Category Archives: General Waffles

Just my random blogs which haven’t got much to do with pre production, production or post production

Marketing Yourself at the BECTU Freelance Fair

If you missed me taking to the stage for the BECTU Freelance Fair, fear not! You can see some highlights here… (get your popcorn ready!)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Eurovision, EastEnders, Strictly and more!

I think there needs to be some equation set out that explains the disinterest in blogging and tweeting if you do it in your work-life. Something along the lines of…

blogging + work = not blogging at home

There, that can be it! Not sure what all these mathematicians and scientists are singing and dancing about…. equations are actually quite easy.

Anyway, since my last entry so much has changed! Life seems to have a fun way of twisting and turning in such a short space of time and before you know it a year has already passed, you’ve done two months on EastEnders (as blogger Guest Insider) and you are back to working on Strictly Come Dancing.

Gemma presenting at Playback

Me presenting at my playback session

I guess the most recent thing that has happened has been my presentation about integration and how successful it can be to a production. Using Eurovision 2011 as an example, I gave my top 5 tips to getting the most out of Multiplatform and Linear teams working together.

Gemma Hodgson

Me presenting at my Playback session

They were:
1. Be positive– I knows sounds totally cliché but it’s amazing how many ideas get turned down within the first sentence because of the word ‘no’ aka ‘can’t be bothered to investigate’

2. Do your research – I think as well as being part of the Multiplatform team, it’s also your job to educate the linear teams about what is possible regarding audience interaction these days. And to also let them know how cheap it can be these days!

3. Get involved – being a self shooting, self editing ACP means that I can film and edit for the linear teams. It’s a great way to really feel part of a team so if you have and skills, even if they are very basic, get practicing so that next time someone needs something covering you can put your services forward.

Gemma Hodgson

Presenting at my playback session

4. Be flexible – It’s clear that you aren’t going to work office hours anymore, especially when the production really gets going. It’s important to understand and remember this!

5. Finally, learn the lingo – Not only is it your job to educate people about the world of the web but also, to help with team morale and getting involved – see tip 3 ;o) – learn the lingo of the TV production. It really helps you to feel part of something more than ‘just the web’

So they are the top tips I presented. It was a very interesting experience and one that I really enjoyed. It’s really helped me to get focused for upcoming events.

Soon I shall be working on Strictly and I have already set reminders to help me blog each week about my experiences. It’s certainly set to be an interesting autumn!!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Airfront Media Ltd website up and running!

It’s finally arrived! The website for Airfront Media Ltd by the very talented Front-end web developer and designer Paul Michael Smith (not biased at all!).

Airfront Media LtdThe website for the North-West based company has been live for a month already with tips on how to cancel ambient noise when those impossible deadlines seem to be creeping closer, and the reason behind those rainbow clouds on the homepage.

Why not have a look around and see what work Paul has been up to since leaving the BBC in 2008 and becoming a Freelance Front-end Developer and Web Designer from Manchester.

A few things that you should try out include, click on the bird on the homepage (nice Twitter touch), click on the basket ball and try to understand the link to the website (very witty), and finally if you refresh the homepage you can see a collection of different posters appear on the left (nice for a bit of change!).

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Staffordshire University visit

Last week I had the privilege to visit my old university, Staffordshire University, for a careers-type talk to those on the Media Production course. They also whisked me away for an interview camera…hmmm I think it’s pretty obvious why I work behind the camera haha. I’m sure I’ll let you know though when it goes live…I know how you’ll want to listen to me witter on!

I spoke to the students about what I have been up to since graduating, using my previous ‘how I got into media‘ blog as inspiration for a lot of what I had to say.

I didn’t realised just how many different jobs and productions I have worked on in the past 5 years! Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

I’d just like to say, good luck to all those in the third year! I hope you all do really well and get to do what you want. For those in the second year, enjoy your final year next year…it’s going to be great!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Why 3D films will never catch on

After a brief mooch on Digg, I found this interesting article about how 3D will never catch on. Taken from a letter written by film editor Walter Murch, there are a few points worth a think…

“The biggest problem with 3D, though, is the “convergence/focus” issue. A couple of the other issues — darkness and “smallness” — are at least theoretically solvable. But the deeper problem is that the audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen — say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.

But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point.

If we look at the salt shaker on the table, close to us, we focus at six feet and our eyeballs converge (tilt in) at six feet. Imagine the base of a triangle between your eyes and the apex of the triangle resting on the thing you are looking at. But then look out the window and you focus at sixty feet and converge also at sixty feet. That imaginary triangle has now “opened up” so that your lines of sight are almost — almost — parallel to each other.

“We can do this. 3D films would not work if we couldn’t. But it is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time, difficult. So the “CPU” of our perceptual brain has to work extra hard, which is why after 20 minutes or so many people get headaches. They are doing something that 600 million years of evolution never prepared them for. This is a deep problem, which no amount of technical tweaking can fix. Nothing will fix it short of producing true “holographic” images.

Consequently, the editing of 3D films cannot be as rapid as for 2D films, because of this shifting of convergence: it takes a number of milliseconds for the brain/eye to “get” what the space of each shot is and adjust.”

You can see the full article, written by Roger Ebert, here.

The views and opinions in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011

OK, so I lied about my next blog being about my short film but I found this and it was much more interesting! Don’t think I will put ‘up next’ on the bottom of my blogs…I never seem to stick to it haha.

The initial programme for the 2011 Birds Eye View Film Festival has finally been announced and it’s already looking quite interesting:

  • A masterclass with filmmaker Lucy Walker, director of award-winning documentaries Blindsight and Wasteland. Taking place at BFI Southbank on Wednesday 16th March.
  • An opportunity to meet some of the filmmakers attending Birds Eye View in association with Shooting People. Taking place on Friday 11th March at the ICA.
  • And also, a chance to see how the scriptwriters from the She Writes scheme has been getting on over the past year.

The tickets go on sale in February. Meanwhile you can keep up to date with all the other news with their Twitter account, on Facebook or through their website.

The views and opinions in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Teleweb from Gerd Leonhard

Have you seen the video below? Basically it’s everything I have been harping on about (sorry about that) in just 8 minutes!

Gerd Leonhard, Founder and CEO of The Futures Agency, Media Futurist, Author and fellow blogger explains the future of television now that the internet has arrived.

He talks about how in 2 – 3 years television sets will automatically connect to the internet and how social networkers are the next broadcasters. In just 5 years you won’t be able to seperate TV and the internet!

It’s good to see that there are professionals with the same thoughts as I have…perhaps I’m not a loon after all!

Digg.com

Well it appears that Digg has had quite the facelift whilst I have been away at Manchester Pride and I think that I have been introduced to their version of the ‘fail whale’ from Twitter.

What is this called though because ‘Fail horse and cart’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it!!? What would you call it?

Fail horse and cart?

Manchester Pride 2010

Its just one more sleep before I head back to the North for Manchester Pride. I’m heading there with one of my best friends Andy Heald.

Manchester Pride 2010
The tickets have been picked up and I’m waiting for the Official Manchester Pride Twitter account to come alive with all the gossip and news about acts, performances and offers.

This year we have the delights of Kelis, Beverley Knight, 4 Poofs and a Piano and Adam Rickitt as well as getting ready to go out with the sound of Ultimate Big Brother playing in the background.

Last year the drama included loosing my chips, making BEST friends (but theb breaking friends) with randomers in one night, and of course more chips.

A bowl of chippies

This year I’m expecting more fun and frolics.

You can keep up to date with all the Pride gossip with their official twitter. Or you can always follow me for some very special tweets and pix! *wink*

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.

Jury Duty Bingo

If you don’t already know, I have been away for the past two weeks on Jury Duty (which by the way is FANTASTIC and so much fun!)

The first week we got a case with a chap who had two counts of ‘violence occasioning actual bodily harm’.

This case took four days and we came to a unanomous verdict of gulity for both counts. He’ll be going dahhhhhn.

The second week we got a case with another chap who had two counts of ‘violence with the intent to cause GBH’

This case got thrown out of court after it appeared his health may have been a deciding factor to the attack…it left a lot of the jury questioning the decision quite heavily but I suppose that’s how it sometimes pans out.

Anyway, during the two weeks I noticed various things about the courtroom and how people spoke / addressed others.

Therefore, I have come up with Jury Duty Bingo, so if any of you out there have the fortune to be called up to serve, take this along with you and see if you can get all 9!

Jury Duty Bingo

I’ve also scaled it the same size as a pad of paper which you get to write on in court so you can tuck it nicely in between the pages ;o)

Not all will be said. For example the ‘disobediant open black gown’ corresponds to the gown the barristers / ushers etc wear and the amount of times they have to pull it back onto their shoulders! Watch out for that one.

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.