Category Archives: Broadcast

Broadcast Media Reflection

This module has being one of my favourites of the year. I really enjoyed the studio work and I really enjoyed learning all about how a TV show is put together and made!

Looking back over the weeks and weeks of work I’ve come to realise how much I have learnt and taken away from this module. As I mentioned in my last reflection, this module is more about taking existing media and re-creating it in an innovating way. We saw this from simple (yet boring) data becoming visually exciting through mediums like Hans Rosling used in his lectures or the film about date (with the Fat Boy Slim music)!

The whole TV broadcast section was superb I must admit. I relished the opportunity of presenting! Also Janet was brilliant to work with. We clicked very early on and just had a chemistry meaning we were both trying to always get the best performance out of each other. I also couldn’t have asked for a nicer colleuge.

The relationship with the direct, Daniel, proved valuable too as I could iron out the nicks in the script and he could advise me on things. It got to a point where Daniel would say “do what you just did again it was brilliant!” or “put a bit more ‘oomph’ in that section” really made a difference.

I got on with every member of the team and I feel everyone put their maximum effort in. There were a couple of people who didn’t turn up to a lot of rehearsals and practices but when crunch time came, they really pulled their weight. If only they had done so sooner, we could have been even better!

With regards to the other groups, I think they did very well. B group was very fun and interesting but I know throughout their project there were lots of high tensions and arguments in the group. They pulled it off in the end though. My biggest criticism is that their presenters could have worked in better liaison with their floor manager. Group C was…memorable! Certainly was different doing a children’s TV show, but they made it work very well and it looked like something I would expect to see on kid’s TV. Again their only criticism was their presenters giving it their all and not just doing it ‘as a job’. Group D was quite amusing. I helped out in theirs very early on as a stand-in for a presenter as a favour. Back then it didn’t make sense, the script was all over the place and I honestly hadn’t a clue what was going on. However, miraculously it all fell through perfectly for them! Their presenters were really engaging and worked well with camera shots and therefore the floor manager. One particularly brilliant moment was Aeron just wandering off and munching on a yoghurt. Pure Entertainment!

But I think everyone really did a good job on their TV shows. Some groups could have worked better and certain people really needed to take a step back and be civilised and an effective leader rather than a mini-Hitler. If your leader isn’t working well, your group will not work well! I was blessed to have such a cracking team! In the end I really, really enjoyed the experience!

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Website

These are screenshots of my finished website.

Bio Page, Title Page

Media Page

Comments Page

Contact Page - WITH LINKS TO MY BLOG!!!!


Website – Making The Website

When I began consideration of my own website, I must admit, panic struck me. I have never attempted anything on that high a calibre. HTML code to me was alien, something I did not even want to attempt to understand. I initially thought about just doing my website on an online web design site like tumbler, Moonfruit etc. However, after reading a very beginners guide to HTML code and web making, I thought I would give it a shot!

I first outlined what my website needed. I needed to specify what content it would include and how. I worked off the required criteria we were asked of:

– It needed to be interactive, so the user actively uses the site rather than just looking at one page; therefore it needed hyperlinks.

– As a media producer, I wanted to be able to show some of my work. This is good for others to see what I’ve done and could do in the future.

– Look sharp and interesting whilst still remaining easy to use. Also needed a theme of media.

– Being a media native, I need to get as many possible points of contact; therefore links to my other sites, blog, email etc would be needed.

– Needed to specifically contain certain media pieces: audio drama, sonic postcard, net tv production and another video.

Next step was reading up on HTML code an familiarising myself with it. I searched the web for help and I found some cracking guides which were beginner friendly and not over-complicated whilst still instructive.

So this is pretty much a walkthrough of how I made my site with HTML code print screens:

Step 1 – Page setup

Found the XHTML page layout from w3c (http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/04/valid-dtd-list.html) for the correct webpage format. Began to create divisions with identifications using

tags that are used for website styling.

Step 2 – Initial designs

Step 3 – Adding content to homepage

Added links, content and a footer.

Tags:

Ul tag – unordered list

LI tag – list item

A tag – hyperlink

H(1-6) tag – headings (1 to 6)

P tag – paragraph

IMG tag – image

BR tag – break line

Step 4 – Restyled the divisions

Put the links division inside the header as it is more suitable for my website.

Step 5 – Adding content to other pages

Media Page:

New tags:

IFRAME – content from another website embedded onto page

OBJECT – used for multimedia such as audio

EMBED – embeds content (usually using plug-ins) into the page to display multimedia

Comments Page:

New tags:

FORM – creates a form which can be submitted

INPUT – different uses such as text boxes and submission buttons

TEXTAREA – a sizeable text box which can be written into by the end user

Contact Page:

Target=_blank’ makes the link open in a new webpage.

Step 6 – Styling the webpage

Used the cascading style sheet to style the website using features such as margins, borders and other various tools that CSS provides (tools found on www.w3schools.com). The #codes are colour codes for HTML (see second screenshot below).

Finally the background is this image:

Having trouble with the print screens, the HTML code seems to interrupt the whole blog.

Scadoosh! I had a running website. I am quite pleased with how it turned out and it successfully completes its role and in what I needed it to do. Although limited in content, it is a platform on which I can build and expand. Although I was initially petrified of HTML, using the internet to find out how to do the things I wanted to do, I slowly built up a set of skills. It took me a while but next time, being more familiar with HTML code and not having to research and learn it all, i will probably be a lot quicker.

I really like the inclusion of the background, it really brought everything together. It makes it look like a grizzly, dark way of making films. One thing I would probably change if I did this again or if I edit it in the future would be the logo; I would design an origional (as opposed to an edited picture) and it would also be more subtle.

The site has everything I required of it. It is interactive so a user can change pages, click on working links and even leave comments; it is aesthetically pleasing and looks funky; it has all the content on I needed; and it shows a user where else to go to find me and my work.

I hope to build this website into an online portfolio in the future.


NET TV – TV Studio Broadcast

So we had had a play in the studio. We had learnt how to use all the equipment to a minimum standard and some of us had learnt a bit more about one bit than another. We had tried and tested every role, well the ones who wanted to really test out broadcast media. I leapt on the opportunity. I thought it was fantastic. I love broadcast, studio tv shows!

The next part of the project was meeting my group in full and then deciding on who should do what roles. I feel something I did very well at this stage was really getting involved with some of the more taxing and engaging roles and therefore people knew I was both competent and confident (equally important) in these roles.

There were a few roles that appealed to me. Firstly, I hate doing the same mundane job, I like difference and excitement – something that changes everytime you bring it to the table. Secondly, I have been in the Air Training Corps for 7years and have worked my way through the prestigious rank structure to the top and although I am not power hungry, I like being somewhere near the top, a managerial role and I also find I am good at it. But I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty!

The first role I considered was Director. I found I picked it up pretty quick in our practice sessions and liked how it worked in a live show. I also found my cadet skills and experiences coming into play accompanying my social skills and found myself very comfortable in this role. Another role which relates to this one very well, is Producer. Though a more managerial role behind the scenes, I thought I would be well fitted for this type of role. The cadet experience would kick in here. I would also be on hand to offer aesthetic advice – about how the show looked or certain aspects of the show rather than on a technical side.

These were the only two gallery positions I wanted really. The other two were in the studio, the first being the floor manager. At this point, it would seem apparent that I only want positions where I get to control people or boss them about. I would just like to make it clear that I think I would be better suited to these roles and more of a driving force at the top end due to past experiences. I would reach my full potential. Anyhow, back to business. As floor manager, I would have a managerial role as well as being the medium between the gallery and the studio. Of all the roles, I found this the trickiest as you really have to be switched on and paying attention whilst relaying instructions to people.

The final role, the one I ultimately went for, was presenter. I’m no novice when it comes to performing and at that – performance in different situations and scenarios. I also have a quick wit, imagination, sharp sense of humour and an uncanny ability to make conversation out of any topic, any situation. This really helped in our practice sessions as everything was fresh and different so people did not get bored. I also worked with a lot of different people practicing this role. Different people gave entirely different performances and co-presenting styles. There were a few people I found myself very likened to work with as a presenting duo.

The reason I chose presenting over the other four roles I had in mind was a simple luck of the draw of my studio crew. I found myself with strong but sensible characters who had the skills and the ideas but more so had the drive and ambition. I heard rumours of who was going for different roles and drew up scenarios in my head of who would be suited to what, how I would work with them and possible problems. When we came to applying for our roles:

– Director was favoured by Tom. I’ve never worked with him before but I knew he was hard-working, motivated and an all round nice guy. I did manage to see him have a go at director and thought he handled it well. I was therefore happy to have Tom as my Director.

– Producer was favoured by Daniel. I was very happy with this. Having the pleasure of working with him in the first week of our first semester, I knew he was very hard-working and committed. He would not just give up on a half-arsed job. I did not know him that personally however, so I did not know how I would work with him that well. But I had immense faith.

– Floor-manager was split between Michael and Helena. I was good pals with Michael all year and knew I could work with him (by this point I was sure about going for presenter) as my floor manager. In practice, we had a very good team work and understanding. I hadn’t seen Helena in action unfortunately and didn’t know her too well. But I was happy working with Michael in this role.

– I then went for presenter. Without sounding big-headed, I was quite confident I would get it. The only reasons for this were that I had a good social status with most people in the group and got on with most of them and also the fact that most of them had seen me in action presenting. They had already known what type of person I was in the presenting hot seat. Due to the fact I had done it countless times, I think it went in my favour. Also, something I completely forgot that I had brought up in my ‘audition’ was the fact I present on a radio show.

– Next was my co-presenter, who would I be sitting next to, speaking to in front of camera and hosting the show alongside. Janet was the one who got the job. Before we started rehearsing, I confess I hadn’t seen Janet work so I had no clue how she was and would be. But, without going into analysis too much at this point, Janet and I clicked instantly and we knew we would work very well together.

Now we all had our roles, in a team of very competent and committed people (there are more than mentioned above although they were the ones relevant to MY job role ambitions) we were ready to start about deciding on what would go in the show. We were given ‘Fantasy’ as a show topic, our broadcast had to contain content and be based around the ideologies of Fantasy.

We had group discussions about what each of us regarded fantasy to mean to us. So many different areas, topics, stereotypes/clichés came up and we were all quite in agreement of the broadness fantasy covered. We then decided to base our show around the clips we would be showing in them – the clips we had to collect from the web. We also decided on the type of clips we would be showing; these would be clips that were trying to take the fantasy ideologies out there and relate them to or in real life situations.

After everyone pulled together their ideas and clips they had found and showcased, we decided on our three rather quickly. One that depicted a ‘real life fairy’, one the took the fictional game of Quidditch from the Harry Potter franchise and showed how it could be played in real life, and finally one that showed people who, in real life, believed they were vampires.

A draft of a potential script was conjured up with my input in certain areas – I got to put across ideas of dialogue I wanted to include. However, when this was brought forward in the group discussion, it was clear that our idea were heading in the right direction, but we were lacking content that TV studio shows have (I will come back to this point in a moment). A second draft was created. This one incorporated an interview and a guest musician. We were quite happy with this and after a few re-drafts, we had come up with the format of our show and got rehearsing. However, when we got back into the discussion groups, it was pointed out to us that we had no viewer integration. This was very crucial and got written into the script – we would as for viewers opinions on a topic and, during the show, instruct them of how they could get involved (phone number, email, website, Facebook site etc).

The viewer feedback was incorporated into the fairy video with the audience sending in their comments (these comments were read out by the presenters) as to whether or not the footage we showed was real or fake, a ‘game’ we coined ‘Fact of Phoney’. The interview would come in response to the vampire pic. The musician would play over the ending credits.

A problem a few of us sussed at this point was how on earth we ‘sold’ the show. By this I mean what style did we put our show under and what was it like. We confirmed together to class it as a clip show whereby audiences send in clips or videos they have found online, we show them and talk about them. We related it to shows like ‘Rude Tube’ and ‘Russel Howard’s Good News’. One could say it was an internet video version of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ which has evolved with the current media technologies and relies on the internet for people to send in their clips.

The set was a big issue and quite difficult to do. Everyone’s ideas got muddled and confused and nothing was set in stone. The set really is something I wish we had put more effort into. A ‘sky theme with clouds’ hardly represents fantasy. But it still worked which was good. We did have one problem with the set however. This was the contrast between it and the presenters. Janet, being dark skinned, is completely the opposite of me – pasty white pale, almost vampire looking! Really bright backgrounds contrasted with me badly (as I contrasted her) and dark backgrounds contrasted Janet very badly. We settled for the sky theme which. although being bright, it was simple and not overwhelming.

Our team could, by the end of production, set up and be ready to start work in 10 minutes, though there always seemed to be an issue with sound. Apart from that, everyone got plenty of practice into fitting the schedule and making the show look slick but interesting. We could not have done that if it were not the camaraderie we formed.

As a presenter, I couldn’t just walk into the studio and pretend I knew what I was doing. I had to do a bit of research. I’ve already covered shows that inspire me and that I enjoy and with them the presenters. I like the presenting styles of people like Phillip Schofield, Keith Lemon, Steven Fry and the way presenters are on Blue Peter. I know Rude Tube was our show’s influence but the presenter Alex Zane (I did not like the weirdo that followed him) was too sarcastic and pessimistic for my liking. I decided to turn my efforts toward the Blue Peter way of presenting. I remember growing up with the show and presenters like Simon Thomas, Matt Baker and Liz Barker (these being personal favourites). I liked their serious yes lighthearted approach to presenting, being like fun school teachers but still remaining professional. This is how I styled my performance.

Check out the Show!

Some pictures from production:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0z_TU4Gw5o

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPb2lIap6Es

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdbL_SFBPKE&feature=related


TV Studio Programmes

Take a studio based television programme and compare it the The One Show. Okay! I have seen this show a couple of times and I didn’t think it was all that bad. For a start, it is engaging and interesting. It is also general (as opposed to specific to sport or science etc).

The One Show is a magazine programme aired Monday to Friday at 19:00, before the watershed.  Something I like about this programme is the fact that although delivering a lot of serious or intellectual topics, it does so in a light-hearted way – being a magazine show not a news broadcast.

The show covers a vast array of content from politics to mundane life stories; from live experiments and challenges to celebrity interviews. Again, it looks at all these in quite a light-hearted manner with the charisma of the presenters carrying this attitude across. This moves us on to the presenters. Over the years the show has being broadcasting, many different people have filled the role of The One Show Hosts. The show is ideally hosted by a male and female presenter (currently Matt Baker, Alex Jones and on Fridays Chris Evans). They deliver most of the content and are the main anchors. They also conduct the interviews with guests.

The look of The One Show follows a similar motif to the BBC trend, being as it produced by the BBC. This is a red theme and professional looking with a modern approach. The studio centres around a seating area where the presenters (and guest) appear but also have a stage and a cooking area.

An example of a serious topic (politics including interviewing the Prime Minister) being toned down and made less formal:

The sound, being so effortless, is not something I really find I can comment on. However, it has been used to the highest standards and with different attitudes toward it. Microphones, clip mics and booms have all been used to provide a flawless programme audio wise. It also utilises jingles and music to deliver an engaging front via sound. The Audience is rather passive in The One Show; they can write and email to the programme and produce UGC.

Now to my own programme of choice…..drumroll…..CELEBRITY JUICE. I absolutely love this show and have watched it ever since the first episode. It’s BANG TIDY! So anyway why do I love this programme so much? Well basically it reeks of energy, impromptinuity (may have just made that word up) and humour that I can relate to. It’s basically a fun show that doesn’t take itself too seriously with a collection of celebrities making ‘proppa dingbats’ out of themselves. I feel Celebrity Juice is a hybrid of magazine broadcast (as it briefly interviews guests and talks about current affairs) although from a more comedy orientated point of view and comedy panel show/quiz. It includes a fair few conventions from each. I think something which has lent to CJ’s success is the contemporaneous of the whole ‘brand’ that is now Celebrity Juice, along with the charisma and showmanship of it’s host, Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis) – NOTE, HE’SE FROM LEEDS WHICH IS JUST UP ‘T ROAD FROM MY ‘OUSE!

Keith Lemon hosts the show with two teams consisting of three panelists (on the odd occasion, there is four on one team such as the Sam and Mark episode or bloody Jedward). The teams are captained by regulars ‘Holly Willoughbooby’ and ‘Dot Cotton’ (Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton respectively) with Rufus Hound appearing on Fearne’s team in almost every episode. A basketful of celebrity icons have flowed in and out the programme though there are a frequent number of appearances from the likes of Jedward (who I think the show exploits perfectly as being daft, stupid twerps), David Hasslehoff, Gino D’Acampo, Vernon Troyer and Joe Swash.
A quick note on this topic; it is aired after the watershed and on ITV2 so its content is very adult and explicit with sexual innuendos, nudity, swearing & vulgarity, comedy violence, sexism (a very common theme on the show – especially the host leaning toward the bustier Holly Willoughby whereas Fearne Cotton is insulted because of her small breast size) and freedom to say what they want about anybody – they are not censored in their topics (to an extent).

Keith Lemon presents the show in an interesting fashion, in fact that he actually breaks the ‘behind the scenes’ magic. Two examples spring to mind. One is in the round ‘Lemon Head’ where he is digitally imposed with a Andy Warhol style portrait of him self with different ‘Sectoorrrs (his American accent)’  and teams choose a question type. He says this is ‘HD which if you don’t know what it means, stands for High Distinction’. Also he does the same thing with ‘Roll VT which stands for Video Tape’. He tells the audience more than more shows do. The overall look of the set is bright, camp and bold. It really throws itself out there as completely contemporary with random elements thrown in (eg a computer, a huge magazine cover etc). The panel are encouraged to do things actively instead of being static in their chairs. This adds real character to the show as it can be completely unexpected (such as a naked man running toward a blind folded Gok Wan).

The sound of the show is pretty similar to that of The One Show, though more sound effects are used for the VTs, machines and other antics Keith throws into his show. A notable trait about the sound is the ‘made-up sounds’ that are recorded by Keith or just put into play during the show. This includes him making the sound up (usually a phrase which takes the mick out a contestant) for team buzzers and also when he presents the scores ‘And the scores at the end of that round are…… SHETING!’ ‘sheting’ being the noise he uses for presenting the scores.

The audience has a great participation in the show. They cheer and clap the jokes that are said by the presenters which engages an audience at home to laugh too – laughter being contagious, though in my opinion I don’t need an audience to get my laughter going watching this show as I find it bleeding hilarious! They are sometimes used to vote for against a team. Occasionally, Keith will include the audience in a scenario although, being as the show’s name is Celebrity Juice, it tends to be more orientated toward the guests.

If I were to continue evaluations of my favourite telly shows (which I do intend to as research for my own broadcast) I would look into these programmes:

The Ricky Gervais ShowQI

Nevermind The Buzzcocks

QI