Newsday – 2 weeks complete

We finished the two-week Newsday broadcasts yesterday but that doesn’t mean our job is over. Luke and I still have to edit the behind the scenes video.IMG_0148

**Update: I wasn’t able to edit the behind the scenes video due to family issues in London & not having editing software with me. Luke edited the behind the scenes video himself and I gave him feedback after the edits.

 

Newsday has been a great experience. I was able to work with people I had never met before and produce something that looked and felt professional. I learn how to use Motion to help produce the opening titles and weather jingle. Operating the sound desk for two weeks was better than swapping roles around constantly, this meant I could give my full attention to the task in hand as well as working consistently throughout the two weeks. I have DSC_0121learnt how to use and manage multiple channels at once and how it is useful to have a backup boom mic in the studio just in case something happened to the mics. I realised that the testing of the equipment was of vital importance anIMG_0150d to test them from the exact location of where they will be placed during the broadcasts.

Newsday – End of week 1

Good points:

–       The journalism students are getting better at getting their scripts ready on time

–       Everyone in journalism like the opening titles and weather jingle, they said it made them feel like it was a professional broadcast

–       I was used to the multiple channel use

Bad points:

–       The scripts were sometimes in a non-readable format for the computer so time would be wasted in going to fix it.

–       The levels on the VTs were all over the place. One VT would be quiet and another would be so loud that I wouldn’t need to move the toggle much from the bottom.

–       We were still starting later than the projected time of 3pm

 

What I’ve learnt so far:

The thing I’m most impressed with is self-teaching ourselves to use Motion, a programme that none of us have used before. I have got used to the multiple channels used for the microphones and there haven’t been anymore mic slip ups since that first day of broadcasting. Even though the journalism students seem to be listening to what we’re tell them about the format the script has to be in they don’t seem to be doing it. This frustrates all of us and it takes all of our patience to tell them calmly every time they save it as a different format. I’ve learnt to work with people that I wouldn’t normally work with, especially the third year students who I’d never met before Newsday.

Newsday – Creating the titles and weather jingle

 Luke, Shelley and I had the task to create the titles for the broadcasts as well as the jingle for the weather. We used a programme called Motion. This was the first time for all of us using this programme so it took us a while to get used to it. We managed to find a suitable template for the opening titles and we inserted pictures we had take ourselves, and some from the internet, instead of using the template images. It looked very simple and didn’t seem as professional as we would have liked but we couldn’t find anything else at the time. We found some dramatic news music, that was royalty free, to add to the titles.

This was our first draft of the opening titles:

After receiving feedback from Bex and the third year media production students the consensus was that it didn’t look professional enough but the music was very fitting. We went back to Motion and looked deeper into the programme. We were able to find a few templates that were better but you couldn’t change a lot on them so therefore we couldn’t use them. We came across a template that seemed like we were able to change everything we needed to and started work on that. We weren’t able to finish it within just one day so we had to save it and go back to it the next day. The trouble with the computers in the basement are that if you save on a computer then its saved only to that computer, which is unfortunate and frustrating because we came back the next day and someone was doing work on the computer we were using. This meant that our work from the previous day was lost and we had to start over. This seems very simple but we all learnt that day how important it is to carry a USB around with you at all times just in case you should need to save your work somewhere else. It seems like common sense and it is.

We started again, which didn’t take as long as expected, and we finished within the hour which was plenty of time to go back upstairs, get feedback from the people in the studio and change anything we needed to before the midday broadcast. The only thing we needed to change was for the title to have the Icov/Coventry Today icon at the end of the titles. We quickly changed this so it appeared at the end of the titles and took it back upstairs. This is the final opening title sequence:

The feedback we got from Bex was that the weather jingle should follow the same colour scheme and style as the opening titles has. So we found a similar template and, because we were now used to the programme, we were able to do the weather jingle within 30 minutes, which means it was ready for the 3pm broadcast. Here is the weather jingle:

Newsday

Day 1

Newsday consists of working in the TV studio for two weeks for the journalism students who are doing news broadcasts twice a day. There is a group of us from media production and its our job to operate the equipment in the studio, help with the editing of VTs and going with the journalism students on location and helping them film.

Day one was very relaxed. We introduced ourselves to the journalists and they told us what they expected of us from media production. We then went down into the studio and talked over exactly what needs to happen everyday in the studio before the broadcasts. We had to make sure the mics were working and make sure the autocue was working. The mics were different from other ones I’ve used before; they were pin mics that clipped onto your clothes. They used a battery pack and in the gallery we had the receiver. If the battery was half gone then the mic would keep loosing signal, something which is very frustrating.

Our other jobs included:

Behind the scenes video – our footage depended on whether the journalism students had taken out all the cameras.

–       We had to get footage from both radio and the TV studio

–       We had to compile the behind the scenes video for the journalism students qualification.

We have the job of making an opening title sequence and a weather jingle as well.

My job in the TV studio:

My job was to operate the sound desk. It was a job that I was familiar with so I was comfortable with my ability to do a good job. However I had to get used to so many channels in use. There were separate channels for each presenter and another channel for the VTs. Even though I’ve done this job before there was thing I could improve on and definitely new things to learn.

Day 2

Day 1 was just an introduction day, making sure we knew what was expected of us and making sure we were comfortable with all of the equipment. Day 2 was the first day we really got into things. We set up the studio for the first broadcast, which was happening at 12. Meanwhile, the journalism students were upstairs editing their oovs and VTs. While they were doing that, Luke and I went upstairs and started filming some of the behind the scenes footage. We got some footage of students editing and then went down to the radio suite and filmed the students in there. We were only able to do this for a while because of camera availability.IMG_0148

With the journalism students being new to the TV studio they did not know how to format their scripts properly for the autocue so we spent the best part of 15 minutes correcting it and making it readable for the presenters. This meant the broadcast didn’t happen until 12:15 but this first week was a practise week and the second week the broadcasts were going out live. The broadcast didn’t go too smoothly but as a first try it wasn’t all bad.

The second recording of the day at 3pm ran a little smoother than the previous one although there were still things wrong and we started late again. One of the mics stopped working half way through the recording, the sound was still coming through on the other presenter’s mics but it wasn’t loud enough. Bex reminded me that there was a boom mic in the studio so I put up the sound on the boom mic and we were able to hear all the presenters again. This slight hiccup with sound reminded me how vital it was to, not just check the mics but, check them thoroughly, doing multiple tests on them from the distance at which the presenters will be.

TV recording day

I’m going to break this down into sections otherwise it might not make much sense.

Setting up: With there being a New York meeting today, a few of us were in there so it put us behind schedule by 30minutes…this would have been fine if the studio was set up when we arrived after the meeting but people didn’t know where the equipment was so it pushed everything back.
We didn’t have anyone working on lights so Jaypee and I tried our best to sort them out on Tuesday but when we came to sort them out today they were all over the place and one of the lights wasn’t working. Bex came in and helped us sort this problem, which made us a further 20 minutes behind schedule.
We had originally planned our set to look like this:

The black background silhouette people were not used. This was due to two things: When we were supposed to be having our run through, our set designer didn’t put them up on the blue backdrop to check if they were suitable and would stay on the backdrop. When some of the crew were trying to put them up on the backdrop today they weren’t staying up, even after trying several different approaches.

Filming:
Due to unforeseen circumstances our directer wasn’t able to make our practices last week so this slowed down the recording of the show because she was trying to work out the positions of the cameras. During recording there were several people that did not pull their weight. I really do not want to name names but I think just by being in the studio and feeling the vibe off some individuals, you could see who was working (or at least trying to make everything work) and who was just in a world of their own or not bothered. Having said this I believe our presenter did a good job. In my previous post I said that there might be a change in presenter due to some crew members having doubts but Jaypee showed us that he could do it. There were times when he stumbled over words and got in a bit of a twist but I was really impressed with him today. He seemed confident even though he knew people were doubting him as a presenter. The whole issue with the presenter could have been sorted weeks ago if people had voiced their opinions a lot sooner so we were able to work with Jaypee, making sure he was comfortable and confident with the script..instead of voicing their opinions less than 48 hours before recording day.

My individual role – Sound:
Before the recording I was getting the presenter and contestants to do a sound check. The levels were fine and I realised that for some people I had to turn the volume right up because I presume they were nervous. During the recording, the contestants were getting more and more into the quiz so I found myself having to turn the volume down because they were getting too excited but as the questions were getting harder the contestants were unsure of answers so were getting very quiet when they were speaking. I’m not sure how much I could’ve done to make them louder as the volume was on full already during the most difficult questions. My role wasn’t just sound. I helped with lighting, the script and set design (as well as buying some part for the set). If certain people had done their jobs correctly then a few of us wouldn’t have had to take on so much.

So yes, today could have gone A LOT better and I feel that everyone was really demoralized by the whole experience. There were things that could have been a lot sharper and gone a lot smoother but due to a few people’s attitude towards this part of the module this was not the case.

1 day to go

Yesterday Shelley, our producer, received a number of messages from our team saying that they were unsure that our presenter would be able to speak clear enough while recording tomorrow. When Shelley told me this we were both quite confused as to why people didn’t voice their opinions during our practice on Tuesday…Shelley contacted the presenter and told him that people had their doubts. This all happens two days before recording… The presenter is going to have a run through tomorrow and if his speech isn’t clear then Shelley will step in and present….even though she’s the producer.

While filming I’ve booked out a Canon 60D from the media loan shop. This will be in the corner of the studio while we film so that we can possibly do a time lapse of the recording and then we can put it on our websites as part of the extras. I’ll set the camera up before we start to set up the studio so that it will include the setting up part in the extras as well. I thought this would be a great idea instead of taking photos and possibly getting in the way of people setting up. There will be times when we do take photos as well.

As for how I feel about tomorrow…I’m quite nervous. The only practice we’ve had was on Tuesday which wasn’t very successful…But I am quite excited to get this filmed. I’m just a bit worried. Having multiple deadlines in one week is very stressful.

On with the show!

TV progress

The script:
A small group of us worked with Shelley, the producer, to create a script. We were thinking of questions while she was checking the difficulty of them and writing them down. As soon as you get put on the spot and asked to think of British pop culture, our minds just went blank..but slowly we managed to get some really good questions down. We had a good system going. We decided that the first round would be relatively easy and would be all about British pop culture or at least based on British pop culture. The round would be called “You will never get this”…irony, because they will, they’re that easy. After finishing writing about 10 questions we asked some of the rest of the crew, who had been doing other things, to answer them just to see how long it would take to get through the questions and to see how many more we needed. They got through the questions rather quickly so we had to come up with more.

We proceeded in the same manor for the second round which we named “Name that sound”. The difficulty of this round would be slightly harder than round one but not impossible. We found clips on YouTube that we’d use as the sound clips and then we thought of a question about the clip, its not just a simple naming of the clips. Again, we tested the questions on some of the crew members. The final round was written by Shelley as we ran out of time in the studio and people needed to get home to do work.

Script for Greedy Little Beggars

On Thursday 22nd November we were in the studio checking lighting, setting up the cameras for the camera crew to have a bit of a practice and getting a feel for the set. Our set designer came into the studio saying she’s got the set sorted. Brilliant. We asked her about the podiums, her face was blank – so the podiums were not sorted. We asked about other aspects of the set and got a similar response…so much for having the set sorted. While the set designer went to actually get the set sorted, Ant and I were trying to set up the lighting and see which of the lights worked. We managed to get the majority of the lights working and tried to move them into the positions we needed them…easier said than done because I don’t like heights and Ant was in the gallery fiddling with the intensity of the lights. We finally got a few of the lights in some of the positions we needed them. We took a break…some people were beginning to get on other people’s nerves. After the break we were with Karen to talk about our progress so far. Certain people were annoying me too much so I stayed relatively quiet during the session. Karen was pleased with our progress so far, on one level it was a productive day but on so many more it really really wasn’t and tension were running high. We called it a day and went our separate ways. A few of us decided we’d leave a little earlier and look for things for the set..something which the set designer should have really done but apparently was too busy doing essay work and a show reel..something which everyone has to do. We weren’t happy but we had to go and search for things for the set, if we didn’t then we might’ve only had half a set.