Category Archives: Technical Skills

Audience Insights

This week I shall be filming an in-house BBC auidence insight event.

The day will consist of following four teams who are taking part in a flash mob in different locations. There are four crews following the four flash mob teams. After a morning of observational filming, we’ll be at a question and answer session with some big names in BBC.

The first bit of filming will be done with a z5 and monopod.

This is the monopod I use when filming

I always tend to use a monopod to counteract the camera. I know there’s other better devices for such a deed but for me, the monopod technique works really well and I always stand by the idea of maknig equpiment work for you. That’s why it’s invented after all!

I’ve been working closely with the event organiser and the afternoon session will be filmed by three static cameras and one roaming; a lot like a stage show such as stand up or theatre productions.

It’ll be a good day, allowing me to use the Z5 again. I have also put my alarm on to remind me to TAKE PICTURES!

Eurovision; First Semi-Finals

It has finally arrived. The first of the Eurovision 2010 Semi-Finals takes place tonight at the Telenor Stadium in Oslo, Norway and is broadcast on BBC Three.

Josh Dubovie stands for his photograph

Tonight, I shall be in the office editing together a video diary that our man in the field, Paul Condon, has been filming. You can follow him on the official BBC Eurovision Twitter feed.

I shall also be updating the news pieces and the website itself for all those who aren’t on Facebook or Twitter.

It’s great getting to use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, iBroadcast and FTP again. I thought I would have forgotten a lot of the process but I think Last Man Standing drilled it into my subconscious.

And I promise, after this week is over I shall start to blog about the world of media, as opposed to just Eurovision. Honestly!

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

Sunday… Filming in London

After the initial gridlock we encountered trying to leave London, filming actually went very well.

On Saturday, whilst traveling back to London, I had sent and arranged for contributor consent and location agreement forms to be signed before we began filming.

It’s incredible what actually goes in to filming. I sometimes forget that it’s not a case of turning up at a location, sticking the camera in someone’s face, and then leaving.

On Sunday night, we then went to film at the Eurovision Preview Party at The Shadow Lounge.

The worst part about this filming was not having another room to conduct the interviews in. When originally told about this filming, we were led to believe we had a separate VIP area but on arriving, the separate room was unavailable. This meant some very crafty microphone work had to be done.

I’m praying that the audio won’t be as bad as I thought. I’ll have to put the transcript up though for multiplatform accessibility reasons.

Tomorrow I shall begin editing together the footage shot on Thursday night, which seems like an age ago!

Sorry I have no pictures of my expedition, but I shall promise to take more in future

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

Daddy or Chips?

It’s a question that we ask ourselves at some point in our lives. Well maybe not. But it’s a question that we asked Josh, this years UK hopefully for Eurovision.

Today I have been editing together the clip.

Using keyframes and Photoshop, I’ve decided to scroll the either / or questions along the bottom and Josh answers them.

The problem I found at first was that you could clearly hear my voice, despite my position behind the directional mic. I think I’ve just got one of those travelling voices.

Anyway, you can relax as I simply went back to the location and filmed wild track. Usually I film wild track at every location, but with this one being right outside I didn’t think it was necessary. Typical that I would need it this time! Thankfully the weather hasn’t changed in London for three weeks.

Now, I am just about to mix the audio tracks together and hopefully the edit will be up on Monday morning!

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

Flip Camera

I have finally done the right thing and bought a flip camera so I can capture all my adventures.

I ordered it from Amazon in the end. They have recently brought out a black version of the chrome version I bought, but I had already used the chrome version before and I knew what I would be getting.

My new Flip Camera

It’s quite the sexy little device and there are so many accessories to add to it… including the option to buy a strap for it so you can attach it to the front of your bike!

So you can look forward to even more video’s being uploaded!

I can sense you excitement already….

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

Blogging, Scripting, Filming and Birthdays!

It’s now very apparent that I can’t blog AND script at the same time!

Writing the Script... first draftI started out quite well with my Scriptwriting Frenzy, but then lost a few days because of filming and celebrating birthdays. This has meant that I am now writing around 4.5 pages a day in order to keep up with the schedule.Actual piece of script from a screengrab

It could be worse…it could be a case of writing something from scratch with just a week and a half to go!

I have also been filming with Josh Dubovie, our hopeful for Eurovision 2010.

I filmed behind the scenes on Wednesday and Thursday, following Josh during his rehearsals.

Then I planned an interview on the Friday morning so that he could talk about the rehearsals and the footage that I had already shot could be used as ‘paints’ to illustrate what Josh spoke about.

I then needed to edit the package together and comply it on Friday afternoon so it could be published.

(Needless to say that the interview was rescheduled for the Thursday afternoon instead. Great as it gave me more time to edit the package. But it meant I had less time to think about the questions.)

Shooting to edit is a very important technique when you have such a small time frame. For example, with this interview I threw some ideas around on the Wednesday afternoon after the first lot of filming to come up with two ‘safe’ options I could talk to Josh about.

These ‘safe’ options couldn’t give away anything that was taking place with the staging.

I chose to ask Josh about being in TVC and the simple dance routine he had been practising.

This consequently meant I knew exactly what to film during the behind the scenes.

A few more filming dates are coming up in the next few weeks which I will tell you about…

For up to the minute information about what I am doing, you can follow my Twitter account.

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

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.

Tubes Sport Relief Rap

Great news everyone!

At 1330 today, the Tubes Sport Relief rap was the second biggest video on BBC Programmes site!

I worked on this with fellow BBC colleagues Jon (no ‘H’) Cahn and Saj (no ‘R’) Chowdhury.

It was a great way for me to use After Effects and I think it’s really done its job as a little viral for people to pass round.

The man himself, Tubes, mentions the event in his own diary (half way down the page…just before the ‘fever’ subheading).

Enjoy people….

Click here to see the said video.

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

Post Production Reinvented?

During 2010 Birds Eye View Film Festival, there are a number of skillset courses and talks taking place. I managed to attend one about Post Production at the ICA.

Although the speaker, Fernando Ruiz, knew a LOT about filmmaking and post production, and was VERY passionate about his topic, I thought the talk was going to be about what the future has to bring for filmmakers.

I have already shot tapeless, editing and digitally grading the footage on FCP. Topics that Fernando was explaining.

The Reinvented term in the title of the talk, made me think it was going to be about the future of Post Production.

For example, iPhone applications that News Teams are apparently being given in order to send their edited footage around the world in seconds! Amazing!

The speaker also disappointed me a little with his approach to the Internet.

Yet again he was a stereotypical “it’s just the web” kind of person.

A true #fail in my eyes because with BBCs Project Canvas and a series of other on-demand functions soon to be streaming through your television, I believe the relationship between filmmaking and the web hasn’t even started.

Ahh well. At least I managed to hand out a few business cards…

The opinions and views above are completely mine and not of my employer.

Dragons’ Den Online

Dragons’ Den Online is back in full swing and I jumped at the chance of filming the After the Den interviews on DSR.

You may have heard about the new online only version of the show from fellow blogger Lee Collins.

What a lovely crisp morning in ManchesterThis photograph shows Manchester at 6AM, just as I arrived at the location.

We filmed with Dom Byrne who you may know from The Chris Moyles Show or Oddbox. He was great and you can find him on Twitter!Dom Byrne commenting on Twitter about the filming day

Although we were late in starting the first pitch because of an issue with the lift, by 10AM we were ready to start and the first entrepreneur went to pitch their idea to the two Online Dragons; Shaf Rasul and Julie Mayer.

We watched each of the pitches in the Gallery so that Dom could make notes and ask the intrepid entrepreneurs questions corresponding to the action in the Den.

My DSR camera waiting to be put on the TripodThe main thing that I learnt from it all was FOCUS! The last time I filmed the Dom Interviews, a lot of my footage seemed to be out of focus which was a real shame. However this time I made sure that every shot, wherever I moved to, was in focus.

I did this by zooming in, checking the focus, and reframing quickly while the Entrepreneur answered the question.Watching the pitches from the Gallery

It was a fantastic day despite the 12 hours of running up and down four flights of stairs. It made the lamb curry at dinnertime all the more satisfying.

I had to use talkback to keep in contact with all production crew

Bring on the next block…

These are my own opinions and views and not those of my employer.