Things are beginning to take shape as of this week. On Monday, I had a meeting with the other Producers on CCi Live to discuss upcoming show ideas, formatting etc., and agreed to feature an interview (with Chris Solarski, a video game artist who graduated from the University) being taped as a central resource for the Faculty in our show. The team filming the interview for the University will be supplying us with the Rushes of the interview, meaning we only need to film some cutaways. We will also be getting ahold of some footage of Chris’s work, which will also serve as cutaways, making this primarily an editing job, which will take place mostly next week.
That evening we had two film shoots planned – the Show Choir insert and the Man Versus Food RAG Week event. I was part of the team shooting the Show Choir Insert, operating the camera and serving as de facto director (With Jodie busy most of the time taking part in the Show Choir itself, since she is the member who we made contact through).
The main challenge on this shoot was lighting. The Show Choir practices in the Guildhall in the evening. Since it was dark during the evening, the rooms we were in had their lights on, and these lights were ether very yellow, very orange or quite dim – a fact not helped by the fact that one of the spaces we were filming in featured somewhat reflective, metal surfaces. This bathed the room in slightly off-colour glows.
Consequently, it was important to get the white-balancing on the Sony EX1 we were filming with correct, to give the editors the best possible chance of correcting the colours in the edit process. Having never used an EX1 before, it took me a little time to get it set up the way we needed. However, we had accounted for this and deliberately arrived early to get set up. The main problem with it after initial setup came in the second room we were filming in.
This room featured the aforementioned metallic surfaces, which also featured some dark coloured artwork. As the camera was moving around this room to take shots from varying angles, it became necessary to switch on the Zebra function essentially each time a major movement was made, as different walls had very different peaks and lows for light, making it quite challenging to adjust the aperture correctly as what worked in one position would result in washing out large areas of the image from another.
As it turned out, we had been given the wrong start time for the Man Vs. Food event, and so the other team were ultimately unable to film it. Fortunately we had enough Inserts ideas on the go that we were able to move on quickly from that problem, and Steven had proposed a new insert to make up the numbers the next day, which I green lit immediately. This insert is a simple shoot showing how to make homemade egg nog, and we agreed to shoot it today (Sunday).
On this shoot, I took on the role of sound operator, monitoring the levels and adjusting them as needed. Since the shoot was relatively simple, this was a fairly painless experience for me and I found it quite enjoyable. When monitoring the sound, it becomes necessary to listen in very intently to what is coming through the headphones, as the slightest sounds can pose major challenges in the edit if, for example, they make a line unusable and there is no other take.
In part to mitigate this problem, I insisted on multiple take of every line being recorded, so that there was at least one alternate read of each line. For lines where there were problems or Jodie, who was the talent for this insert, was struggling to get a word out or saying it in an unusual way (Actually a more common problem for presenters – especially inexperienced ones – than many would think, as it is actually pretty challenging to properly comprehend what you sound like to other people when you speak) there were as many as four or five takes.
This evening we were originally planning to shoot the RAG Week Bush Tucker Challenge, but upon arriving at the venue and observing how things were set up, we realised that we were unlikely to get much, if any, usable footage. This would have been fine if we had been able to film the Man Vs. Food challenge, as we could have used footage from both shoots to make a more general RAG Week Insert, but the Bush Tucker Challenge on its own was not going to be enough to build an insert around without expending a lot of extra effort through the week. As a result, I’ve taken the decision to pull the plug on that insert and focus our attention on the inserts we have the most chance of succeeding with – the Show Choir Insert, the Chris Solarski Interview, the Egg Nog ‘Something Different’ Insert and another photography showcase.
Also this week, we learned of a change to the rules regarding using members of the Production team as presenters, which means that I am going to be able to present this episode, which is great as it allows me to get more on-air, live experience. I had been worried that, with most groups either using presenters from outside the course or gravitating to a select few favourites I was going to be off the air for the rest of the year.