Week Three TV Studio

We had three studio sessions this week (23rd, 25th and the 26th of April). We’re all now comfortable and working efficiently in our roles, which is helpful. We’re still waiting on hearing back from the expert/guest – and everyone is anxious to get it confirmed but it looks as though the producer has all that near enough sorted with a few people interested.

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We have been taking more behind the scenes pictures and videos for our websites and these are all being uploaded onto our Facebook page so everyone can access them. We have all been asked to write four lines about ourselves and our roles as well, which again – will be able to be posted onto our websites.

The set design is coming a long really well and it looks great. The set designer issued some really fitting ideas and it seems to be coming together nicely. The overall look of the set is really important as it represents the overall theme of our show and has to be able to entice the viewer and enhance our interior. They’ve bought a black rug to cover up the grey, cold studio floor, and got hold of a coffee table to give a conventional, professional look. The backdrop really fits, they managed to by a black backdrop and stick glow in the dark stars onto it, simple but effective. We did consider a chroma key filter initially but – nobody really knew how to use it and in my opinion the set they have managed to design and pull off works well.

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On the 26th we also hired out a camera and one of our crew members took pictures of thewhole crew and uploaded them onto the Facebook page so we can stick them onto our websites – extra features are necessary for the website and on most official television sites such as ‘The One Show’ or ‘This Morning’ they have extras, which include ‘meet the crew’ and ‘behind the scenes’ features; important for allowing the audience to carry out research into the show and it adds a more personal, and interactive aspect to our websites.

This week has been very productive, I think we’re pretty far ahead in terms of set – though we are still in need of a lava lamp!

Sound remains the same, though next week we are definitely getting the radio microphones in so that will be really helpful in gaining a more natural, pleasing sound. Also we are coming along with our VT’s and introduction graphics, so I already have set levels for about half of our show now and the rest should fall into place quickly – plus I will be mixing live at all times to fix any little problems anyway.

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Net TV – First draft ident

So in terms of the Net TV website, I have begun creating a site using WIX.com, choosing themes and playing around with what is there to suit our show. It’s a fairly easy programme to use, mainly consisting of ‘click and drag’, so you can make your site quickly and easily – which is helpful if you’re new too the whole creating a website malarkey.

Basically as soon as I clicked on my theme I realised that I didn’t have the focal point of my site sorted, I didn’t have a ‘Net TV’ logo, or symbol… nothing of an ident in sight! Straight away I got to Photoshop CS6 and begun experimenting with fonts and effects. I downloaded the font ‘terminator real NFI’ which is heavily edited to create the final effect, and used YouTube tutorials to help with the process of adding effects which really reflect what our show is about.

I went for a Sci-fi theme, matching with the theme of ‘fantasy’ and our content, UFO’s! and here is what I created…

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It’s quite hard to see the detail as a small image (click on image to enlarge and see the full effect). I added an ‘outer space’ style, with the lens flare acting as a star or solar beam, and added ‘noise’ which I edited to eventually shine through as stars. Now, this is my first draft, I plan to alter the main text here slightly, positioning and size is a little off at the moment, I also need to think about incorporating our tagline, ‘Do You Believe?’ which will lie under the main title. As this weeks show concentrates on UFO’s specifically I could always edit in a flying saucer of some sort around the logo, but for a header on the website it should be fine as a still image.

Now to re-edit, perfect and finalize!

Week Two TV Studio

Week of the 16th of April.

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This was our first week back after the Easter break – though we all remained in contact on our Facebook group so that we do not fall behind. Considering the show is only in five weeks we were all really eager to decide on the content of our show, themes, and get a draft of the script done by the 16th – and the script writers and researcher were great, producing a complete script on the Tuesday for our lecture and studio time. Obviously the script will change over the next week or two – possibly longer, due to changes we will inevitably have to make in regards to our expert, our performers and VT’s etc etc – but I am confident in the script and the writers.

Not that many showed up to our sessions this week, I believe we were missing around ten people. This was a set back, it’s fine when people have a genuine reason and can let the producer know but otherwise it left us setting up slower than before and a little confused about how to approach the sessions. Even though a fair few people were not in there was still 14 of us there, so we managed. A few people have been doubled up on roles anyway so for some of the roles it wasn’t a massive issue and though we were slow to start after feeling hindered, we all got into our roles and it became a productive few sessions.

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Sound is still not particularly taxing at the moment, the Sennheiser radio microphones have been taken away by a society so we are unable to use them for a while. It isn’t a problem, I already have an idea as to how I am going to mix down the sound levels for the presenters – D’lavi is quieter than Ross so her gain will have to be put higher than his, and the desk seems to be picking up a lot of the bass frequencies from Ross’ voice but that’s easily sorted on the desk by simply increasing the high and mid frequencies and taking down the lower frequencies.

We have had a few meetings and I know other members of the group such as the director, producer and script writer, VT team etc have been meeting up separately to discuss content. But our meetings are going well, the VT team have decided on interviewing the public on their opinions about UFO’s – so that’s audience participation starting already and will help the viewers feel involved. The producer Laura is working on getting us an expert and is in contact with a few societies I believe. She has also managed to get us sponsorship so that will be really helpful considering we are students and are all poor! It looks like we will only need to put in a couple of quid – if that! A few people in the group know people who can perform for us so that’s looking promising, and it’s going pretty well at the moment!

Geeky Shenanigans – Sound

Soundcraft desk

Soundcraft is a brand of sound mixing desks which I have been working with for three years now. Originally I learnt how to operate sound on a Soundcraft GB8,  and went on to use equipment such as lexicon effects units, lavalier packs, sound cubes, compressor units etc.

Usually, where the sound role is about I would be designing, gathering sound effects, recording in the studio, drawing up cue sheets, working on hand drawn and CAD of the rigged studio space, create equipment lists including images and specifications as well as booking and rigging equipment, to be operated when it comes to show time.

In the case of the TV studio, none of that is particularly necessary, I’ve currently been setting up one basic floor mic, consisting of a basic floor boom standing in the middle of the floor. This is a temporary sound set up, I have requested Sennheiser radio mics for the presenters and any guests, so that I can perfect the sound of each individual voice…I have noticed that some presenters need the frequencies of their voices altering a little bit, and sound levels need to be matched for the most pleasing outcome.

We still have a good few weeks until the show itself, so one soundcheck should allow me to get all the levels I need. It’s a fairly basic show, and admittedly has left me reminiscing of the theatre days, where the work load almost killed me, but was strangely addictive and enjoyable at the same time. Not all fun takes place on the stage, a good adrenaline rush can come from putting the important parts of the show together, be it lighting, set, sound, directing, maintenance and all the other roles which pull a good show together.

Like I said, Soundcraft is a brilliant designer and producer of mixing desks and products you need for a really effective outcome, whatever you’re using it for!
So I’ll just leave this link right here … http://www.soundcraft.com/index.aspx
Check it out, you might like what you see, you may be a sound technician and just not know it yet. :’).

161 TV show content

The designated theme of our TV show is fantasy, giving us a wide range of options to go with for our show.
We sat down as a group to discuss our content, and set up a Facebook page for people to post ideas, and clips they’ve made or found to help us build our show. This kind of task can leave you with a really successful piece of television, or can end up looking incredibly amateur. And surprisingly, we really don’t want our show to comply with the latter. With this in mind we thought our content should rely on something which is not too far-fetched, something people can actually relate to and can spark real interest and debate. So we suggested our show would  be one which looks at a variety of ‘fantasy’ conspiracies, which is where our tagline ‘Do You Believe?’ originated from. This particular show will be focusing on the unanswered question about the existence of UFO’s.

Through the weeks we shall be expanding on our subject, shooting VT’s, getting clips from the internet, interviewing an expert etc. etc.