TV Studio Part 2

This blog post comes a little late because I didn’t have the files to show you an improvement in skill.

This week’s directed study class was the same of part one but roles were swapped, so instead of being a director, I moved to the left one position and became a vision mixer. A vision mixer is the next part in the chain in the TV studio environment that takes instructions from the director on what camera to ‘cut’ to, apply effects and run what the audience sees on screen. This is of great interest to me because of the technical aspect that this roles holds.

For more information on the role, check out the wonderful SkillSet Job Description.

This roles is where all the action is in my opinion and where all the roles within the television studio are centralised to. Doing this role gave me better skill, understanding and team working skills within the TV studio environment. It was very apparent that everyone is relying on you and vice versa and for the few minutes that I was on the desk pressing and pulling levers, you get a feeling of accomplishment when the shots and direction go well.

So judge for yourselves and have a look at these 2 takes done recently.





TV Studio Part 1

This week, I have been mostly looking into TV Studio practises to complete the module “TV magazine and Talk Shows”

This semester, we as a unit of 20 odd students must complete a 23 minute live studio piece in one take. This means making all the content that lies within. Having not done anything to do with TV studio for around 10 months, it was good to get back into the swing of directing again and realising how much I have forgotten over that time period.

Below is the first attempt at directing I have made.

The whole process in this environment is dependent on people working as a team and looking back at the footage, it is evident that I was forever chasing the conversation that was happening on screen. The director gives instructions to a vision mixer who presses the buttons to “cut” to a different camera in follow the conversation. I felt that me trying to follow the conversation and relaying the information to a vision mixer delayed the process but I have time to practise.


The studio I was practising is one of the most advanced in the UK and it is a privilege to actually work in an environment in which I want to move into for employment when I leave university. This studio is future proofed and features the latest technology which makes a techno nerd like myself dribble (but not on the equipment). Even the sound desk is used by the BBC on Strictly Come Dancing to mix the band.

This project will be hard work and I will pick you posted on what happens next.

Little Miss Creative

Just another post to highlight what I have been up to regarding work experience.

Just did a short video for a Birmingham company called Little Miss Creative. It was a behind the scenes video in which I had to capture the 18-34 year old women of Birmingham doing a advert for the new Little Miss Creative website.

It was done on the Saturday before the release of the website and the weather was horrible. It was the windiest conditions I have ever filmed in. This showed up on the raw files that I downloaded on the day after. (Seriously after 5 hours, all I wanted to do was get into bed) The shoot itself was looking at the emotions and business of the actual shoot. I think I captured  enough of the emotion in the raw files and in the final product.

It being windy on the day, I had to stabilise the shots somehow so I used a plugin called “Warp Stabilzer” that processes the shots and makes them more watchable. With the extreme conditions, The finals processed shots were VERY wavy. If I had more time, I would have bought a monopod with me but this placement was a little last thing. For future reference, I would certainly use stabilisation on the raw files.

The raw files were once again processed in Lightroom just to give a bit of definition to the foreground subjects and edited in Adobe Premier Pro. The titles were done in After Effects with a plugin called “Decode” and the background shots where extremely colour graded in Lightroom and “Gaussian Blur” was added to the mix as well.

Having learnt how to manipulate Photoshop files in After Effects the process of the initial reveal was easier then creating the logo myself.

Here is the final project.

TV Documentary

The next part of this blog discusses what I did and learnt from the TV documentary module at Birmingham City University.

This module’s final piece was to create a documentary from what we learnt over the 6 weeks in the workshops. The process was a long one discussing various techniques that are used in the TV documentary genre including narrative, interviews shots and look but one of the most useful parts was the discussion on documentaries that were being shown throughout the 6 weeks on television.

We looked at Body-shock documentaries, pieces about subcultures of society and expiatory documentaries about life as a student. Each one really followed a theme in which a presenter or voice over artist introduced a situation and was taken over by the action of the subject or theme. This process of making a documentary would be beneficial to making our final piece.

But now the DS tasks…

The only real DS taks of note (or that I can show you) is the tutorial video that was made in which we practised we camera and shooting techniques to make a short instructional video in which we explained how a tripod was put together.

The video link is below….

This video was filmed on the trusty warehouse of the 650D, graded slightly in Adobe Lightroom to bring out the shadows and mids about more and then edited (by myself) on Premier Pro. The video would take the premise of voice describing the action on screen. This was a process that had been discussed in the workshops prior to the filming. The audio was captured on the 650D and added to the edit later.

The title sequence that we used was created by myself in After Effects using a plugin called Sure Target which uses null layers to focus on the words in a 3D sequence. This process could be done manually but it would take along time to produce. The final video was praised for it’s simplicity and the choice of shots especially the pull focus in which extending the legs was described.

I enjoyed making all aspects of this video and think it is testament to the methods that I have learnt over the years in education.


Music Promotion Part 2

Next part in this franchise I call Music Promotion.

The next part was to finally do a music video. As you may or may not know, I currently work for a record called BlocBeatz ( I convinced them to firstly give us an artist to do a music video for and tie it into a cross media piece where a clothing brand would be promoted. The clothing brand was Disorder Boutique and they would provide t-shiorts for all talent to wear.

The shoot would just cover a basic amount of shots and we would try to create a ‘glitch effect’ that would match the music in post. This glitch effect would be achieved mainly by the Plugin – Twitch which is available for free at Video Co-Pilot. The rest of the effects would be added afterwards in post giving the video a pulse which matched the house music beat. All the permissions slips were signed and the location was released for our use. The custard factory has great graffiti backdrops and I would love to speak to the artists to see if I could do a time-lapse video of them painting.

Problems we had was the lack of involvement from the artist and model as in that they would not act any scene. So we were reliant on the post to make the video interesting. The camera used was my trusty 650D through a 18-50mm lens on a tripod, with the tripod being used as a steady cam when the walking and pans shots were filmed.

The result…

Things I would do again,

I would think more a concept for this video and hopefully add additions of a different scene but the artist and model were not available for any other shoots. This would make the video more interesting and have a different point of reference after the slow 360 pans.

and so concludes the franchise of Music Promo.

What happened over summer?

The times I had over summer were a maniac time. No activities of fun until I started filming. Work, WOrk, and added work.

When that came to an end, the next step on the timelapse journey took me to Kettering in which I took several photos graphs to make a video. Well, saying that now, no one would give me permission (which was rubbish)  and the only ones who would give me permission were Wicksteed Park. So this is the timelapse video I did for them. The whole thing was shot on my Canon 650D and I took 2000 photos.

Next I used Lightroom to colorgrade and photoshop to arrange them into sequences to create the timelapse .mov’s. I am happy to a point and this only proved to me a few things.

Firstly, the time between each shot is dependent on the speed of the subject and sometimes doing 1 shot a sec isn’t fast enough. Next time I will do 4fps depending on what I am shooting.

I plan now to do the same in Birmingham and continue on the the journey to a BA Hons.

Since being back at university, I have a few jobs on the go. Editing for SPGTV, Bloc Beatz and Student services but I want to get into an internship. I will keep you posted.