Thursday, March 25, 2010

FTV #1 - An introduction

Evening All!! This is the first in what I hope to be a selection of posts about my life as Film & Television (FTV) student. This follows a post I did a few weeks ago about VT filming (early edits look amazing!). When the time came when I was 17 to pick out a University and a course, I struggled. I did not know whether to leave home and be independent or to stay and go to University of Manchester or Salford. The pile of prospectuses on my floor was so I that I nearly injured myself a few times.  Then a sign came along!

It was an advert for the University of Lincoln. And part of the Ad was a bit about working in a TV studio, which is what I wanted to do. The ad was rather cheesy, but I ordered a prospectus anyway and they had the perfect course: Film and Television which, if I remember correctly, had only 28-ish places. I was lucky to get in. I didn't fancy Media Production because of the other things involved such as Radio and Design. But this is perfect.

However there was a small catch. FTV is a joint subject, meaning I had to pick something else to go with it. I chose English. But people in FTV weren't enjoying their joints, so they transferred to Media Production. This left very few of use to actually run a studio when we started Multi-Camera Projects in January 2009. In one of our warm-up excersizes, I was directing, PA-ing, Vision Mixing and VT-ing at the same time!

It was a disaster.

So the University split us up and put us into Med-Production Multi-Cam groups. The warm-up exercise we did in my first week with the new group was called Cannibalism For Dummies. I was lighting assistant. It wasn't great, but it was early days! Note the lack of set! To be fair, we were given 1 week to organize. The task was to make a 5 minute film with the following items: a book, a saucepan and some tickets. 

Not great was it?

Then after a series of warm-up exercises, we went onto our Level 1 Assessment. We had to make a children's TV show about any country in the world except for England. This had to be part of a series. So we brainstormed and we came up with... Kenya! And things went great. I was on Camera. We had a great set, a great team and a great idea. All we had to do was get the damn thing right! This is because this is not something that you just give in. You had to do the "live broadcast" on a particular date, at a particular time and would get marked down otherwise. Things went brilliant on the actual day. Then the actual broadcast was not as good as our practice session a few minutes earlier. We still got a pretty decent mark though!!

I was actually proud of this. There was a shot I struggled with where one of the presenters stands-up. I never stayed with him... until the broadcast! I was so happy with myself. Probably too happy because I mucked up a later shot. But I think it could have been  much worse!

At the moment, we're doing something called a Free Project. This is where the world is our oyster and we can do what we want. We are doing a drama called "Watershed" which is about a group of survivors of a zombie-type apocalypse that are trapped in a TV studio, so they make news broadcasts to the world about how to survive and what new developments about the epidemic that they find on the internet. I say zombie-like because it is more of an infection. Its going really well at the moment. I am manning the Vision Mixing desk. This is basically "live editing" where I press a button and you, the audience, see a different shot, a change to VT or a graphic. It sounds like a relatively easy thing to do and compared to most of the jobs, it really is. But at the end of the day, if I screw up then that is the overall mark screwed! No pressure then...

Of course my desk is no-where near that big in the picture! Mine is about a third of the size. But I am certain about 1 thing... one of these things was used for the controls for the Death Star Weapon!!!! And yes, I have pulled down the lever on the desk AND done the sound effect...


Hopefully this hasn't bored you all to an early death. but I thought that talking about my studies in such a great subject on my blog would be a great way of making it seem a bit more productive!

That is all :)