TV Studio: Final bit of filming

We did our final bit of filming today! This involved the presenters introducing the show, explaining the games and looking at scores. This is all stuff we have practised about a million times and doesn’t require and fancy camera  work or messy beans or eggs. We recorded this a few times to perfect the timing and try a few different camera combinations giving us a lot to work with. The set and lighting was a standard set-up which we had used before so we were comfortable with setting this up quickly and efficiently. It was good to see each person simply get on with their job without much direction, it showed how comfortable we had all become in our roles.

After this we had to film “last weeks” gungeing of Dean. This posed a few problems as we had to change all of the lights, move all of the cameras and set-up the crane. This set up took some time with experimenting with different lights and colours and the usual problems with the crane (dodgy wires, worry about the weights not supporting it, settings on the camera matching those of the studio cameras, etc), but when we had finished all of this the set looked brilliantly threatening! (in a good way). We then met the same problems we had had with the other two VT’s, because of the messy nature there was only one chance to do this so had to get it right. A few moving shots with the crane were tried and decisions on which camera would catch the moment it took quite a while until we finally went for the final take of the project. Thankfully it all went smoothly and the lighting looked brilliant on camera giving a great overall effect.

The final shots were brilliant and I’m really happy with them but unfortunately we went through the same problems we’ve had previously, taking small decisions and turning them into big discussions which takes up huge amounts of time that could have been spent filming. Despite this what we have is brilliant and maybe this is because we spent time making all those small decisions, now all that is left to do is it to edit it together, add the titles and the music and we have a final piece!

 

TV Studio: Inside VT

Our second VT was an inside game that will actually be shown before our outside VT. Once again it involved our presenters being covered in food they they’d rather they were eating. This one was a simple game of darts with a couple of twists, firstly the presenters were blindfolded and for every dart that didn’t score a different substance would be thrown over them, firstly beans, then flour and finally feathers. For this challenge there no contestants but we did have two helpers to help the presenters with picking up the darts and with putting the blindfold. The Girls won this challenge by quite a big margin meaning Dean got a lot of Beans, flour and feathers chucked all over him!

The set-up for this VT took sometime as we had to put the set together properly for the first time which included building the stand for the dart board and attaching the board to it. This took sometime as we ha no power tools so had to rely on brute strength! When the set was finally done and all the props were prepared we had to go through the game a few times without enforcing the punishments as once they had been enforced the presenters would have all the beans, etc all over them and would have to clean themselves up if we wanted to shoot again. This put quite a lot of people under pressure to get things right or the whole take would be ruined and be almost impossible to be-do.

I feel that this, like the outside VT, took far too long to set up and to begin filming. This is probably due to a fear of us getting it wrong and not being able to do it again, but nevertheless it still took far too long from getting into the studio to actually beginning filming. This could be improved with quicker decision making and less discussion over small details that could be sorted out in a couple of minutes. In a professional setting this type of behaviour would loose a lot of money in the form of time and those responsible would have to change this before they lost their job.

TV Studio: Floor Manager Role

This year I have got the role of floor manager in the TV studio which I am very happy about! I tried to get this role last year but was unsuccessful due to other competition. This role has appealed to me because it contains an element of responsibility over the studio floor but is still given direction from the gallery, which I feel is a perfect amount of responsibility for me.

The responsibilities of the role include:

  • Setting up the talk back for the floor manager and cameramen to be able to contact the gallery
  • Checking that equipment such as earpieces are working
  • Talking to presenters and guests so they know what is happening
  • Counting the show in and out  and giving cues to keep timings tight
  • Keeping the director in the know about what is happening on the studio floor that may be off-camera

I have felt very comfortable in this role and feel I have done well in it so far. I seem to be able to convey messages well and keep the studio floor under control. One thing I can sometimes do is talk over the director or talk more than is necessary over the talk back, sometimes causing confusion but now that I know this I will be working on avoiding this. There is a good relationship between myself, my cameramen and my director allowing for good and effective communication so no time in the studio is wasted.

Before taking on this role I would not have seriously considered thinking about it as a career path but with my experience so far it is definitely something I would consider in the future, after university.

TV Studio: Outside VT

Our outside VT was a game where our contestants, in their gender teams, answered questions against a clock with the chance to smash an egg over the opposing team captains head. Quite a simple idea but one which we thought, and thankfully was, would be fun, easy and still look professional. The day started a little rocky with a slow set-up and trouble finding contestants, which lead to some hasty and desperate phone calls to make up the numbers! Once the set and cameras were up and contestants and crew knew what was happening we still hadn’t started due to conversations about details taking far to long. But once this was out of the way we could begin filming.

The filming went quite smoothly, all the camera people knew which shots were wanted of them and where they had to be and when to get the desired effect. The contestants seemed to be having a good time with a lot of banter between teams and Ooos and aaahhhs from both sides. The egg smashing seemed like a very good reward as all the contestants relished the chance to smash one as hard and messy as they could. After both teams had gone we were left in a tie-break situation with 2 points each so we quickly came up with a tie break question. Keeping the theme of eggs, the question was, “how long doe it take to boil an ostrich egg?”. The boys were the closest to the correct answer of 90 mins with 20 mins so got to crack the remaining 3 eggs over poor Helena’s head.

I thought the actual filming process went really well and we achieved all of the shots we wanted. When it came to set up and preparation however I feel we could have done more, the lack of contestants and the desperate scramble for them  made everyone worry to the point were we thought one of us would have to step in! Although we had been thinking about this for some time we didnt have any definite yes’s from most people. Next time I would go through a casting process in order to make sure that we had contestants for definite and of a more varied nature.

As my role in the studio is floor manager it changed significantly when outside on location as the director could say what she wanted to contestants and presenters directly rather than through me. I changed to more of a supervisor over the cameramen, making sure they knew what they were doing and that all the equipment was fully functional. I also helped set-up equipment such as the crane as I had done it before and now knew what I was doing. I made sure that just because we weren’t in the studio that I would not simply step back and say “well my role isn’t important out on location” but to give myself a knew role to make sure all of the filming went smoothly to achieve the shots we were looking for.

TV Studio: Almost ready to film!!

Our TV studio work is really coming along and we now have a solid script and shooting schedule for the next 2 weeks. This Wednesday we are going to film our VT for our outside battle and next Wednesday the actual studio filming will be done. We’ve been through the studio script so many times now that I’m sure we could all recite it off the top of our heads! The cameras and timings are now almost second nature to us so that when it comes to the final recording we will be able to use the time as efficiently as possible getting as many takes as we can to get the show perfect.

So far the only thing we haven’t really done is the set, however, we have a plan with budgeting and layout designs. We know where to buy all of the props that we need and how much it is going to cost so all we really need to do it put it all together in the studio!

 

I’m very confident with the show as a whole and happy with the progress we’ve made in a short amount of time. Compared to the TV studio project I did last year this is much more organised and planned, everyone seems very happy in their roles and know exactly what to do and when. Every time we go into the studio people just do what they need to without asking many questions as it has become routine, this means we have used the time we have had in the studio very effectively getting as many practices done as is possible. Once our set has been put together the only thing left to do is to film and edit!

I have been enjoying my role much more than last year as I actually picked this role as my first choice this time rather than just getting what was left! I like the responsibility of being the route of communication with the gallery from the studio and having a more important role in the entire production.

Radio Show: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Our show has gone through many changes before we’ve managed to settle on a fixed idea. Our old idea of the different reasons people came to Coventry has developed into a more general history show about Coventry. We have broken it down into 3 sections, the good parts, the bad parts and the ugly parts. The reason we have done this is because after looking through the history of Coventry we discovered there wasn’t quite enough content to base an entire show on our original idea. Now we will have plenty of information to build a show around that will maintain the audience’s attention throughout.

The good:

Coventry has produced some very good actors and musicians of the years (such as sting from the Police) and these have shown the good of the city in many ways. Coventry has also supplied the country with many important industries over the years, these include: the motor industry, the bicycle industry, various textile industries and many more.

 

The bad:

Obviously the blitz, but also the civil war as well to make the show more interesting and varied. We also found out that the gang that tried to carry out the gunpowder plot on the 5th of November were all from Coventry! During the civil war soldiers were sent to Coventry as a prison and effectively forgotten, hence the phrase sent to Coventry.

 

 

The ugly:

This was the hardest part to find content for as it was hard to distinguish between the bad and the ugly. We found out that the writer Lewis Carroll, or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was sent to Coventry due to a relationship with the inspiration of the character of Alice, which was deemed to close. During the war a town in Scotland ran out of men to recruit and so came to Coventry to make up the numbers, unfortunately most of these men lost their lives however the Scottish town’s flag with the names of the dead is now on display in the new cathedral.

 

I am happy with this format for the show as before it didn’t seem to have much direction or structure, whereas this has a clear structure with sections to the show which I think will keep the audience’s attention better as they wait for each portion to come up.

TV Studio: Final Idea

After a lot of talking and throwing around of ideas we now have a solid format to work with. We only have a working title which will probably change soon but for the moment its called Gender Wars. Essentially it does what it says on the tin, its a battle of the sexes too prove the age old question, who is better? men or women? The idea is to monopolise on audience participation so it will feel like the men of the nation are in competition with the women of the nation, therefore, making the audience feel as involved as possible. Everyone knows that it doesn’t matter who you are when it comes to the war of the sexes, you have an opinion.  Men think they’ll win at every sport, woman think they cook better meals, men think they can drive better, women think their cleaner, now its the time to find out!

We now have solid ideas each of the “Battles”, the first will be a test of agility and balance, the second a mental battle and the third a test of speed. The “Battles” will take place in and outside the studio, including the presenters as well as members of the public to maximise audience participation. As a twist however during the audience challenges, it is not the public who are punished if they fail but their respective presenter, male or female. As far as set design goes we have decided to go with a pink and blue themed design, the symbolic colours for boys and girls. Random objects reflecting males and females will be put around the studio such as footballs, barbies, power tools, hairbrush, etc.

Next thing we need to do is finalise the script and sort out all of the graphics and music. The whole project seems to be coming together nicely and we have made great progress with our ideas, everyone seems on board with the plan. As soon as the script is done all of our studio time will be dedicated to getting all of the shots sorted and scripts learnt so it shouldn’t be long before we can film everything that needs to be done in the studio!

Copyright or Copyleft? “RIP: A Remix Manifesto”

“RIP: A Remix Manifesto” is a film about the copyright industry and the issues about people sharing and changing content, especially music. The film follows the artist “Girl Talk” who is known for taking popular songs and mashing and remixing them into completely different songs, the question is, is he infringing copyright laws or has he simply written his own song? The short answer is yes he is definitely infringing copyright, so maybe the question is are the copyright laws wrong or is their protection of artists and thier songs justified?

One of his mixes “Feed the Animals”

At first you most people would think that of course the copyright laws are justified, surely? I mean the artist has spent a lot of time and effort in their song/film and they deserve for no one else to profit from their work. This seems like the obvious answer until you look at the original reason for copyright and its original intention towards authors/artists/directors. When writers were not getting rights to their own work, just after the first printing press was brought in, it meant that they had no motivation to continue writing, therefore the Statute Of Anne was brought in giving the writer all the rights to their work for 14 years. This meant that, they were encouraged to write but after a while their work can be re-imagined or improved on. I know that it hasn’t been  14 years since a lot of the music “Girl Talk” is remixing was produced but the point being made is that the original copyright law wasn’t designed to stop the innovation or change of another piece or art/music/literature, but to help it develop. As time has gone on the the validity period of the copyright has been extended from 14 years to now, the authors lifetime plus 70, a dramatic change from the original.

One of the main companies that are highlighted in the film as taking advantage of the copyright law to aid in there domination of a market is Disney. Walt Disney, the creator of the Disney company originally took old stories that had expired copyright and re-imagined them for the audience of the time, thus taking advantage of the old copyright law that allowed innovation and development. However after his death and massive success of the company, they had the law changed so that copyright maintained until 70 years after the authors death so that it will be a very long time till anyone will be allowed to touch any of the original Disney work, giving them complete control of the empire they had built up.

The film highlights the unseen darker side to Disney

The film states that copyright has gone too far in the way of protecting the creators of art and that the current law needs to change. The other side of this argument is that, especially in the music industry, the artists have taken a lot of time, money and effort into creating their song so why should people be allowed their music for free? I can understand this side of the argument because most people who are downloading free music are not using it to remix and re-create but simply because they do not want to pay for it, I feel that the film does not address this side of the argument and simply portrays the entire music industry as evil and greedy. This may be true but does not deter from the intentions of the downloading audience.

Overall the film makes an excellent statement and a very good point that has made me think of the entire business of copyright and its purpose. Obviously it takes a very one-sided view and does not address some of the positive sides to the law that many artists have been defending. I now think that the law definitely needs to be changed to allow for remix and development of ideas, but not be abolished completely as this would send the entire entertainment industry into mayhem and ruin it for good.