TVBRO Week 5 22/10/12-28/10/12

This was a relatively quiet week. After a couple of relatively intense weeks of producing and crewing for live shows, we needed to take a little time to regroup, re-energise and catch up on some other projects we needed to take care of. Nevertheless, we were mindful of the time issues we had run into on the first show, so we wanted to make sure we were up and running with our second show as early as possible.

So, on Friday, we met up to pitch ideas for content to cover in our next episode.

Initially, we discussed the possibility of shaping the episode around a theme, as this had been suggested as a preferred way of handling the show by some of the other producers. I’m a little uneasy about the idea, as I have concerns about shaping the whole show around a theme limiting us. My worry is mainly that if we do theme the show and one or two inserts fall through, the theme will prevent us from easily replacing them.

Nevertheless, I agreed we could explore the possibility, at least at first, and opened the floor to suggestions for a possible theme in the event that we did do it. We wound up settling on looking at charitable work as a possible theme. Most of the other ideas we had were related to seasons, events etc. but we believed none of them lined up terribly well with the scheduled air date of the episode (The 23rd of November).

In terms of inserts, we had ideas pitched for looking at a couple of charities which members of the group had contact with, as well as a look at the Student Unions RAG (Raising and Giving) week of fundraising activities. More broadly – outside of the suggested theme – we discussed the possibility of looking at the Show Choir in an insert, as one of the show choir’s members is a part of our group and so could get us in touch with the relevant people very easily to provide the needed access.

We resolved to meet again next week to continue our planning.

TVBRO Week 4 15/10/12-21/10/12

This week, we were involved with another episode of CCi Live. But instead of producing the content, this week we were crewing the live show.

On Monday, we met up to discuss which roles we wanted to take during the live show. Since my career path is that of a presenter, I chose the role of Autocue Operator as this crew member must work closely with the presenters to ensure the autocue is functioning as the presenters wish. It also allowed me to gan more of an insight into how the autocue itself is operated from the other side, which I believe will be helpful knowledge when I am presenting myself.

Since most of us were trying out new roles, we decided to hold a pre-rehearsal on Wednesday to get more acquainted with our equipment and the tasks we needed to perform ahead of the Thursday rehearsal with the presenters and near-final content. This was extremely helpful, as it allowed me time to explore the autocue system and get used to how the dial performed and influenced the flow of the script.

As a result of this pre-rehearsal, we were relatively well primed for the main rehearsal on Thursday, which meant we were able to use that rehearsal troubleshooting the script and the inserts, identifying areas where we believed the producing group needed to make changes before the live show, just as they had done with our show the previous week.

With these changes to things like the flow of the show made, we were able to put together a fairly successful episode of the show on Friday. I enjoyed seeing the production from the other side, having spent most of my time in the studios rather than the gallery. It was also enlightening to see how the autocue responded to the operators input, as this has given me a much better understanding of what might be going on in the gallery when I am reading the autocue myself. Knowing this actually helps a lot, as it makes it far easier to predict what is likely to happen next and how long it will take if something goes wrong with the autocue while I am presenting.

You can see this episode below

CCi LIVE 19/10/2012

Student Super Savers, a broadcast for CCi Live focuses on the financial strains of students and advice that can be given to them, to make sure that stay clear of financial hardships. Student finance advisors have been interviewed to give advice to students on how to stay on top of their finances and which precautions they can take to maintain a healthy bank balance. The show also focuses on how to save money when food shipping, joining the gym and gives advice on how to get a job. There is also a showcase by Dimitri Papazachariou

CCi LIVE 12/10/2012

It’s the third CCi Live of the new Academic Year and we’ve packed it with a look at how the University promotes itself to new students, a look at some of the great work being created by students around the University, tips on enjoying your time in Portsmouth, an introduction to a brand new course on offer in the CCI Faculty and of course your weekly dose of the latest news and goings on!

TVBRO Week 3 8/10/12-14/10/12

This week we had quite a lot to do. The delays with arranging Mark Sexton’s interview slipped it till Wednesday, which gave us just that afternoon to get at least a rough edit together in time for the mandatory rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, we needed to produce our photography and music showcase insert – which meant also receiving clearance for the music from the artist – and edit the footage from the Preview Day shoot.

On top of that, a misinterpretation of a rule meant we had to change one of our presenters. Our interpretation of the criteria we had been given was that the reference to not presenting a show you are “crewing” was to be taken at face value, meaning it referred not to the shows we were producing the content for, but instead only to the other shows we were involved in, where we put were crewing the live show with content created by another group. As it turned out, the “crewing” term in the criteria was actually meant more broadly, so I was ineligible to present the show.

I decided to replace me with Tom Cross, another of the show’s more experienced presenters (Alongside Natalie, who remained our news presenter), since I believed his experience with the show would mean the relatively late call up would not harm his performance. Incidentally, that faith seems to have been well placed, as Tom did a great job for us on Friday.

This change also meant I had to make some alterations to the script. For instance, the original introduction featured some scripted banter between Jo & myself about my birthday being the day after the show. Since this wasn’t the case with Tom, some new discussion was needed. In the end, the entire introductory segment wound up being partially re-written. This was also to avoid unintended similarities to the previous two episodes’ introductions.

Editing the Preview Day insert was a pretty hefty task, as some of the footage had failed to record or had come back too dark to use, which we attributed to the crew’s inexperience with the camera and decided was a problem we needed to make sure we handled before our next show. After reviewing the rushes, I mostly left the editing to our main editor (Alex Hull) and Jodie Redwood, our de facto director, while I handled other things – such as putting together the music & photography insert and dealing with scriptwriting and paperwork.

The photography and music insert was, once we had the content together and signed off, relatively painless to put together. Alex and I opted to display the images static, with transitions, rather than applying any kind of “Ken Burns Effect”, mainly because we wanted to ensure that all the pictures were seen in full but also because we believed that the relatively sedate music track the pictures were paired with suited this style more.

On Wednesday, Jodie and I finally managed to shoot the interview with Mark Sexton. Time constraints meant we were forced to make the insert ultimately very basic, since the two of us filmed it alone and had to edit it, alongside Alex, that afternoon. With that completed, I spent most of Thursday getting production documentation ready for the mandatory rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. I realised that day that cuts to the inserts were going to reduce our running time, so I booked Charlie Jackson as a live interview guest, talking about his time spent working at Wimbledon, to make up the shortfall. After all that, I stayed to watch the rehearsal to make notes on any changes which needed to be made to the show prior to airing.

With that list as a guide, I came in early on Friday and finalised the autocue script, the studio script and the running order before collating those and the other production paperwork with the Programme as Completed Form to submit shortly before the show went on the air.

Generally, I think the show went fairly well, considering some of the difficulties we had with putting it together in the week before it was due to air. I was a little disappointed that we were not able to make the Computing and Digital Sound insert as interesting as we originally hoped, but time constraints were so extreme that there was’t much more we could do with the limited manpower available during the week. Similarly, the Preview Day insert had some disappointing video quality in sections. We did what we could to mitigate these issues in the edit, but it was clear that in future we would need to make sure we had much better, more usable footage (And more of it – one of the biggest problems we encountered in the edit was a lack of options to replace things we decided we didn’t want to make use of).

We treated this as a learning experience. These quality issues were things to aim at improving in the future.

You can watch the show itself below

TVBRO Week 2 1/10/12-7/10/12

We held our second meeting this week and decided to go ahead with our plan to film at one of the University’s Preview Days, to look at how the Faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries promotes itself on these more general open days, having been informed of its date after our previous meeting. It lined up well with our show, since the Preview Day was held on the Saturday immediately before, meaning the information would be fresh & we would have the first few days of the week of the show to edit the Insert together.

At this meeting e began to think about presenters in more detail. I was lined up as one, Jo Walker as another and we decided to use Natalie Wilsher (One of the show’s veteran presenters) as our newscaster.

It emerged this week that we were having difficulty getting ahold of Mark Sexton to arrange the interview about Computing & Digital Sound, after we initially reached out to him and received a positive reception his schedule became busier and as a result we weren’t able to arrange a date & time for the interview during the week. We hope to rectify this problem by shooting the interview early next week and starting the edit immediately after it is shot.

With regards to the editing, I noted that the required workflow for CCi Live inserts was slightly more complicated than previous workflows that we had used, since it involved strict offline and online requirements and mandated very specific final export requirements. As a result, I decided it was important that everyone who was going to be involved in the editing process get up to speed on it, which I communicated to them prior to the shoot on saturday.

Between times, I prepared the necessary paperwork for the team filming on Saturday – the release forms, risk assessment, call sheet etc., arranged with the director and his crew when and where to meet etc. and instructed them about the sorts of things they needed to film on the day.

Today (Sunday), I wrote the first draft of the script for the show. I wanted to give the show an appropriately light-hearted tone, so I made sure to include a number of jokes throughout the script to keep the general mood and tone of the show light, without descending into farce. It’s important the jokes not be offensive or even exclusionary. The idea is to make the presenters approachable and likeable, and make the audience feel included in what’s going on.

Similarly, I was careful to make sure that the presenters spent about as much time in the script directly addressing the audience as they did each other. This makes the audience feel they are part of whatever is happening on screen, rather than just watching two people talk, which is important as the audience is the most important consideration for any television show.

Building The Olympics

The videos produced by Distinct Productions, as part of the University of Portsmouth’s Television & Broadcasting Course for the Module “Video Industry & Television Studies”. Production Credit goes to Daniel Schultz, Reanne Bull, Ellen Sharkey, Lewis Avarillo-Singh & Paul Douglas, who were executive produced by Charlie Watts and Lou Appleby (Within the University) and Dave Batcock from the BBC. This project was created for and screened as part of the BBC Big Screen Project.