Monday, 28 May 2012

Pitch- Werneth Jamia Mosque

After my first idea about the media coverage on the Israel-Palestine conflict broke down because of, either a lack of knowledge on the subject or a willingness to comment on the subject I have been forced to change my idea.

I have decided to change my story and talk about the building of a mosque in my area. The VT will be informative and give other people an idea of what goes on inside a mosque, and how it is not just used as a place to pray. In the VT I will try to include links to history about other activities that would take place inside the mosque in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), e.g. his companions would have wrestling matches inside the mosque. I will try to show the audiences that as well praying there are also educational and fun purposes to having a mosque. Also a mosque has a large role to play in the structure of its local community, as it is a place where a lot of people see each other.

I will also discuss the other issues about the progress of the mosque, the price it costs to build it and how they raise funds for the project. I will go around the local area and shoot vox pops with people giving their opinions on the matter and see if people are against or for the decision to build a mosque, which won’t be new but will be replacing an already established mosque. For my interview I will be speaking to a member of the mosque that has been involved largely in its progress and also give his/her opinion on why there are so many mosques being built around England and that area in particular. I will also shoot some GV’s of the progress and try to get hold of some images or footage of what the new mosque will look like after completion. Also my piece to cameras will be done on site next to where the building of the mosque is taking place.

News Package Research

Today I'm researching news programs to see how they're filmed and timed. I will be commenting on the style, content and running order.

This news program which focused mainly on the London riots last year. The style of the news program was similar to most BBC news programs. Firstly the presenter gives a preview of the main headlines and sports events. Before every VT you will see an introduction to it by the news presenter which is really the beginning of the story, e.g. The presenter will begin by giving the headline and also give some facts, then pass it over the news reporter that is standing by or if it is pre-recorded it will cut to that. Usually you see the presenter move on to different stories but because it was mainly focused on the riots the presenter passes through different elements of the story, e.g. first they covered images of the riots the night before, then they covered the aftermath, and then they covered the possible problem resolving.

The VT's are structured well and project the voices of the public well. The voice overs are well spoken and the story is produced in a simple structure which helps gives the audience a thorough understanding of what is happening. The story it self I believe is very objective and allows the audience to see both sides of the story through the publics voice. The main headline is given most of the time. The clip is nine minutes long and most of it if on the London riots subject, which means that the other two thirds of the news program must consist of other headlines, news and sports. I see the BBC as leaders in news programming and can always be used as example for people to watch and learn on how to put together a news package.

For the next news package I've chose the breaking news of the 9/11 tragedy. The reason I chose this is because it's different to the other one and is being broadcasted live. With live broadcasts the news is much slower and takes longer for the presenter to talk about because they are waiting for the news to come through while they are producing it. The graphics are on each side of the screen because there is the regular lower thirds which you would see on every news package and also a 'live' graphic which indicates that the broadcast is live. Graphics are important not just for the style of the package but also to help the viewers as it gives them an indication of what time things are happening, where they are happening and if someone else is providing images then they may be able to switch over to the broadcast which is more up to date.

When a broadcast is live you see that the news broadcasters are trying to receive information and images from other news broadcasts. Also they try their best to get eye witness interviews on radio microphones as they don't have enough time to get there themselves. It is very intense and most people don't get to finish their interviews or give their views because the broadcast would then move on to something else if there is more news being released.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Final Week- Assessment Day

On the final assessment day, most people did turn up on time but we still had the same issue of some people doing the setup while others sat down and did nothing. Although there were some people that were going through scripts and trying to time their program to make sure it was right. We decided that Ashley's group would go first so we set up and my group sat in the computer room while the others got on with the production. While they were doing that we were talking about our production and how it should go. Josh had all the VT's on the tricaster and we knew what order everything was going in so we were ready to go. We were 6 minutes short last week but that was because we were missing a couple of VT's so we were confident today we'd be spot on with the timing.

After Ashley's group had finished we went on dinner while they de-rigged the studio. When we came back we were surprised to see that they had not put things back in their places and left wires all over the gallery. They made our job of setting up very difficult after we helped them set up in the morning and we found this to be very childish because it was our assessment day, we didn't need to be put under more pressure by such tricks. Someone left three Sony V1's on the desk which we thought were left from when they de-rigged but it turned out someone had left them there as well. They weren't actually needed because the other group used the Panasonic P2's to shoot their program. I set up the cameras along with Kas and everyone worked on their own part. However we had a lot of difficulties with the autocue and this was probably my week point. Ezra and Imogen, on the other hand were very good with it and they sorted it out. It took us a long time to set up and this put us under pressure because before we went for the take we had to get in a practice run. We also had issues with the news piece that had to be edited on the day because Ashley was complaining that ours wasn't actually edited as it was footage that we took from the Champions League Final, but it still had to be edited on the day which Josh did very well to make it a part of our sports section.

We had an issue during our practice run because Matty wasn't familiar with his part on the news section and Josh asked me to frame him up for my camera but he was reading off the autocue, which was set up on camera two. We decided we had no choice but to frame him up on my camera but I would go very close to camera two to try and make it look like he was looking at my camera. After a shaky start to the production we started moving very smoothly and Rebecca was warming up to being the presenter and begun to come into her own. Towards the end during the sports section when Nabeel's VT was playing we had an issue with time because we had a final VT prepared but realised we were running out of time fast. We had to quickly move onto the end of the show but had to cut that short as well because we had gone over our time. A good production ended quite badly but I think for something we only rehearsed once it didn't go as bad as most of us expected.

From now on I think we all need to be a little bit more professional and do our work on time so it is ready to be rehearsed instead of bringing it in on the assessment day thinking it will all be timed well and done perfectly. As a team however, I think we did well. We all helped each other on our VT's and we made sure, as a group that everyone had their VT on the tricaster, on time, on the date. I believe in the future we should use this as a lesson to be learned because although we just about scraped through on this occasion I don't think it was very professional and personally I wouldn't watch it if it was on TV. We all need to watch more news packages and learn how it's done because some of the VT's looked like they were shot to be in a film or drama.

8-04-12- Vox Pops

Today I was after getting some vox pops and I stationed my self outside the mosque on a Friday after the main prayer and waited outside as there was well over 100 people there. After I got my first interview it started raining so I had to pack up and leave. I then got some help from my friend who said I could use his house to film some of the vox pops. He had a white background in his house so I decided to use it to make it look like I was filming in the corridors of the mosque. I got three people to come and film the interviews, which went very smoothly. It took me around 30 minutes to do all three then I had all the elements of my news package ready including my voice overs which I recorded at home.

I had a tough time to begin with when I couldn't get my news story about Israel and Palestine together but after countless disappointment and a good lecture from Sam I had my whole news package done within a week. I think if I, or anyone else in the class could put that kind of effort into their news package we would have been able to easily get three rehearsals in before the assessment day. It just goes to show that planning and preparation is everything, and if you really need to do something you can. I hope we all learn from this important lesson and next year if we need to put together another news package like this, then we put the effort in right from the beginning instead of waiting for everything to fall on our laps.

5-04-12- Piece to Camera and General Views

Today I went to Werneth Jamia Mosque to record my general views and piece to camera. I was accompanied by Mikael and he was going to be the camera operator for the day. Firstly I thought about getting a wide shot of the entire construction site for my opening, which I did from on top of a roof. Then we went downstairs to record some kids reading the Quran. I had issues with this because I had to either have a CRB check or get clearance from the parents of the kids. I decided to film just two children and I got their parents to sign a consent form to allow me to film them. After that I went downstairs to film my piece to camera in the main prayer hall. I had a script written down on my iPad and I memorised it for a few minutes then I was ready to go. It's the first time I had presented or reported on anything so I was a bit nervous I'd come across too relaxed, which I usually do. It took me around 4/5 takes because sometimes I would forget my lines or I wasn't happy with the tone of my voice.

When I was done with the piece to camera I went outside to get some more shots of the new construction site and some shots of the current mosque. I was running out of time as I only had a couple of bars left on the camera battery. I took a few shots of the current mosque then I circled around the construction site taking various shots of it. In my mind I had already decided that I would begin by talking about the current mosque, then move on to the new mosque and end by talking about the future of the mosque and what it has to offers.

22-04-12- Interview with Haje Rahman

Today I had to visit one of the committee members of the mosque for an interview. I had organised this before hand with him and I was going to visit him at his home. I took my own equipment with me, so I had my DSLR camera, Zoom microphone, tripod and microphone tripod as well. The interview was done in his office infront of his desk. Before we begun I tried to dress his desk so it would look presentable and also look good on the camera. I had a bit of a problem with the lighting but he was kind enough to provide me with a lamp to use to make it brighter. I also asked him to change the desktop on his computer to a slideshow of images of the new mosque. When I was happy with the setup and what I saw in the camera I decided to frame him to the right of the screen. There was no real reason behind it, it was just personal preference. During the interview I was having some issues with the camera because it kept switching off by itself so I messed about with the camera settings and then it was fine.

I shot the interview twice and had to make Mr. Rahman clap on screen so I could then sync it up with the separate microphone I was recording on. I did a good job finding him as he was well spoken and was also probably the most involved member, so he could share a lot of information with me. It took me around an hour to complete the interview including setup and I was more than happy with the footage I had captured.

Week 6- Second Studio Rehearsal

Today we all turned up in lesson and some of us had our VT's done and ready to go onto the VT but again we were let down by certain individuals that didn't complete their VT's so we had to wait a few hours while others edited their work. My VT was complete and all I needed was a lower third, which Josh had made for me and also to export my work to the right format. This took me around 10-20 minutes to do and by around 10am my VT was complete and uploaded onto the tricaster ready to be used. We had around 4 VT's ready on the tricaster and Nabeel and Joe were just finishing off editing theirs. We started setting up the studio while people were finishing off editing their VT's and had a few issues with the cameras because we had two cameras that weren't showing any picture. I had a look at each camera and was very disappointed to see that someone had put the BNC cable into the wrong slot in the camera. We have been using this equipment all year and yet we have people that don't know which input the BNC cable goes into. This was very worrying considering that we had our live back-timed program coming up next week.

To add to their disappointment Ashley didn't turn up so they were missing lower thirds and also Ashley had been editing for Matty so he had no VT. It was now frustrating for everyone and the pressure was being shown as there was a little argument in the gallery between Josh and Mikael because Josh criticised Ashley for not coming in and Mikael misunderstood him. I believe its important for us to not make these mistakes on the day as when one person doesn't perform or doesn't turn up it has a huge effect on their team especially when they are the captains of the team. It seems that we aren't a well-oiled team, as a lot of people tend to let down their team whether it’s by lack of work or lack of attendance. 

We were ready by around 1-2pm, which meant that Ashley's team would probably not be able to film anything today. We were also without an important figure as our presenter Rebecca didn't turn up for us so we had to get a backup, which was Matty. We began with a nice track shot of the TV onto the presenter Matty who then begun to read off the autocue. Rebecca wasn't in so we were missing parts of the script but luckily Josh had parts of it so we were able to get a beginning and the rest of it we had to improvise. We were lucky to have Matty as a presenter because when he's on screen he can be very professional and knows how to keep a program going. We didn't have all our VT's or all of our crewmembers but we did well to put together a quick rehearsal. Although next week was going to be a real challenge, as we hadn't had a proper rehearsal and people still hadn't completed their VT's.

Week 5- Studio Rehearsal

Today we had to practice on setting up the studio, which we should be ok with because we had set up the studio on numerous occasions. It took us around 30-45 minutes in setting up the studio but a problem we have always had occurred once again. Not everyone gets involved in the set up and some people tend to sit back and watch while others set up. Also every week there is at least 5-10 people that don't turn up on time and at least 5 people a week don't bother turning up at all. This creates a huge problem as when people turn up late they're usually not helpful and people that don't turn up at all cause issues on the final studio date because they have no idea on what their role is or how to do it correctly and efficiently. I have found that when we come up against issues on the studio floor where there are problems with the cameras, it turns out that people don't know how to fix them, which is a problem because we have been using the same kit all year and we should be familiar with the problems we get each time.

We still show signs of improvement as everyone is familiar with the equipment needed and how each piece of equipment helps the production. We all get one well and work well together but should really help and motivate each other a little bit more to work harder. Over time if we don't work better together better and show more of a group performance we can not learn something that will help us in our futures or produce a great standard of work.

After we set up we sat down and Sam spoke to us about how disappointed she was that we did not have many VT's on the tricaster for a rehearsal. She also told us that we were not at a professional level which was disappointing because we had been doing this project for a while now and that was the level we were aiming for. I believe the reason for this is because when people don't turn up to lessons they have no idea where the class as a whole is up to and they end up behind the rest of the class, which is exactly what happened here. I my self had not finished filming my VT because I had to change my idea, but I still felt disappointed in my self because I let the rest of my group down. As a result of this I booked two dates straight away the following week for filming so that I could complete my VT so it was ready to go onto the tricaster.

Week 4- New Idea

This week I was given more bad news after I contacted my friend that had been in Gaza over the past two weeks. When I messaged him he told me that he wasn't able to record any footage himself and was trying to get it from someone that went with him. I had to wait for him to ask someone else for the footage but he told me it wasn't looking very good because the people that had the footage weren't answering his messages so it was time to think of a new idea.

After considering a few options I decided to produce a VT on a local mosque which was being built in my area of Oldham. I think that non Muslims don't know enough about the religion or its features and most of what people know, again is from what they see on TV. This probably isn't the best place to learn about the religion as it is something that needs to be experienced first hand, e.g. reading the Quran or visiting a mosque. My VT will be current and informative so it can help people understand what takes place inside a mosque.

I had an issue with equipment because it was a very busy time in college not just for first years but also second years booking out equipment. I decided to get my own camera and microphone to make things easier for me when I'm filming so it gives me more time and allows me to be more flexible for when I need to film. I had to make sure I filmed and edited my VT soon as we were coming up fast to the practice runs for our back-timed news programs.

Week 3- Filming

Today I was going to Manchester city centre with Josh and Imogen to film vox pops and general views for our VT's. We met up in college and started writing up consent forms for the public to sign to ensure we are able to use them for our VT's. This gives us protection against any legal claims that maybe be pressed against us so we can't get into trouble for putting someone in our VT who didn't want to be in it. Luke had some consent form templates and so did Imogen and my self so we printed them out and ended up with more than what we needed which was ok just incase we got more vox pops than we needed. So we headed out to Manchester from college hoping we could find some willing people to comment on our subjects.

Firstly, Josh was up and he decided to pick his area to set up for the interviews and decided to do it around the corner from the big wheel. It was a good area because there was a lot of depth in the picture and the sun was shining so there was a lot of people out. I was the camera operator, Imogen was on sound and Josh was the interviewer. Immediately we had an issue with trying to gather people that were willing to give their views on the subject. I believe the reason for this was because of the way Josh approached people and who he approached. I think he should have approached people that seemed a little younger and would actually look interested and not actually trying to ignore him when they saw him coming. It took us around 20 minutes before we got our first person for an interview. I decided to frame them on the right and Josh on the left with him giving his interviewee the iPad to use while they give their views. In total it took us around an hour before we completed his three vox pops.

After Josh, Imogen went next and this time we decided to station ourselves just outside Piccadilly gardens. This was a well populated area as well and there was a path just next to it where a lot of people would walk past so we could get a lot of interviewees. Imogen was a lot better at picking people to stop and we were done a lot quicker this time. Josh was the camera operator, I was on sound and Imogen was the interviewer. Imogen did very well and was welcoming towards her interviewees, and they responded well. It took around 30-45 minutes for Imogen to complete her vox pops, then we went for some dinner before I begun my work.

When we went back out to film I started by looking for a place to set up for my vox pops and found one just next to the big wheel next to a busy sidewalk. I think its important to station your self next to a well populated area and also choose somewhere where people are likely to walk past your spot so you can pick them up. For the third set of vox pops, Imogen was on camera, Josh on sound and I was the interviewer. I spent 45 minutes trying to find someone to interview and a lot of people did not want to comment on the subject and others did not know anything about the subject so I ended up without any vox pops. This was very disappointing for me, not just for the obvious reason that I had no vox pops for my VT but also because I had no idea that people were so clueless on the subject or just had no interest in it because it is one of, maybe the most talked about and controversial subject around the world. I now understood that what people saw on BBC News or Fox News was probably all they knew about the subject and this was worrying because it is pretty much a one sided view, which is not what news is about. News should be objective and not subjective so people are able to hear both sides of a story and not just what one side thinks of the other.

Week 2- Presentation

This week we had to do our presentations on what our VT's were going to be about. My VT was about the media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Also we had to produce a 300 word pitch which would have to promote our VT ideas. Compared to other people my VT was on a very big, complicated topic which was going to be difficult to fit into two and a half to three minutes. Within the complete package we also had to think about presenting, introductions and interviews which was going to be very tight and difficult to time correctly. For my VT I knew it would be difficult to find someone to interview although Mikael said he knew someone from Palestine who was living in Manchester and he would try to organise an interview for me and I also had a friend who was going to Gaza in a couple of weeks and he agreed to record some footage for me to use as cut aways. As for my vox pops I was going to go with Josh and Imogen next week to film them in Manchester city centre. What I wanted was to get three different types of interviews; one which would show someone who didn't know much about it, one where someone would talk about the Palestinians as victims and another one which would be on the side of the Israeli people.

We filled out an equipment booking form and handed it in for next weeks lesson. We were also hoping on some good weather which would make our jobs easier and help us because people don't like standing around in the rain. Our equipment for next week included:

  • 1 Sony V1 camera
  • 1 Sony batter
  • 1 Tripod
  • 1 Gun microphone (with softy)
  • 1 XLR 3 pin cable
The task for next week was to film three vox pops for each of us and also some general views for cut aways. 

Week 1- News Show Groups

Today we were split into two groups for our back-timed news programs. As a group we decided on having two team captains to choose their groups and then we would begin producing our own VT's. The two team captains were Ashley and Josh, as voted by the class.

My team:

  • Josh
  • Luke
  • Kas
  • Imogen
  • Ezra
  • Luis
  • Rebecca
  • Joe
  • Andy Greenland
  • Nabeel
Josh picked me first on his team so me and him decided together on who to pick for our teams. We were deciding on filling up spots that we thought would be set up for certain individuals. It was important get a presenter and although our first pick was Erin, she was already picked by Ashley's team so we decided to get Rebecca as our presenter. I don't see much difference in the two except that Erin has had more experience in previous work presenting so she would have more confidence in doing it.

For my idea I decided to produce a VT on the media coverage on the Israel-Palestine conflict. The reason I decided to do this is because I believe the coverage that it gets is not very fair on the Palestinians. After watching a few news packages I saw that the major broadcasts that didn't give the best coverage were BBC and Fox News. Below is some footage from BBC and Fox News to prove my argument.

BBC News

Fox News

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

DLE - Editing Music Intro

Today our task was to edit our clips that we recorded last week, and make a thirty second introduction to a music show. In my group it was my self, Mikael, Joe, Nabeel and Danny. To begin with Peter copied the files which were going to be edited for the music introduction into a folder on our computer. We began by importing all the clips using log and capture for the Panasonic P2 files and importing the clips we recorded last week as '.mov' clips. We were using the clips that Danny's group had recorded last week for the intro but had a problem because although we had around 15-20 shots, most of them were the same shot but taken more than once which meant we had to extend most of the clips to cover the thirty second clip. There was a few shots of Josh introducing the bands from outside but we didn't want to use it because the shots that were taken inside the studio were quite dark and the colour differences were too far apart.

We decided to try and make the other shots work before we had to use the introduction shot with Josh. We had around six or seven other shots inside the studio but we didn't feel it was sufficient enough and we didn't have a choice. We decided to choose our video before we chose our audio which I think was a bad idea as we should have thought about what our video would look like and which sequence it would run in.  We started adding the clips together and added some effects but we didn't want it to be too hard and used basic effects such as dissolves and fades because it was only a practice so we wanted to concentrate more on which shots to choose. Although we stretched our clips we still didn't have enough footage to cover up the full thirty seconds and we were left with ten seconds which were empty. We decided the only way to ensure that the whole intro would be complete is to add the introduction at the beginning. For audio we started by using Soundtrack Pro for to look for some instrumentals but couldn't really find anything contemporary that any one of us would listen to. We decided then to find some instrumental music on YouTube and used a site called 'Vid2mp3' to convert the video into an audio file and import it to our timeline. The new music was more upbeat and music that we were more likely to listen to as well.

Although we finished we weren't really happy with it because of the amount of shots we had to use and we would have liked to move the shots a lot quicker so it would be in sync with the music. After speaking to Peter he told us that we were able to use more footage than what we were using. Instead of using footage from every group that filmed last week, we only used the clips from one particular group, which is why we didn't have enough footage to edit into thirty seconds. So we started again from scratch and began to log and capture our footage and import all the '.mov' files that we filmed last week. Then as soon as we began to put our audio and video together the computer we were working on switched it self off and wouldn't come back on. After a few attempts and also checking all the points of connection the computer finally switched on again, but we hadn't saved our work and once again had to begin all over again. By the time we strung together a few clips and our music we had ran out of time for the day, but despite that I think we learnt a few lessons.

First of all we must listen to what our tasks are and if we were working on a live music event/show the consequences of our action would have been very severe, not just for us but for the whole production. We should also communicate with each other before we begin working because without really speaking to each other and making plans we didn't understand which direction were heading in. This resulted in a lot of time wasted re-arranging clips, choosing which music to use and where to get it from, and also not understanding which direction we were heading in. If we were to do it again we should first of all listen to the instructions given to us and also read the paperwork which instructed us on what was needed, and the type of introduction we were going for. Also it is important to plan ahead instead of trying to go through the work while your thinking because you find your self changing your mind, and then changing your mind again.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Production Diary- Assessment Day

On our assessment day we began by unloading the van, which had all our equipment in it because we were filming in Manchester the day before. After we bought the equipment upstairs we started setting up the cameras, microphones, vision and audio mixers. It didn't take us long to set up but we had a big problem with one of the cameras as we could not get the picture up on the tricaster. After last weeks confusion on which group was going to film when we decided that we would go second because we had our VT ready and we were confident that we could shoot our programme. At first we thought it was the camera because it had a composite cable port which didn't work. So after we failed trying to move around the cable in the camera to get the picture up we decided to change the composite cable to another one. This, however, still didn't fix our issue and we were beginning to think that we wouldn't be able to use one of the cameras. As a last resort we decided to use a Sony V1 camera instead of the Panasonic P2 and that didn't work for us either and still couldn't get any image on the tricaster. So we decided that we would only use two cameras for our shows which would be very hard on the camera operators.

On the first programme I was one of the camera operators so I had to be ready to work more than I should because both of us had to change our shots whenever we weren't filming to try and make it look like there was more than two cameras. After we had set up all the other equipment we decided to go through one practice shot before we began streaming it online because we needed to know what we were doing on the cameras. Before we started doing the first take the director came out of the gallery to explain to me and the other camera operator what he was looking for and also how we had to tackle the issue of only having two cameras to work with. When we started filming we had to change shots very quickly when we weren't live. Every time I knew I wasn't live I started offering the director different shots and kept on switching from wide shots, to mid-shots and close-ups. Overall I think the director was pleased with our work and although at times I did offer shots I also did what the director asked for.

After the first group had finished we were all told to go on a dinner break but I decided to stay behind and fix the problem with the cameras. After trying different methods such as switching the camera to the middle preview monitor on the tricaster we decided that instead of using a composite connection we would go with the component cable. We began by changing the composite cable and replacing it with the red, blue and green connecters but we still used a composite cable to go into the tricaster. Even with this change over nothing was working so we tried the same thing with the Sony V1 and it still didn't work. What we had to do to ensure that we could use the third camera was use a component cable running from the camera straight into the front of the tricaster. So before I went on my dinner break I set up the camera and had the component cable running from the studio to the tricaster which was tricky because the component cable wire is a lot thicker than the composite cable and its purple which made it hard to hide during the shoot, but we managed it.

When I came back from lunch I found out that the camera was once again not working and we were ready to start filming. I checked the connection again and I got some picture on the tricaster but the colour was black and white. After I changed over a few of the cables in the camera and tricaster I finally got it working again and we were ready to film. I began my job as the floor manager by getting everyone on set and ready to film. I also had set up the microphones on the presenter and guests as well as we didn't have a sound operator at the time because he wasn't in. I asked one of the other students to fill in for our group, then we were ready to shoot. We didn't get the chance to rehearse last week so we took this opportunity to get a few practice shots before we began filming. I made sure we practiced as quick as possible because there were another three groups to film their programmes after us.

After two practice takes we decided it was time to start recording our live show. My job was to make sure everyone knew what they were doing and also to ensure that no one else apart from the production team, the presenter and the guest were on the studio floor. I also had to cue in the guest because we were going to have him walk into shot instead of him sitting there with the presenter. We were suppose to have two guests including one of the music students but they decided not to take part in our programmes. During the shoot I had problems with my talkback and I couldn't hear the director (Ashley) so I had to ask the camera operators when we were playing the VT so I knew when to cue the presenter back in and also I had to cue in the guest. Our show lasted around 5 minutes and I think there was still some confusion with our presenter as she wasn't sure when we were playing VT.

Overall I think our programmes was done very well and it went smoothly. After a difficult patch with the camera I think we recovered well and although we needed a couple of practice shoots they were helpful towards the end product as they covered some confusion. I think we all did well on our job roles and worked very well as a team. It was very good experience for me as I did several things from setting up, to problem solving and I always enjoy being the floor manager on shoots.

Production Diary- Rehearsals

On the 11th January we had to rehears for our programmes which we had been planning for the 8 weeks. During the past 8 weeks me and my team had been planning all aspects of our show from studio setup, props, production team and the programme idea.

We came in at 9:30am and began setting up the studio for the first groups programmes. It didn't take us long to setup but there was some confusion on which group was going to shoot first because a couple of groups weren't ready. We didn't have our VT ready so we decided we would figure out how long it lasted and improvise as it wasn't being streamed online, it didn't matter. Setting up took us up to lunch and after we came back we began with the first group. For this group I was going to be on camera one, which was good for me because I could get to watch the other group and try to pick up on their mistakes and try not to make them my self. I found that there was a lot of confusion between the presenters and the director because the presenter never knew when the VT was rolling and also there was a few problems with the teleprompter as the presenter was finding it hard to read with the light in her eyes.

It was difficult being a camera operator because of all that confusion I think the director himself was confused as everything wasn't going to plan. We realised that we weren't really ready and had to use these rehearsals to prepare us for next week as that was our assessment day. When the second group came on I didn't have a job role so I sat in the gallery to get a taste of what it's like in there when they cut to VT and see what it looks like as a programme would on television. The direction is usually good but the problem we have is that the presenters don't know when we cut to VT so after they finish reading off the teleprompter they have a confused look on there face. This I believe could be easily avoided by the director informing the floor manager that they were rolling VT and to ask the presenter to prepare for the next part of the show.

Our group was last and when it came to our turn most of the people had left to either go home or go to the library to do some work. This meant that we were only left with two camera men and only one guest so we couldn't really rehears our show. We still went through with it as we used the time to rehears what our programme would look like. So we decided on which shots we would use and if we would have one of the cameras on track or not. We went through the practice shot for our own benefit and decided it was well timed and began setting up props for the studio as well. We were now ready for next week and the only thing we had to do was put together the VT for our show. I was confident as a floor manager and also confident that our show would look good and run smoothly.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Blog 6- Ricardo

Studio Setup

The final week before the main rehearsals we came together as a group and discussed what our studio would look like on the day of our shoot. We decided because the topic was the collaboration between music and media students we would place props such as music instruments and filming equipment on the table and floor. Although we had curtains behind the presenter and guests we decided we would use a board as well as we could attach some props to it like music posters. Instead of two chairs we wanted to use a sofa to give the programme more of a chat show feel and it would make our guests more comfortable when talking. For the presenter we decided to use a red chair to make it stand out so we know who the presenter is and it looked better than the normal chairs. We also completed our group paperwork, which was the running order, signal pathways and the programme proposal. We were ready for next week when we were going to rehears our full programme.

Blog 5- Ricardo

Trial Interviews

This week we began testing interviews and interview techniques. As practice we also interviewed one of the music students that came to film their music video. We practiced setting up the cameras as well as the clip microphone which was a radio mic. We had to make sure the frequency on the radio and the receiver were both the same otherwise the sound operator would not hear anything. If there is more than one clip microphone involved then we would have to make sure that both receivers were on different frequencies to avoid any interference between the microphones. We can also use the boom microphone to interview a subject because clip microphones are very sensitive and if we're outside it would be better to use a boom microphone and attach a softy to it.

Blog 4- Ricardo


We rehearsed setting up the teleprompter today for our news packages. We all took turns typing up a script on the teleprompter for the news presenter to read off. We had to screw the teleprompter onto the tripod and make sure it was the right height for the presenter to read off. We also took turns reading off the teleprompter because some of us were going to be presenters for other students programmes. We had a few issues when setting it up because we didn't have the right lead and also the laptop would not switch on so we had no way of setting it up. But once everything was ready we began typing scripts and recording the presenters as well.

Blog 3- Ricardo

Setup Rehearsals

In the third week we we rehearsing studio set up. As a group we had to set up the studio including, cameras, tripods including track/dolly, clip/boom microphones, vision mixer and sound mixer including the tricaster and monitors. We all took turns in setting up each piece of equipment so we all know how to do it if we had a certain role in the studio. We knew which equipment had issues with them and we labeled them. The talkback had a few issues with them because only one of the headsets were able to talk to the director and we decided that it would be the one that the floor manager would use. Also one of the cameras have a dodgy cable connection and the camera would only project an image onto the monitors if someone messed about with the cable and then taped the cable to the camera.

Blog 2- Ricardo


The next week we researched other television and news programmes in order to look at how they were being filmed and also gather some ideas from them. What we looked out for was the opening, how they cut to the VT and closing of the show.

In this video the presenter, who is also the on-scene news reporter is explaining how news is reported within the video itself. Usually before the presenter there is some animation, which then cuts straight to the studio and the presenter introduces the topic. After the opening it cuts to some VT and then the on-scene news presenter is either stood still or walking while explaining more on the topic. After some more VT the graphics are included with some shots of interviews with the public and also an interview with someone who has been effected by the topic. The programme either ends in the studio with the presenter or with a shot of something after the news reported gone of the screen.

Blog 1- Ricardo

Discussed ideas and roles

Producer- Matty

Director- Ashley

Vision Mixer- Fred

Floor Manager- Abid

At the beginning we were given briefs and had been told on what we would be doing for the next eight weeks. We discussed our idea for what we should do as a programme and also which roles were to be given to who. We decided that Matty would be best suited for the producer role because he is the most efficient and organised. We chose Ashley as our director because we agreed that he was the most creative and also had the most experience in filming. We decided that I was going to be floor manager because I was able to control the environment and control the speed of the production team. This left Fred with the job of being vision mixer and we chose these roles because we believe they suited each individual.

Studio Role Research

Production Roles


The producer is in my opinion the most important and influential role in the making of television because the producer has to deal with an essential part of making a television programme, which is money. It is the producers’ job to fund or find funding for locations, artists, and the crew. Another job is to market the film to directors, artist, television channels and whoever is going to apply the funding for the programme. If the production is given a certain budget for a programme then it is the producers’ role to keep it within that budget.

The producers’ job does not stop at just the funding of the film because they also have to overlook the entire production from start to finish. The producer is essentially the team leader and is supported by other people such as production assistants, coordinators and other managers. A producer will sometimes also have another job such as a director, so it is important that he/she has some directing skills as well. More jobs for the producer is to research and looking at ideas for scripts, hiring writers or securing the rights to use novels/books. Throughout these jobs a producer will make contacts them self and also allow other people to connect.


A director is the liaison between the producers and members of a production team. It is the directors’ job to project the ideas of the producers onto screen and add their own creative input. It is their decisions that affect the overall outcome of a production because they decide which shots to use and they interact with the artists so that they can give to the audience what the director requires. The director also interacts with the other production staff so he can get a required look and feel. E.g. he will work with the lighting team to get a better look in a scene or work closely with the camera operator to achieve a similar objective.

The director’s job differs depending on the different type of television he may be doing, e.g. if it’s a live event such as a football game or a live entertainment programme. As well as the different types of shots the director also decides on the placement of microphones, lighting and props. They decide where everything that will be seen and even items that won’t be seen are placed. After the production (if it isn’t a live production) the director will work closely with the director and choose which shots to use and if needed they will remove certain shots also.

Floor Manager

The role of a studio floor manager is a very important role because the floor manager is the link between the director and every other person on the studio floor. It is the floor managers job to ensure that all equipment is safe and ready to use by checking with the people in different departments. The floor manager must also make sure that the audience and guests are being seen to and are seated prior to filming. Also as part of health and safety it is the floor managers job to ensure that the audience is aware of safety measures, show timings and to make them aware of when the programme will be aired.

The floor manager is also the link between any presenters/anchors during a show. They need to make sure that the presenters are comfortable and also to brief them on how everything has been planned. Also to pass on cues to presenters to ensure that everything is done according to its time and that everything is being filmed smoothly and efficiently. The floor manager could be classed also as the directors’ assistant because they are a direct link between the director (in the gallery) and staff other than the camera operators as they also have links with the director.

During the shoot a floor manager would pass on instructions from the director using a talkback system to other production staff. It is the floor managers duty to report back to the director any off camera action that may be going on. They also organise runners to make sure every second is saved and put into filming time. If any technical issues are occur then it is the floor managers role to see that they are being dealt with and at the same time to report back to the director any information or loss of time. If so then it is in their hands to stop proceedings and also keep the audience entertained if need be.

In other occasions e.g. outside of the studio the job roles of the floor manager is changed slightly. If there is an interview then the floor manager must speak with public relations staff to agree on who will be interviewed during a sports match. Also if there is a live event happening and the floor manager is not in the studio, then they will feed information from what they are witnessing to a television presenter. When away from the studio it is still the floor managers job to ensure that there is a safe working environment.

I believe that the first and major quality a floor manager would need to be successful is to be able to work in a team. While they need to be able to work in a team they also need to be able to give instructions clearly to other production staff so that everything is done to satisfy the directors needs. On occasions a floor manager will play a roll of an interviewee for a presenter/reporter. They must also be good at time keeping so that they can plan a schedule to ensure everything is done smoothly and nothing is left out. People skills are also essential because as well as working within a team the floor manager also communicates with the audience to make sure they are being looked after well before, during and after filming. Time keeping is also a must have quality as it is their role to ensure that everything is on time and nothing is left out of the show.

The floor manager must keep everything on schedule and when something does happen that halts proceedings then it their job to make sure the issue if resolved quickly so that filming can resume again. Another useful skill is for the floor manager to be able to watch over all other departments and staff because everyone is involved in filming and if one person isn’t doing their job properly then it would be a problem for the whole production. Another reason for them to be watchful is for health and safety reasons. The floor manager needs to stay vigilant at all times of possible risks that may occur during the shoot.

My Skills

I believe so far I have some skills that are equal to that of a professional floor manager such as, coordinating the production team, directing other members of the team, dealing with problems that occur when filming and speeding up a production if needed. I have been a floor manager a few times now and when I am floor manager I’m very comfortable and I like to work closely with the director and other members of the team. I think I can be an important link in a production and make my voice heard so that people understand what is happening at all times and there is no confusion.

Skills Needed

Although I am confident in being a floor manager I don’t think I have enough confidence if I was needed to manage an actual production, which was being shot live on television. I think I would not be able to go straight into a production team as a floor manager because I would probably need to shadow a floor manager because I know what I have been doing isn’t anywhere near as big as a scale as what it is really like. Shadowing a floor manager would help me understand the works of a production team, e.g. the positioning of the cameras, microphones and track/dolly.

I would also need to be able to work calmly under stress, which at this point I don’t think I would be able to do, as I don’t have enough experience to do so. Something else that I would need is a good sense of timing and being able to work towards a floor plan because once something changes I would need to be able to work around it and make sure it doesn’t change the initial plan.

Action Plan

For me to become a floor manager I would first need to complete my education and get good grades as it always helps to have something positive on your CV. While I’m in college/university I want to be the floor manager on as many productions as possible to gain more experience. The way forward for me will be to work on different productions as well as just in university. I would like to concentrate on a different role first, such as, camera operator or vision mixer before moving on to floor manager because these roles will help me get a wider range of understanding on what is required. I believe there is a lot more to being a floor manager then what I have already experienced so I should really pay attention to better my self.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Research Portfolio

Research Portfolio

Jonathan Ross Show

After watching and studying an interview on The Jonathan Ross show I mapped out a floor plan of where I thought the cameras were and also why they were stationed at those positions. The first thing I noticed was the safe shot, which is in middle of the studio. It is also one of three cameras which I think are primarily for the interview shots. I also found three other cameras which I believe are on cranes and they are there because of the interviewee. Lee Evans who is a real character and very practical when he’s on stage, e.g. he bungee jumps onto the studio and also runs across the studio to the other side of it. For those reasons I believe that they needed some cameras on cranes to keep up with the artist being interviewed.

I watched the show around three times to make sure I was sure about where all the cameras are and how many cameras were involved. It was difficult because the cameras had to zoom out for the interviewee, as he kept on getting up and moving which is unusual for an interview. What helped me was that before the end of each shot I saw the cameras begin to zoom back in for the close ups during the interview.

I think the production was done very well considering that the interviewee was very active and would not stop moving around. I believe the best idea was to have those three cameras on cranes to follow around Lee Evans. Without those I believe the show would not have looked as good because the picture wouldn’t look as good if it were to keep tilting up and down. The panning on the cranes look a lot better and create a smoother image.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Assessment 2- 17th January

When we arrived on the day we immediately started setting up and it was a lot faster than the first assessment day because it wasn't our first day of filming. Although we set up by 12:00 we still had to wait for the music technicians to set up downstairs so we had to wait for them which was ok because the first act was set to perform at 13:30. We all went for lunch and when we returned we ready to film except we were having issues with the online stream. I'm not sure what the problem was because I was on the studio floor but after a short while we were ready to begin.

For the first act I shadowed the floor manager as that was to be my job for the second act. The first act was quite slow because of the issues with the online stream and also the presenters were taking some time getting ready downstairs. When it came to my turn I was under pressure to speed up the filming as the performer was getting pretty hot under the lights. I worked closely with the director and made sure the camera operators were set up and ready to go as we were behind on time.

I had everyone upstairs ready and spoke to the artists. I asked them to practice while we wait for the team downstairs to prepare for the shoot. We were waiting for a while before they ready downstairs. From what I heard over the headset I believe they were waiting for the presenters to be ready but what I think it was is that there was a lack of communication between the presenters and the director. Once they were ready we began and it went very smoothly, then after the shoot I asked the runner (Danny) to escort one of the acts downstairs to film. I went downstairs as well to ensure that everything went well and there was no more miscommunications between the director and presenters.

We had 5 more acts to go and I didn't have a job for non of them so I had to help out in the presenters room. We had a camera in there so I used that twice within the last five interviews. Also I set up the boom microphones so that we captured the best sound. It was more difficult during the interviews because there was always a different amount of people being interviewed. When I wasn't filming I was the floor manager to help make things move faster.

During one of the shoots the vision mixer forgot the press the record button and so did the person in control of the online stream so we had one unrecorded video. We had three more acts left and we decided that we were going to move things as quick as possible so we could have time to re-record the other bands. We had to record three acts within an hour so that we had fifteen minutes left to record the other band again. I worked as fast as I could downstairs making the presenters hurry with their performances so that we had time. We just about made time by starting filming at 16:05 and we had to be done in ten minutes. We finished a few minutes late and had our technician waiting for us outside. We de-rigged everything within fifteen minutes and loaded it into the van. I believe it was a very successful day and any issues that we did have were resolved. The fact that we were able to re-record one of the acts is proof that we were able to be quick and efficient.

Self Evaluation

Day One of Multi Camera OB Operation

On the first day of our multi camera practice I arrived a few minutes late so I missed my job role and instead I was assisting Daniel as floor manager, which essentially made me a runner. Although on a real shoot this meant fetching people brews and sending messages to other members of the crew, because we’re all students and we’re still learning I was able to help others set up their equipment, such as, cameras, sound, talkback and the vision/audio mixer. It took us around an hour and forty-five minutes to set up all the equipment. In my opinion this was too long considering that we had already practiced setting up a few times already.
This also meant that for the second act of the day I would be floor manager because there aren’t enough roles for every student, so everyone that assisted someone for the first act would take over that persons job role for the second act. While the first act was performing I stood behind Daniel and watched carefully to see what was going on and what kind of problems he had.

After the first act had finished, the second one had arrived and it was my turn to take over the role as floor manager. The first thing I did was I spoke to the act and asked him if he felt ok and if he needed anything. Then I spoke to the director (Ashley) to make sure he was happy and if he needed anything. He decided that everything was ok and didn’t want to change the cameras or anything else either. He was however a little unhappy about the plug sockets behind the artist but that was something that wasn’t in our control so we had to record with the plug sockets viewable.

Before we started filming we had an issue with the talkback system, which we also had in the morning, it was my job to get the sound operator (Fred) to fix this problem. It was our first day of filming so we couldn’t expect the sound operator, or any student to amend this issue, so we left it to Colin and Peter (staff members) to solve our problem. After the talkback was fixed I tried my best to get the crew back into the mood for filming because we had just come back from break and we had to wait longer for the talkback system to be set up. As a floor manager you must speak with authority to get things done quickly and at the same time you also need to give directions in detail so that who ever you speak to understands what you are saying.
Overall I was very happy with my performance as floor manager bearing in mind that it was my first time, Although at times I think I could have sped things up a little as it seemed that on occasions nothing practical was being done and I think I was to blame for that.

Day Two

We had already decided the week before on which job roles we were all going to be given so when we came in this week we had already started setting up our own equipment and also helped others with their equipment. Although this time one performer would do two acts so that everyone gets to do two jobs and not be an assistant first. My first job was to be a camera assistant for camera two and then I would take over the job for the second act. Camera two was on a dolly so it needed an assistant to handle the cables and make sure that the shots looked smooth and also as a safety measure for the camera operator.

A major problem we had while setting up cameras was that we had two different types of lighting. We had light from outside coming in and also we had studio lights, which were being used. This made our jobs very difficult when it came to having the same type of colour in each image because depending on what angle the camera is set resulted in different amounts of light coming in from outside. This resulted in each camera being set at different aperture levels but it still didn’t help us.

Before we started filming we had a problem with the talkback again with a camera operator not being able to speak to director, although I didn’t think it was a big problem because I don’t think he needed to. The director tells the camera operator if he is live or not and when the camera operator wants to offer the director a different shot he will wait for when he isn’t live and then offer the shot. If the director agrees he will cut to that shot and if he isn’t then he will ask the camera operator to offer a different shot.

For the performers second act I took up my job as camera operator and I received some good advice from Peter on how to use the dolly. When I’m not live then I should position the dolly wheels in the direction of which the camera will be moving to ensure that the shots I provide are smooth and there isn’t weird wobbling motion at the beginning of each shot. I would say that I had a few problems while operating camera two. My biggest issue was moving the dolly while keeping the camera stationed on the act. I found that when I was moving the dolly I wasn’t turning the camera, which led to the act almost disappearing from the shot. Apart from that I think I did well with the overall performance as I did what the director (Danny) asked for as well as offering some shots of my own but I will need more practice using the dolly.

When the second performer arrived we all swapped roles again and this time I would start as an assistant director, which in essence is the floor manager, so instead, I helped out other people with their job roles if they needed me. When it came to the performance I stayed in the gallery and watched over the director (Joe). I think I learn best by doing things but I think it helps to watch what others are doing and try to learn from their mistakes as well as pick up on the things they do correctly.

When it came to me being the director the first thing I did was speak to the camera operators (Andrew G, Danny and Andrew T). I explained what I wanted from them and for them to listen when I was telling them who was live, so when they weren’t it would give them a chance to offer me other shots. Watching the other director I did learn some stuff but when you’re in that role its very different and I, on a couple of occasions forgot to tell the camera operators that they were live. I think the reason I did those things is because there were just too many screens to look at which confused me but I believe I will get better with practice. I spoke clearly and direct instructions to everyone so it helped move along the process smoothly.

Day Three

When we arrived in the morning the equipment in the gallery was already set up so we didn’t have to do anything in there and just focused on the cameras, tripods and microphones. We set up within an hour and were ready to start filming the first performer. Again this week there would be two acts and both acts would perform twice to give everyone a chance to take on a job role. My first job role was sound mixer so I set up the boom microphones, one on each side of the performer but not in-sight of the cameras. We didn’t face many problems on set up today and everything ran smoothly and began shooting in the morning.

Sound mixing for me isn’t the most difficult job although it can get very confusing with all the different buttons and switches on there. To make it an easy task you can use the master faders, but that wouldn’t work in interviews because some people are louder than others and it would make the job very difficult. I instead opted to use the two separate levellers to try and make the sound as equal as possible. To ensure I got the best sound possible I found out where the artist was standing, I put the microphones parallel to him and pointed both microphones towards him as well. During the performance I had to make sure that the sound did not peak into the red zone because then it would cause the sound to distort. Also I had to keep an ear out for any swearing because if someone swears I have to inform the person in charge of the online stream so they could either mute or end the live stream as there was a delay in the live performance and stream.

For the next two performances I had no job role so I helped out with anyone having trouble setting up and helped with health and safety issues such as wires/cables across the floor which had to be dealt with by putting mats over the cables or taping them to the floor. I had to wait until the final performance before I could get another job role.

For the last act I was on camera one and this was not going to be on a dolly which was disappointing because I think I could do with more practice on there. This did however mean that I wasn’t the safety shot and I had the option to offer more creative shots such as the performers instrument or close ups of their face etc. Before recording I had to check the white balance, aperture, manual focus and gain. Everything on the camera must be set to manual and if need be I could use peaking to make assist me with my focus and a frame to ensure that I was 4:3 safe. I enjoy working on the camera because I think from all the roles apart from the director it gives me more freedom to be creative.


I would say I enjoyed every job role and I had at least one issue with every job but if I was to pick a favourite it would be floor manager because I believe the floor manager is the key link in a production team. If the floor manager is having a bad day it affects everyone, as it is his/her responsibility to make sure everyone, including the performers is happy. The floor manager is the link between the director and the rest of the production team. I believe I would need more practice as a camera operator because that is a role I find enjoyable and would like to improve on so I can be a valuable team member. Also it would give me the opportunity to be more creative.

Being a director I think is the most stressful job as sometimes your directions can be misinterpreted and you find yourself having to stand in front of someone and physically explaining what you mean. That is probably why it is the most rewarding role because the director must interpret what he sees and hears and then project that onto screen in a fashion that would captivate an audience. I would say that sound on this occasion was a relatively easy job but it is very important and without it, there would be no use of a music video. I think sound would be very challenging on a higher scale such as, X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent documentaries etc.

Overall I think the experience I received was great and was very helpful to me not only to know how to do certain job roles but also to understand the importance of team work and how each role is linked with another to ensure that the end product is something worth watching or listening to. It will be very helpful when it comes to being assessed because I have had enough practice and I’m confident that when the time comes I will be able to work as part of a team and cope well under the pressure of creating a live show.