Monday, 28 November 2011

Production Roles

In a TV studio there are loads of different studio roles, such as:

      Floor manager
      Vision Mixer
      Camera Operators
      Sound Technician
      Lighting technician
The director is responsible for supervising the positions of the camera's, lighting equipment, microphones and props. This is so that the director knows where his cameras are and are where the director wants them to be. The microphone's get set up in a certain location so that they aren't in the shot of the cameras and that they are close enough to the act(s) so that the mic's can pick up what they are saying. The director also has to supervise the lighting so that the scene and shots don't seem too bright or too dark to get the best possible shot.
The director also has to do a program proposal which consists of a Program outline, program duration, program broadcaster/time it will be aired, program broadcast video format, target audience, content, vt subject, guest questions, production style, title sequence, end credits and set design. The director also has to produce a running order along with the vision mixer, camera scripts for however many cameras the director decides to use and a title sequence.
The director once he has supervised the studio, cameras etc how he wants them, he then is responsible for telling the vision mixer what shots he wants in what order whilst its live and when he wants GV's etc. to cut in, for example, cut to camera 1,3,2,3,1,2,1,3,2,3, fade to black. At the same time of telling the vision mixer to cut between cameras, he also has to communicate with the camera operators to tell them to vary up their shots, for example, change to a mid shot, camera 2 get a close up, camera 1, I want a tilt, etc. The director has a harder job when it comes to a live sports game, for example, if the director is directing a live football match, he has between 20-30 cameras and has to be clear to each camera operator what to focus on.
The director must have a confident personality, as they must be confident in what they want to shoot and how they want it shot. They must also have very good communication skills. This is because if a director can't direct how he wants a certain camera to be, they won't have the best possible shot as the camera operator won't be able to understand what he wants etc. A director must also have a creative side, to tell the camera operators or a lighting technician how they want the scene set out and shot. If the director just keeps on using the same shots, and not creating a new look on the broadcast, then the program will look plain and boring, where as if he uses different types of shots, it intrigues the viewer and keeps them watching.
The director should be able to keep control of the set, gallery and everywhere else near the set, either by commanding the floor manager or doing it themselves, whether there’s trouble with cameras, acts etc.
A director needs to have some sort of problem solving skills and handling mass amounts of pressure. On set, a camera, light, or even mic can simply become faulty and can possibly sabotage the production if it isn’t solved with a quick, professional manor. A director must also be able to handle a lot of pressure so they don’t fade away but handle the pressure well to get a great final production.
Another skill is the ability to lead and motivate others, especially as your going to be working in a team. The director needs to lead and motivate the other group members such as the camera operators etc. The director mainly needs to lead the production as they’re in charge of most things that go on, on the set.
Awareness of health and safety issues is another skill that is essential when being a director. The director has to be aware of any hazardous issues too.
TV Directors must have strong time management and listening skills. Working as a Director requires individuals to be able to make solid judgments and decisions in a timely manner. TV Directors have to develop excellent reading comprehension skills and the ability to motivate the people around them. Having the ability to be original and creative allows Directors to jump start and sustain a career in this business.” This is a quote for the skills needed to be a director from
One of the main skills a director needs, is communication skills, this is essential for this job role. If the director can’t get across what camera is live at what time or can’t get the cameras to get what shots he wants, the production isn’t going to work. The vision mixer, camera operator, floor manager and the producer can’t operate if the director isn’t being clear on what he/she wants for their production. In a way, you can’t be shy; you have to be able to get to the point and fast.
Directing television requires experience coupled with a degree in Television Arts, Communication or Broadcasting from a college, university or an acting conservatory.” This is a quote from
This quote states that you need experience as well as a degree of some sort to be a successful director.

At this moment in time, I believe the skills I have that are needed to be a successful director are; communication skills, creative skills, handling mass amounts of pressure and awareness of health and safety issues.
I believe I have good communication skills, due to previous jobs and just my natural personality. I have had a lot of previous jobs that focus on the skills of communication skills, although they don’t tie in with directing, they still give me the edge and experience needed for communication skills. I have previously worked as a canvasser for a window company that took lots of outbound calls. In this job I was working constantly with customers on the phone. I have previously worked at a big shopping store that is known for being busy on the weekend. Primark in Manchester Piccadilly is one of Primark’s busiest outlets and I worked a seasonal contract there on the tills. Once again, these duties I had were constantly with the customers, which again improved my communication skills. I have previously worked for The Metropolitan pub in west Didsbury, which is one of the busiest pub/restaurants in Manchester on the weekends. I worked as a bar tender, which again was constantly in contact with customers, which again helped improve my communication skills.
My creative skills could slightly be improved. As I’ve done a creative subject since year 9 in high school, I do have a creative side to me. Since year 9, I had been in an E-media course instead of ICT, which used software such as Adobe Flash and Adobe Dreamweaver. These were animation and website creating software, as I created a few animations for things such as the Olympics and I created a football animation of a footballer taking a free kick that got put onto the school website. In year 10 and 11 in high school, I applied to do Media studies, which I got a B in it, then carried it on in my further education, which was at college. This gives me a fair amount of creative skills and imagination.
I believe I can handle being under pressure, as stated before I have worked for busy companies such as Primark and The Metropolitan pub. Both of these jobs were worked in high-pressure conditions, for example, high amounts of customers on weekends, especially in the pub.
I also have the skills to notice health and safety risks, for example, wires that haven’t been covered up, which are at risk of tripping someone up which can also damage a camera if it knocks over the tripod as well as injuring the person who trips over it. Keeping all types of liquids away from any technical equipment such as cameras, tricaster, monitors etc.

Whilst I’m on this Broadcast Television course, the skills and attributes that I will gain and learn will be confidence, leadership and motivation skills, problem solving skills and finally controlling skills, let alone gathering experience as being a director and other roles. There are different types of directing, for example, there is a difference between a director who directs live broadcast to a director who directs a recorded program. Whilst on the course and once I finish the course I’m going to be looking to find a placement in a TV studio. Most broadcast channels such as BBC, ITV have recently moved to Media City, which is in Salford. I intend to find a placement there, which will give me a totally new and different outlook on how things are run compared to our studio and a professional studio. During this placement, I will gain a whole lot more experience, which will be very beneficial as I’ll gain and adapt to the skills I have previously learnt, such as, a better communication skill, confidence skill, which will increase dramatically and also a bigger health and safety awareness knowledge. Studios in Media City will all have different methods of health and safety regulations but all in all, this will help get into the industry of my desired job role when I come to apply for a job after my placement. The main benefit of getting a placement is that if I do a good job and work effectively and professionally, they could offer to keep me on full time as I would have already worked there and had the experience. If I come to apply to a different company than the placement, the amount of experience and skills I will have by this time should help get into the required industry. By this time, I would have improved and gained all the skills I need to be a successful and professional director in either a live or recorded broadcast.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Production Diary Week 6/7

Between the 23rd to the 30th of November, we decided to contact the NHS hospital on Oxford Road, when we phoned up, the woman we spoke to gave us an email address to email what we wanted to film and the interview questions and they would send it on to a higher person to find out if its okay. We emailed them in a professional and respectful manor. Since we couldn't use the GVs we have previously filmed, we come together to come up with some effective and useful GV ideas. We decided to drive on a day that everyone could come, to the closest student based area, which was Fallowfield. We plan to go around the 12th of December. We finished off the Program Proposal and the Running order and also got the Title Sequence paperwork finished too.

Monday, 21 November 2011

live Multi-cam music shoot

On the 8th of November we filmed a 3 multi cam on two different musicians that came into our studio and shot a live shoot that got uploaded to ustream. The main role i did in this week was the vision mixer, I felt very confident in what i was doing and think i did a pretty good job at vision mixing. It was fairly straight forward and just listened to the directors orders, such as camera 1, fade overlay, take overlay, camera 3, 2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, 2 then fade to black basically.
Week 2
Week 2 i started off as the floor manager which i felt again confident with, although i didnt know what i had to do exactly as the floor manager but 'ey practise makes perfect :) in the PM shoots i shadowed the sound technician and then took over on that. It was pretty straight forward but i didnt set it up or anything so thats something i may need to do next weekend. I had a minor problem with the sound as the second shoot we did with me as the sound technician there was no sound at all that we couldnt sort out, but a simple turn off then back on again fixed the problem.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Production Diary Week 5

On the 16th of November the main thing we did on the news package was we filmed a few interviews of students who drink alcohol, we asked them several questions to get a look on what kind of lifestyle they lived. We asked questions such as:

  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • How much roughly a week do you drink?
  • How much do you spend a week on alcohol?
  • How did you start drinking?
  • Do you know the risks of drinking?
  • Are you planning on quitting?
We went to the local shop and pub round the corner to film a few GVs. We asked a pub if it would be okay to get a few scene shots but they said that they didn't want to upset any customers, so we went to the local shop who gave us permission to film the stocks of alcohol he had, but when we got back to college to edit the work, we realised that this would breach the copy right of the company of the drink so therefore we couldn't use these GV's.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Production Diary Week 3/4

Between the 2nd of November to the 9th, we had done most of the research we needed, and started planning how our news package/live show would be layout and how it was going to be structured. We had an idea of going to the Manchester Royal Infirmary on Oxford Road, to ask if we could film a few GVs of the hospital and maybe if it was allowed, to interview a member of staff there to ask them how many patients on a Friday and Saturday night are related to alcohol abuse, how much binge drinking costs the NHS and if they drink themselves and how much if so? We acknowledge that there are some limits and some boundaries within filming at a hospital due to faces being shown and patients wanting to keep their stuff confidential. Therefore we are not putting all our hopes on this, we do have a backup. We also got the majority of our Program Proposal done, but due to not all members of the group in, we couldn't finish it all. I started the running order, but needed to add a few additional details.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Programme Proposal

Programme Outline
Our programme is about alcohol and how students are binge drinking and the negatives on this e.g health issues, drink related deaths and accidents. We are going to film Withington Community hospital and interview a member of staff who works there on their views of drinking. We are also getting some GV's of this member of staff working there then cutting to a student who lives near the nightlife of Manchester for example Fallowfield  and asking them some questions on drinking, such as how much they drink? Do they know the risks of drinking? Do they know the statistics of theses risks? Etc. At the same time we will film some more GV's of clubs, pubs and some local corner shops that sell GV's such as Baabar, Gaffs corner shop and even Orange Grove.
Target Audience
Our primary target audience is aged from 18+ but ideally it is aimed at students so the age of 18-24 who either have experienced the night life of manchester or who is still living the night life to get a look on how they see it and if they agree to trying to cut down on binge drinking. We acknowledge that there are a lot of people who drink illegally who are under the age of 18 and causes worry of how they are getting their alcohol, but at the same time this programme campaign appeals to this secondary target audience as well.
Programme Duration and broadcast video format
The programme duration is any time between 4-5 minutes long. The broadcast video format is in flash which is set in the Tricaster. You can download the XML files with Tricaster settings from Ustream and the XML file will tell Adobe Media Coder to compress the video feed from the Tricaster into a flash video stream which is sent straight onto the Ustream channel.
Progam Broadcast time it will be aired:
The broadcast will be roughly aired for rehearsal on the 11th of January 2012 at around 17:30pm. The production of the broadcast will be aired on the 19th of January 2012 at roughly around 17:30pm.
-VT Subject
The subject is about alcohol and student binge drinking which is based on students who have lived the night life or who are still living the lifestyle in Manchester. See Programme outline above.
- Guest Questions
There are two main sets of questions we are asking, one set for a member of staff at the Withington Community Hospital and a set of questions to ask students who drink and go to clubs and pubs.
Member of staff questions:

  • How many drink related cases do use get a week?
  • What do you suggest to minimise these cases?
  • Whats the main age group for these patients?
  • How much does binge drinking cost the NHS to treat these patients?
  • Do you drink? If so how much a week?
The questions we are asking the students are:

  •  Do you drink?
  •  How much a week do you spend on Alcohol?
  •  Do you know the risks of Alcohol?
  •  Do you know the stats on drink related deaths?
  •  What are your views on trying to cut down binge drinking?
  •  Do you think you personally binge drink?
  •  Have you ever had Alcohol poisoning?
We will interview a variety of people from different ages, backgrounds and lifestyles.
Production Style
Title Sequence:
The title sequence will be a black screen with the title of the broadcast "Alcohol Awareness Campaign" and will then fade to the live interview in the studio.
End Credits:
The end credits again will fade to a black screen which will then start running a scrolling script with content based on the jobs and roles that took part in the production, such as director, camera operators and guests.
Set Design:
The presenter would be sat at a desk in front of a window in room 109 and then there is 2 one arm seat's for the live guests. We have a plan B incase this doesn't work out with lighting or any other problem, plan B is to face it a different direction with a black board behind the presenter and possibly with a poster or two behind him on the black board.

New News Package Idea

Well we decided to narrow down our idea of the drinking and smoking campaign down to just drinking as we wouldn't have enough time and far too much footage/research to squeeze into a 2 minute package. Me, Mikel, Luke and Imogen decided to just focus on an alcohol campaign.
We are looking into filming Withington hospital walk in clinic and asking if a member of staff would mind being interviewed about our alcohol campaign, which ties in with binge drinking, knowing daily limits, health issues, how binge drinking affects the NHS.
Here is some research we did on alcohol and binge drinking.
 We came up for a name for the News package which is "Drink awareness campaign" and a general target audience of 18+ although we recognise that there are a high percentage of people under the legal age who do drink alcohol on the weekends but have decided not to go in that directions as it's a totally different subject to what we are focusing on.
As well as interviewing a member of the Withington hospital if possible we are looking to shoot a lot of GV's such as clubs, pubs and the local corner shops that also sell alcohol to a lot of students around Fallowfield.
Possible questions we came up with are:
(Withington hospital member questions)
How many drink related cases do you get a week?
What do you suggest to minimise these cases?
Whats the main age group for these cases?
How much does binge drinking cost to the NHS to take care of these patients?
Do you drink? If so how much/units a week?

The questions we would ask the general public which we are mainly aiming at students are:
Do you drink? If so is it on a regular basis?
How much do you drink?

Change of plan:
After much thought, we decided to change the plans of our news package just a bit. We realised that our news package should last around 1-2 minutes, so it would be more realistic if we stuck to one topic out of the two, either drinking or smoking. We decided to stay with drinking because it was more practical and offered more directions in ways we could do our news package.