Category Archives: Research

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.

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Sunshine and Pens

Temperatures are expected to reach 17C this weekend. With that in mind, it’s time to take the scriptwriting on the road!

Well, when I say on the road, I mean to the park.

I’m 13 pages in to my Scriptwriting Frenzy.  I should be writing about 3.3 pages per day in order to meet the 100 page quota for the deadline. Certainly won’t be doing the College trick and leaving it until the night before!

In other news, the recce went really well and I was able to make contact with the people running the Eurovision event.

Took a few stills and have worked out where to do any filming; the venue is a pub and so noise was instantly a real issue.

From my experience when I filmed in a Playgroup for Children in Need, I shall be using a clip mic on any contributors and make sure their backs are to the crowd. It worked really well for me with the Tess Daly video

One last thing. A huge thank you for the link on The Manchizzle website! Make sure you keep up to date with all the Manchester based blogs by visiting this site.

Meanwhile, you can keep up to date with my weekend adventures with my Twitter account.

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

Prepping for my shoot

As part of the preparation for any shoot, I try to conduct a recce at least once.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, a recce is when you head to a possible location to have a look at its facilities. These include, plug sockets and electrical supplies, lighting already available, bathroom facilities, where would be the best place for any interviews or reconstructions, where food can be supplied from, the list is endless.

Gemma Fact: The word recce is actually a military term. It comes from the word reconnoitre, which is when you obtain information by visual observation.

It’s generally a chance for you to familiarise yourself with somewhere you may never have been.

It really helps when you have a contributor or crew present as well, as it means you are already one step ahead.

For the Eurovision website we will be going to different venues to see how they are preparing for an event that will be watched by around 250million people!

To be honest, I’m quite excited about the one coming up. I’ve never been on a recce that might end with an iced Margarita!

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

Scriptwriting

There is a fantastic Scriptwriting class that I used to go to every Wednesday when I lived in Manchester. The course gave me a weekly deadline to work towards so that I kept my scriptwriting skills fresh.

Since I have moved down to London I have also tried to keep to a familiar schedule.

Finding a similar class in London would be great although I can only find night classes or one off seminars.

If anyone has any suggestions, it would be a great help.

On Monday afternoon I had a great time in Ealing LibraryIdeas Book writing the next episode of my drama series; a mix of Desperate Housewives and The Sopranos. (Not set in a family home though.)

Characters from Showroom

I also began the third draft of my Kasey West script;
(working title) House Plans

Kasey West is a character my best friend came up with at University after a dream! When I heard the name I instantly thought, that is someone you would NOT mess with and the Espionage Character came to life in my first drama, shot in 2006.

Kasey West Script

I began House Plans when I first went to script writing class and love how the characters are starting to really come alive.

I planned to make this film in September ’09 but with the move down to London, production had to be put on hold.

Now, in London, I’m starting to build up this film network again. I shall keep you up to date with suggestions and news about this quest…

Kasey West Journal

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

Archiving and Archive

Eurovision WebsiteEurovision is soon to be upon us and as part of the website I am currently collating the winners from the past.

I think that’s one of the great things about working at the BBC… the archives. With just a search on the BBC intranet, you can get tapes from yesteryear… even things in Black and White!

I’ll be clipping everything in Final Cut Pro this time I think as I haven’t used it for a couple of weeks.

I always think it’s strange when go from using one editing software to another.

It’s almost like you are a translator but instead of a interpreting a verbal language, it’s an editing language.

Whilst doing this, I’m also archiving all the clips I did for SYTYCD so I can send them to contributors etc.

It also means that I have copy of everything I have done, not only for my showreel but also, in case anything happens legally that means I have to provide a version.

I know the chance of anyone questioning anything is very slim after it has been complied, but it’s better to be safe!