I greatly enjoyed taking part in the first live show of the year. I found the whole process incredibly exciting, at the same time as being incredibly stressful.
The process began on Monday when we had our first meeting to discuss VT packages and begin researching and planning our filming. Myself and my team firstly decided on which roles we would like to take on. George was editor, Barbara was camera woman, James was VT editor, and I was researcher and reporter. The next step was to decide on a story. George came up with the idea of work load at university, targeting freshers in particular, and comparing the workload now to what it was at the beginning of the year. We agreed on this idea and began researching who we would talk to, what statistics to use, where we would film, and I scripted my PTC and voice overs.
I had booked out equipment to be picked up on Monday prior to the day which meant we went out and filmed straight away. We had secured an interview with the student union president for that Monday so headed straight to the SU. We began with our interview, getting some good GV’s whilst in the student’s union, before filming our PTC outside the building. The interview ran fairly smoothly as I had pre-prepared questions to ask, and had a good idea as to where I wanted to conduct the interview and how I wanted the camera set up. Myself and George both assisted Barbara with the camera work regarding setting up the tripod, angling the camera, and assuring that all the shots were nicely framed, but ultimately, she had the final say.
In regard to difficulties within our group they were purely technical. Each member worked hard on the VT and, although we did dip into one another’s roles, each person was successful in their job. We did have some issues with the sound on our VT which I take responsibility for as the reporter. We used a hand-held microphone as I had booked out the wrong camera, and was holding the microphone too close to my mouth which made the audio distorted and too loud in certain parts of the VT. James tried his best whilst editing the VT to lower the sound levels and did the best he could, however it still sounded harsh when shown on the live show. Additionally, I had difficulties remembering my PTC and it took multiple attempts get a successful take.
As ever vox pops were difficult to find as nobody wanted to be filmed on camera, however we did manage to get 3 decent voxs- 2 third years and a first year. This gave our VT a good balance as we got a view of workload, and dealing with workload, from a university beginner, and 2 students coming to the end of their university life.
My role in the Thursday live show was on the day reporter. I was required to find an international news story, localise it, and write it up to go on the Journalism London site. I began my process by doing some research regarding what was in the news that day. I found an article about International Gin and Tonic Day and, since the live show was quite heavy, decided to write my story about it.
The article was about how Gin drinkers had the same tendencies as psychopaths, so I did a little research into the article and the research used in it, and then planned out some questions for vox pops. Rather than asking boring straight forward questions I devised a ‘psychopath test’ as part of my vox’s to add some fun into it. I found it difficult to find people to actually take part in my survey though as it was 12pm in the afternoon when I went to collect my vox pops and there weren’t that many students frequenting the SU. I managed to get three people to take the test, one of which was particularly enthusiastic. While getting my vox’s I got a featured image for my article which was taken by Nick. It was a close up shot of myself poring some tonic water into a glass of gin, and a secondary image of myself from a side angle sipping my gin and tonic.
I returned to the classroom, wrote up my article, and had it posted on the Journalism London website by 3pm when the show went live. I decided to use the close up of my G+T as my featured image as I thought it visually showed more clearly what my article was about rather than my secondary image. I found the writing and uploading process fairly easy as writing is what I would term my ‘comfort zone’. However, after receiving feedback on Monday, I do think I need to spend more time researching my stories as it was revealed that the Guardian had written an article discrediting the research mentioned in my primary article. On reflection, I would definitely have done more research into my article, and added more of myself into it to add to the fun of the piece.
In regard to my thoughts on the actual live show I was lucky enough to be more of an observer as my role was completed by the time we went live. Overall, I think the show went very well for a first attempt. The presenters did very well for their first time and, although beginning slightly awkwardly, by the end of the show had relaxed into their roles and were delivering the auto cue with minimal stumbles. Despite their being a curse word said when introducing a VT with no auto cue, the presenters recovered particularly well when a VT cut half way through, immediately apologising and swiftly moving onto bulletins and social media. Both presenters of bulletins and social media did particularly well, with James delivering the bulletins in a very calm and well-spoken manner.
Despite some of the VT’s not playing at the correct time I think the show was run smoothly and any issues were well recovered from. Issues to beware of this week would include audio on VT’s, headroom in the sofa shots, getting more accurate stills for the bulletins, and leaving a few seconds at the beginning and end of each VT to give the vision mixer time to switch between the studio and VT’s.