Monday, 31 January 2011

BBC Blast showcase video link

This is the link to the showcase that I was Producer and Floor Manager for on my BBC Blast placement!

I have embedded it at the bottom of my blog too!

Multi-camera deadline and live project

This morning I came into college to print off a little bit of work that I would have done at home but I ran out of paper and ink!
I filed it then handed it in. I spent the weekend on my evaluation which I knew what to put because of my production diary.
Now I have just finished my evaluation for Live Project. I just need to collect work from Sam and Charlotte and type up the budget (because it was handwritten).
I have to put my clients feedback in my folder and I think that is all. It doesn't need to be in till Wednesday but I want it complete before tonight so I can concentrate on sorting out my student finance and Professional Studies.
I have my tutorial soon.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Live and Multi-camera

I have started the budget for Multi-camera but I think I worked it out wrong so I am re doing it.
It would have cost at the least £23000 so far! And I am not finished. Plus I haven't included Studio hire and Production Managers.

Yesterday I made a letter (on my letterhead I designed for Professional Studies) to Steve my Live Client. In the letter it explained that it is a first edit and the finished would be presented professionally. I also made a feedback form for him to fill in. I dropped it off then the next day he came to my house to return it. He said he is very pleased with it. He only suggested a few minor changes (a few shots he would like brighter so you can see his book more clear). I let Peter know the good news. Now all I need to do is write my critical evaluation..

Thursday, 27 January 2011

So yesterday we watched the multi-camera project back. I am a bit disappointed with it because I know if we just had one more week we could have perfected it! But then again our idea was ambitious and not a simple idea. I made notes where sound went wrong and where my PA could have improved which I am going to write in my critical evaluation.
I forward the email that I receievd to my Live Client. I wanted to drop the DVD off but he had left the office so I am sending it on Friday. He know's I want the feedback before Saturday so I have time to write my evaluation.

Today we had a visitor give us a seminar on CV's. This was very useful because I noticed some things that could change on mine. My CV wasn't too bad but as a marketing tool I recognise it needs improving if I stand a chance receiving work when I leave.

I spoke to Sophie about the specialism. In yesterdays contextual studies tutorial Diane suggested that I could look into props and the diegesis of the period piece that I am Co-Producing.

I am finishing the budget for Multi-camera right now. Then I am going to start on my evaluation.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Live Project Deadline!

Our Projects need to be in in 45 minutes!!
It is okay though because I handed mine in at 3pm yesterday.

Peter Silk and Dan Harris (Director and Editor) tweaked my project, I went in and give feedback then after a few more hours it was complete. We put it on the master DV tape and I made a few copies on DVD. I didn't make 10 because Peter Silk wanted to put it on his hard drive instead and I will only give the actors their copy when all changes have been made. Either today or tomorrow I am going to give my client his copy and I will ask for some written feedback so I can then start my critical evaluation (I already have a rough evaluation but it needs setting out and a conclusion).
I put Sams Zombie Wool Room on DV and DVD and handed that in too. I wanted to avoid the stress of deadline morning when everyone is running about. When I receive feedback from the client I can then start working on the re edit.

Last night I was given some feedback on my blog from an ex-student who I did work experience with. I have printed it out and I am going to improve my blog over the next few weeks!

I have my Contextual Studies tutorial soon. I have printed off my proposal form with the associated research expanded. I have also printed off some of my research. It is not good research so far but over the next few weeks it will advance.

Today I think we have the opportunity to watch the Multi-camera project as a group. I am looking forward to this as I want to know where we went right and wrong.
I am going to be working a little bit on each module and I hope to finish my critical evaluations by Friday.

Monday, 24 January 2011

sunday / monday

Yesterday I did more work on my graphics package. I made my DVD case. I found that the easiest way to make one was to open a word document, turn it to landscape and put a border around the page. All the default settings make it the same size as a DVD case. All the templates I found didn't look very accurate.

I asked my family for feedback and they all said that the new letter heads, business cards and DVD cases etc looked better than the old ones (without them knowing which was the upadted version).

This morning, after sorting Student Finance out with my mum (there's been a problem with my loans and grants) I arrived at college 30 minutes later than I intended to be there but got straight on with the edit for Sam's Zombie Wool Room. I did a rough edit, put music on it then tidied it up. I spent hours trying to blur the TV in the background in after effects. Richard came to help me but he couldn't figure out a way to do this without it looking a mess. In the end after trying I asked Sam what he thought would be best and he said to just leave it too.

Tomorrow Peter & Dan are going to complete my live edit and make the 10 DVD's that are needed.
I will put Sam's on DV and make how many DVD's he requires.

On Wednesday, we hand in our live project film. Then we're going to watch the multi-camera TV show.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

de rig / professional studies / live

On Thursday morning I joined some people in the studio who were starting the de-rig. We're getting assessed on our de rigging. I tidied up the gallery because it looked quite cluttered with scripts / pens etc. I put all paper in a big pile and didn't throw anything out so if anyone is looking for their work it is in there! I know some of it might have been very important. I then did the same in the sound booth. I boxed the radio mic's away and handed them back to Richard, I collected all the Dynamic & Rifle mic's, the stands and most of the cables (I couldn't access some because the set is in the way). I didn't think to wear some old clothes otherwise I would have helped with the painting! I walked in the studio wearing black and just saw about 5 people covered in white paint! I just cleaned what I could and then went upstairs to do some work.

In professional studies we were asked to lay our work out because we were going to go around each others graphic packages and give feedback. When I read the comments people made on mine, I agreed with them all (even though I didn't realise before the session what was missing) so it made me think how to improve it. The thing people commented about the most was that it was hard to read because of the colour and because it was too small. After the session I went on the computer and altered my logo slightly (with the help of Sam because I didn't know how to use photoshop properly, something I need to learn!). I made it darker, and removed the word 'productions' so that it was larger. I think I will keep the word productions in the title of my company but just not in my logo. This weekend I want to finish the design ready to take to staples or somewhere next week to be printed professionally.

This morning I was an extra for Sam's Wool Room Live Project. I am his Editor so if I went on his shoot I wouldn't have had a role so I volunteered to be a runner / extra. It involved me laying on a Wool Room duvet placed on the grass at Middlesbrough town centre on an icey day. As much as I regretted it at the time because I thought I was going to freeze to the floor, I am glad I helped out because I wouldn't like it if nobody helped me out one day just because of the weather conditions!

I have been experimenting with some software called Mixcraft 5. It is a music production software so that if I wanted to compose music for future projects I can. It also has a lot of royalty free sound effects for films. I don't know how useful it will be but it is fun regardless!

Lot's of deadlines coming up!
However, I paid for the London trip on Thursday so I am looking forward to that!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Live TV show!

This morning I arrived before 9am because we had someone come in to give us a talk about a survey. After this talk I went to the studio and made sure the sound was set up. I transfered my PA notes from my script with all notes on for every role onto the new group B only section of my 'production pack' because my script looked messy and would have caused confusion. We had a rehearsal. It went terrible! I was confused about timings because I wasn't sure whether to look at the VT times or my stop watch! Then my Director started calling out cues for floor manager / sound / lighting which was supposed to be coming from me which confused everyone, they listened to him and I didn't know what to do because he called it 45 seconds early. I knew what and when to cue so this made things hard. The sound wasn't very good. We couldn't hear anything in the gallery. The lighting was okay because it is quite a simple set up. Camera was okay once I turned up the volume on the head set. This was very worrying. Hours from the show and it was an awful rehearsal. However, I had the sound issue sorted and I told my Director not to speak to anyone on my behalf and to just trust me that my timings are accurate. He assured me it wouldn't happen again. The actors arrived (all but David, Stanley Buttons). We had an actor run through which was the opportunity to have all sound people in the gallery and I went through exactly what was needed until they understood and definitely knew how to work everything and what to do if a mic fails. The sound issue was resolved, I had all input levels set which give the best sound I could possibly have. David (Stanley Buttons) still wasn't there after the rehearsal. I called his house number. His wife give me his mobile number which was switched off when I called. This was very worrying but luckily he eventually arrived!
Make-up and costumes were put on and everyone was preparing. I did a last sound check to confirm that my levels were fine. The 15 minutes lead up were very scary. I stayed as focused and calm as possible and told my sound assisstant exactly what to expect (he knew from previous rehearsals but this time no mistakes were allowed).

My first section (sound) went okay. My mic's didn't peak, all sound in the gallery / studio was clear and the music was cue'd on time. I think the only issue was I cut the sound from the VT a split second too fast causing some sound to be cut off. I cut exactly when the PA said 'we're live' so I don't know why this happened. But it is not a major issue.

Group B which I was PA for went well too. I cue'd everything, we started on time and finished on time. I did have to use the 'air guitar' cue which the actors knew meant leave the rest of the script, say 'ah I've had enough of this, lets just get to the music' I cue's the lights to go down then the music started. This was just so that my section finished on time. Hannah (Christine Charles) didn't manage to get her shirt off in time but it didn't really matter. I was happy with how this section went.

For group C I was on lighting. I only had two cues. I had to solo bus 9 when the judge spoke once. Then solo / flash bus 19 (the red gel) when the alarm was going off. I liked how the music and lights stopped at exactly the same time.

For group D I was on camera 2. This went okay too. No problems from what I know of.

I can't wait to watch it back and see where we went wrong / where we improved over time. The past few rehearsals we have had have been a bit of a disaster. I think we all had a bit of a panic but when it came to the actual show everyone performed really well and worked great as a team!

The floor manager thanked the audience, we sent them upstairs for refreshments and had cast / crew photographs. Everyone was relieved that it went smoothly. I then had to quickly drive home and bring the flowers and chocolates Charlotte and I bought for Jess and Sophie for being really good Production managers. We appreciate how hard they worked to bring the show together. They stayed up late / made schedules / sorted out problems / motivated people and supported us all. We wouldn't have had a show if it wasn't for them so we had to get them something as a thank you. When I returned, the studio was locked up (I wanted to collect the mic's up) so I have to start de rigging in the morning instead.

Tomorrow, Mike wants to see our graphics package. All I need is a compliment slip and my DVD template updating.

I always said I would miss multi-camera when it is over. I have enjoyed it so much! Big thank you to Mike and Richard. And well done everyone!!!!!


Yesterday we had a meeting at 09:30 where we raised any issues / questions and Sophie and Jess told us about a schedule they made for the run up to the show and after the show. We then went down and did some work. I had set up my mic's on Friday so it was just about setting levels etc.
We had a crew rehearsal before the actors arrived. It was an okay rehearsal. Not all sounds were on the IPod and some cues were missed but overall it flowed and finished on time. When the actors arrived they had a run through. I timed my section and it was over by 1 minute 30! So I have to make sure the actors speed up and I made a back up plan. The back up plan is if I need to go into the main song (to finish on time), I count Kass (floor manager) in and he does an air guitar for the actors which means stop acting from the script and just cut to main song. The sound issue was brought up about tapping on the witness stand. One of the actors is going to bring in some spare carpet on Wednesday. I did some painting and did some PA / sound notes till 21:00 then went home.
This morning I got on with work until the actors came. We had a full dress rehearsal. I had all my levels the same as yesterday so it was fine. There was a VT issue. No sound was playing. Everyone was asking me but I had everything set how it was supposed to so we're going to ask Richard about that in the morning (it was only the opening, everything else was fine). The sound was going okay until Childrens TV section. Half way through I cut Rosies and Mr Tiddlywinks mic off because there was too much banging so I used the back-up rifle mic on the ceiling. The sound improved a lot!... My PA role went really bad too. I had to count the main song in (which meant cutting some of the script) but as I was counting down I was interupted and my Director started to be the PA which confused everyone and made my timing go wrong. Peter and I had a talk about that though and we have it sorted so it won't happen on the live show. It affected Sophies section a little bit so it definitely can't happen!
My lighting role went well and camera went okay too.
After rehearsals I went in the sound room and changed the set up. I took out mic 6 and 7, put mic 8 in mic 6 then assigned all mic's to G7&8 so it is easier. The sound assisstant will find the song on the Ipod and play it when the sound person (who is wearing the head set) tells them to stand by and cue (which the PA will tell the sound person). I stuck tape all over the sound desk so that everyone knows what they can and can't press. It just prevents silly mistakes because after my section, I put all the levels down and when Karl was in the next, he thought he was ready and waiting but no sound could be heard because he didn't check the levels. This should be avoided in the live show with the tape there! I have also put signs saying do not touch the set up because as soon as we do a sound check, nothing can be altered. I updated the sound design paperwork and everything is simplified as much as possible!
I have to get my sheets binded in the morning that I have just printed. It has sound paperwork, PA notes then lighting notes so that during the live show I have everything I need in one pack. We are meeting at 09:00, the show starts at 16:00.
David (Stanley Buttons) should be coming tomorrow. He didn't reply to my email so I called him. He couldn't make it today because of the school run he had to do. He said he will try and get in for 12 tomorrow but might be 13:00. 12:00 is the new time for actors to arrive because we need technical run throughs more than cast rehearsals. Hannah (Christine Charles), my other actor that I am in charge of, seem's happy. I have been looking after her making sure she's comfortable and everything. She has done great in the rehearsals considering she only got the script less than two weeks ago!

I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am quite nervous but I am more excited about it!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

on Thursday I got on with my work for multi-camera then we had a Professional studies lecture. In this lecture we got through quite a lot on the future of film funding wise, a little bit about graphics package's which Mike wants us to show him on Thursday. Up to now I have a letter head, a business card and a DVD case. Before next week I want to finish my DVD case and a compliment slip. My live project has been put on hold for a little bit. Peter and Dan haven't finished the tweaks yet but as long as it is done next week I am happy. And while they're doing that I will make a feedback sheet for my client ready for when I hand him it.

On Friday I put up all the mics and taped the cables down. I logged what mics went into what cables, what number on the wall box and which characters will be using them. I went through my script giving each character a number in relation to which mic they will be using. We have 7 microphones (1 rifle mic on the ceiling to pick up more than one character and as a back up, 2 radio clip mics and 4 dynamic microphones).
I updated my mic cue sheet. I had my script and actor pack for Stanley Buttons binded. I met him on the morning and he seems very friendly and he is a good actor for Stanley Buttons!
Hannah and James came in to have a read through which I timed. We also filmed Detective Law's VT which I was on camera for. We finished in time for the college to close. We quickly tidied away our equipment, shut down the studio and left.

During the weekend I have updated my mic plot sheet. On monday I need to have a technical with the sound people and make more PA notes during the final 3 rehearsals. It is coming along and I am getting more excited for the show.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

less than one week left

We had a contextual studies lecture on Ideology this morning. It was really interesting because I love learning about the theory side to film. Especially film and history.
After this lecture we had a break, I did some painting to help out even though it's not my role I wanted to do something different. I then set up for the actor rehearsal. I changed a bit of the sound design again. I have assigned VT to G1&2 and Ipod to G3&4. This might make it easier for the people on sound. After a while Peter and I went upstairs and did a readthrough with Detective Law - I timed his lines. Joanne read Christine for us.
I then finished the work I was doing before heading back down to the studio, I had a chat with some people about VT, SFX etc. Tomorrow I am going to make sure I get as much done as possible. We have less than a week remaining and this is quite worrying.
I have re organised my folder because I hadn't done it since before Christmas holidays and it was getting messy so tomorrow I am ready for a busy organised day!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


I emailed everyone in group B reminding them about the rehearsals today, I also sent the risk assessment and information they needed.
I arrived in this morning (Peter was busy printing so I put the rehearsals back by 30 minutes). It took far too long to start the rehearsals and I think some people might have started getting annoyed which is understandable so we can't let that happen again. If they were our actors it would not have been good!

During the rehearsal, we had a few problems cuing sound in on time, no sound played etc. I stopped the stop watch at 13 minutes 50 before we even did the main song. It was a little disaster but we learned from it. I need all of the VT material before I can make accurate PA notes. We found that the music was working so that was a human error apparently.

After dinner Mike had group A Director, Steven, go through step by step what he wanted. We wanted to do all of the groups but because my group had an actor coming in at 4pm we had to leave it for another day.
We set up for Hannah coming. I called Stanley Buttons (the number Jordan give me about an hour earlier) but he was out. I will try again tomorrow because it is too late now.

Hannah arrived. We recorded her 2nd unit VT material on one of the studio cameras. Then Peter and I went upstairs to have a script read through and to let her know step by step what he wants. I give her contracts to sign (she signed one last Friday but it had Graces name crossed out so I wanted a special copy for Hannah) and the rehearsal dates / times, contact information, information sheet, group B section of the script and I am emailing the full new script soon (she has the old draft). She read the lines really well and is still interested and wants to help out which is good news.
Karl came in with some bad news. He was going to edit the 2nd unit VT that we'd just recorded but it hadn't recorded onto the tape. We apologised to Hannah and we had to re record it. She was happy to do it again. This time we used a Panasonic P2 and made sure the settings were the compatible with the studio cameras.

Peter and I had a quick chat about how the day went. It was definitely a good day as for getting lots of work done and progressing.
I have just printed off my blog for my professional studies folder.

Tomorrow I need to contact Stanley Buttons. I also need to catch Detective Law while he is in to ask what rehearsals he can do with Hannah before Tuesday preferably. We are having a rehearsal, I need to go through Sound again with the Directors. I think we're slowly getting there. Hannah cannot make tomorrows rehearsals but we have organised Friday 15:30 until the college closes. Detective might not be able to make this but it is mainly for Hannah anyway as she has only had the script since Friday and we want her to have as many as possible.

Karl and I were in the sound room and we were thinking of assigning the dynamic mics to 1&2 the radio mics to 3&4 the VT to 5&6 and the ipod to 7&8. This is something I will have to go over with with Richard and Steve. I need to check with the Directors about the sound re design / issue.

Mike suggested using some of Karls Me, Myself and I footage from last year to add into my live project. I mentioned it to Peter but he hasn't seen it. He said he is going to finish my edit this Thursday so I will remind him. It is his decision in the end because he is the Director.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Friday 7th - Monday 10th

On Friday we met Hannah the new Christine Charles. She really wants to take part and will give singing a go (she has her grade 1 and sings in some university productions). We mentioned there was a possible part for the chick flick section but in the end the back up we had emailed for the musical section has a course on the day of the show. So Hannah can only be Christine now. She might not look the part as much as Grace did but she still looks good, she wants to help, has experience and says she won't let us down.

We did some sound checks and I repositioned some mics. I did a quick sound check with the VT music (we were originally intending to have a crew rehearsal but a lot of people were filming). There was a big Feedback  issue that needed to be resolved.

I wanted to help Jordan paint the set but I am not very good at painting!

I feel more at ease after speaking to Hannah. We asked her to come in on Tuesday to record her 2nd unit material and to have a rehearsal. She is coming in at 4pm with curly hair, makeup, a dress and a white shirt.

Detective Law cannot come in till Wednesday. Jordan found a Stanley Buttons and I have been nominated to look after him because I have the least amount of cast. I was suppose to be looking after security but because Jess's boyfriend is this character now we decided it would make more sense for her to keep in contact with him.

Over the weekend I did some paperwork for multi camera and I also designed a new logo for professional studies which I think is better.

Dan and Peter Silk have been editing my live project today. I had a look and it looks really good! I was recording sound for Charlottes wool room today too. I think the shoot went well.
I came back to the college and spoke to Richard about the feedback issue. He told me that there wasn't much we could do but give me advise which means a repositioning of the mics and using dynamics instead of rifles. I also tested the radio clip mic which the Detective Law will be wearing and possibly Christine Charles but I haven't decided yet. Lee has a copy of my cue sheet with bits crossed out that the Directors no longer want. I need to get this information down so I will have to see him after tonights rehearsals.

We are using an Ipod for skipping music/VT because the skip button on the CD player is broke. I have told Peter to use his spare Ipod too incase his breaks before the show! I now have the nickname 'Paranoid Producer' but it is best to be safe than sorry!

I think that is all for this update! So after this crew rehearsal I will be going home and doing some paperwork for future rehearsals. Updating the sound design, making notes on my new script and possibly do some work on Contextual and Professional Studies if I have time.

Friday, 7 January 2011

good news then bad news...

The sound design is complete. All I need to do is put the mics up then go through the sound design with the sound people. I went to Richard Popple to ask if I was doing the paper work correctly and he was amazed by what I had done and said it has been a very very long time since a student went as deep into the sound design as I have. So that has made me feel slightly good about it. I know there are going to be changes to the script but now theres paperwork there it won't take long to edit it slightly.

The very bad news was that Grace, my musical actor, dropped out yesterday. She told me she didn't read the contract or the schedules properly that I give her months ago. I remained in contact with her and asked her on a few occasions 'are you definitely still able to do the show' and she replied 'yes, definitely, I am looking forward to it'. So it wasn't my fault and it was something totally unexpected. I had a back up actor called Rachael. When we contacted her she said she would do it but then dropped out a few hours later.
I wasn't in the best of moods! I was very worried. The important thing was to find an actor, anyone, and fast!!!
I stayed up all night and contacted loads of people. Family members, Teesside University TV&film students, friends who go to performing groups, old friends that went to performing arts college... anyone I could get in contact with that time in the night.
My brothers friends friend (who has just graduated from Teesside with his degree in TV & film production) recommended a 'very reliable lady' called Hannah. I sent her an email and I received a text about ten minutes later saying she wanted to take part and would be available.

This morning when I mentioned hannahs name to Charlotte, she said 'I have worked with her before!!' and she confirmed that she is very reliable. We don't know if she will look the part (I don't know what she looks like yet) but at the moment things are looking good. We meet her tomorrow at 1430. Hopefully she won't be scared off (I am going to try and make her feel comfortable) and she will still be interested. (We are also having a crew meeting / rehearsal tomorrow at 11:00 - 14:30)

I thought Grace was going to be reliable (because she is almost like family to me) so it goes to show that anything can happen! So I am being very careful now and thinking of solutions for everything. Hopefully I don't need another back up but I think it is wise to have one anyway. Which is why we have got in contact with an equity actor that is in Peter Silks Waterwoman shoot. We don't know if Hannah can sing yet. This might be another thing that might put her off.

Fingers crossed though that Hannah will still be up for it and available and everything runs smoothly!
It has been a very hectic and emotional few days but it is less than two weeks away so we have to work hard and think logically /realistically. Important decisions are going to have to be made and team work at this stage is vital!

I am excited and nervous! I find this module fun and challenging at the same time! It reminds me of BBC Blast and producing the showcase. But this is bigger!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

back to college...

we had a meeting this morning about actors dropping out, new actors, changes that might need to be made, issues, and jobs that still need to be done. I had a meeting with Peter Silk my Director and suggested removing the extras from the script because as much as I have been trying, I cannot find people that want to dance in the show. I have tried contacting Dance studios, Dance classes, asked actors, asked people I know that are into Drama/Dance and no luck. One company replied to my email stating that most of their students are really young but that they would ask the few older students that they have. I think it is getting very close to the show now so the best solution would be to have no extras. Peter reluctantly agreed. I know it is not ideal but it is not realistic and we have far more important things to get on with. Such as our rehearsals. I have emailed all the crew that have roles for group B and made a call sheet. I am going to send that as soon as I secure some people from the course to act. This rehearsal will be on Friday. I have also got in contact with Grace for Kassim to film the 2nd unit material. She is available on Thursday at 17:30. I sent the message on behalf of Kass and he will arrange all of the call sheets etc.

There's only two weeks left before the live show. I am still in the process of designing the sound. It is almost finished but I need Steven (the other sound designer) to let me know his thoughts, then we can put our ideas together and produce the final draft of the paperwork to hand out to the sound people.

It was good to have some time off but I am ready for lots of work. I just printed off the work I did over the holidays and I think everything is coming together. I suppose I was lucky to get my Live project close to finished before we broke up as it was one less thing on my mind. We are hoping to complete the final edit by this week so that I can hand copies to the actors and client. I also intend to make a feedback form for my client as part of my evaluation because it will be finished well before the college / client deadline and it will probably be useful for development of future projects.