Posted by: jambodann18 | May 18, 2011

My 1000 word Essay

Here is my 1000 word essay for 201 MC.

Professional Experience Essay

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 18, 2011

My updated CV

Attached is my updated CV. CV-James Dann

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

My Creative Work and Learning Development

I think that what makes somebody good in a media environment, especially somewhere like milkshake! is that you have to be on the ball all the time, but also allow yourself to enjoy the work that you do. One of the key things that I noticed whilst working there was that everyone had a million things to do, but also laughed throughout the day and kept each other happy. I feel that you have to have the passion and dedication for wanting to work there, and without that determination you won’t get very far. These skills are of course transferable, as if you are dedicated in what you are doing you are much more likely to succeed. I think that I have these skills, and demonstrated them throughout the whole of this module and will continue to do so throughout my life.

I have been constantly blogging throughout my work experience and thus have exhibited it online. Throughout the module I have been learning and gaining new skills and knowledge about many different aspects of media production. I have learned how to use various different equipment, such as Clarity at milkshake! and how to use a camera to it’s full potential when in a tricky filming situation such as the dark and cramped gig in Belgium. I think one of the most important skills that I have developed has in fact been my people skills. When at Channel 5 I learned how to both become friends with people and also work very well and closely along side them. There are also very important skills that I learned such as how to behave and work in a media company. I learned that simply asking if there was “anything else” you could do after a shift/I had completed a task got me a long way, and by the end of the week I had been given the task of writing a script. I learned that being a team player for everything I did meant that people respected me as well as liked me, and thus I got on well with them both professionally and as associates.

Practically speaking I have progressed more in the ways of filming and editing. My skills on Final Cut Pro and simply handling a camera have increased throughout the module. Where as I still need to work much much more on my editing and effects I know that what I have done over the module has been a worthwhile practice which I will be continuing for a long time. This is because I have had lots of different chances to film throughout the module and in different locations and circumstances. These variations of different shoots meant that I got to experiment with a few different types of camera and see what I could create with them. It was all very good practice for later in life when I will hopefully be using different equipment for various jobs.

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

Teamwork

For most of professional experience I worked in a team. Be it in Belgium filming with Jamie Maher and Jack or at milkshake! working along side the production crew and presenters. In Belgium I think I handled my role as camera operator very well, and certainly worked to the best of my ability to ensure I got all the needed shots and more. One thing I did not do too well was interacting with the band, though. As it was basically a huge group of friends who went on the trip I felt like a bit of an outsider, and thus was unusually reserved for the weekend. I think if I was more open and talkative I would have got a better working relationship with the band and possibly would have had the confidence to ask for an interview, without it being awkward. Next time I would try and create an opportunity to meet the band/people I am working with before hand to ensure I knew them a little better before spending 2 solid days with them.

For the second thing I did in a team, milkshake! I found myself working with the people in the office as if I had known them for years. Everyone was very relaxed and welcoming, which made me feel at home and thus I worked very well in a team. I was constantly going back and fourth to the boss, Clair, asking if there was anything else that needed doing once I had completed a task. I even got into work early on some days, to make sure I had done as much as I could before everyone got in so that there was less work for the others to do. I also asked all of the crew and presenters if I could help with anything that needed doing or if they would like me to do anything for them. On the early days with the live recordings I really felt like I was apart of the team.

Often I would run to the computer, print of a script, run to the studio and hand it to Derek. Then Lou would run back to me, I would trade documents with her, and we would both run off keeping everything afloat. I saw the importance of working in a team and having good communication skills when at milkshake! as everyone in the office is doing something different at any given time, it is vital that everyone keeps in contact about what they are doing, so that everything is being done. I got a lot of people saying “Thank you so much” and even someone telling Clair “We should hire him”, so I think I worked well in the team.

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

An Established Network

Below are some people I have met during the module who may prove to be useful contacts in the future:

Clair Robinson- Assosiate Producer for milkshake!. May prove to be useful for me for possible employment by Channel 5. Hopefully will get the chance to write some scripts for milkshake! and possibly gain more work experience with her and the team during summer or over the Christmas holiday.

Derek Morgan- Presenter on milkshake! Told me to get in touch with him after my work experience had finished and he might be up for writing some scripts together and getting my name on the credits. Could be useful for working with in the future.

Jamie Maher- Add+Vantage Tutor- Where as I realise I did know him before this module, I did not really know him well. I only ever spoke a few words to him during the lessons. During Belgium however I got to know him very well and we spoke of creating more work together in the future.

Band- The Wutars- These guys are often looking for people to film their gigs, and seeing as I filmed them abroad I could be asked to come back and capture another live set.

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

‘March for the alternative’ Filming (1 day)

 The ‘March for the Alternative’ having just begun.

Over Easter I attended the March for the Alternative demonstration in London. My aim was to show the protest for how it really was, which was 99.9% all peaceful. I wanted to show that the protesters were the ones making a civil and up-beat demonstration and it was the people who came to the march not to protest, but just to destroy things, which are the ones giving all these demonstrations a bad name. I found out that a group called UK Uncut causes a lot of the vandalism, of which I tried to get an interview with, but they have yet to reply to my email… I wanted to get both sides of the protest and promote civil and uplifting protests, rather than doing what the news does and focusing purely on the vandalism and crimes committed by such a small percentage. Filming at the march proved difficult at times, as often the Police don’t like anyone filming near them. Last time I was at a protest police began grabbing cameras of people and smashing them on the floor. I didn’t want this to happen to me, so I was cautious about what I filmed, whilst at the same time trying to capture all the excitement! The march was a completely peaceful one, and I managed to capture a lot of different scenarios, which highlighted this. One of these was the frequent viewing of various marching bands and home made sound-systems, which marched along with the crowd.

 One of many brass bands which kept the moral of the march up!

A sense of the atmosphere and moral at the Demonstration

I was photographing throughout the protest as well as filming, incase I wanted to use stills as well as moving image for the piece itself. A technical problem I ran into was that a lot of the time the light was very over-exposed as it was a sunny day and there was very little shade to stand under. As I wanted to capture the march from the P.O.V of a protester I was situated right in the middle of the march at all times. It meant that I managed to capture a great atmosphere on camera, but also proved difficult to film when the sun was glaring into our eyes and to take shelter would mean that I would not be able to keep the up-beat atmosphere that I had been recording throughout the day. I was proud of the different shots that I managed to get, especially my first one of the day, in which I climbed to the top of a bridge and filmed the protest from a birds-eye view. I could see the march moving beneath me and filmed it as the mass of protesters stretched back into the distance. Some of my pictures look quite rough and are not sharp and cinematic. However I prefer them like this, as they capture the raw energy that was so apparent at this demonstration.

A protester climbs a traffic light to raise a banner against the cuts. There were a lot of passionate acts like this throughout the day.

Unfortunately I did not bring a microphone with me to the filming of the demonstration. In a way this was a good idea as the protest was very packed and you were often nudged about, so it may have been that the mic would have got damaged. However I wish I had bought some sort of audio recording equipment, as the sounds of cheers and instruments was what you could hear all day, and had I recorded it properly I would have been able to get much better sound than what I recorded. Where as the sound I got was still acceptable, next time I will look into possibly bringing a small microphone, just to absorb as much audio as possible. I chose not to get interviews at this demonstration, as I felt that the sheer amounts of people who turned up spoke for it. I deliberately tried to capture all of the different flags and signs, which were being held at the protest, to show the vast array of different companies, organisations and anything and everything else, which filled the protest. I was in London from 12am until 7pm, so I have a huge amount of footage to be editing from, and will be beginning working through that today.

One of the many bands who kept the spirit of the demonstration!

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

Editing- ‘March for the Alternative’ (1 day) On-Going

Today I have been editing the ‘March for the Alternative’ demonstration that I filmed over Easter. At the moment I am in the process of going through my videos on Final Cut Pro and deleting anything which is too blurry/shaky and that generally doesn’t look good. I am also going to be cutting them up and putting them in the right order of how the protest went. I am unsure as to whether or not take a completely different approach on the protest and turn all of the footage into black and white with a slightly grainy effect. I’m thinking this would be so that it looked old fashioned, as if the protest had taken place way in the past.

This would be highlighting the issue that these sorts of protests have happened years ago, and that the government has not listened to anyone since then, and thus the protesting continues. I may do it so that it is being told as if we are in the future about 40 years from now, and looking at archive footage. So there may be a voice over saying things such as “In 2011 a mass protest in the former capital city of London took place…” This may give the video a more surreal twist to it, and could be the thing that I was looking for to separate my footage from just an account of what happened to a surreal take on a documentary. If I decide to take this approach the music I will use may be old military drumming style, to get a sense of the moral that occurred during the protest.

I am also debating taking the film into a more poetic style. My other idea was to have the protests displayed with slightly more colour to make the demonstration look more alive and vibrant. However appearing at the top of the screen would be a poem that is being displayed throughout the film. This would give it quite a nice artistic look and if I could find a poem that would fit the video nicely I would have created something much different from anything else I’ve made. If I choose to go down this route and cannot find a poem I may write one myself, however I have a feeling it will turn out very overly pretentious and all round cringey! Ideally I’m going to be avoiding having the standard thing of the protest being shown with heavy rock music played over the top, as I’ve seen that done countless times for things like this, and want to take my footage into a new direction. Today I have also been experimenting with different affects on Final Cut Pro, and am seeing if any of them catch my eye as a potential style for my artefact. The work continues!

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

milkshake! Script (1 day)

As mentioned earlier, I was asked to write a short script for milkshake! which will hopefully be aired in the near future. Where as at first I thought it would be simple to write a kids program I found that I didn’t really know how to begin to phrase things and what sort of style a young person would find appealing. Therefore I began to do some research of my own, looking back on past milkshake! shows and seeing what sort of language is used. I began by watching an episode of ‘Little Lodgers’. Although this is not the program I am writing for, it follows the same style as the other milkshake! Shows that are created for being put on in between scheduled programs. I watched both the style of the animations created by milkshake! Themselves and also clips from some shows, which are shown on milkshake! But created elsewhere. I did this so that I could get a full understanding of the style of the programs and to ensure that my script fits in perfectly with the content of the show.

‘Little Lodgers’ created by milkshake!

Peppa Pig created by Astley Baker Davies Ltd. One of the most popular shows on milkshake!

Fifi and the Flowertots, another hugely popular show on milkshake! Created by Cosgrove Hall Films

The first thing that is obvious from the shows is how simple and straightforward the language is. As milkshake! Is aimed at 2-7 year olds the animations have to have very simple and easy to follow story lines, in order to keep the viewers interested. The bright and bold colours of the show are also attractive, so that the simple narrative with the bright visuals makes the program very appealing to children. I think a key to the script is that whatever a character says it has to be clear what they are meaning, as there is no point trying to include irony or sarcasm in a children’s TV script!

So, for my script that I had to write I had to follow the narrative of a cow, a sheep and a pig. They all decide to play hide and seek, because of the pig’s smell and constant grunting and laughing he is found. He is found not due to a bad hiding place, and in fact however wins the game as he is the last one to be discovered, but looses due to the fact that he couldn’t keep quiet. Derek voices the cow, Jen voices the sheep and Kemi voices the pig in this animation. So, here’s my attempt!

HIDE AND SEEK

SHEEP and PIG are out on the farm kicking and head butting a ball to each other, playing a game where they can’t let the ball touch the ground.

SHEEP

Here it comes; don’t let it touch the floor!

PIG

*Laughing* PIG jumps and head-butts the ball, nearly missing.

*Grunting and giggling* Phew! That was a close one!

COW excitedly runs up next to them.

COW

Wow this looks like fun! Can I play too?

PIG

Of course COW, pass this ball to PIG; don’t let it touch the floor though!

PIG *squeals* whilst passing the ball to COW.

COW

The ball is heading towards COW.

My turn my turn!

COW excitedly head buts the ball too hard and it goes flying into the sky.

COW

Oooh I’m sorry PIG!

PIG

*Grunts* Oh dear, what shall we play now?

SHEEP

I know! Why don’t we play hide and seek? We don’t need a ball for that!

COW

Great idea SHEEP! I’ll count to 10 and then come and find you!

As COW is counting PIG and SHEEP go to hide.  SHEEP whilst* bleating* goes and hides behind a tractor. PIG is laughing and hides amongst some hay in the barn. As PIG laughs she also grunts loudly.

COW

Ready or not here I come!

COW looks in the field amongst the grass.

SHEEP is hiding behind the tractor watching COW look for him.

COW

Hmmm they’re not here…

COW looks behind the stable door.

COW

Or here! Where could they be?

COW spots a fluffy tail wagging and poking out from the back of a tractor. He goes behind the tractor to find SHEEP hiding.

COW

*Laughing* I found you!

SHEEP

Good job COW! Sheep *bleats*Now, where is PIG?

COW

The sound of faint laughing and grunting can be heard

I can hear something; maybe PIG is in that direction?

They begin walking in the direction of the barn and look into a chicken coop. SHEEP pokes his head through the small door.

SHEEP

PIG? Is that you?

The chickens begin to cluck loudly and flap their wings at SHEEP.

SHEEP

Pigs not in there! So where could he be…

COW

SHEEP and COW stand there for a second thinking. Suddenly COW starts sniffing the air.

What’s that smell SHEEP? It seems to be coming from the barn

PIG

PIG is laughing whilst snorting and grunting. He is beginning to blow hay everywhere with his nose due to the laughter*

SHEEP

Can you hear that? Quick!

SHEEP and COW enter the barn quickly and look around.

COW

I can’t see him anywhere in here SHEEP!

PIG finds it funny and grunts loudly, blowing all the hay off him and revealing his hiding place.

SHEEP AND COW

There you are, Pig!

SHEEP

Ok, I’ll count now and you two go and hide! Although this time I’ll be listening more than looking!

PIG, SHEEP and COW all laugh as the picture zooms out leaving them laughing on the farm.

I will hopefully hear back from Clair on Monday/Tuesday to see if this is any good and able to be broadcast. If so I will get my name on the credits and be able to put on the CV that I’ve written for Channel 5. Good show!

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 15, 2011

Channel 5 milkshake! Day 5

Day 5, my final day at milkshake!. It began by getting in at 6am for the live shoot, however this time I got to do much more than I did last time. When I arrived into the office Lou and Derek greeted me. Derek the presenter was doing the live links between shows as Lou was taking from camera 1 and 2 as well as putting the banners and strap lines across the screen. Lou said that this morning I was allowed to put the banners and change the camera angles, live on air! I was thrilled by this, and got shown how to use Clarity to cue the banners, strap lines and addresses and then get them on screen when the time was right. The hardest thing was to relax and realise how long something had been on the screen for. As when a banner appeared on the TV it felt like it had been there for ages, so I should take it off, but really for the viewers it had only been on screen for a second, where as because of the pressure to include everything in the links it feels like it was on the screen for much longer. It was the same with the taking of camera 1 and 2, at first when I took to camera 2 to get a close up of a birthday card I felt that I had been focusing on it for ages, when in reality it was only just a second! However after a few links I managed to take a more calm approach to it and things went smoothly!

During the live shoot it was quite hectic in the gallery, but also extremely fun. I was chatting to Lou who said that despite it being crazy in the early mornings, and the presenter gets things wrong sometimes as do we, it is still the most fun part of the job. I agree, and I think it’s because when you are in the gallery it feels like you are properly making television and really involved in the broadcast side of things. Throughout the day I was running scripts back and fourth to Derek in his room. I had to be in his changing room 2 minutes before each live link so that he had time to prepare. As milkshake! get a huge number of birthday shout outs as well as ‘get well soons’ I organised them all into a word document, putting the get well soons at the top and the birthday messages in order underneath. This went down very well, and made Derek’s links run smoother as everything was organised and he didn’t have to search through pages and pages to find a ‘get well soon’.

After the live shoot we all went into the editing studio and finished off editing a promo for milkshake!. This was a big promo, as it was for the milkshake! channel to send to sponsors. I’d never seen an editing suite like it; this was because Lou told me it was also a linear editing suite, so it was quite out dated. Again, this will also turn digital soon. I came along way since the start of the week, and in the edit I contributed my ideas to how the show should look to which everyone took on board as seriously as anyone else’s. After the edit was done it was time for lunch and then home. milkshake! was such a great experience, and I loved every minute of being there. I learned a great deal about the process of TV production and how a channel is run, as well as getting valuable experience by doing live on-air camera takes and graphics. An excellent week was had!

 The linear process editing.

Posted by: jambodann18 | May 14, 2011

Channel 5 milkshake! Day 4

This day mostly featured myself going back and fourth on trains with various members of the milkshake! crew. When I arrived at the office at half 9 I was immediately told that a tape needed to be run over to Stephen Street straight away for editing. So, before I even put my bag down, of I went back on the train! I arrived at the building and handed my tape to Lou, who was thrilled that it arrived, as she was worried that no one had remembered to bring it over. I observed and took in a lot of what was going on today, starting with the audio edit. I watched as the crew began to edit the audio for some voice-overs the presenters had done for an animated show. It was interesting to see how they edited it, as milkshake! use linear editing. I’d never even heard of that until I came here, and it seemed to be much more complicated than using any audio software I’d ever seen! The main problem of linear editing seemed to be how long it took compared to editing on more up to date software. However I was told that milkshake! will go digital soon and that will make everyone’s jobs a little bit easier!

 The view from the window of the Northern and Shell tower. Pretty good for keeping you relaxed whilst working!

I had lunch, which doesn’t sound too exciting, but it is when you were eating in the fancy Channel 5 cafe with all the producers and presenters! Got to be one of the best lunch-experiences ever. I certainly got my face known there and met loads of people that are apart of milkshake! After the lunch Kemi, Ailbhe and I got in Kemi’s car and drove back to the Northern and Shell tower office. It was a good chance for me to chat to everyone and befriend them outside of the work place.  I think we all got on well and that I left a pretty good impression on presenter Kemi, as when I left the building later I saw her running up to Ailbhe and saying to her “He will be back over summer, won’t he?” To which she replied “Hopefully!” At the end of the day, after more sorting, organising and generally helping with whatever needed doing, I was given a package. The package contained sound bites for the character that was appearing on the live show the next morning. The character was from Fifi and the Flower tots, but was a man dressed in a costume that appeared alongside the presenter. I was trusted with these sound bites and told to bring them to the office first thing Friday, or the show would simply not work. I was glad to have been given this vital responsibility and left the office feeling like my duties had stepped up from when I first arrived.

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