when our TV studio sessions were booked, the lights I wanted to use had been all booked out, however I was still able to make a lighting plan.
April 23rd 25th and 26th
The sessions of this week were a continuation of what we had been doing before, however the script was getting more and developed as each session went on. Everyone was working really well in their role I feel and everything seemed to be coming along nicely. We had by this time got some VT’s which were good and we were again developing the timing around them too. Unfortunately I missed the session on the 25th as I was babysitting my younger sister who was poorly and therefore off school, yet I was able to come in on Friday’s session and pick up where I had left off and catch up with what I had missed. In the studio time we had on Friday, we had most of the set and therefore we were able to set this up.
This also meant that I was able to see where the set would be in terms of setting the lights up too, and try to erase any shadows from the presenters that were both on the back drop and their faces. I also feel as the show is coming along very well, and although we haven’t had a full run through yet I feel confident that we will do well.
April 30th, May 2nd and 3rd
After Fridays time in the studio, I think everyone was feeling quite good about the progress made and the next session turned out to be really good. We were able to get everything set up really quickly and get a lot of run through’s in. everything seemed to be clicking together very well. The start to a good week however was ruined by the Thursday session being cancelled due to a lot of people saying they couldn’t make it in, and people showing up late again on the Friday. This session was also focused on working out more of the timings of the show. In this time however I was able to plan out the lighting in the studio properly and alter anything I needed too. One of the problems that occurred was that where I had out the lights, the presenters were having trouble reading the autocue. I had only put the Red Head lights at eye level to the presenters in the corners, so to amend this I raised the lights to above head level, which eliminated the problem.
May 7th 9th 10th.
The last week before our assessment we had pretty much got everything sorted in terms of timings, VT’s and set, so during these sessions it mainly trying to get as many practices in in the time we had in the studio. We also focused a lot on setting the studio up quickly which would be beneficial to us for the final session as it would mean we had more time to record our final pieces. During this week there were only a few minor tweaks with words in the script. The only problem that really occurred was that when we had the Plasma Globe on (this being one of our props) it interfered with the radio mics. that the presenters were wearing. This was solved though by just not turning the Plasma Globe on! Everyone seemed very happy and comfortable in their roles by this point, which meant that everything during our practices was running smoothly. The only thing that we hadn’t managed to sort out at this point was the performance at the end, however the PA’s had left enough time at the end of the show for this to happen.
May 13th – Final Practice.
This was the final session we had before our assessment, and therefore we tried to treat it as the final when making the set, so we knew how quickly it would take us and therefore, how much time we would have to do our final takes the day after. We also had a full dress rehearsal on this day so Ross, our director, could see any final things that needed changing, which there wasn’t really. For this session we also had our performer, Johnny Smith, come in to rehearse so we could get his segment of the show finalized, this meant organizing the sound properly and the lighting. The lighting in this but was especially difficult to organize as I had to move lights and get the softness that the director wanted on his face sorted and doing so in the minute or so VT of Rey’s review. Fortunately for me the runners were on hand to move the sofa and table and put the performers chair the right place so I could get the lights sorted. To create the soft effect I discussed with the director about a few different lighting arrangements, and in the end we came to the decision that the most effective lighting would be to have a blackout in the studio, and only a small light shining on his face and guitar. This I thought looked really good. By the end of the session I think whilst everyone was feeling very nervous, everyone was quietly confident and excited.
At the beginning of our Net TV module, we were put into groups, with ours consisting of around 20 students, with our groups TV show’s theme being Fantasy. In our first meeting we all discussed what fantasy meant to us individually and what sort of content we could include in our show. As a group we talked trough the possibility of focusing on Fantasy genre films, games and books and fantasy creatures.
We put it down to Facebook poll and each member of the group could vote for what the content our show should be. Doing it in this way was a really good idea as it means that the voting was fair and unbiased, going on what the whole group wanted as opposed to one person taking charge.
Although fantasy films was the most popular decision after a few more group meetings and working out the logistics of the show, the decision was made that it would be better to focus our show on UFO’s, especially when thinking about meeting the criteria of the brief given, and thus ‘Net TV – Do You Believe?’ was born.
We then discussed he content of the show so the script researcher and script writer could get to work, meaning that we could get to practicing our TV show with a lot of time to get it perfect, whilst this was happening, the set designer was able to create a set that fitted our theme very well also. There was some discussion of the presenters being dressed in costumes, however this idea was scrapped due to expense, however I think this would have made our show look a bit tacky and unprofessional.
In the practice sessions in the TV studio I found it hard to properly get into my role doing the lighting, as it was hard to judge where lights needed to be placed and what would look best as we had no set, however after the set design was completed I was able to make a lighting plan and then work around what was done and changed in the studio.
The set design included things that had a fantasy-esque theme to them with, including Lava Lamps and Plasma Globes. We were planning to have the backdrop chroma keyed however we opted not to as no one really knew how it worked; it was also decided that it may be best for us to use the boards that could be put up in the TV studio as the other groups had decided this is what they wanted, therefore we were able to put up black material and the final choice was made to put glow in the dark stars on the material to make it look space-y, again fitting with our theme and our content.
The next thing that was organized and produced was the VT’s that were going to be included in our show. The VT team came up with some brilliant VT’s, collecting on the street interviews with members of the public, asking their opinions on UFO’s and whether or not they believed. They also found some great clips of UFO’s from the Internet that be used in our ‘Viral Video of the Week’ vote segment. The other VT that they made was a review of the UFO documentary ‘I Know What I Saw’ (James Fox, 2009). We thought this would be good to use as it linked back to our original idea of focusing on fantasy films.
Here are the links to the VT’s:
Rey’s Review of ‘I Know What I Saw’:
After all of the VT’s had been made and the set had been designed, the show itself fell in to place very smoothly, and it was just a case of perfecting the last few things, for example minor script changes and organizing the timings of each thing, which the PA’s did very nicely, the opening, closing and ‘coming up’ graphics were designed also, again fitting well in to our theme.
I was able to complete my lighting plan and speak with the director to make sure that he was happy with how everything looked, especially on camera. I made the decision to put two lights behind the sofa where the presenters would be as thins would bring them out of the background, as opposed to making them look ‘lost in space’!
In my opinion every member of the team worked very hard on this project, and the entire team seemed to get on very well, which I think is reflected in our final production.
During the first half of our 161 module we were given the task to create a logo for ourselves as we were looking in branding and what this means. I created a logo and branding name which was quite general as I am unsure what area of media production I would like to go into, yet I still kept the logo very personal to myself, with it being, in my opinion, quite bold and memorable.
Here is a link to a previous blog post that details the choices and thought processes that I went through when creating said logo:
After this had been created I then thought about what I could do, in professional terms to broaden my online presence, which in this industry and this modern age is important.
I began by first creating a Facebook page using the title ‘Elejunky Films’. I plan to use this to improve my online presence by sharing the work that I complete and promoting myself, and my work, through this platform. I have already shared on the page some of the work that I have created previous to university (as part of my college course) and plan to do the same with the work that I do in the coming years.
By having a Facebook page for myself I will also be able to gain feedback from the public with anything that I am working on, which will enable me to improve my work greatly. This also means that if my target audience should fall into the category of the people who have liked the page, then any feedback that I should gain from this website will be relevant and again, aid me making something good. I have also linked my student blog and my Vimeo page. This I feel will be good, as it will also broaden the views that both of these sights get.
During the second part of our coursework at university we were also asked to create a website for our TV show. After doing this I have thought about creating a professional website for myself would be another good way of furthering my online presence. This again would be good for linking all of my webpages and videos together in one place. I also plan to make a Twitter page for my production company as this is another platform that would be good to promote myself and my work.
Looking at my professional development in the terms of work and such, and developing my film making skills, over the summer I had arranged to make a piece of work with one of my friends Steve Hird who is a photography student at Coventry University also. Although we haven’t finally decided what we would like to create, we have discussed possibly making a video that uses a double exposure technique to create two different stories with a matching theme.
Here is a link to Steve’s blog:
Since the dawn of the Media age, especially with the rise of the Internet, advertising and extras that engage the audience have become more used and important to get a leg up in not only the media industry, but the business world also. With the use of social networking sights, as well as e-mail and phone, audience participation and audience engagement has sky-rocketed, and this can be said for all types of media, including TV, Radio and Newspapers.
Facebook and Twitter (and in earlier days MySpace), for example, have had a large part to play in the creation of multi-platform media, or ‘Trans-Media’, as they have made it possible for different types of media, especially shows etc. to become more accessible to the general public. Trans-Media has also meant that TV shows are able offer their audience extras that would otherwise be available.
Taking a look at The One Show’s webpage shows us good examples of these key features.
As you cans see by the screen shot of the website, they give the option to view the most recent show, making it impossibly for any viewer to miss a show, as well as giving the time and day of the next show.
The ‘Send your Stories’, as stated before, gives the audience to communicate with the show and furthermore giving them incentive to watch to see if their story is discussed on the show.
There is a link to the Facebook page, showing the audience who visit the website that they are up to date with the latest social media trends, emphasizing that they are a modern and up to date show, and finally clips and galleries offer the audience backstage and behind the scenes extras.
Looking at Twitter, one it’s key features is that it gives the public a chance to see what’s ‘Trending’, and item that shows other what people have been tweeting about, therein creating a kind of advert for the show/film/radio show in itself. Twitter trends thing from all over world, as well as specifically to your location, broadening the potential audience base.
The Internet can also be used in this multi platform way for promotional purposes, for example viral advertising. A great example of how viral, trans-media, advertising can be used is by looking at the film ‘Cloverfield’. Although the connection has been denied, it was first thought that the website “EthanHaaswasright” was the beginning of the Cloverfield marketing scheme, as both the game and film have very similar themes. Another website was released called simply ‘1-18-08.com’ (which subsequently was the release date of the film). By giving the public tiny pieces of information about the film, this created a lot of questions, sparking the publics’ interest before the poster and film were released. The producers of Cloverfield also set up MySpace profile pages for the character that appeared in the film, here is an example:
This characters name was Hud. We don’t see a great deal from him in the film as he is the one who is carrying the camera though a large portion, (spoiler alert!) until he is killed by the Cloverfield monster towards the end.
Overall I am pleased with the outcome of our Television Show ‘Net TV – Do You Believe?’ During our assessment session of being in the TV studio, I felt that everyone felt comfortable I their roles, this being from all of the hard work that the entire team had put in to the practice sessions we had, and especially Ross our Director and Laura our Producer. This also meant that the final takes of our show, and therein our submission, were of a high standard, which was reflected in the feed back we got from our lecturers in the screening on Friday 17th May.
The main issues we encountered as a group were having trouble with sound at the beginning,
whilst setting up the set. As the sound check was being done by Fiona, she realized we were getting a large amount of interference that was making the presenters inaudible through these microphones. Fortunately for us, the sound technician Paul was in the office and came in our aid, realising the radio mics. had been put on the same frequency and amending this problem in no time at all, enabling the team to get on with recording our show.
In the two our slot we had to record our show we were able to do four takes, with the best take being the last one we recorded. In my Lighting role, and from a lighting perspective, all of the takes were pretty consistent, as obviously once the lights have been set up only a few minor tweaks have to be done, which were mostly during the performance at the end, as I had to re-position lights and have them at a certain brightness, which was difficult to judge at times due the fact the other lights were still on.
During the first take, I hadn’t used both of the Deado lights that were being used behind the sofa, only using one to light our performers face, which left his guitar in darkness. I then realized (with the Director suggesting at the same time) that the other light should be moved to shine on his guitar. This looked much better during the second take. On the third take however, the light that was highlighting our performers face was too bright, meaning that his face was over-exposed. Again this was amended on the final take.
The 161 Module as whole I have found very insightful, learning the importance of my online presence and how to present myself (with the logo task from term two); the effect of trans-media and its importance when looking at social-media development, and the true value of teamwork. These are things that I will carry with me through to the end of university and after.
Here is a short peer assessment from Sarah:
“Shaynie has been a delight to work along side with during the last few weeks of producing our TV show. She had a very important responsibility which was to set up lighting for our show. Even though lighting may seem very basic, she put thought and care into what she was doing and made the set more appealing with the different arrangements of lights. By the time we started doing the live show, the arrangements of the lighting really complimented our TV show and helped to make our show look very high standard. Also, Shaynie followed the health and safety rules and was aware of other members of the team at all time. She took her role seriously and did it to the best of her abilities, which all paid off!”