Project 2: Week 4 skills practiced

This week we have all practiced one skill which we have never practiced before but which includes skills we have: This was a green screen exercise which meant that we did a piece-to-camera shot but in front of a green screen which we could apply any background we wanted to after- a background which related to our topic.

In terms of our topic, it was down to us to choose one which we were passionate about. I decided to talk about Taylor swift because she is someone who I look up to because of her music and how much she has inspired me in the past-plus I just love her!

The skills we used in this exercise involved some which we have used previously during our video shots such as looking in the same direction as the camera at all times, keeping our body language professional and even our spoken language because we had to ensure that we were heard not only during the filming of our shot but also with the outcome of it. However, the majority of the skills used came from the use of Premiere Pro; we had to remember how to edit, apply and put together all our chosen video images (for the background of our green screen) using the software. This was fairly simple to most of us, including myself because we have used this software and these skills a number of times before to put together video shots.

After we were filmed doing this, we were to upload it on to Adobe Premiere Pro and edit the background so that we removed the green screen and could apply whatever background we thought was appropriate and/or wanted in relation to our topic. For mine, I chose Video backgrounds of my favourite Taylor Swift music videos that show examples of her country music and some of the traditional country themes within them. However, there were some issues with converting the videos so that I could access them because many websites that allowed me to do this were blocked by the college. This meant that I had to convert them at home to my memory stick and complete it but on a later date, which was a hassle because it wasted work time and my own time but it meant that I had solved a problem which may have affected the quality of the overall outcome.

In terms of the problems we came across, they mainly occurred when we were applying our video to Premiere Pro, since none of us had done the skill of using green screens on Premiere Pro before. But one member of the class had done, so with a few simple steps explained to us by him, we were all able to (attempt) to upload our video backgrounds and experiment with our pie-to-camera shots in other ways. These included: readjusting the dimentions and positioning of ourselves so that they could fit in with our chosen backgrounds. But leading on from this problem, we also found out that all but one of our group’s shots were a bit out of focus, which did look a bit unprofessional- but this was a problem beyond our control as we had someone from a different media group operating the cameras. Although, I was the only part of the shot which was out of focus and I feel that the quality of the moving and still background images and the audio from me made up for this mistake.

Here is my completed piece-to-camera shot using the green screen:

Final green screen shot

This green screen practice we did is a skill that is very widely used within the industry, such as when the news is being reported on the TV because they will have live interviews with people who may have a green screen showing a background relating to the news story. This will definitely be used for weather reporting as well because it allows us to see the graphics clearly and the reported can tell us about it without any physical disruptions from the weather. As for the editing part of it, that is most definitely used in the industry also because whether or not a green screen shot is featured, the skills of applying the shots in order- including the backgrounds, and cutting them down to the time limit or person speaking all apply to when TV News stories are in development. I

In comparison to professional practices, I can evaluate the skills I showed whilst being filmed because I wasn’t operating any of the equipment this time round- I was just being filmed. I can also relate to the final outcome of the piece to camera shot, including with the background video and images. Overall, I feel that my shot turned out very well; mainly since my body language was professional, I used gestures where appropriate and I spoke clearly and loud enough for the camera to catch the audio. As for the final result on Adobe Premiere Pro, I’d say that mine isn’t too far off a professional example because the background images and videos relate perfectly to my topic and I have tried to fit them in as to where they coincide with what I am saying about it. If this happens in or does happen in a professional one, it may make the audience visualize the story better and understand it more- and possibly form different perspectives on it.

 

On Tuesday this week, we got started on the actual production of our 2 minute video piece. This meant Carris and I were using the professional filming cameras and tripods to film some of the shots from our shot schedule we created. However, this immediately raised a concern for me; I originally thought we wouldn’t have time to complete what we had planned to do that day so I changed the days that we had booked out the equipment from Tuesday to the following Monday. But it turned out that we did have time that day to film but not enough time to complete everything we hoped to. But after consulting our shot schedule and script, we worked out that some of our shots are taken within the classroom. this meant that we could take the classroom shots today so that it wouldn’t have been a total loss or waste of production time. We also faced the usual problems of attaching the camera to the tripod and changing the camera settings from photo to film. but after to fiddling round with it and even asking our tutor as to how to fix them together, we had it up and running. We also used these problem-solving skills shortly after when the camera wasn’t attached to the tripod tightly enough. However, we solved this by remembering how we did it previously but also how our tutor showed us what to do with it too.

We both followed the shot script in order to capture the required shots we needed and the content we needed- we even captured two or three extra seconds than stated because it gives us more flexibility for editing and prevents us not getting enough timing in the shot. Below is the shot script we used to assist us when we filmed our shots on Tuesday and for future production:

Shooting Script

Shot No. Action Dialogue / Commentary / Sound
 

1

(Establishing shot) The city centre of Canterbury with busses passing by.

 

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) This is where we are now…
 

2

(Establishing shot) A nearby park which features squirrels (mainly grey).

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) But this is one of many places where the problem lies.
 

3

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a mid-close up of plant bed area of the entrance.

2nd– another mid-close up of

3rd– a close-up shot of branches with leaves, which will become a focus-change shot (from near to far).

(Voice over- CARRIS) Ever since the introduction of the Grey Squirrels during the 1870s (¹), the Red Squirrels have clearly met their match due to the other species’ powers to compete for food and natural resources.
 

4

 

(Full body shot) me walking towards the camera in the same park location. (Live audio- GRACE) Though sadly, this has had its consequences; there are a staggering less than 140,000 left in the UK today, from 3.5 million in the 1950s (²).
 

 

5

(Tracking shot) Carris and I walking along the path of the park. (Voice over- GRACE) This is a result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by them…
 

6

(Close-up shot) my hand on the computer mouse. (Voice over- GRACE) …as well as catching what is known as ‘squirrel pox virus’ from the Grey Squirrels.
 

7

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a close-up of the computer screen showing information on the Squirrel pox virus.

2nd– a mid-close up from behind of Carris and I looking at the information on the screen. The focus changes from far to near.

3rd– a mid-close up of a side view of Carris and I looking at the screen.

(Voice over- CARRIS) This virus is passed on in a way that means it’s totally immune to the Grey Squirrels, whereas it can be lethal to Red squirrels.
 

8

(Close-up shot) The computer screen showing the Wildwood Trust page on Red Squirrels. (Voice over- CARRIS) But are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years…?
 

9

 

(Mid-close up) behind the computer we were using which changes focus from near to far. (Voice over- GRACE) We were lucky enough to meet… of the Wildwood trust in Kent to investigate more upon this matter.
 

10

 

(Rule-of-thirds shot) showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. “………….”
11

 

(Three sequence shot):

1st– focus change close-up from behind a tree base (near to far).

2nd– a mid-close up of water running out from the water fountain,

3rd– a mid-close up of the park field which tracks into a full body shot of us.

“………….” (until the tracking part at approximately 1.40 seconds)
12 (Full-body shot) Of Carris are in the same park area as the last one. (Live audio- CARRIS) So there we have it, after what has been said today, we can only think positive about the future of these little creatures in relation to what is being done and will be done to help them.

This kind of production task did force us, but mainly myself, to figurer out some problem solving tactics; I had originally transferred our booking for the camera and tripod to Monday but we were told today that we would use the afternoon to start our actual production. I thought that this would be a massive hassle in sorting out in terms of access to the equipment. But this was resolved by filling in a booking form for our required equipment for return that day. This meant that Carris and I could film what we had time to film in class that day and return it without the worry and hassle. We did manage to film a good deal that day because some of our shots were set in the classroom- and we managed to film all of them too.

As for the industry, I’d happily say that this skill is one of the most widely used due to how many job areas use it. For example, TV news reporting have to use it in order to gather the shots to tell a news story- otherwise, we would have no news to watch on the TV! This also applies to the production of online news videos too. However, journalists would definitely use these production/filming skills when it comes to recording vox pops and any other interviews for a report.

In comparison to other professional practices, I believe that the shots we have come up with and taken so far are not afar off a professional one, due to a number of reasons: we had the tripod to balance the camera on and reduce the levels of unprofessional movement; we used the professional film cameras for improved quality of the overall image; and finally, we had the focus-change lens on the camera which allowed us to change the focus of the image and make it look more exciting as a result. This is a feature very commonly used in TV and online news reports so it will make ours look more professional in the end result. I could only evaluate the shots we have taken already, since we have only taken around a quarter of the total and are waiting until all are taken before we start editing. However, bsaed on what we have taken already, I’d say that we have made a very good start due to our ability to problem-solve with the equipment and ensuring the quality is of a good standard

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Project 2: Week 4 skills practiced

Project 2: Week 4 Summary (Production)

This week, we have finalized the pre-production paperwork for our project and even got started on the actual filming for our video piece.

In terms of the pre-production paperwork, I managed to complete the shot schedule as well of my shooting script for our video which contained: the duration for each shot, the type and content of each shot and the dialogue for each shot as well. This was in order to gain an idea of what shots would make the piece look interesting and relate to the topic and mostly to take with us to ensure we gain the correct number, duration and content of each shot as well. This would be to avoid not getting enough of each shot type, avoiding not filling the 2 minute duration for the final piece, wasting time if this happens, and also getting the wrong shots in general.

Even though both types of pre-production paperwork are very similar in terms of purpose and content, the main difference is that the shooting script features the shot number for each shot as well as the action occurring in each shot and the dialogue- whether it is a voice-over or taking to the camera live.

Below is my Shot schedule along with the Harvard references afterwards:

 

Time Shot type Image Script
0.00-0.04 seconds Establishing shot An establishing shot of the Busy city centre with busses passing by. (Carris)- This is where we are now…
00.5-0.10 seconds Establishing shot Another establishing shot but of a nearby park which features squirrels (mainly grey). (Carris) But this is one of many places where the problem lies.
0.11-0.21 seconds Three sequence shot 1st– a mid-close up of plant bed area of the entrance.

2nd– another mid-close up of

3rd– a close-up shot of branches with leaves, which will become a focus-change shot (from near to far).

(Carris) Ever since the introduction of the Grey Squirrels during the 1870s (¹), the Red Squirrels have clearly met their match due to the other species’ powers to compete for food and natural resources.
0.22-0.34 seconds Full body shot A full body shot of me walking towards the camera in the same park location (Grace) Though sadly, this has had its consequences; there are a staggering less than 140,000 left in the UK today, from 3.5 million in the 1950s (²).
0.35-0.40 seconds Tracking shot

 

 

The tracking shot of Carris and I walking along the path of the park (Grace) This is a result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by them…
0.41-0.44 seconds Close-up shot A close-up shot of my hand on the computer mouse. (Grace) …as well as catching what is known as ‘squirrel pox virus’ from the Grey Squirrels.
0.45-0.55 seconds Three sequence shot 1st– a close-up of the computer screen showing information on the Squirrel pox virus.

2nd– a mid-close up from behind of Carris and I looking at the information on the screen. The focus changes from far to near.

3rd– a mid-close up of a side view of Carris and I looking at the screen.

 

(Carris) This virus is passed on in a way that means it’s totally immune to the Grey Squirrels, whereas it can be lethal to Red squirrels.
0.56-0.1.02 seconds Close-up shot A close-up shot of the computer screen showing the Wildwood Trust page on Red Squirrels. (Carris)But are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years..?
1.03-1.10 seconds A mid-close up/focus-change shot A mid-close up from behind the computer we were using which changes focus from near to far. (Grace) We were lucky enough to meet… of the Wildwood trust in Kent to investigate more upon this matter.
1.11-1.30 seconds Rule-of-thirds shot A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. “………….”
1.31-1.41 seconds Three sequence shot 1st– A mid-close up of water running out from the water fountain

2nd– A focus-change shot from a college bench showing tree leaves blowing.

3rd– A close up of Carris in the college library reading a mammal book.

“………….” (until the tracking part at approximately 1.40 seconds)
1.42-2.00 seconds Full-body shot A piece-to-camera of Carris in the library next to a bookshelf. (Carris) So there we have it, after what has been said today, we can only think positive about the future of these little creatures in relation to what is being done and will be done to help them.

 

References:

  1. Unknown surname, C. (2008). How did the grey squirrel arrive in the UK? co.uk, http://www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/flora-and-fauna/how-did-the-grey-squirrel-arrive-in-the-uk/# [accessed 21st January 2015].

 

 

  1. Coles, J. (2015). How conservation is Saving Britain’s red squirrels. BBC-Earth, http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150924-how-conservation-is-saving-our-red-squirrels [accessed 5th January 2016].

I have also finished the scripting from my 2 minute radio piece which consisted of: the duration of each piece of audio, the audio itself and also any background audio, sound affects and music. The purpose of this was essentially for the same purposes as the shot schedule for the video, as it will help me get the timing for my dialogue correct (since I timed it whilst I was writing it up) and I can refer to it along the way as I edit it all together.

 

Here is my shooting script:

project 2 Shooting Script

 

Shot No. Action/audio Dialogue / Commentary / Sound
 

1

(Establishing shot) The city centre of Canterbury with busses passing by.

 

(Audio) faint noises of the busy high street with buses passing by.

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) This is where we are now…
 

2

(Establishing shot) A nearby park which features squirrels (mainly grey).

 

(Audio) the faint background noises of wind blowing and very minimal sound from the traffic

 

(Voice over- CARRIS) But this is one of many places where the problem lies.
 

3

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a mid-close up of plant bed area of the entrance.

2nd– another mid-close up of

3rd– a close-up shot of branches with leaves, which will become a focus-change shot (from near to far).

 

(Audio) wind and nature sound effects slowly black out.

(Voice over- CARRIS) Ever since the introduction of the Grey Squirrels during the 1870s (¹), the Red Squirrels have clearly met their match due to the other species’ powers to compete for food and natural resources.
 

4

 

(Full body shot) me walking towards the camera in the same park location.

 

(Audio) due to dialogue being spoken live to the camera, wind and leaves quietly crunching can be heard alongside my voice.

(Live audio- GRACE) Though sadly, this has had its consequences; there are a staggering less than 140,000 left in the UK today, from 3.5 million in the 1950s (²).
 

 

5

(Tracking shot) Carris and I walking along the path of the park.

 

(Audio) The conversation between Carris and I can be heard beneath the voice over.

(Voice over- GRACE) This is a result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by them…
 

6

(Close-up shot) my hand on the computer mouse.

 

(Audio) No audio.

(Voice over- GRACE) …as well as catching what is known as ‘squirrel pox virus’ from the Grey Squirrels.
 

7

(Three sequence shot):

1st– a close-up of the computer screen showing information on the Squirrel pox virus.

2nd– a mid-close up from behind of Carris and I looking at the information on the screen. The focus changes from far to near.

3rd– a mid-close up of a side view of Carris and I looking at the screen.

 

(Audio) No audio.

(Voice over- CARRIS) This virus is passed on in a way that means it’s totally immune to the Grey Squirrels, whereas it can be lethal to Red squirrels.
 

8

(Close-up shot) The computer screen showing the Wildwood Trust page on Red Squirrels.

 

(Audio) No audio.

(Voice over- CARRIS) But are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years…?
 

9

 

(Mid-close up) behind the computer we were using which changes focus from near to far.

 

(Audio) No audio.

(Voice over- GRACE) We were lucky enough to meet… of the Wildwood trust in Kent to investigate more upon this matter.
 

10

 

(Rule-of-thirds shot) showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. “………….”
11

 

(Three sequence shot):

1st – a mid-close up of water running out from the water fountain.

2nd– A focus-change shot from a college bench showing tree leaves blowing.

3rd– A close up of Carris in the college library reading a mammal book.

 

(Audio) The faint noises of wind blowing and the water fountain from outside. Audio cuts out when in the library.

“………….” (until the tracking part at approximately 1.40 seconds)
12 (Full-body shot) A piece-to-camera of Carris in the library next to a bookshelf.

 

(Audio) No audio.

(Live audio- CARRIS) So there we have it, after what has been said today, we can only think positive about the future of these little creatures in relation to what is being done and will be done to help them.

 

 

Below is my radio SFX script which i have also Harvard referenced at the bottom of it:

project 2 radio script

(Radio) SFX list and script:

Timing (seconds) Audio- Background sound effects, music. Script
0.00-0.08 No audio- until 0.06 seconds in which faint sounds of trees rustling and birds tweeting slowly creep in. The potential future of what we all know as the red squirrel is a constant ongoing debate and has been since they began their decline in the 1950s. (¹)
0.09-0.22 Wildlife- mild wind blowing in trees, birds tweeting Before then, they were a regular member of our woodlands, parks and even the cities we know of today. But where there’s a good, there’s a bad; the grey squirrels, which were native to North America at the time, were brought into the UK around 1876 as a method to bring some interest into the location (²).
0.23-0.36 Wildlife background sounds fade out slowly and fade out completely at 0.32 This has resulted in a severely worrying decline over the years in the number of red squirrels: from the 1950s when they started to show this negative effect, there were around 3.5 million in the UK- today, we’d be lucky if there are as many left as 140,000 (³).
0.37-0.52

 

Audio coming from outside with mumbling coming from the public. Many members of our towns and cities that have or had grey and red squirrels tend to believe that the grey squirrels’ powers to out-complete the red squirrels for food and resources. And they’re not wrong at all but it turns out that another major contributing factor to the red squirrels’ endangerment involves a very unheard of disease known as ‘Squirrel pox virus.’ (4)
0.53-1.02 Mumbling from the background continues until 0.57 In which I starts to fade out. This virus is passed on to the red squirrels from the grey squirrels-who are completely immune to it. As for the red squirrels though, all it means is bad news, and potential death.
1.03-1.19 The background noises of the wildlife trust staff talking occur but at a lower volume. But it may not be all bad news for the red squirrels; many wildlife trusts and organisations are working hard to reverse the effect of this endangerment. But like mentioned before: where there’s a good, there’s a bad; a number of places have resorted in grey squirrel-elimination acts such as removing them completely or even resorting in the culling of them (5).
1.20-1.45 No audio INTERVIEWEE: Talking about how the trust/other trusts are helping to save the red squirrels.
1.46-2.00 The audio of wildlife, birds whistling and trees blowing in the wind re-occur. Even though a positive can come with a negative, it can form back into a positive over time, as justified by the hard work being done to reverse the endangerment of red squirrels. With all the contributing factors towards their endangerment identified and the action towards these now being taken, the future of the red squirrels is leaning more on to the positive side of things.

 

 

References:

 

  1. Coles, J. (2015). How conservation is Saving Britain’s red squirrels. BBC-Earth, http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150924-how-conservation-is-saving-our-red-squirrels [accessed 5th January 2016].

 

  1. Unknown surname, C. (2008). How did the grey squirrel arrive in the UK? co.uk, http://www.woodlands.co.uk/blog/flora-and-fauna/how-did-the-grey-squirrel-arrive-in-the-uk/# [accessed 21st January 2015].

 

  1. Coles, J. (2015). How conservation is Saving Britain’s red squirrels. BBC-Earth, http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20150924-how-conservation-is-saving-our-red-squirrels [accessed 5th January 2016].

 

  1. BBC News- Magazine (2015). The place that has wiped our grey squirrels. BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34603394 [accessed 5th January 2016].

 

  1. BBC News- Magazine (2015). The place that has wiped our grey squirrels. BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34603394 [accessed 5th January 2016].

 

It also turned out that the Wildwood Trust may not be the only interview we’ll have for our project; we both came across the Red squirrel Survival Trust (RSST) during our research and Carris had sent an email asking for an interview on the Red squirrels’ endangerment. This was a very positive result as one of the members of the trust got back to her that same day saying that it could work out.

Below is the email reply we got from the RSST:

RSST Email

This was when Carris forwarded me the email and we thought that a Skype interview would be a great idea because it would give us the perfect opportunity to properly engage with the RSST worker and gain the thorough information we would need for our video, radio and article. This was also When Carris sent the email suggesting the Skype interview and we got a reply shortly suggesting Monday next week.

As or my ‘to do’ list for next week, the first task will obviously be to start filming the shots within our outside location- one of them will be a park within the Canterbury city to show where Squirrels, including Red, used to but may still live. We will use the shot script and schedule to tick off which shots we complete and ensure that we have a few seconds extra of each shot than stated to make cutting and editing it more flexible.

In terms of last week’s to do list, we have both completed our tasks we set ourselves successfully which means that our outside shots and even Audio recording for the radio piece can now go ahead as of when appropriate. However, we have not managed to organise a travel route to the Wildlife (Wildwood) Trust yet because we haven’t had any confirmation over the interview plans yet. Even though we both knew thought it would be best to wait until we hear word from them with the dates, times and days they offer, which will help us to organise our routes from there, we needed confirmation sooner than we were waiting for because we had to get started on our production very soon. This was why we went on to the Wildwood website and Carris found the educational email address which she sent our email to. This was a massive problem and burden taken away from us because the trust now had two copies of the same email in case something happened to our first one and it may have been the more appropriate email adress to sent it to anyway.

Project 2: Week 4 Summary (Production)

News Diary 25th-31st January 2016

It has recently been announced by Ofsted Chief Sir Michael Wilshaw- on behalf of the Ofsted, that school inspectors have every right to rate any school as ‘inadequate’ if they believe that the wearing of a full face veil is becoming a ‘barrier to learning’ (1), coming after an announcement from PM David Cameron stating a ban of Muslim women wearing face veils in various British institutions (2). This new policy, which was written to all Ofsted inspectors on Tuesday, is likely to affect or have affected over 16,000 children and students and ‘just under 1,000 teachers’ (3). The Ofsted Chief has said that the inspection company will work with heads and principals in this new ban in face veils being worn in schools- although this was a two-sided argument, with support from ministers but criticism from Muslim leaders (4). “I have also made clear to my inspectors that where leaders are condoning the wearing of the face veil by staff members or by pupils, when this is clearly hindering communication and effective teaching, they should give consideration to judging the school as inadequate,” replied Mr Wilshaw (5). However, not everyone is impressed with this new policy; Dr Sheik Howjat Ramzy ‘director of Iqra in Oxford’ said in response to this new policy “Not many pupils wear a veil. The veil doesn’t make pupils intelligent or not. It gives them their identity and security. Pupils have the right to wear the veils of they go to Islamic schools. That is no problem.” (6)

References:

1, 5: Coughlan, S. (2016) Ofsted can downgrade schools for Islamic veils. BBC News. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35411518 [accessed 27th January 2016]

4: Adams, R and Weale, S (2016) Ofsted chief backs schools that restrict ‘inappropriate wearing of veil.’ The Guardian Online. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jan/26/schools-inspector-issues-veil-warning [accessed 27th January 2016]

2, 3, 6:  Espinoza, J. (2016) Ofsted threatens to penalise schools where Muslim veil is worn. The Telegraph Online. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/12122713/Ofsted-to-mark-down-schools-if-wearing-the-veil-hinders-learning.html [accessed 27th January 2016]

This news story outlines some very important facts about how the education system is becoming more ‘stricter’ about the ratings they give schools but also how the whole story spread around. For example, David Cameron announcing it from the beginning and how it has only been as recent as this week that the Ofsted chief has confirmed this across the board. However, the facts also clearly state that there are some positives within this new policy but some very justifiable cons alongside it too; these are all backed up with vox pops and statistics within the story.

This is definitely a story that should be and is made newsworthy because it shows how one extra policy in an organisation can affect many schools all across the UK. These are supported with evidence from both sides of the argument- Such as Mr Wilshaw suggesting how a face veil can actually affect the overall performance of a school- and he’s correct to a degree because I can understand how teachers wearing a face veil can affect quality communication and the ability to understand some information as a result. But on the flip side, Dr Howjat Ramzy is 100% correct to me because There is no evidence carried out before or recently that any student wearing a face veil affects a school’s performance in any way. It also links the entire news story to discrimination and radicalisation due to the fact that this is being made into an issue which is almost nothing compared to what other issues are going on related to education and even other Islamic beliefs. For example, there is a steady rise on Islamophobia across the country, which may even may some reader suspicious as to why something as harmless as a face veil could bring down a school’s reputation…

News Diary 25th-31st January 2016

Project 2: Week 3 summary (pre-production)

This week has been mainly focusing on the audio side of the pre-production for our project. The main focus was to know how good quality audio is produced with as little background noise and so that the voice(s) aren’t too loud, quiet or has any scratches in it. We practiced this by finding three different locations which all had different levels of volume- one of which was outside. This was so that we could gain an understand of how we could overcome the problems that occurred to us then during our recording for the radio element of our project. During the loud location, I turned away from the direction of the traffic and experimented with the positioning of the zoom microphone a couple of times to ensure that all of my voice was captured in that one take- this applied to the outside and the quiet location as well.

 

As for my ‘to-do’ list from last week, Carris and I have both completed the task of presenting our research ideas to each other and have even conducted and sent the email to the wildlife trust asking for a face-to-face interview. Even though this was a massive step in planning our video shots, it was very hard to do so without the confirmation/offer from them yet. However, we did make a start on doing so with the shots we could take outside anyway, whether the interview works out or not. Below is the email we sent to the Wildwood (wildlife) Trust:

Wildwood email

We have both also completed the task of researching the content of our project by splitting the topics between us and sharing our findings, which meant that we could not only conduct the interview email but also begin (what we could) of our shot schedule as well as the scripting for our audio for it.

The completion of last week’s to-do list has helped me form next week’s one, which will be to: Plan our travel method for if the interview email is returned (and accepted to us) and to finish the voice-over script as part of out shots schedule. I have taken on the task of filling in the shots over the weekend and I will present this to Carris on Monday to see if she agrees with it. This won’t be a problem if she doesn’t agree with anything because we can always make adjustments to it as we go along with the production of it- this is also because we haven’t had confirmation for the interview and are trying to work around that ‘vacancy.’

Project 2: Week 3 summary (pre-production)

News Diary 8th-24th January

As of the year 2020, an official 20% ‘sugar tax’ will be imposed by the NHS in their hospitals and hospital catering departments in an attempt to tackle the obesity crisis head-on, as proposed by chief executive Simon Stevens. This ‘tax’ would be placed in many community, mental health and acute hospitals across the UK as well as every local health center in the country.

He also raised the fact that this 20% tax on surgery drinks and other similar snack items could bring in an extra £20- £40 million a year and that will be planned on being spent in order to improve the health of the 1.3 million NHS workers themselves. “Because of the role that the NHS occupies in national life, all of us working in the NHS have a responsibility not just to support those who look after patients but also to draw attention to and make the case for some of the wider changes that will actually improve the health of this country” Mr Stevens says.

He also commented on the fact that by 2020 there will be one of two outcomes: that all practices will be removed from NHS services and hospitals or the sugar tax will be “on the back of them”. Although many other health associations and the NHS believes it will help save billions of pounds and from the NHS’s budget, PM David Cameron is not so convinced. “What matters is we do make progress” replied Mr Cameron to journalists, also with the fact that the new taxes would not an appropriate resort to make.

Mr Stevens will also be making the effort to encourage food manufacturers to reduce the sugar that goes into their products as another tactic of dealing with the crisis. Adding to this, “It’s not just the well being of people in this country and our children. But it’s also the sustainability of the NHS itself.”

 

In a nutshell, the main facts of this news story is that: the NHS are going to be putting in place a sugar tax on many sugary beverages and snacks as of the year 2020, as proposed by chief executive Simon Stevens. He believes that this will reduce the obesity crisis in the UK massively and that it will also remove a load off the NHS’s shoulders and keep their budget lasting longer too. One of the main facts of this story is that PM David Cameron does not believe that this kind of resort is effective in any way.

This story may be a bit hidden behind the mainstream news stories but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s not news-worthy; everybody knows that this is a crisis that has been debated and ongoing for a number of decades now. So the fact that something as drastic as this has been resorted to in order to deal with it may make many people just realize how serious the government are on tackling the obesity crisis currently happening. However, many other people would agree that, including myself, the tax won’t stop people purchasing these sugary items completely. Also, I feel that there are some mixed messages within the proposals for this. For example, Stevens believes that this will reduce the number of people buying sugary drinks but he also adds the predicted the financial numbers that they could bring in. This could make the audience question whether or not this has properly been thought through enough to be carried out effectively- because this misleading point puts me off this plan completely, plus it also proves that it isn’t going to work to an extent if people are still going to be buying them.

This kind of tax is also unfair, mainly because they are forgetting the kinds of people who need this kind of sugar in their diets and people with medical conditions who can’t survive without it such type 1 Diabetics.

Another thing to point out relating to this is that it’s not just sugar that’s causing this crisis- what about salt and fat content of food/beverages? As much as I do (in a way) think this will work, I feel that the target audience will have their doubts about this as well. This may also be why it isn’t rally a mainstream news story (yet); because it’s promoting something which won’t happen until 4 years time; this tends to be the kind of event that will go ahead anyway, despite a voice from the public about it.

References:

BBC News. (2016). NHS England ‘to impose 20% sugar tax’ in hospital cafes. BBC News online, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35340752 [accessed 18th January 2016]

Campbell, D & Johnson, P. (2016). NHS chief to introduce sugar tax in hospitals to tackle UK obesity crisis. The Guardian, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/17/nhs-sugar-tax-hospitals-tackle-uk-obesity-crisis-simon-stevens [accessed 18th January 2016)

Hughes, T. (2016). NHS bringing in its own sugar tax to tackle the obesity crisis: hospitals to charge more for snacks and drinks in cafes and vending machines. The Daily Mail Online, available at :http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3404342/NHS-bringing-sugar-tax-tackle-obesity-crisis.html [accessed 18th January 2016]

News Diary 8th-24th January

Project 2: Week 3 skills practiced (pre-production).

This week, we have been turning away from video skills and moved towards practicing our audio skills. This will play a massive role in our second final project as a third of it will be the 2 minute radio piece and we needed to realize that any elements that could spoil the quality of the audio can make the whole piece sound inadequate and unprofessional. Such elements include: background noises, weather noises, how close or far the microphone is from the person’s mouth and even the positioning of the microphone.

The instructions we were given meant we had to choose three locations- a quiet, loud and an outside location and record a 10 second piece of audio describing that location. We were also given the zoom microphones in which we recorded our audio in and set off to our desired locations for recording. The zoom microphones we used were pretty self-explanatory because we had used the same make before but this was the first time we used these specific ones. We were also told that if we plugged our earphones into the microphones, we would be able to hear what we were recording. This was immediately a solved problem because we could hear how strong the background noises were in advance so that we wouldn’t be wasting time or microphone battery with repeatedly poor audio.

The fact that we decided to approach this task in small groups also related to our problem solving skills which we knew would need to be used at some point; for example, we all had to decide between a quite, loud and outside location. We decided to head into the main city to try and capture some of the outside/loud audio. However, some of the most obvious problems we faced included the traffic, wind and other people passing by. We all deliberately decided to carry out our load and/or outside audio recording here but, to overcome the problem, I faced away from the traffic and buses and raised my voice slightly more but not so much that the quality became poor or that the volume was too overwhelming. Another problem I faced was with he microphone itself because I had never used the style I used before and the audio-capturing parts to it were both at different angles. This meant that I had to experiment with positioning it in a way that would capture my voice and as little of the background noises as possible- which did work! However, it did mean that I couldn’t properly see how long I was recording for whilst actually recording, so it meant that by the end I had ended up with audio 7 seconds short at only 23 seconds. But this made me realize that next time I’m using these microphones, I will position them in a way where I can still receive good quality audio at the end but still within the time duration too.

Apart from this skill playing a massive part in my second final project, this undoubtedly plays a huge role in the industry within areas such as radio reporting, news reporting and even journalism. Many people don’t consider journalists to have this skill but when it comes to researching their topic, they have to have it at hand for vox pop interviews and face-to-face interviews. They will even used their vox pops and own recordings for putting together reports that appear on the radio and even on TV.

Below are the audio recordings I took today. There are three of them in total totaling around 23 seconds. The first one is the quiet one, the second is the loud one and the third is the outside one.

audio skills

Overall, in comparison with existing professional examples, I’d say that I haven’t done a bad job at all mainly because of the quality of the outcomes- which has been very positive considering the circumstances we were under. This was down to our problem-solving skills which clearly worked and as a result, we came out with very clear and good levels of audio without too much disturbance from the environment(s) and with my voice not being too loud, quite or scratchy in any of them. This is vital when it comes to professional works in industry because otherwise, the whole project will look of a poor and shabby quality just because of the audio levels- not to mention that the audience won’t be able to hear what is being said which will ruin the whole piece.

Project 2: Week 3 skills practiced (pre-production).

News Diary 11th- 17th January

Music sensation and singer David Bowie has very recently died on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69, due to an 18 month battle with cancer. This news was published not only across many forms of media but also on social media profiles stating the tragic event with statements such as “While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.” as stated via a Facebook statement.

After this unbelievable news was confirmed by David’s Publicist, many fans have paid their respect to him by turning certain European and US websites into memorials, as well as paying their tributes to him in these formats.

However, David was one of those artists who combined his illness with his music- with the evidence coming from his music video ‘Lazarus’ in it is set in a hospital with a fragile David Bowie seen covered in bandages. This track was also featured in his final album, “Blackstar” which was released just days before the tragic day of his death.

References:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-35278872

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/david-bowie-dead-singer-dies-after-18-month-battle-with-cancer-a6805826.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3393470/David-Bowie-dies-18-month-battle-cancer.html

For this story, the main points are that: 1970s musician David Bowie has very recently lost his 108-month battle with cancer and this was all confirmed via the media, news and social media. Many of his fans, family and even other music icons have paid their respect to him by creating memorials and tributes for him. Last but not least, he managed to keep his spirits up in a way by turning his last few days of reality into music, which is featured in his final album.

This story is definitely worth publishing in the news and across all mediums because David Bowie was a massive icon in the late 1960s and 1070s, plus he changed society quite a bit as well with the way changed people’ thoughts about certain elements of it, such as the gay community. The fact that he also turned his physical pain into music for his fans also shows that he was willing to carry on with what he loves in life most of all, despite the barriers he had faced along the way. However, I believe there is an argument to this; David Bowie was not the only hit musician to have passed away recently- rock legend ‘Lemmy’ dies in the same week period as David from the same cause. These were two great music icons in their era but there hasn’t been nearly as much news on Lemmy’s death as there has been on David Bowie’s death and not nearly as many of Lemmy’s music on the radio as David’s. This could possibly question whether it’s due to their popularity over their time and career or whether it could come down to favoritism by the media of today…

Another thing is that all of David Bowie’s songs were played on the radio AFTER he died rather than when he was alive or living his last few years. This seems very awkward because the radio are now making a massive deal of him when he’s died and when it’s too late.

 

News Diary 11th- 17th January