News Diary 7th-10th March

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has just revealed this Monday that she was tested positive for the banned substance known as Meldonium (1). This was before she was warned at least five times that the substance she was taking was banned, in which she had been taking for almost her entire career (2). As a result of this, Sharapova is now being faced with the increasing amount of questions related to the “following of her fail drug test” (3) and ,may of her fans and sponsors are deliberately becoming more distanced from her  (4). However, this drug, as commented on by Latvian manufacturers, is ‘normally prescribed for periods of just four to six weeks, though the treatment can be repeated two or three times a year’ (5). Adding on to this, it seems that Sharapova’s explanation on her 10-year history of taking Meldonium will be placing her career on the breadline, especially since winnin Wimbledon at the age of 17 (6). Nick Pound, Wada’s founding president replied to all of this, “all tennis players were given notification of it and she has a medical team somewhere. That is reckless beyond description.” (7)

References:

3, 5: Newman, P. (2016) Maria Sharapova: Russian ditched by sponsors as questions swirl around her Meldonium use. The Independent, available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/maria-sharapova-russian-ditched-by-sponsors-as-questions-swirl-around-drug-use-a6920196.html [accessed 9th March 2016]

2,6, 7: Rumbsy, B (2016) Maria Sharapova warnedfive times that Meldonium was being banned. The Telegraph Online, available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2016/03/08/maria-sharapova-clouds-gather-over-tennis-star/ [accessed 9th March 2016].

1,4: BBC Sport- Tennis. (2016) Maria Sharapova failed drugs test ‘reckless’. BBC News, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/35757814 [accessed 9th March 2016]

As for this news story, I was very surprised at first to hear that one of the best sportswoman for 11 years has been tested for drug-use. However, when I heard that she was Russian, that didn’t surprise me at all. This was because there has been so much recent history and news of Russian athletes using performance-enhancing drugs and the fact they may be unable to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympics due to all this.

This news story is obviously going to be a big deal to many people, especially Sharapova’s sponsors and fans- but also many fans of tennis in general because even this seems to be an inherent factor of Russian sports today, it could eventually be as big as the news story of Lance Armstrong’s ‘get-away’ with his doping during the Tour De France. Both of these stories make me bring on the question of how long athletes are getting away with using these performance-enhancing drugs, why they are taking them in the first place and the most important one (to me) how accessible these drugs are becoming to so many athletes in so many countries.

Many of the rumoured and predicted reasons nowadays tend to be the pressured on athletes to be able to achieve certain abilities and even look a certain way. It’s like I said, before- today, they are just so easy to get hold of .

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News Diary 7th-10th March

Project 2: Week 9 Final Post Evaluation.

Now that I have completed the production of my final 2 minute video piece, 2 minute radio piece and 500 word article, they have all given me a lot to look back on and reflect on in terms of: all the issues that put my problem-solving skills to the test; how much my skills have developed over the production since before I begun; and even how my knowledge of interactivity has expanded over this time period.

There’s  no doubt that I have faced problems and/or technical issues at some point during all stages of production. But where we have faced problems there has always been a positive outcome: for example, Carris and I both faced the same issue time after time again with not having the available tripods or having to re-book our equipment for a different day since we simply wouldn’t have time to complete what we assigned ourselves to complete. But using our previous knowledge of finding substitutes such as benches, banisters and railings as ‘tripods’, they avoided the use of amateurish shakes during the shots and as a result, made our video piece much more professional. In relation to the radio piece, this may have been easier and much less time-consuming to complete but that doesn’t mean that it came with no problems at all! For instance, when we managed to book out the professional zoom mics we were rushed for time so didn’t manage to accurately  record each voice-over according to its required duration. Even though using my phone to complete this destroyed some of the quality slightly, it meant that I could increase the levels of background audio to try and block some of the imperfections out- which did make the radio piece sound more related to the topic being reported. However, I’d happily say that, for me personally, the interactive article was the easiest to complete since I only had one main problem which was with the referencing- The solution to this was one of the most effective I had probably come across in the entire production since Scott showed me how to reference my article without having links and numbers in the way of each information. This was through applying links through a WordPress tool that linked them without them being visual in my writing. Not only is this housekeeping to the next level but this solution has allowed me to keep my final blog post tidy and of a high industry-standard. definitely worth using as part of my final major project!

Technical Visual:

One event that immediately comes to my mind is before the interview with the Wildwood trust. I’d happily say that this was my biggest problem to deal with because we had to rapidly come up with difficult choices at very short notice- even by postponing the interview since we couldn’t book out the equipment on time.  Despite this, our problem-solving solutions made it 100% worth while because the interview itself was a success, we gathered all the footage we needed and this problem was resolved eventually through the teamwork of Carris and I. But compared to the other problems we faced during filming, this was definitely the strongest. Although this felt like an extreme negative at the time, it did teach me the reality of what can actually occur in the industry since these problem do happen and tough decisions will have to me made at very short notice- a vital skill for me to now reflect on, as well as for Carris.

Another point to add to this is that the other problems we faced such as not having the correct equipment available or setting up the tripod was fairly simple to overcome because we had already had those experienced previously and we just used our memories of how the equipment worked and was set up before.  As for the final piece itself though, I’d happily say that if we didn’t face up to any of the problems we faced along the way, the video wouldn’t look of the high quality it looks now. Even when it came to the voice-overs for it, even when we were rushed (alongside the voice-overs for the radio piece) I came up with the solution of recording on my phone at home where I could have 100% guarantee silence and I could concentrate for as long as I required. As a result, this did make such a huge improvement to both the video and radio pieces. However, even though there were a few buffs here and there, I did what I did with the radio piece and increased some of the background volume as much as I needed. Even though this didn’t solve the problem completely, it did to a degree and even formed a positive out of it because the background audio seemed to enhance the video more and make it look more professional yet realistic.

In my opinion, the reason that the production of the video piece and shots were all a success and of a good quality was because we never overcame any problems by ourselves- we were always there to aid each other with our own knowledge and skills to overcome them. This also applied to the video’s quality of depth and detail of information because during the pre-production stages we each came up with our own ideas in which we shared with each other, researched and scripted into the video- which also helped us to come up with suitable interview questions. One problem which we never went about along was all of the interviews carried out, whether it was the phone call interview or the live filmed interview. We always decided together what to say in the emails and came up with solutions together- which is why our interviews were successful and as a result, we gathered all the detailed information we needed for our production piece.

Technical Audio:

As for the 2 minute radio piece,  I’d say that due to it having less problems to face made it easier to complete but overall, didn’t really do the quality of it any favours since I didn’t have that opportunity to face up to the problem and eliminate it to make the quality better. However, in relation to the problems that did arise, they were very easy to resolve because it was mainly down to: either using the appropriate editing tools on Adobe Audition and/or experimenting with the recording equipment and surrounding environments- both of which definitely affected the final quality of it positively plus the fact that I have very recent and repeated experience with the software so I was able to crack on with accomplishing the solution with ease. Yet again, the fact that our previous knowledge of similar problems we faced in the past that helped us to overcome our ones with the radio piece. For instance, learning how to position the zoom mic was a skill that solved the problem of audio quality because when we did use it we wanted to capture as much of the voices as we wanted without missing any or having it becoming blurred and/or sounding fuzzy. This was when we remembered how we experimented with the positioning of it in order to capture as much audio as we could. This meant that when we did use the zoom mics for parts of our production, it benefited the overall sound quality for all these reasons.

However, there were some problems we faced that did impact the final radio piece in a negative way. When we did use the zoom mics we did receive good quality audio but as we were rushed I didn’t get the accurate timing for them. this was when i had no choice but to use my phone since all the zoom mics were booked out but this only made the quality not nearly as good as previously. But the solution to this problem did help with the quality slightly because I used Adobe Audition to increase the volume of background audio I applied in an attempt to block out some of the fuzziness and buffing sounds. I did this in a way that it wouldn’t affect the quality of the voice overs but it also blocked out as much of the unwanted interruptions as possible.

This did teach me a lesson on how to improve the overall quality of the voice-overs however; if I am offered a quiet space to record in I will not accept it if there is a  tight time limit because that was the reason we had to give up our production and spare time in order to re-record something which could have been achieved perfectly before. This will also give me the chance to book in advance to ensure we get that quiet space and to book out the zoom mic for that time too so we could still achieve maximum quality for the video and radio voice-overs.

I feel that all the final quality of the final radio piece has made it perfectly clear that problems have definitely been thrown at us- but on the positive side, not enough so that I haven’t been able to produce a successful piece which: consists of detailed content of the endangerment of red squirrels; contains vox pops in order to make it sound more believable and background audio to make the audience engage with it as much as possible. I feel the fact that all of these elements combines along with the professionalism in my tone of voice has proved that my problem-solving skills have definitely been worth while. Even though there have been problems that show up on it such as buffing sounds but I tried to resolve these as much as possible with editing it on Adobe Audition. And finally, looking at the flaws compared to the positives of the radio piece, the positives weigh out the flaws by a mile.

Technical online-based writing and interactivity:

As for my online writing skills for the article and overall final blog post, I honestly feel that I have had not so many skills to develop on here because we have probably had the least number of writing skills to develop on throughout the project and, even though we have looked into why online news should have links and interactivity, we haven’t actually practised this for real yet. This is why I am extremely proud of my efforts with how the article and final blog post has turned out because the only pieces of support I’ve had altogether with this are: having someone proof-read my article and Scott showing me how to apply the links to references when my article was applied to the blog post- which was a completely new skill to me which I am perfectly confident to use in the future.

I thin I can also happily say that these are the only main problems I could overcome with the final article- but unlike the radio piece, they haven’t resulted in a poorer quality than I hoped but it was a challenge to organise and use what research and leftover interviews I had in a way that made sense, followed an understandable order and met the 500 word limit. As for all my research and interviews, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I had to reference every piece I used and so, I tried t used something from everything in order to include as much depth, detail yet relevant information as possible. This also included going back to the interview we had with the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST) and using some of the interview in it which I thought was relavent for what text was applied. I also realised I hadn’t used that interview within any of the project yet so that was the perfect chance to.

Despite the minor struggles with referencing and wording the article, this wasn’t too bad to complete because I had completed all the pre-production and production work itself so the rest of the project time enabled me to focus on the article. This time was definitely worth while due to the problems I faced and the struggle at first to apply my first words to the article. However, a factor which definitely helped me and made the article of an industry-standard was my knowledge of how online news articles should be applied and ordered on the page, how an active headline should be present and a short but engaging headline. In my eyes, I feel that these were the main elements of my final bog post that made it one of the most successful pieces if the project.

Obviously, the whole production, the skills I have used to overcome problems or new skills I have learned in general have all given me a lot to think about in terms of my final major project. I know for a fact that I will not be using any video or audio skills in this because my final major project will be print-based. I have decided that I will be doing a photography magazine which will hold the purpose of why photography exists as a hobby and a career and what it means to people and professionals. It will consist of research and possible interviews with professional and also some of my own work; since my personal blog features all my photos and writing about them, I will have that as a comfortable starting point. However, in terms of developing my skills for my final major project, I don’t feel that the writing pat will get in the way at all because when it comes to writing formally and factually I can always refer to my first Final project and the article for my project 2. when it comes to writing for my own work too, that will be a breeze because like I previously said, I have my own personal blog to refer to and I know my own writing style.

Although I said that I wouldn’t require any video or audio skills in my final major project, the Wildwood interview comes into my head immediately and the RSST interview too, because those problems required some of my strongest problem-solving skills- which I will prepare myself for big time when it comes to any interviews I carry out for this next project.

Project 2: Week 9 Final Post Evaluation.

Project 2: Week 9 final post-Red squirrels

After years of endangerment, hope arises for the red squirrel.

squirrel 3

The survival of the red squirrel has been a worrying battle since their decline during the 1950s in the UK, but wildlife trusts are helping to end this for good.

 The red squirrel was a once-common resident of our country, a major part of our heritage and was always recognised by the citizens of our country. That was until the 1950s though. What we know of these harmless mammals today now brings on the possibility of extinction through multiple but, to many of us, evident causes.

This is ever since their opposing species- the grey squirrels, which were all native to North America at the time, were transported into the UK during the late 19th century. Since then, there has been a severely concerning drop in the population of red squirrels, starting from 3.5 million to as few as 140,000 left in the UK today.

This decline of the red squirrels is evidently a result of the species becoming outcompeted by their opposing rivals for food and natural resources, as well as another known contributing factor being damage to their habitat.

Although, one major element to blame for the red squirrels’ endangerment is the ‘squirrel parapox virus’ which is carried by the grey squirrels and passed on to the red squirrels. Sadly though, the reds are the ones who always pay the price for it and die within 15 days of catching the virus.

All these factors plus the dramatic drop resulting in the red squirrels’ endangerment has been the main cause as to why varied actions are being carried out in order to ‘tackle’ this national issue: Scotland seem to have a lead start with their methods consisting of collecting the red squirrels to be “relocated to new areas” which is known to be around 10 of them.

However, all these new locations are yet to be confirmed but the endangered mammals are to be collected from areas such as Inverness and Moray where the populations are considered “healthy.”

Action to save these harmless mammals may be under way, but where there’s a good, there’s a bad; the capturing, culling and killing of the grey squirrels as an attempt to protect the reds has become the most ideal option to many people.

Anglesey- just off the North-West coast of Wales has not only taken part in an 18 month culling them, but it was also deemed official afterwards that they are a “grey squirrel-free zone.”

squirrel 4    squirrel 5

“With red squirrel conservation, there’s also about putting feed boxes, monitoring squirrel Parapox virus, taking samples.” Replied Mr Adrian Vass of the Red squirrel Survival Trust (RSST). “One of the jobs I’m trying to do is develop a Parapox virus vaccine for red squirrels, using a genetic methodology” commented Mr Vass in response to the issue of the squirrel Parapox virus.

Although the future of the red squirrel is looking positive with every helping hand, the endangerment of them still remains a national issue.

squirrel 6

Top related stories:

Project to extend Anglesey red squirrel habitat to Gwynedd takes share of £1.2m funding pot.

Red squirrel ‘safe haven’ under threat from greys.

Grey squirrels breach Highland Red Squirrel Protection Line.

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Project 2: Week 9 final post-Red squirrels

Project 2: Week 8 project summary

I can happily say, in relation to the progress for my project, that I have every faith in being able to complete all three elements of it- the 2 minute video piece, radio piece and 500 word article. I am now officially in the stage of post-production which means that the tasks I am yet to complete are: the 2 minute radio piece and the 500 word article. I have already finished the video piece since I came in on Friday specifically to do that. However, I was unable to access Adobe Audition to complete the radio piece then so I knew that I could make a start on that as soon as I could because I already had the recorded audio uploaded on to my drive and the script completed weeks before the recording.

On Monday though, I had shown my completed video piece to my tutor who gave me some feedback on it on how to improve it and even what the strengths about it were. For instance, the piece-to-cameras were framed well along with the interview shots showing a clear rule-of-thirds and professional side gaze. He also commented positively on the focus-change shots as well as some of the establishing shots which all showed clarity and definition. But he did comment on some of the elements that could do with some improvement to the overall piece. Examples included: both piece-to-cameras being cut off too soon and could be extended slightly or even faded out to look more extended. Two of the shots were the opposite and lasted too long and needed to be cut down by 2 seconds maximum. This worked out quite well because I had 2 shots too long and 2 shots too short so the cut-down shots would make room for the other shots to be extended, even if it meant reusing some shots which were already used.

As for the article though, that is what I turned my focus to for the first day because the next day we would be proof-reading each other’s to check for any errors in grammar, format and/or punctuation. Even though this didn’t take me as long as some other aspects of the production process, I needed to make this a priority because I had to ensure that: the content was correct and referenced; layered out in a professional manner and generally included the content it needed. I also needed to consider this in the context of the final blog post as well because this will be going on the same post as both the video and radio piece and the overall format of the post will need to be layered out in a style that looks professional and interesting to read- which brings us back to the theory posts we investigated the past few weeks.

These posts have allowed us to investigate several things: why online/internet news may be the next way of learning about the news and our world and also how the layout, style, content and interactivity makes an article readable and makes people want to read an article. These are vital elements to consider when producing my final blog post because I want my three pieces to look interesting enough for someone who would read it to want to read it- just like in the industry.

However, I will have to come up with solutions to some of the problems that I will definitely come across. A perfect example includes finding a method of embedding the video and radio audio. I was told by my tutor, who told all of us, that methods such as creating a private YouTube account and Soundcloud are good ways of uploading the video and audio because they would appear on the screen as you would probably see them in online news rather than embedded in PowerPoint- making it look childish and unprofessional. Links within an article are great ways for people who want to find out further information from the current one just read and/or who want to find out more about the topic in general. This is why I will be including at least three links in my post, all of which will be leading to other stories related to the endangerment of red squirrels. If I wasn’t to include links or even if a real article wasn’t to include these, then the people reading it wouldn’t be able to access further information and therefore, may not see any worth in reading the current article. I will carry this process out by what Scott had showed me with referencing my article:  inserting the link using one of the tools available as part of editing the final blog post which is making the whole piece even more interactive and intriguing to read.

However, one of the main problems to overcome for me personally is the shearability within my final blog post. There is zero doubt that I will have to include this because nearly every onlne news article of today has some visually available method of sharing the article on places like social media.  To overcome this I will include images of the icons for the different sites the page can be shared on but also have the name of the website in writing so that I can still link it to the actual social media pages. And finally, as for the images that I will be featuring in my final blog post, I will be gathering the majority of these from existing online sources and I will be (using my knowledge from the previous theory posts) around one picture and/or interactive piece per 2 average-sized paragraphs. The reasons for this are that because our generation have such short attention spans the page must have visual and interactive elements in it to engage the audience and keep their attention close to the page.

Tuesday 8th March:

Today I had finished my 500 word article which I had proof-read in the afternoon by my project partner Carris. She did pick up on a couple of elements that needed top be checked over such as minor grammatical and punctuation errors in a few places. However, it was Scott who highlighted the main error I made with my referencing- since I had to reference where I used my secondary research in the article. He made not that the referencing I put in place wasn’t correct for the article piece, since I had put in brackets where each link the relevant information referred to. He advised me to, firstly, remove the brackets but keep all the links because he showed me a way in which I could link it differently using my final blog post. This was by using a little tool which allows me to link the text with the correct URL but in a way that doesn’t visibly interrupt the article. Not only is this problem-solving in relation to another class member helping to make my work look more professional but also in a way that still allows me to reference my work without being accused of plagiarism at the end.

Today, I also prepared for the upload of my radio piece by creating my Soundcloud account- which would allow me to upload my radio piece to my final blog post without having to embed it into a PowerPoint document. This will also increase the levels of professionalism within the final blog post. However, it will not be possible for me to carry out this process until I have completed my radio piece- which had introduced a couple of problems for me: Some of the voice-overs have minor but unwanted sounds in the background such as scratches and popping sounds. Even though these are minor they were enough to ruin the overall quality of the voice-over, it wasn’t possible for me to book out any of the zoom mics since all the equipment was booked out for the week and it was my phone which had caused the quality problems anyway. Repeating the recording wouldn’t have made much difference to it which I why I tried to edit out as much of the background noises as I could but at the same time, increased the background audio I deliberately applied to the radio piece like the wildlife and nature sound affects to block out as much of the unwanted noises as possible.

However, I have been face-to-face with a difficult problem all week which is the fact that next week I am on work experience and that is also the week which the final blog post is due for hand-in. This is why I stayed on after lessons on Wednesday afternoon to ensure that every piece of work that required the used of Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro was completed and uploaded on to my YouTube and Soundcloud account. This is because I could used my free time at home to experiment and play around with the layout and format in which all three elements should go in on my final blog post- whilst also using the knowledge of my two theory blog posts. This way I am still meeting the set deadline for this project but organising my time wisely so that I get everything done but at a steady pace.

Project 2: Week 8 project summary

News Diary 29th February-4th March

A very recent urge has been made by as many as 70 health experts (1) and doctors to call a ban on the act of rugby tackling in schools across the UK and Ireland (2). This comes down to the result of a “high risk of serious injury among under-18s.” (3) Along with tackling becoming a ban, this also applies to other contact within the sport-although schools will be encouraged to move to this or touch versions of the game (4). Such injuries that occur within school rugby include: concussions, fractures, both head and spinal injuries, ligamentous tears and shoulder dislocations- all of which can “have short-term, lifelong and life-ending consequences for children” (5). However, according to Rugby Football Union (RFU), the correct quality of coaching and training will help to reduce the risk of injuries among its players- along with “correct medical support and appropriate player behaviour” (6).

References:

2, 5: Sellgren, K. (2016) Doctors urge schools to ban tackling in rugby. BBC News, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35696238 [accessed 2nd March 2016]

1, 4: Quinn, B. (2016) UK experts call for ban on tackling in school rugby. The Guardian online, available at: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/02/uk-health-experts-call-for-ban-on-tackling-in-school-rugby [accessed 2nd march 2016]

3, 6: Burman, J. (2016) Doctors plead with Government to ban tackling in school rugby games. Daily Express online, available at: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/649042/Doctors-Health-Officials-Government-Rugby-Concussions-Schools-Children-18-year-old [accessed 2nd March 2016]

As for this news story, I had very mixed feelings about it before we started looking more in depth at it. For instance, I knew that this news story would gather a lot of attention because of how many people it would affect and how it made me question the enforcement of it. On the flip side though, it did made immediately make me wonder why it was even headline news because from looking at the headline it looked like just another proposal that is among many others made like this so frequently. However, after looking deeper into this it made me notice lots of different connections and link to it. For example, it highlights how different sports were taught overtime in schools and as an actual event. Many schools nowadays are very health-and-safety conscious and focus more on technique and how to perform these techniques safely. This overall element makes me ask whether the health professionals and doctors are genuinely concerned about this issue o if they are overreacting slightly over something that is kind of being taken care of by schools themselves.

Also, this news story relates to not only the Rio 2016 Olympic games happening this year but also another recent story related to the Rio 2016 games. This was how Russia has been banned from competing in the Rio 2016 games due to doping among most athletes. Even both these two are completely different stories, they are both share the same situation- which means that this one story could probably have a knock-on affect for these events in the future: whether non-contact rugby will remain in schools or even carry through to the Olympic games- and whether Russia will or will not be participating in any future athletics due to their doping history.

However, it’s not just rugby that poses these kinds of injury risks; all sports have some form of injury risk. And it turns out that its not just rugby that are taking these measures to reduce injuries and concussions: Boxing has been known to ensure that headgear are  removed as a method of preventing concussions too. As a result of this, it makes me also question why rugby is the only sport that has been targeted to reveal the changes that are being made in it. In my opinion, the headgear within boxing should be making headline news because it should pose even more of a injury risk than doing anyone a favour.

It also turns out that many players or athletes who have had repeated and/or significant injuries (especially to the head) will, overtime, develop mental health conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s- which, in my opinion makes me have severely mixed feelings about the arguments within this news  story; I agree that this could prevent some tragically early cases of these mental health illnesses but on the flip side, I still believe that this issue of preventing rugby tackling is still being made more of a deal than it should be. I also still believe this because of the headgear removal in boxing- that is something which can cause more debate since it poses more of a risk than a benefit.

News Diary 29th February-4th March

Project 2: Week 7 project summary

This week, following on from last week, I continued my updates on my 2 minute video piece. First of all, I removed all the voice-overs that didn’t fit in with the shots sequence and made a start on applying the interview shots we took at Wildwood on Friday. Whilst doing this, I consulted my shots schedule so that I could relate the shots to mainly the duration that was listed on it.

Although this was handy to a strong degree, this introduced a new problem with the whole video in general: On the shots schedule it had each shot duration listed. But on the next shot, it skipped 1 second and this pattern repeated throughout until the 2 minute mark. On the actual video itself though, I had not left this 1 second jump so that each shot lead straight on to the next one. I realize this when I was constantly wondering why I was being left with seconds between each shot allocated in the correct shot according to the schedule. This made me decide to remove the shots that were of the incorrect duration and re-applied, edited and placed them into their correct position and duration. Overall this was a bit of a headache but I was more relieved than anything because I’d rather have found the error now than rush at the last minute to fix it or realize the error at the very end.

Adding on to this, I realized that we had the interview all done and dusted for the video piece but I am yet to carry out any vox pops for any of it. However, I asked my tutor if I could use these as part of my radio piece and when he said yes, I carried some out with my class mates. For conducting my questions, I only decided to conduct two since the radio piece is only two minutes and I don’t want to run overtime with it. It did also mean tweaking my radio script a little bit in order to make room for these vox pops but this wasn’t a problem since I already had a piece of the script linking to the vox pops I was planning to use anyway.

This week, my to-do list will consist of re-recording the incorrect voice-overs for the video and radio piece and (if possible) come into college on Thursday or Friday (when I have no classes) to use the LRC in order to apply all of them together. This extra time to get it all complete will be endlessly helpful for me since next week my main priority will be the 500 word article which I will definitely make a start on, whether or not I have finished the video and radio piece 100%. if this is the case though, I will be sure to make time to finish both.

Friday 4th March:

Today was the day I came in to use the college library to complete my 2 minute video piece. This was fairly easy for me to do because I had recorded the voice-overs on my phone last night as intended- which I did in my room where I could guarantee some quiet whilst recording. I did manage to apply these to Adobe premiere Pro successfully but it did mean that I had to reshuffle some of my video shots around in order to fit them. However, this was very minimal because  on Wednesday I exported the video without voice overs so that I could record whilst watching them to ensure I got the timing correct for each one. But I had to reshuffle some of the shots anyway because I encountered the problem of my video not quite reaching 2 minutes- which was a real headache because I thought that I had. Though this was by only around 10 seconds. This was when I had the idea of adding in an extra voice over discussing the culling of the grey squirrels- which had more video footage of the red squirrels. I also realised to myself that increased footage of the red squirrels was a good idea because they are so rare to many people nowadays so seeing more of the species would show them what beautiful and harmless creatures they are- which is why many trusts are working hard to protect them!

As a result of the shuffling of video footage, it did mean updating my shots schedule and shooting script a bit so that it would help me keep on track not only with the voice-overs but also with the timings of each shot/sequence too.

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) This is where many of us are everyday…
 

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) 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) 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- with the evidence being a worrying decline of them.
 

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) 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) This worrying decline is the result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by the greys…
 

6

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

 

(Audio) No audio.

(VOICE OVER) …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) This virus is passed on in a way that means it’s totally immune to the Grey Squirrels (³). whereas it can be lethal to Red squirrels. But the question is: are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years…?
 

8

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

 

(Audio) No audio.

We were lucky enough to visit the Wildwood trust in Kent- who have spent a number of years…
 

9

 

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

 

(Audio) No audio.

…helping to protect these vulnerable creatures in order to investigate more upon this matter.
 

10

 

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

 

(Live audio) The faint sounds of birds tweeting and gentle breeze in the background.

INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels- (Live)
11

 

(Three sequence shot) All of the shots show mid-close ups of the red squirrels.

 

(Live audio) The faint sounds of birds tweeting and gentle breeze in the background.

INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels- (Live)
12 (Mid-close up) A mid-close up of a red squirrel in its enclosure.

 

(Live audio) The faint sounds of birds tweeting and gentle breeze in the background.

(VOICE OVER) We know that the act of culling has been considered amongst many wildlife trusts. But what are the options for this one?
13 (Rule-of-thirds shot) A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust.

 

(Live audio) The faint sounds of birds tweeting and gentle breeze in the background.

INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels- (Live)
14 (Rule-of-thirds shot) A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust.

 

(Live audio) The faint sounds of birds tweeting and gentle breeze in the background.

INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels- (Live)
15 (Three sequence shot)

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

2nd a focus change shot from a bench outside the college.

3rd a close-up of Carris reading from a book on mammals in the library.

 

(Audio)- The faint sounds of a water fountain in the background but fades away when the shot changes.

(VOICE OVER) From what we have witnessed just now of the endangered red squirrel and what harmless beautiful creatures they are, who wouldn’t want to save them? From what action is being taken currently, the future of the red squirrel seems more and more positive.
16 (Piece-to-camera shot) A piece-to-camera shot in the library of Carris looking directly into the camera.

 

(Audio) Background noises of fain chatter coming from the library.

(LIVE AUDIO) So there we have it, after what has been said today, we know more about the future of these creatures and what is being 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].

 

  1. Northern Red Squirrels, available at: http://www.northernredsquirrels.org.uk/squirrels/squirrel-pox-virus/ [accessed 6th March 2016)

 

Project 2 shot schedule

Time Shot type Image Script
0.00-0.02 seconds Establishing shot An establishing shot of the Busy city centre with busses passing by. This is where many of us are everyday…
0.03-0.8 seconds Establishing shot Another establishing shot but of a nearby park which features squirrels (mainly grey). But this is one of many places where the problem lies.
0.8-0.18 seconds Three sequence shot 1st– a mid-close up of plant bed area of the entrance.

2nd– another establishing shot of the view of the park

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

Ever since the introduction of the Grey Squirrels during the 1870s (¹), the Red Squirrels have clearly met their match due to their opposing species’ powers to compete for food and natural resources- with the evidence being a worrying decline of them.
0.19-0.30 seconds Full body shot A full body shot of me walking towards the camera in the same park location 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).
0.30-0.37 seconds Tracking shot

 

 

The tracking shot of Carris and I walking along the path of the park This worrying decline is the result of the Red squirrels becoming out-competed by the greys…
0.37-0.41 seconds Close-up shot A close-up shot of my hand on the computer mouse. …as well as catching what is known as ‘squirrel pox virus’ from the Grey Squirrels.
0.41-0.53 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.

 

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 (³)

But the question is: are these the only reasons that these species have become endangered over recent years..?

0.53-0.58 seconds Close-up shot A close-up shot of the computer screen showing the Wildwood Trust page on Red Squirrels. We were lucky enough to visit the Wildwood trust in Kent- who have spent a number of years…
0.58-1.03 minutes 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. …helping to protect these vulnerable creatures in order to investigate more upon this matter.
1.03-1.08 minutes Rule-of-thirds shot A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. INTERVIEWEE: Talking about how they are protecting the red squirrels
1.08-1.19 minutes Three sequence shot All of the shots show mid-close ups of the red squirrels. INTERVIEWEE: Talking about how they are protecting the red squirrels
1.19-1.27 minutes Mid-close up A mid-close up of a red squirrel in its enclosure. We know that the act of culling has been considered amongst many wildlife trusts. But what are the options for this one?
1.28- 1.30 minutes Rule-of-thirds shot A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels.
1.31-1.36 minutes Mid-close up Another mid-close up of a red squirrel in its enclosure. INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels.
1.36- 1.39 minutes Rule-of-thirds shot A rule-of-thirds shot showing an interview with the member of the wildlife trust. INTERVIEWEE: Talking about their opinions on culling the grey squirrels.
1.39- 1.52 minutes Three sequence shot 1st a mid-close up of water running out from the water fountain.

2nd a focus change shot from a bench outside the college.

3rd a close-up of Carris reading from a book on mammals in the library.

From what we have witnessed just now of the endangered red squirrel and what harmless beautiful creatures they are, who wouldn’t want to save them? From what action is being taken currently, the future of the red squirrel seems more and more positive.
1.52-2.00 minutes Piece-to-camera shot A piece-to-camera shot in the library of Carris looking directly into the camera. So there we have it, after what has been said today, we know more about the future of these creatures and what is being 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].

 

  1. Northern Red Squirrels, available at: http://www.northernredsquirrels.org.uk/squirrels/squirrel-pox-virus/ [accessed 6th March 2016)

 

However, just as I was going to complete my radio piece, I face the problem of the college computers being unable to allow me to upload any of my audio files to Adobe Audition. This was a problem for me because it meant that it wasn’t possible for me to complete any of it at that time. This was when I made the choice to, since I had: completed the video completely; had my radio piece voice-overs and vox pops at hand; and had my radio script completed, to wait until Monday morning to finish my radio piece. I was going to spend most of next week putting most of my attention towards my article but since I know pretty much what I have to do for everything, I feel that the radio piece will take me the morning at the most- which will leave me plenty of time to get moving with the 500 word article.

In terms of the 2 minute limit for the radio piece, I will find it a bit harder to make this last for 2 minutes exactly because with the video piece I had the video footage lasting for 2 minutes and the voice-overs in the background. However, whilst recording I have been looking at the radio script and repeatedly recording it until it reaches the time on the script- as well as having a few additional seconds added to it in case I need to fill in any time or even if I need to space each one out between each other.

Project 2: Week 7 project summary

Project 2: Week 6 project summary

This week, in terms of our actual production, we had managed to achieve a number of goals. Firstly, I managed to complete nearly all the voice-overs I required for both my video piece and radio piece.

This immediately raised many problems before we even set foot to do it: for instance, we had to find a quiet room to do it in since this would resolve any background noises and interruption from outside. This was when Carris and I immediately considered the room in the college library- the same room we did our phone interview with the Red squirrel Survival Trust in. However, when we went to see if the room was available we were told that we only had around 20 minutes before it was to be used by someone else. Even though this was inconvenience to the next level, we both decided to take it rather than leave it. Even though we recorded the voice-overs in that time, the restricted time had a negative effect on the results; I realized that they were either too short than the planned duration on my shooting script and/or didn’t sound professional enough (especially for the radio pieces.) I realized this when I continued with the editing of my video piece- which made me come up with a solution which would be to finalize the video piece with only the voice-overs that did fit in and re-record the ones that didn’t by watching the video as I am recording. If I was to do this, it would be more likely to allow me to have better judgement as to how long each voice-over should be. Knowing this will also allow me to use the best tone of voice and speed for the voice-over.

However, one of the major tasks we both accomplished this week was conducting the interview with the Wildwood trust on Friday. Even though Carris and I both ran into many major obstacles along the way-especially before the interview- the interview itself went extremely well and even better than planned in some cases. For instance, We gathered all the information we needed and had all our questions answered; The location in which we filmed our interviewee was perfect (right in front of the red squirrel enclosure) and we also gathered some shots of the red squirrels themselves to use in the 2 minute video. I feel that many of the interviewee shots we used were very professional in areas such as the gaze, the head not touching the top of the screen, remembering the rule-of-thirds shot and not going below the chest too much. However, I feel that we could have made more care as to achieving the perfect rule-of-thirds shot by: adjusting the camera position and angle after each shot to make each one as identical as possible.

We did manage to capture some different shots of the squirrels as well which was rather exciting for me since we could experiment with different angles and close-ups to make each one more unique and able to be used in different places in the video. adding on to this, it was the first time that I had ever seen red squirrels myself so it kind of made me feel more connected to them and engaged with them. This also applied to the interview because even though I already knew a bit prior to it, it was fascinating to engage with the information I never knew about them before.

As for before the interview though, almost none of it went to plan; First of all, Carris had previously agreed to book out the equipment and meet me at Wildwood for 10 o’clock. However, she messaged me whilst I was on my way saying that she was stuck in traffic and asked me if I would be able to book out the equipment. This severely cut time short for me because I had planned my bus journey so that I could catch my next bus shortly after that one. However, I agreed to do this because Carris was completely unable to (against her wishes) and it would be possible but I would have to collect it as fast a I could. As I got to college to book it out though, this was impossible at that moment in time due to a staff meeting being held. This was turning into more of a  hassle than much else because it left us with only two options: to stick with arriving at 10 o’clock but use only Carris’ phone or my iPad for filming or to postpone the interview until 11 o’clock. I messaged Carris with these options and she decided to email Wildwood asking if it was possible to do the interview at 11 o’clock due to our situations.

But shortly after 10 o’clock the equipment booking room opened and  managed to book out everything we needed and i messaged Carris letting her know of this. This was when she replied saying that she had cleared the traffic but also wanted to give me a lift to wildwood with her since I had the heavy camera and tripod with me. Since I gratefully took her up on this offer we did manage to get to Wildwood, before 11 o’clock and altogether!

Also, getting home after the interview did go as planned which meant that Carris made her own way home whereas I got the bus back to Canterbury and went back to college to upload the shots on to my memory stick and return the camera and tripod we used.

This task of completing one interview turned out to be way more of a challenge than we anticipated, especially prior to the interview itself. as extremely stressful as it way, it did teach me some important lessons. For example, this interview took Carris and myself’s problem solving skills to the next level due to the number of problems we had to solve- and all at the same time as well. This also taught me some possible truths about the industry as well, in terms of how journalists of today are constantly using problem solving skills and how plan B are sometimes used just as much and, if not, more than plan A. An example includes if there are hold-ups with a team member or if a piece of equipment is broken, lost, not functioning to the required standard, then such plans like simply progressing ahead or using a smartphone or iPad to record with may be necessary to use- sometimes as a last resort too.

Reflecting on this whole interview experience however, I’d happily say that this is one to be proud of due to the fact that we had to rapidly come up with solutions to severe problems that could jeopardize the whole interview. Alongside this, we did manage to carry out a successful interview resulting in the information we required and even shots of the red squirrels to use in the final video piece. this is a massive achievement for both of us considering the constant battles we had along the way with major disruptions and problems.

As for my to-do list for next week, my first priority will be to apply the appropriate interview answers and shots to my video along with the captured close-ups of the red squirrels. Alongside this I will also re-record the voice-overs that weren’t long enough, professional enough and even more voice-overs in order to fill in any unexpected gaps. However, with these tasks to finalize including tasks to finish off next week, it may be worth me recording the voice-overs at home on my phone- when I’m at home alone where it will all be silent enough to produce good enough quality and also coming into college when I have no classes to use the LRC and finish off the radio piece and the video piece because I will soon have to get started on the 500 word article which will play a part of this whole project.

Project 2: Week 6 project summary