Sky Scholarship

I am writing this new post to highlight something awesome that has happened this week.

I came to Birmingham City University bot only because it is the top media university in the country but also because of it’s links with the industry that I hope to work in. Every year, the university runs a scholarship program in conjunction with Sky Television in which 3 students are picked and invited to Sky HQ in Isleworth to learn from industry professionals. 

Fully paid and accommodation is paid for.

and they picked me!

The whole interview and application process was a great experience for me and I look forward to the future now with greater expectations. I think it is great that Sky have seen something in me and I have what it takes to succeed.

In other news, this week was awesome and I am celebrating tonight!

To read more then go to http://www.bcu.ac.uk/pme/school-of-media/applying-to-us/sky-scholarship

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.

Hopefully.

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.

http://www.wearelmc.com

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 Drama Part One

So we have started to get into TV Drama and create content that works for an audience. As it has been some time since the last proper assignment or DS in drama, it took some time to get back into the swing of things. In the previous post, I showed what I wanted to achieve with the DS task and now it was time to prove it. On the whole, doing a 3D tracker in the end product looked a bit weird and I would have to research the technique a little more to make it viable on screen.

The filming went well and only took an hour to be created on a 650D and looking at the end product , the shots of the conversation could have been longer so that the audience could take in the printed ‘thoughts’ so If i use this technique again, I would advise the editor to create a longer passage of time between cuts.

Here is the final product.

The new semester starts…

So back to university for more fun and frolics..

This semester I have picked to TV Drama and TV Magazines and Chat Shows. This last module means I can finally get in touch with my inner director and starts producing my own TV show. Ever since last year, I have waited to get back into the TV studio and knowing that we have state of the art equipment to play around with is such a buzz.

Details of this equipment will be given out over the coming blog posts.

But to start with we have been going into TV drama to create a scene under the brief of Valentine’s Day. It was decided to make a 2 minute piece on a blind date in which two people meet for the first but we see there thoughts via speech bubbles.

We shot this on Thursday 30th January over an hour in the Birmingham City University green room. The scene had some establishing shots to create and some cutaways nut the main scenes used single camera technique of both actor’s delivering there lines to each other. This technique was introduced to at college and is how it happens in TV drama nowadays. We left a space for the speech bubbles to pop up and colour graded it. Examples below.

Color1 Color2

The original file (right) was colour graded in Adobe Lightroom with an effect that I had designed to give a more “Instagram” look and added warmth  to blueish scene (right) which is the raw file. Adobe Lightroom is great for adding colour graded effect en masse and I use it a lot for film and pictures to add depth or new muted colours to a shot. It is a shame that Adobe don’t cover this software in the Creative Cloud but it is still available to buy from Ebay.

Next I did a test in After Effects with the 3D camera tracker. This plugin plots the shot and give you markers in which you place the text, picture or movie. I have scene this employed in the latest series of Sherlock and I am desperate to get the raw material to play around with this feature. The first test is below…

http://youtu.be/Yuuscasgt1s

The effect works will in this environment and with the newly graded footage, the letter stand out more.

Next we shall edit and then add the effects before submission.

I will continue to blog about this in future posts.

TimeOut Magazine

Over the weekend, I tried something new.

I have always been a fan of TimeOut London magazine and have an interest in the blog that runs in tandem to the publication. This cross media element has more content for the reader to consume and helps the audience to engage more in the content. Over the past few months, at university, we have been learning about the importance of cross media and how the audience invests more time in the content produced.

So I have been learning more about Adobe AfterEffects and there is a section on the blog called #WordOnTheStreet. This article looks into some of the strange things that are said on the streets of London. So i married the two together to create a new piece of media. I took inspiration from the short videos that Buzzfeed.com do and evolved the style of videos that they do into a style of my own. They also helped me source royalty free music on sound cloud to add depth to the piece.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/

I tweeted the blog boss and now it’s on the website being seen by thousands of people in London.

Ace!

To see the inspiration for the video then clock this link.

http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/12/20/overheard-in-london-the-best-wordonthestreet-of-2013/

http://youtu.be/uFnCxIhcG6A

 

TV Documentary Part 2

To come back to them, we decided to do a documentary on BlocBeatz and House music. This would be an exploratory documentary in which we look at the music industry and how people make money from music nowadays. The reasoning for this documentary and it’s focus was that contributors would be easy to get hold of and it’s a subject that is the focus of our target audience. To further explain that House music is a popular genre which inspires young people to buy music and start to create there own through remixes and DJing.

We wanted to have a youthful look to the piece so having researched the look of ‘youth’ documentaries, we found them to be colourful and have an urban look.

When I mean urban then I mean shots on the streets, urban decay, graffiti and modern cityscapes. The contributors were happily made contact with via BlocBeatz records and the recording process happened over the course of 2 weeks with the final weeks time being allocated to the editing process.

The role I took was Director and Editor which give me some creative control over the look, editing and VFX process. The result can be seen below.

http://youtu.be/rGVeSZv63mU