MED4116 Television Studio Production Skills Diary Week 8

Learning Diary Week 8 – 21/03/14

During this week, our class met up in an attempt to do a full run through of the show before our assessment on Friday. Unfortunately, there were not enough people for a full run though and the VTs were not ready so we were not able to do this.

On the day of the assessment, I went in early alongside the rest of the set design team to construct the set before the rest of the class arrived. This involved collecting the desks we had chosen to use and setting them and the chairs up in the studio. We also set up the gel lighting and taped the posters, flyers and postcards to the desks. We also got the TVs which the VTs would be shown on into place on the set.

Most of the rest of the class had arrived by 9 but as we had a couple of people who were late who were either needed for the first take or who had the CD with the sound on, we ended up starting the first take late. For this reason we didn’t do any rehearsals and made the role changeovers between each take as quick as possible. Because of this we ended up finishing almost an hour earlier than we had planned.

I took on floor roles of auto-cue and camera. I feel that auto-cue went well although it was made more difficult by the presenter who did not stick to the script as most of the others did. When doing camera, I felt that I there was not much for me to do as there was very little camera movement so after setting up the camera to the director’s instructions, I didn’t have to move it again.

My gallery roles were sound and VT operator. With sound I feel that I made a couple of mistakes such as not turning down the microphones when the VTs were playing meaning the guests and presenter could be heard talking. However, I learnt from these mistakes and made sure to adjust the sound levels each time following this incident. I felt that VT operator also went well as I knew the order each VT had to be played in.

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MED4114 Television Location Production Skills Diary Week 8

Learning Diary Week 8 – 20/03/14

In our final production day, we reviewed the footage from our filming session on Wednesday. We found that as our group’s sound technician had not ensured that the sound engineer at the event had correctly adjusted the settings on the soundboard, the audio had not recorded from the soundboard. This meant that the only audio of a good quality came from the other camera we had used. Unfortunately, as this camera had only been used to film short clips unlike the camera which remained static, we didn’t have as much usable performance footage as we had anticipated as we only had short extracts of audio which we were able to sync to the video.

As I was the camera operator in the group, I did not do the editing but did assist with the process of review the footage and editing our film. Later in this week, we received feedback from Olivia who advised us to change the order of some parts from the interview. We took this advice into consideration as changed the order of our video during Week 9. Once we were happy with our video, we exported it and burned it to a DVD using the Titanium Toast Programme.

MED4106 Radio & Popular Music Reading Response Week 8

Audiences, Technology & Consumption

WeeIn A. J. Baker’s ‘College Student Net-Radio Audiences’ he introduces the reader to the idea of Net Radio which is an interactive global medium which allows users to view content on demand and become part of the online community. It creates ‘relationships between producers, industries and audiences’ unlike traditional radio and allows for more audience interaction as well.

The text I found was ‘Music Consuption: Lifestyle, Choice or Addiction’ by Cockrill, Sullivan and Norbury and investigates whether people can be addicted to listening to music. Because of digitalisation, most types of media can be consumed any time and in any place but it can also have both a negative and positive impact on other aspects of life. This is because of MP3 technology which means it is possible to carry round 1000s of songs on a portable player which could lead to compulsive use.

In Baker’s study on Net-Radio, the key consumers they targeted for their study as they found that 1/3 of college student had changed from traditional radio to net radio. Similarly to this, the Music Consumption investigation also targeted 18-35 year olds as they were found to be the main users of MP3 devices. This shows that within the past few years since both of these investigations took place, young people up to the age of 35 are seen as the primary users of technology.

This idea can be further enforced as the results from Baker’s survey found that youths were disappointed with traditional radio. The main reasons identified in the text for preferring Net Radio were for the wider range of context and variety. 44% of respondents stated that they listened to both traditional radio and net radio which suggests that although the programmes on tradition radio are suitable for the age range and audience, but there is not enough of it to keep that particular group from looking online for more content.

The Music Consumption survey also found that many people of the age range were ‘heavy users’ of music. These people would find the music they listen to having a negative impact on their social life and affecting their jobs, work and sleep. This also suggests that this age range is the most active users of technology. The interactive elements of Net Radio and many new MP3 players mean that consumers using these technologies are becoming more active as it is easier for them to interact with different forms of media. This can also result in a ‘bottom-up’ media model with consumers becoming producers as the technology becomes available for them to do it easily and cheaply.

Based on this information, if I was to do research on the impact of technology on audiences I would look at how people of different ages collect music now in comparison to 5, 10 or 15 years ago and why they have changed or stayed the same over the years. I could then analyse how  different age groups largely collect music and look at why they choose particular formats.

Refrences

Baker, A. J, (2010). College Student net-radio audiences: A Transnational Perspective. Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media. 8 (2), pp.121-137

Cockrill, A, Sullivan, M, & Norbury, H.L, 2011, ‘Music Consumption: Lifestyle Choice or Addiction,’ Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 160-166

MED4115 Television Studio Production Skills Diary Week 7

Learning Diary Week 7 – 14/03/14

In our second production day, the set design team went into the studio to think about the arrangement of desks and chairs for the show, as well as the lighting. We decided that we would have gel lights on each side of the set, with different colours to represent each team. We also went out to get more for the set. As we managed to get some free posters last week, we decided to think about buying some props and more posters using the money donated by the class for the budget (everyone has given £1).

During the lunch break, I went to o2 Academy as I thought we might be able to get some free posters from them of past gigs that had been on there. As there were not any members of staff available to check, I then went back later that afternoon when the rest of the group went to buy props. I was given several A3 posters as well as A5 flyers and postcards that I think will look good on the set. Also, as all of the posters we got last week were for urban music, these will give the set some diversity in the range of music.

At the end of the day the class tried to do a run through of the show with everybody in the roles they are appointed for in the first take of our assessment. As I will not have a role for this take I was a guest on the show. Unfortunately, due to the VTs not being ready and the Presenter being unclear on the structure, we were unable to film past the first round. We have planned to meet up during the week to try and film at least one whole run-through before our assessment.

MED4114 Television Location Production Skills Diary Week 7

Learning Diary Week 7 – 13/03/14

This week we had a lesson on the different kinds of lighting we could use when filming for our second assessed piece of work. We practiced setting up the camera for interviews showing either just the interviewee on screen on the interviewer as well. After this we had a go at setting up the lighting for an interview situation. This involved having the interviewee in the shot and setting up two or three lights around them to minimise shadow and get the best looking shot possible.

During the Directed Study, we prepared for our shoot for the assessment which will take place next week. We have thought about shots we will aim to get for the interview and the performance as well as considering questions to ask in the interview.

The following Wednesday we attended the Music Industry Skill’s Record Label launch party at Talk Bar. Although we had originally planned to focus our assessment on one of the artists performing at the event, we had to change this as the performers had to leave and were unable to stay for an interview. However, after talking to the owner of the venue, we found that he had interesting things to say about the opening of the venue and the future plans he had for it. We decided to film an interview with him instead.

As I was in charge of filming in my group, I set up the camera before the performances started. We had one camera (Sony Z5) on a tri-pod at the front of the venue near the performers which was plugged into the soundboard to ensure the audio was recorded in good quality. This camera maintained a static shot throughout the event and only occasionally was used for movement or zooming. I kept the other camera on the shoulder stand and used it to get more interesting and creative shots such as close up shots of the performers and around the venue.

MED4106 Radio & Popular Music Reading Response Week 7

Conceptualising the Audience

In ‘Radio In the Global Age,’ Hendy talks about how consumers of radio can be seen as either active or passive depending on it is used. For example, a consumer can interact with the radio (phoning or texting in, social network pages, website) or just have it left on one station as background noise. The text also discusses Abercrombie’s ideas of what makes audiences passive when listening to the radio which are:

  • ‘The content of programmes is trivial’
  • ‘The mode of viewing/listening is passive’
  • ‘The set of effects on the audience is narcotizing’

‘The Handbook of Media Audiences’ (Nightingale, 2011) includes audience theories by several theorist with different views on passive and active audiences. However, in the introduction, Nightingale states that she sees audiences as active, resulting in the amateur production of film, music and photography. However she does find it debatable whether use of social media can be considered active ‘new media audiences.’

As well as Abercrombie in ‘Radio and the Global Age,’ Adorno also believes that audiences are passive and that all media texts are read in the same way the homogenous mass of consumers. However, in ‘The Handbook of Media Audiences,’ Stuart Hall, whose incorporation/resistance model made him influential in audience theory disagrees with Adorno as he does not believe that audience automatically take the dominant reading of a text. He has stated that ‘reading or viewing constitutes a complex negotiation that creates multiple interpretation.’ (1979/91) Hall’s encoding/decoding model understands that audience members might read the oppositional or negotiated reading of a text.

Hendy critiques Adorno and Abercrombie’s view of all audiences as passive and believes they ‘underestimate the freedom of listeners to create meaning.’ This is supported by David Gauntlett in ‘The Handbook of Media Audiences’ with his Lego experiment (2006). This involved getting volunteers to make a Lego model as a visual metaphor for their identities. This suggests that consumers are able to create meaning themselves and do not rely on media texts to give them the dominant idea.

I felt that Hendy’s reading reflected parts of this week’s lecture. For example, Adorno’s views stated in this reading conform to the Marxist Popular and Mass Media Critique approach. Adorno believed that popular media was made by culture industries and were false needs sold to homogeneous passive consumers. He also felt that the accessibility of popular culture meant that high culture such as art and classical music were being forgotten.

I think for research into this area I would look at a range of polysemic media texts and hear the preferred readings from people of difference ages, genders, backgrounds and cultures to see how varied their responses are. I could then look to see if there are any patterns between similar groups of people.

Refrences

Hendy, D, (2000). ‘Audiences’. In: (ed), Radio in the Global Age. 1st ed. UK: Polity Press. pp.(134-147).

Nightingale, V. 2011, ‘The Handbook of Media Audiences,’ Wiley-Blackwell,  Malden

MED4115 Television Studio Production Skills Diary Week 6

Learning Diary Week 6 – 07/03/14

To begin our first production day, our class finalised the plans for our second assignment. We agreed that we would produce a 15 minute music quiz show, with each take featuring a host and four guests. We decided to ask friends if they could be he guests on the show which we will do in the next two weeks.

The class also split into smaller groups who will each focus on one aspect of the production of the show. I am part of the set design team. We started to come up for ideas for the set and have decided to get posters to covers the desks and floor and get CDs, records, cassettes inflatable guitars to put on the floor and over the desks. We made a list of the props we would need and thought about where we could get them and how much money everyone in the class would have to donate to contribute towards this.

To minimise the costs involved with the set design, we went into the city centre shops to see if we could get any promotional posters from shop or damaged donated items from charity shops for free. From this we managed to get several promotional posters for Urban music events and reserved a promotional Pharrell Williams poster from HMV. We also looked up prices for props such as a scoreboard and buzzers for each team.

Next week we will discuss the costs required for remaining props and set design with the rest of our group.