MED4114 Television Location Production Studies Diary Week 2

Learning Diary Week 2 – 06/02/14

In our second lesson we reviewed the work we had done in our directed study session the previous week (the two voiceovers which we added footage to). We looked at examples of different kinds of cutting in episodes of Breaking Bad. These included the cut, the fade and dissolve. We also looked at the different types of edits which included:

  • Action Edit – time remains unbroken and the cut creates the illusion of continuous action
  • Screen Position Edit – no passing of time is implied by the edit and the placement of the subject or an object in a shot directs the viewers eye around the screen and motivates the cut
  • Form Edit – a pronounced shape/colour/dimensional composition remains the same throughout two consecutive shots or a straight cut with sound as motivation
  • Concept Edit – montage of shots each showing different content which implies a meaning through the juxtaposition of the different shots
  • Combined Edit – A combination of two or more of the other edits

 We then learned more techniques using the software such as the different types of cutting and trimming for shots.

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MED4106 Radio & Popular Music Reading Response Week 2

Regulation & Moral Panics

In ‘Moral Panic, the Media and British Rave Culture,’ (1994) Sarah Thornton discusses the support youth culture offers underground and sub-cultures as opposed to mass media, especially with music. She focuses on Acid House music which was largely associated with drug use and led to moral panics.

Similarly, in ‘“I’d Sell You Suicide”: Pop Music and Moral Panic in the age of Marilyn Manson,’ (2000) Robert Wright discusses the hegemony of successful artists at the 1998 Grammy Awards (including Elton John, Bob Dylan and James Taylor.) Manson was mocked by the host over a year before the Columbine High School Massacre proving that he was seen as inappropriate even before the moral panic surrounded him. It also discusses how he was disliked by many (mainly older generations) because he was ‘at pains to work his young fans against what he sees as the staid conservatism of their parents’ cultural hegemony.’

Thornton suggests that because of the opposition between subcultures and the media, members of these subcultures want negative coverage in the mass media as an attempt to further distance themselves from ‘commercial’ popular music which they see as a social hierarchy. Write discusses the negative coverage rock music often receives, for example Manson’s lyrics being accused of encouraging suicide. This differs from Thornton’s which suggests members of subcultures don’t appreciate the negative attention. Similar situations have occurred in the past including Ozzy Osborne and Judas Priest being sued by parents and blamed for their children’s suicide or self harm.

Also, Thornton talks about how artists also try to distance themselves from mass culture, not wanting to be seen as ‘sell-outs’ and lose their ‘exclusive ownership’ within their subculture. However, many of these band’s music videos were shown on Top of the Pops suggesting they didn’t mind the mainstream attention and were saying they did to appeal to their fans. Again, this contrasts to the acceptance many rock musicians are denied. Wright writes about other artists including Leonard Cohen and Elton John, both of whom have lyrics that glamorise suicide. It shows that top 40 songs will oftenglamorise suicide more than most rock musicians, but won’t draw any attention because of the genre.

The ideas outlined about rock music are still relevant today as rock bands have been blamed for increases in teen suicide, depression and self-harm. In the lecture this week we looked at Regulation which is meant to be there for diversity, choice and protection, however this is contradictory as when more diverse genres of music become popular, they’re considered dangerous by the media.

To research this area I would compare music videos and lyrics of songs that have been in the UK top 40 recently with the most popular songs of a specific genre, for example, the chart in Metal Hammer Magazine. I would see how many of the lyrics or video for the alternative chart could be linked to problems such as suicide as well as seeing what inappropriate topics the top 40 songs would link to.

Refrences

Thornton, (1994). ‘Moral Panic, The Media & British Rave Culture’. In: Andrew Ross & Tricia Rose (ed), Microphone Fiends, Youth Music & Youth Culture. 1st ed. London: Routledge. pp.(176-192).

Wright, R. 2000, “‘I’d Sell You Suicide:” Pop Music and Moral Panic in the Age of Marylin Manson,” Popular Music, vol 19, no. 3, pp. 365-385

MED4115 Television Studio Production Skills Diary Week 1

Learning Diary Week 1 – 31/01/14

In the first lesson in Television Studio Production Skills, we began by watching this video which outlines the importance of different roles in a television studio. We were then shown the studio galleries (for audio and visuals) and how each piece of equipment we would be using works.

After this we filmed five two to four minute interviews between two people (an interviewer and a ‘guest’) with each person taking on different roles each time. I took on the following roles:

  • Audio Mixer – This involved giving the people on screen clip-on microphones to wear throughout the interview and conducting sound checks before the interview began. When in this role I had to wait until the director had finished setting up the cameras to begin the sound check. This involved turning up the sound on one of the microphones and getting whoever was wearing the microphone to speak how they would when on camera. I would then adjust the gain on each channel so that both voices would sound the same volume. When the transmission began I had to turn up the microphones and adjust the volume if they spoke louder than they had in the sound check.
  • Vision Mixer – This involved controlling which cameras were shown and cutting between them at the command of the director. I did this role twice when filming the interviews and felt that I improved between as you had to constantly concentrate on what the director is saying and be used to the controls so you can quickly change cameras.
  • Production Assistant – Once the director had decided on a time to begin the rehearsal or transmission, I gave everyone on the studio floor and in the sound gallery a warning before we began of 1 minute, 30 seconds, 15 seconds and a countdown of the final 10 seconds. I also gave notice after every minute of the interview and made similar warnings in the final minute.
  • Director – This involved instructing each of the cameras as to where I wanted them facing and instructing the floor manager on where the people on camera should be positioned and facing. I also told the audio mixers when to begin their sound check and chose a time to begin the rehearsal and transmission which everyone else would work towards. When the interview had started, I instructed the vision mixer on what shots to preview and cut to.
  • My final role was to press ‘capture’ on the computer controlling the cameras when the 10 second countdown to transmission began. I also stopped the cameras when the transmission had ended.

MED4114 Television Location Production Skills Diary Week 1

Learning Diary Week 1 – 30/01/14

In the first week of this module we learnt the basic skills of using the Avid editing software. We looked at techniques such as setting up and opening the software, inserting videos and audio, selecting sections of the video clips and trimming and removing from the video clips once they had been inserted.

After learning these basic skills we used some audio and video clips on the computer system to make two short trailers for wildlife documentaries. We did this by inserting video clips onto the timeline where we thought it was suitable based on the narration in the audio.

MED4106 Radio & Popular Music Reading Response Week 1

Industries, Institutions & Histories of Radio & Popular Music

In ‘On Air: Methods and Meanings of Radio’ (1998) Shingler and Wieringa discuss the history of UK radio, including the vast expansion and development that occurred from the development of Morse Code in the 1840s until 1997. They also discuss the ethical considerations and progress compared to the USA stations.

Simon Frith’s ‘The Industrialization of Music’ (1998) discusses the implications that the development of technology has on music production, distribution and consumption which turned the music industry into a ‘complex system of money making,’ aided by the ease at which people with little musical talent can produce and sell songs.

Frith’s idea that technological developments make it easier for producers to make money by digitally altering voices or adding music supports Shingler and Wieringa’s as they also discuss the negative impact it has for radio companies; the growth of cheaper and more user friendly equipment led to the expansion of Pirate radio. Unlike the lack of talent Frith believes results from technological advances in the music industry, Pirate radio stations could have benefitted consumers with the lack of diverse radio content in the 1960s. However, this did result in the 1967 Marine Offences Act; the first to outlaw offshore Pirates.

With the development of the music industry, more companies emerged in the music industry selling both new music and audio equipment. More choice for consumers led to competition between different record labels and companies meaning that members of the music industry began viewing artists as ‘commodities’ that could make them money. This was also a cause of the more active role in computer generated music as it was cheaper to produce. Similar competition occurred in the radio industry with the expansion of the BBC leading to ethical considerations to ensure that the station maintained their high standard and ranging audience.

As Frith’s essay criticises the standard of popular music in the 1980s, this made me consider how this is still addressed today. Many artists who regularly appear in the UK top 40 have been criticised for their use of auto-tune and miming during live performances. I find this interesting as the popular music from this era is often considered better in comparison to the current popular music, yet these artists with very little talent are no longer considered an issue from that period. As well as similarities with the current structure of radio, I felt Frith’s writing remains relevant today.

If I was to research this area of the music industry I’d analyse artists from a major label in a variety of genres and with varying degrees of success to compare the promotion they each received and their reception from the public. This would look at whether the development of technology has led to more competition at record labels and corner-cutting in the production of music and how it compares to the 1980s. I would hold focus groups with people of different age groups and analyse footage, promotional items and chart figures as partial memory could make the interviews unreliable.

Refrences

Frith, S, (1988). ‘The industrialisation of Music’. In: (ed), Music for Pleasure: Essays in the Sociology of Pop. 1st ed. e.g. England: Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Incorporated. pp.(11-23).

Shingler, M & Wieringa, C, (1998). ‘Radio time-line: History at a glance’. In: Martin Shingler & Cindy Wieringa (ed), On Air: Methods & Meanings of Radio. 1st ed. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. pp.(1-29).