Wednesday, 25 October 2017

DIGITAL NEWS: Project Evaluation

I was excited to start this unit because I was in a different group from the documentary unit last year, and I was looking forward to working with new people. I was eager to learn about the news and to create our own channel because it's never been something that I've thought about before. How do people find their research? - as the viewer, we learn about the rest of the country/world from the news, so where do they find it? How do they broadcast it live to different countries and channels? How many people are involved in the whole process from initial research to presenting/broadcasting it out? These are some of the questions I had and have learnt the answers to throughout this unit.

Coming up with the idea at the start was difficult - I remember sitting in the base room with Alex and Katie just staring into space trying to think of an idea. It was Alex who mentioned about Stoptober which initially got us onto the alcohol topic and after gaining and dropping ideas we came up with the myth and misconception theme for our channel. Once we had our story, trying to find the volunteers seemed quite difficult but now I look back on it, once we had contacted Broadditch we had a willing interviewee after just a couple of emails and Aidan was up for helping us from the start. We just had to look at the rejected phone calls and getting passed onto other people as an experience with trying to deal with real people about a real topic. 

The workshop with the green screen where we created the #StopTheTrucks report was very helpful. It showed us what it was like to work with time restraints which was applied in our live piece at Broadditch, as it had to be bang on 2 minutes. We could also work on presenting skills and getting into the frame of mind as a presenter. 

Overall, our filming days went to plan. I helped out on the camera, the timings and set design. Our contributors were easy to work with and we had no problems at the locations. We got all the shots we needed until the last minute when Katie had to go out to get an establishing shot of a pub near her house. The bar we used was in a house and we wanted it to feel like it was in an actual pub so we were going to get a shot of a real pub to lead up to the M&M scene.

What worked?
- Our shoot went really well, we got the majority of the shots we needed in the two days that we scheduled.
- We did all of our stages at the right times and stayed within the schedule which was impressive.
- We did not need to re-shoot after feedback with Helen and Sam which means we definitely got all the correct shots for our story. There were bits we could have done at the time to make our video that much better but we have learnt these things for future shoots.
- I think all the graphics, titles and sound effects that we were able to put in gave the film a bit more life. These worked really well in our programme because we created a quirky channel and the weirder/quirkier/brighter, the better. 

What didn't work?
- We came across some struggles throughout all the production stages (pre, production and post). In the pre-production stage, we struggled with contacts for a while. None of us really wanted to go on the phone with anyone and then when we did, some of the contacts we wanted we couldn't see e.g. when the people from the public health kept telling us to contact people below them, when we really wanted the best/highest person we could get. Another problem I found in the pre-production stage, was that the research we did about rubbing the lemon on the armpit isn't quite correct. The people of Puerto Rico believe that the lemon should be rubbed before drinking alcohol and we tested it out after Aidan had been drinking. I'm still not convinced it would work but we should have looked this up and maybe changed it in the script. However, this is not a big issue.

- In the production stage, there were a couple of bits that were said on camera that we didn't realise until we were editing. One thing Jason mentioned was that he says "back to you guys at the studio" when it's only Alex he was throwing the programme back to. We said that "you guys" could mean Alex and the audience or crew and now we see it has a positive thing. In the shots of Jason and Aidan sat on the sofa talking about Aidan's results for the hangover cures, one of them is really dark and the other is near-perfect lighting. This is when the others twigged that they only used one soft box light for half of the filming and then realised two looked better without changing the shots with just the one light. They didn't realise this at the time but it does show in the edit, which means the continuity isn't there. Jason lightened it and it looks a lot better, also the shots aren't next to each other in the video so it's not obvious. We could have had better time management also as we had to get the ingredients when we were meant to be filming, this lead to us filming later than what we thought we would and losing the light.

- In the post-production stage, we realised our whole video was way too long - about 30 seconds over, which was mainly in the package. I think this is because Alex said he may have read the script too fast when he did the timings, and not factored in that the presenters wouldn't always have the words in front of them and therefore will speak slower. This wasn't too much of a problem because we were able to cut out some bits quite easily and in the end we were roughly about 6 seconds over, which was a big improvement. There were some bits which seemed quite long and dragged so luckily we were able to cut these. We also peaked a few times in the edit, but this was a simple fix by lowering the volume of the dialogue in Adobe Audition. When we thought we were finished and had exported the video, we realised we forgot a shot and spelt something wrong. We managed to correct this but it was very frustrating thinking that we were finished and then realising we weren't.

What did I learn?
- During this unit, I learnt to not be put off by talking to someone on the phone. This will only prolong the work and I now know that if I don't go on the phone I will never be able to contact anyone for my films.
- I have learnt to make sure all the research is complete and correct before writing the script and filming.
- I have learnt to factor in 'real-life' talking when doing timings and to not speak too fast as this isn't something I thought would be a problem up until now.
- Make sure every point is down on a to-do list so I don't forget to add in shots/other things to-do. I created a to-do list for us towards the end so we would forget something but unfortunately forgot to add that shot that we missed.
- Have better time management - get props and bits for shoot before shoot and not on the day.

What could be improved next time?
- Continuity is something I know to think about all the time in the future. If I change equipment or a piece of set then I know I always have to go back and re-shoot the previous videos to match with the new layout. We learnt this the hard way with the lights, causing the shots to have different looks.
- Double, triple check everything. Spelling and any forgotten shots because it will save time later.
- Contact people earlier, we were contacting people and asking to film with them the following week. We should have had our contacts sorted and dates planned by then. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

DIGITAL NEWS: 'The Bunker' Website & Trailer

As part of the brief we had to create a website to advertise our channel. Ours is called THE BUNKER, as this is the name of our channel. I created the website on with input from Katie and Alex about the content involved and how we wanted the website to look. We speculated for ages about if we wanted the whole video on it or just the trailer, which is another component for the project. My idea was to have the trailer shown on the website and then a link to the youtube channel of the whole video but in the end we put the trailer and full video on the website.

The Bunker website:

Edit view:

We were able to preview it as we were going to see what it was going to look like once it was published. I was very happy with how it was looking and we just needed the final video uploaded on it and the website is finished.

When we were editing the video, I had a thought about the colour of the website. The video is very loud and boisterous with thick, black lines in the titles, which is what we wanted - quirky, big and bold. However, the website had the peach colour over 'Latest Video' and to me it looked very girly. Therefore, I changed the main colour to red and then Alex suggested the dark red. These colours go better with the theme of our video and makes much more sense to me.

I wanted to make sure the website had just our photos and information on it. So we used the background from the studio shots as the background photo on the website to link it to the myths and misconception theme. Katie and myself decided to put a photo of us on the Suggestions page because if people did write into us then they could see who they would be talking to. It also makes the website look more personal and unique to us as our news channel.

Final website:

Alex edited the trailer together as he had a strong idea of what he wanted it to be like; and he did not disappoint. We were very impressed with the trailer - it was upbeat and very punchy. It made me want to watch the full news video which is good because hopefully our audience will feel the same way and will enjoy our news piece.

Monday, 23 October 2017

DIGITAL NEWS: Further Editing & Fine Cut Feedback

We are scheduled to have a fine cut feedback session with Helen on Tuesday but Sam was in today to look at our edits today so we can have them even more refined for Helen.

Sams feedback:
- Sam was confused as to why we had blurred out the rest of the food for the fry up other than the onion because the VO says 'these beauties' and as this is plural he thought it was all the different foods for the fry up.

- He wasn't keen on the posters we put on the wall, he said they just looked like we had handwritten posters for no reason, so we had to explain that we wanted it to look like the conspiracy theorist had drawn them all up. He said we should have considered the green screen more but we wanted that handwritten look so thats why we went against the green screen. 

- During the live piece we hear Alex say the words 'Broadditch Farm' but we see a clip of Katie walking through the maze which without introduction/explanation just looks like she's walking through a confined space, not an open farm. So he suggested we change the clip to a GV of the farm which we all agreed on.

- Sam also thought John was a bit dull and that we could put in a scoreboard or something to liven up the shot of the quiz. We thought John was a good character, theres not much more he could have said so we thought he did really well. We will think about the scoreboard as that would go with our quirky channel. 

- Sam said he liked the sound effect that we have on the 'Results' screen

- He also said that we have bonus points for the dog

- & that he thought the GVs of the farm on top of the interview were really good

In response to Sam's feedback, we have changed the clip of Katie to a shot of the welcoming sign for Broadditch. We are thinking of a timer and whistle for the live piece to liven it up, rather than a scoreboard because John actually only got one answer correct which seems pointless to outline on the shot. 

Further editing
As our different edits are all put together now, today was mainly about refining the whole edit. Colour correcting and titles were an important part of this. Alex had good ideas for the titles, we just had to pick which one we preferred. In the end we went for the titles in the photos below. The titles remind me of a military style writing which fits with our bunker idea, as a 'bunker' is also the shelter that the military can use to stay in/protect themselves in. 

We decided to keep the titles the same the whole way through to keep the continuity throughout. Therefore, we also applied the same font to the piece that I edited with the M&Ms. 

With these shots, Alex came up with the idea of masking the titles so that they follow the shot glasses when they come in and out of the shot and when Jason shakes them the title will shake. This was very difficult and after many attempts he couldn't quite do it, nevertheless, they come onto the screen with the shot glasses and look great just with that. The titles are colour coded to the colour of M&Ms and the grey colour on glutathione demonstrates that the glass is empty. 

Fine cut feedback
We had our fine cut feedback with Helen and overall she was pleased with our progress. Her points are outlined below: 

- Katie and John name checking & get John to speak when Alex introduces him in 'coming up in the video' / this is the live bit so that may not work - maybe have to cut the shot of John completely as its not been filmed yet.
- Sequence needs continuity (Jasons hand is not continued)
- Sound effect when labels appear???
- Colour correcting - white walls and white sofa gives flat look
- More cocktail - pace dropped in M&M section - upbeat, shaking cocktail etc…
- Cut out sick noise? just shot of Aidan on toilet and Jasons reaction
- Stings - keep the energy up
- Establishing shot of the bunker???

In response to Helens fine cut feedback we have found a sting to liven up the sequences and we have found an audio track for the visual metaphor sequence. I also need to look into the section where Jason's hand isn't off the table but then in the next shot it is above the table. We may be able to slightly change the colour/shade of the sofa so it's different to the wall to help it look less flat in the shots with Jason and Aidan together. 

When Alex says what's coming up and mentions John, we ideally needed to have a shot on top of John, originally we had a shot from the live interview, until Helen reminded us that as its live we can't use a shot from that because its technically not happened yet. To combat this, we used a shot from the rehearsal so its not from the live interview. 

Helen also said that we should have a establishing shot of 'The Bunker' but we were running out of time and none of us knew a shelter good enough to be classed as our Bunker. 

We addressed all of Helen's points in our final edit session today. Alex, Jason and myself refined the edit to completely finished and on Ferg's hard drive today. We added titles, graphics, sound effects and bright, bold colours to go with our quirky theme. 

We also added a countdown for the end of the quiz and a klaxon to signal when the quiz ended. It's just these small, simple changes that have transformed our programme to a sometimes-quirky-sometimes-boring piece to a upbeat and lively piece all the way through. Again, when words and when Aidan popped up for the first time we added little 'bings' just to add to the liveliness. 

I am fully happy with the final edit and think we have all done a brilliant job. It's fun to watch and has a good story which is newsworthy. 

Our edit script is now complete also. I transcribed Aidan's dialogue and every word on the script is now word-for-word with the video. 

Edit script:

Intro Sequence / GFX
Intro music
PTC in studio / Alex presenting
Alex PTC:
“Hello and welcome to THE BUNKER, YouTube’s answer to debunking weird, wonderful myths and theories you may or may not even know even existed. In today’s show, Katie goes to Broadditch Farm in Kent to investigate their spooky Halloween events and puts John to the test with some Halloween myths. But first, we’ve all been there: out for some pints, maybe a few cocktails, possibly even a few shots?  And then, sadly, the hangover.  But what exactly is a hangover, and more importantly, can you cure it?  I sent Jason to find out…”
PTC in bar (?) / Jason presenting / Visual demonstration of hangover gubbins / Graphics? / CU of face gradually paling up and beginning to sweat.
Jason PTC:
“To put it simply with a few big words: when we drink, the enzymes in our liver transform alcohol into something called acetaldehyde, which is then broken down by glutathione into acetates, which are absorbed into the body.  As we drink more, our stores of glutathione start to run out, meaning that more acetaldehyde is left to absorb into the body.  And since acetaldehyde can be anywhere between 10 and 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself, we begin to experience headaches, nausea and the sense of impending doom of the dreaded hangover.”
Mid shot of Jason, then zoom out to wide to reveal Aidan
Jason PTC:
This is Aidan [Aidan is revealed in shot], and he’s kindly offered to help us test and possibly debunk some myths about curing hangovers.”
Mid and close-up shots of Jason preparing fry-up in kitchen
Jason PTC:
“My personal favourite treatment is the badboy fry-up.  We’ve got some eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, and onions. Now these beauties [onions] happen to be rich in sulfur, which helps build up glutathione, so in theory, should help to speed up the recovery process.”
Seq / GVs of Aidan eating the fry-up

Mid / Wide shot of Aidan and Jason on the sofa
Jason PTC / Aidan Interview:
“So Aidan, how are you feeling after that meal?”
“Yeah not too bad, the food wasn’t the best but.” “Good good good, well make sure tonight you’re drinking plenty of water. So, I’m going to see you tomorrow morning.”
“Will do.”
Seq / GVs of Aidan drinking, waking up, drinking lots of water
Jason PTC / Music
“Hangovers can make us feel dehydrated because alcohol decreases the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormones, which is used to reabsorb water into the body.  This means that we lose more fluid than normal through urination.  So drinking water as you go seems like a good idea to try to prevent a hangover.”
Mid / Wide shot of Aidan and Jason on the sofa
Jason PTC / Aidan Interview:
“So Aidan man how are you feeling today?”
“Yeah better than yesterday, think the water helped.”
“Good good good, well today i just want you to keep on drinking as we’re going to put to the test ‘hair of the dog’.”
Aidan drinking GVs
Jason PTC / VO:
“This is the myth that drinking more alcohol after a night out will ease the effects of your hangover.  The phrase comes from an old idea that if you were bitten by a rabid dog, you could be cured by eating the hair of the dog that bit you.”
Mid shot of Jason inside bathroom with Aidan being sick
Jason PTC / Aidan:
[Vomiting noises]
Jason in kitchen cutting lemon
Jason PTC
“Well there’s one more supposed cure all the way from Puerto Rico...”
Slow-mo / Close up of Jason rubbing lemon into Aidan’s armpit
Jason PTC:
“Now, this is supposed to prevent dehydration… You feeling hydrated yet?”
Mid / Wide shot of Aidan and Jason at the bar (?)
Aidan Interview:
“So Aidan man, I know you’ve had a rough few days, what’s worked best for you?”
“Yeah I think staying hydrated definitely worked the best but I’m going to stay away from the lemons from now on.”
“Yeah man, well there you have it. Keep hydrated and definitely don’t rub lemons in your armpit. Back to you guys at the studio.”
PTC in studio / Alex presenting
Alex PTC:
“Thanks for the advice Jason, I think I’ll stick to one drink for now.  [sips drink] It’s October, which means that Halloween is just around the corner, so our reporter in the field, Katie Joslin has gone to Hauntfest at Broadditch Farm to investigate the spooky goings-on and to put some Halloween myths to the test… This really tastes funny…”
Mid shot of Katie / Est shots / GVs of Broadditch Farm and Hauntfest
Katie PTC:
“Thanks Alex, I’m here at Broadditch Farm where they have just opened their annual hauntfest. I’m here with John who is one of the owners of Broadditch Farm...”
Mid shot of Katie and John with GVs overlaying
John Interview:
00:19 - Thanks Alex, I’m here at Broadditch Farm where they’ve just opened their annual Hauntfest.
00:24 - I’m here with John who is one of the owners of Broadditch Farm
00:27 - John, what exactly is Broadditch Hauntfest?
00:29 - So, hauntfest is our Halloween attractions that we open each year, we’ve got 5 haunts and attractions that we put on for the public, all themed differently,
00:38 - We’ve actually been running since 2001, so we’ve yeah in our 16th year.
00:44 - Yeah, sounds good, and is there anything special happening to any of the attractions this year?
00:49 - Each year we try to change them all, so they’re all going to have modifications, different scares, different interactions for the public to enjoy, umm if it was left the same obviously people wouldn’t want to keep coming back, so we have to up our game in accordance, yeah.
01:03 - And do you have a personal favourite?
01:05 - I actually have two favourites if I’m allowed, first one being the spooky castle which was one of the first haunts we ever started with, the other for this season anyway would certainly be Thirteen The Freaks as it’s very interactive, really full on.

Mid shot of Katie and John with Gfx overlaying
John Quiz:
01:22 - Okay, sounds spooky, umm right now I’ve just got a little quiz for you, all you have to do is answer whether you think it’s a myth or a fact.
01:29 - Okay, so the first one is Halloween is the Devil’s Holiday?
01:34 - No that’s a myth, it’s got to be a myth.
01:38 - Yep, it’s a myth, it’s actually derived from celtic and druid ritual which is separate from christianity so has got nothing to do with the devil.
01:44 - Umm, Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926, myth or fact?
01:50 - Oh, probably a myth, going with myth again
01:53 - It’s a fact! There’s an official Houdini seance conducted every year.
01:58 - Well I didn’t know that
01:59 - You should watch out for poisoned sweets whilst trick or treating, myth or fact?
02:04 - I’ll go for fact this time
02:06 - It’s actually a myth, although there were a couple of cases but they were poisoned by their parents.
02:11 - Right, so that’s all, you did very well.
02:13 - Thank you

Mid shot of Katie
Katie PTC:
02:14 - You can get your tickets now for Broadditch Hauntfest at, back to Alex in the studio.
PTC in studio / Alex presenting
Alex PTC:
“Very spooky stuff indeed. Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for today, thank you for visiting the bunker, be sure to visit our website or tweet us @TheBunkerMyths to leave suggestions for what you want debunked. See you next time.”
Closing GFX / Credits
Closing music

Final news production

Friday, 20 October 2017

DIGITAL NEWS: Editing Our News Production & Rough Cut Feedback

As we were filming right up until the day before the rough cut deadline, we had only edited parts of the news production so we had something to show Helen for her feedback. We each took different parts to edit. Alex started the studio shots and the trailer, Katie edited the 'live' section and put the cutaways on top of the interview, and Jason and myself took different parts of the package as that was the biggest section.

I took the section with our visual metaphor and the M&Ms, when I started I realised how difficult this bit was because we did the M&Ms and the talking separately and Jason was talking too fast for his hands when I put it together. After a bit of experimenting I thought about speeding up the parts where his hands leave the shot to pick up a glass to bring back into the shot. As we have produced a quirky video this worked really well and gave a fun element to it, which flows with the theme of our channel.

Speeding up effect on video:

As it can be seen from the photos below, the DSLR has a nicer colour to the shots than the EX's. Once each of our edits are put together next week we will all input into the colour correction and text to help produce the best look that we can get for our production.

DSLR camera
EX camera

EX camera 

Colour correction
Because of the significant change of colour from two completely different cameras, I colour corrected my section of the edit so the colour was the same throughout. As it can be seen from the photos below, the colour is a lot nicer and matches the DSLR photo without needed to actually colour correct the DSLR shots.

EX camera - colour corrected

EX camera - colour corrected

DSLR camera - not colour corrected

Rough cut feedback
We all had different parts of the production on our computers so we had to show Helen in stages. Alex had the studio section, then it was my turn with one half of the package, next we jumped over to Jason's computer for the second half of the package. We were then back to Alex's studio section and for him to introduce Katie's live section and then finally onto the interview with Katie.

Helen said she liked it and it was really fun. She said she could tell what the story was about and why we were making it into a news topic and thought we were doing really well so far. Helen suggested that we should put text on top of the part with the M&Ms as we are using a lot of confusing words all in one go. But we had already thought about that, just hadn't put it on the edit yet. We thought this would work well to help the audience understand the words when we talk about them and as its a fun news production the words will fit in nicely.

MAJOR PROJECT: Project Evaluation

Production My aim for this major project unit was to further develop the aspects of production which I had written about in the p...