Our TV show was called Manipulation and was about 4 (changed to 3) contestants working as a team to try and complete certain tasks or challenges. But, one of these contestants is a mole/saboteur. Their job is to try and make the team loose the task. Everyone in the team then votes on who they think the saboteur is. The person who leaves the round and the show will depend on if the task has been won or lost and who gets the majority vote or who votes wrong.
The show has a very strong opening, with the one line at the beginning and then kicking into the titles. The sound levels at this point do go a bit off, it becomes very quiet when we go back to the studio after the titles for about 30 seconds. The titles colours and imagery go well with the set design, but not a lot happens in them, they could have been a bit longer and with some input of Dom, our presenter but they still work well for the format. The quality of the video is quite poor, but this is due to the equipment and something we couldn’t change. The beginning VT’s work well, there is one VT missing, which is quite obvious when watching the show and makes it seem unbalanced. This is due to being unable to film this VT as Nathan wasn’t free for us to do it. I also feel Chi’s (Onyi) VT could have just done with the introduction, as it is strange that hers is the only extended VT. There are times when Dom is looking in the wrong camera, which looks unprofessional, but I think the whole show has this slight comedic factor in it, with the contestants going the wrong way, Dom not looking at the right cameras, the balloons not popping and Dom throwing the mallet on the table during the VT because the balloons were hard to pop. These were mistakes we couldn’t rectify, so we decided to kind of take the mic out of our own show, in a light hearted upbeat way, and I definitely think this added something fun to the show. Especially Dom’s voiceovers, which are very unique and add a bit of light relief for the audience. There is a small frame in the demonstration VT (VT 5) at 1:54 which hasn’t been colour corrected, it isn’t overly noticeable, but it does make the audience more aware of the fact this isn’t real and they’re watching a TV show. Originally, the picking of the saboteur with the three contestants side by side on the screen was supposed to be a darker colour to the TV show, to add that suspense and tension, but we didn’t get time to add this into the edit. There are a few jump cuts while the task is taking place, these had to be placed in to move the task forward.
The actual format itself was well planned out. The show on paper seemed like a brilliant new concept, and if we had had more time I feel we could have really pulled this off. We could have done a lot of things better on the day, and in hindsight I wish we had paid people to come on the show, from an actor website as I think this would have made the format a lot more solid, we also could have done a few takes, so we would have been more prepared. I really like the task part of the show, the interaction between the three contestants works really well, they all start to doubt each other and doubt the game makers. This adds for an entertaining watch, proving that the format would work on a bigger budget and time scale. I don’t like that Onyi, who we picked to be the saboteur, was in the overalls. This wasn’t in the plan and it was supposed to be Nathan in the overall, so it wasn’t so obvious who the saboteur was and the girls may have suspected him more, but this is something that happened on the day and I was unfortunately trying to sort out other problems and couldn’t fix this one. This is the one crucial thing I would have loved to change about the whole show.
I found this section of the Formats module very stressful. Being a producer was very hard, and then taking on the director role too proved even more challenging. It was hard to motivate team members to do the work and move the sessions forward, I eventually found that approaching people individually to do one task, set for a certain date was a much easier way of ensuring work was completed. I did unfortunately find this out quite late on in the making of the programme, but will definitely be doing this the next time I get an opportunity to produce again. Taking on the director role so late on in the show had it’s issues, I hadn’t had any experience at directing a TV show beforehand, and found it very hard to switch off from producer and act as director. It was hard queuing and taking shots, especially without any presenters there and I did rely on the vision mixer quite a lot to follow his instincts and take when he felt it was needed. If I had been directing from the start of the show, I obviously would have done this role a little better. Being both director and producer meant that whenever there was an issue, it was completely on my hands, and not a shared responsibility between me and an external director. There were a lot of issues that cropped up on the day of filming and I definitely felt the pressure trying to fix them all. Having to set up camera styles, make sure lighting was done, make sure sound was checked, ensure the auto que was switched on, make sure all cameras were focussed, ensure contestants were O.K and all forms were filled out, make sure PA was happy with the running order and the presenter was sure on the shooting schedule, as well as the script was very hard to do, all at one time. This meant that setting up took a very long time, and contestants were left for longer then I would have liked. Overall I felt the 4 weeks were very rushed and I would have liked more time to plan, but I am happy with the format as a whole and feel we did the best we could in the time given. I am very pleased with the look of the show and think the set works perfectly. I am also really happy with the presenting style and feel this adds something extra to the show.