17th April to 30th May – iCov

17th April 2014

We had our initial meeting with Shelly Stevenson today, who explained about the iCov project and what we would be getting involved with. For Media Production students our main responsibilities are to design the set and run the studio on the days of filming, these will include the roles of vision mixer, director, PA, lighting, sound, floor manager, auto cue, VT runner and general runner. I have put my name down for vision mixer but am also considering PA. We will be working on this project throughout May, and will have our next meeting with Shelly on 6th May.

6th May 2014

Shelly explained a bit more about the 3 pre-recorded shows that we need to build the sets for and asks if we could find some content for one of these, so I have sent out a message to people on our course asking if they want to showcase a short film or documentary on the show. After the meeting we started to brainstorm the different sets. These will need to go with the titles of the inserts, Digital Living, where they talk about how the world is changing due to new technology, The Next Big Thing – where they are looking at work produced by up and coming media practitioners, and the last one Under our noses, where they will interview people who do something different, or are semi-famous. We decided a good background for Digital Living would be something made of old computers and technology, we could use old keyboards or hard drives from computers as well as mouses or old mobile phones. We have another meeting with Craig, the technician, to go through the TV studio health and safety.

 8th May 2014

We had a meeting in the TV studio to learn some of the new equipment and make sure we were up to date on everything. This went well, with most people attending. We then had a meeting afterwards to go over things we still weren’t sure on and write them down, ready to email Shelly with the questions we needed answering before we could progress to more detailed set designing. We went through each of the 3 shows, trying to think of how we would design the set. My idea for digital living was well received by members of the group so this will hopefully go ahead when we hear back from Shelly, I also came up with an idea of a massive paper mache nose above the presenter/s for the show Under our Noses, which was also well received. I also thought we could find a lip shaped sofa for the presenters to sit on. We are still thinking of the Next Big Thing theme.

12th May 2014

The TV people had a meeting today to finalise the set designs. We now have 3 designs for the 3 different sets as well as a news readers set and an additional catwalk/stage area for live performing.

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We also went to speak to Shelly to ask her some questions we hadn’t heard back from. She gave us a few more details on the show, how many presenters there were, what will be included in the show and showed us an example of the running order, which she is sending over to the director (Nathanael) at the end of the day. We also arranged to meet with the journalism students on Friday afternoon to see what else they know and get to know them a bit better before recording starts next week. We have all been given a list of items needed for the sets so will continue to buy and collect things for this tomorrow, ready to start building and painting on Thursday. We also received our £150 budget for the sets (£50 for each)

13th May 2014

Today Nathanael, Freya and I went into town to hunt down cheap resources to use for the sets, we found spray paints which were £5 each, which is expensive but a very important part of the Digital Living set. We also found wallpaper and wallpaper paste in Pound World which has saved us a lot of money. We also looked in charity shops for sofas or coffee tables but specifically for a glass top we could use for the digital living, which we found for £20 including a metal coffee table which will be painted and reused for the other 2 sets.

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We then went to Primark and found some cushions to use for the Under Our Noses set, but luckily posted these onto the Facebook group and found that someone already owned them both, so they will bring these in this week.

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We then went to see the Fashion department at Coventry University in the hopes they would give us some material for free providing we didn’t ruin it, which they agreed to so we said we would get the length and colour scheme sorted and go back tomorrow.

We went to the basement after this to get more detailed set designs and discuss what was left to do. We still need cardboard and to buy the paint. We also need to sort out seating, flooring and precise back drops for the under our noses set, which will be sourced first thing tomorrow, we will then spend the day working in small groups to complete certain tasks, these groups and tasks were set by Nathanael and I this evening.

14th May 2014

We started work on the Digital Living set, constructing the iPad, which will go in the centre of the background. I joined the team at midday as I work Wednesday mornings.

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We carried on till 6:45pm to ensure we were at a good place to carry on the following day. We decided to split off into teams to ensure each set was completed. I am in the Digital Living team with Nathaneal, Konrad, Kieran and Freya. James, Dom, Livvy and Charles are working on Under Our Noses and Caroline, Gemma and Monica are working on the Next Big Thing. They have drawn out their sets, ready to start work on them tomorrow.

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Today I have learnt how to use a glue gun and try to organise a team of people, keeping them on track of their work. I have also learnt how to take a computer apart.

15th May 2014

Digital Living carried on work on the iPad, Konrad and I also made the coffee table, which is made out of old computer parts bought in by myself.

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Shelly was very pleased with how it looks and excited to use it on the set. James and Dom started work on the stage, completing most of it ready to finish off and paint tomorrow.

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Gemma, Monica and Caroline finished their title for the set and sent Charles and Livvy off to look for sofas and curtains.

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Today I learnt how to deal with stress, as well as try to keep people on track and keep people from falling out with each other. I also learnt how to complete a lot of things in a small space of time, making quick decisions that would benefit the quality of work we want to achieve, for example, making the decision to spray paint the wires red for the table, making them stand out more on the table.

16th May 2014

With our set now almost complete, we started to help the others with theirs. The journalism students came down to take a look at the work we’d been doing and seemed happy with the Digital Living and Next Big Thing sets.

There was some confusion over the Under Our Noses set as we originally thought this set was the one needing the stage, when actually it was Next Big Thing, so we had to rethink this set and come up with a new concept. After going through a few drawings of noses with wings, we came up with an abstract style, with bright colours splattered across the set, this suited the people on the show and also have decided to have photo frames with silhouettes in, emphasising the under our noses theme. We got to work on this set, with Kieran and I creating the title background while Konrad and Freya got on with the title on the iPad. Dom and James’ stage will now be used for the Next Big Thing Set, James painted it red to fit in with their red, gold and black theme.

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Today I learnt that leaving people to do their own thing is sometimes beneficial, as they know what they’re doing and sometimes things can get confused in translating thoughts. I also learnt how fun abstract art can be and how good it is for de-stressing. I enjoyed today a lot more, people knew what they were doing and just got on with it, without Nathaneal or myself having to ask what they need to do now.

19th May 2014

We finished off a lot of bits and bobs today, including the Under Our Noses title, which needed spray painting. We also put the flooring down in the studio and found that it was too short, so quick thinking Nathaneal suggested getting his rug from home and placing that in the middle, with flooring around it, giving the affect the flooring ran all the way under the rug. Konrad, Kieran and I went to ask about sofas as we had heard nothing back from our last attempt, the women we spoke to gave my email to a women who said she would let us know whether we could have them by 1.30 that day, this time came and went and we didn’t hear anything so another few people went to ask, they said I would hear by 5pm but still hadn’t heard. We will go back tomorrow first thing to ask, as the sofas are needed for then. Our back up plan is to just use the ones in the reception of Ellen Terry, although these sofas are not as good. We also got the boards ready for the set tomorrow, so we don’t have to do anything when we get in in the morning. A team of us went out to film a VT for tomorrow. This was about a man, Simon Pipe who is a morris dancer, he did a performance with a sweeping brush, this went quite well. I was the stills op and managed to get some good photos to use in portfolios or for our presentation, as well as some good shots of Simon in action.

Things I learnt:

I enjoyed taking the photos as this gave me more freedom to move around and get different shots, it also allowed me to practise a new skill I had not had the opportunity to practise much before. It was interesting to see how quickly journalism students could get things together, media production students tend to faff on for longer, ensuring the shot is perfect before moving on, whereas journalists tend to ensure they have whatever they need to get the message across without worrying so much about the quality of the footage.

20th May 2014

Our first filming day! It went quite smoothly to begin with, there were changes to the script and running order, which meant the show was completely out of sync, this will be a problem when editing and will become quite time consuming, which is something the journalism students will learn. It came across how unorganised they seemed to be, things weren’t mentioned to us that should have been, like a dog being let into the studio without a health and safety form being filled out or any of our crew being informed. It became quite clear in the early afternoon how tiresome filming can be and the crew felt quite drained, the filming in the afternoon seemed to be more complicated and took longer, this was due to the running order not being in the right order and issues with a Skype interview that could have been sorted out beforehand had we had a chance to practise the show. The set worked well, the sound was perfect and the lighting was as good as it could be. Our team worked quite efficiently, sometimes things became hard to relay to the studio if Gemma (floor manager) was busy talking to Cat (presenter). It was very strange having the journalism students hovering around, taking photos and sound bites and this was a bit off putting at first, but I soon got used to it. Overall the day was very tiring but not as stressful as I first thought it would be. I feel I am well equipped for my role due to being in the studio twice before, it now seems like a natural space to be in. We also filmed a VT of a steel cello player after most of the crew had gone home. This went very smoothly.

21st May 2014

Digital living was much more organised compared to the previous day, we were given printed copies of the running order and scripts, which helped a lot. They also had a set schedule for the day and this didn’t change too much. We seemed to film a lot less footage, but this group had practised their piece previously, so knew exactly how long things would take. This means the other group will have to cut down their footage, which will take up more time in the editing process.

I learned today that working with a good producer is essential, the director also needs a good bond with them so they can make quick, precise decisions as a team.

23rd May 2014

Next Big Thing.

The set was more complicated for this show, so this took a lot of time to set up in the morning, this meant we didn’t start filming till gone 11 despite the group turning up at 9.30. The producer took more of a directors role on this show, making changes to how she wanted the set to be. We were also not told that the models only had until 12 o clock that day before they had to leave and hand some work in, which if told earlier on in the morning would have speeded the crew up and we would have been done a lot quicker. This did push us to work to a time limit however, and we managed to film everything we needed in time, with two takes. Although this show was the most complicated and awkward at times, it was also the most interesting, with models and a live choir, which let the camera operators experiment with shots a bit more.

27th May 2014

First test day, had to build the set for the live news. This meant taking off all the stuff on the digital living iPad and recreating the middle of it to suit the news piece. After a very busy 2 weeks, we all felt very demotivated so not a lot was achieved. We were also unable to do a run through because of timing constraints. This means that tomorrow will be a lot harder, more stressful and we will run into more problems having not rehearsed before.

28th May 2014

We came in early in the morning to finish off the news set, we were due to be in the studio at 12, but did not realise this meant we were streaming live at 12 sharp, we thought it would be more of a practise run through, this meant all the cameras and sound needed to be set up, making us late for the streaming, we also ran into problems with the streaming, which stopped working. We didn’t get scripts or running orders until we were due to be on air, which made my job very difficult. We managed to meet a bit earlier for the afternoon news, which meant i could look through the running order more effectively before streaming. We also spoke to David (a journalism lecture) who seemed to understand our issues with not having a script or proper running order, he ensured these would be done more effectively for the following day. Alrhough we ran into a lot of problems today, I am glad we had a rehearsal and am feeling positive about tomorrow, I know roughly the timings of everything so hopefully this will run smoothly.

29th May 2014

The big day! We made sure we were all in early to go over the midday news and set up before streaming at 12. The streaming was now working properly, thanks to Craig who fixed it!  I was very nervous about today as a lot of things counted on my timings, which was a lot of pressure. There were also a lot of people in and out of the TV studio, with 2 lecturers there watching the whole time, which made me feel more anxious. Luckily i timed almost everything perfectly, with only one slip up, which i didn’t handle well and lost my cool, which is something i will try not to do in the future.

7th April – 20th May – Moscow

7th April 2014

I have contacted a few people to see if they would be interested in working in a group as I think this will be the safest option in a foreign city rather then doing individual projects. We will now carry out some research into Russia to see what type of project we would like to do.

http://goeasteurope.about.com/od/moscowtravel/a/Moscow-Travel-Tips.htm – Some travel tips

http://emergefilmsolutions.com/country/russia/

http://www.kftv.com/country/Russia/guide/production-guide – film information

29th April 2014

We travelled to Moscow on Monday, which took most of the day due to the time distance and travelling from Coventry to London, then to Russia. We walked to the Red Square, taking pictures along the way. There were 8 of us (Sarah, Lucy, Declan, Holly, Karan, Konrad, Kieran and me.) Once there, we took pictures of all the famous buildings around the square then went to the back of Saint Basils to take some more, we then bought tickets to inside St Basil’s and took some more photos inside.722014-04-29 08.37.44

 

We then split off into smaller groups, so me Holly, Konrad and Kieran went off into the Kremlin to look around and get some more photos.

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After this we travelled back to Red Square, but went a different way. We wanted to get some more photos of the front of St Basils as the sun had been in the wrong position earlier in the day, unfortunately the square was closed due to preparations for the 1st May festival, so we were unable to get this.

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Then we walked back through Gum, the shopping centre and headed back to the hotel.

30th April 2014

We stuck to smaller groups on this day because it was easier to get the pictures we wanted and took less time. We travelled back to red square, but walked to bolshoi theatre and went to the streets around this area, which seemed like a good place to shop, if you are rich.

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After this we went to Gum shopping centre to take some photos as it was beautiful inside.

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And then went to try and find a train Holly had found in her tour guide book. The train was called Aquarelle (watercolour) and ran on the red line. It was designed to look like an art museum, so while passengers are seated along one side, the other has framed photos with lights above them. The train has been running since 2007, and was designed to “remind adults riding the train of the child-like sense of discover art can bring” Unfortunately, after staying at the station for an hour, we did not see the train.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/aquarelle-train-on-the-moscow-metro (RachelEricGrundhauserinksplatter

1st May 2014

On Thursday afternoon, Holly, Konrad, Esme, Elizabeth and I travelled to the Christ the Redeemer Cathedral, this gave us a good chance to see another part of Russia and get some more photographs. The Cathedral was very impressive and bigger then St Basil. The grounds surrounding the Cathedral are equally impressive and well kept. We got to go inside the Cathedral, but no photos were allowed to be taken, which was a shame as it was breathtakingly beautiful inside.

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We then travelled over the pedestrianised bridge to meet with the other for lunch, but could not find them. We took some more photographs in a lovely area, which had clubs and bars that looked quite expensive.

2nd May 2014

We travelled to a strip that was supposed to be good for shopping, but couldn’t find much there, so decided to head back to Red Square, where a member of the group informed us there was an underground shopping centre. We travelled on the metro again, but saw a lot grander stations, so stopped a few times to get some photos

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5th – 9th May 2014 – Photo editing

I started to look through my photos, deleting ones that weren’t quite right, this was determined by focus, exposure and things in the actual photo that were just not good enough. Out of the 531 photos taken, I ended up with around 48 photos that were potentially good enough after editing. Below are examples.

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After looking through the remaining 48 photos the following day, I made another folder of second cut photos, this had roughly around 31 photos in it. The 17 photos that didn’t make it were ones that looked good at first glance, but after going through in more detail weren’t as impressive. Below are examples of pictures that didn’t make the cut.

15 – This picture didn’t fit in with the other pictures I had chosen. I felt it was too obvious and there are so many tourist pictures of the buildings in Moscow, I wanted mine to stand out from the rest.

28– I could tell that this picture had been zoomed in to capture the top of the building. Although this picture fit in with the rest, I felt the framing was off and the whole building would have made for a better image.

13 – This image took me a long time to decide whether I liked it or not. I have a very similar image, where the subway is empty of people, so decided to use that one instead, as I feel the people in this picture distract the viewer from the beautiful colours and symmetry of the photo, this is just my opinion however, so I will show both this and the empty photo to friends and colleagues to hear their thoughts on which is better.

6 This picture was too bland, not enough was going on and too much of the wall is seen.

After making the second cut of photos, I started to edit the ones that made it. 31 photos was still too many however, so I edited it down further. This time picking my own favourites or ones that just stood out a bit more from the rest. Below are my remaining 7 photos, before editing.

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These may be cut down again depending on editing and how they look as a group. Most of the photos are One Point Perspective shots as this is something I wanted to experiment with, I like how they all go together. All of the images, accept the working man photo with the colourful windows and the last photo of the alleyway are to do with transport. I think this is a good theme as Russia is so famous for its metro system and subways.

27th March to 10th April – Case 17

27th March 2014

Today I started work on a short film that will be filmed in Abu Dhabi. Me and two other colleagues (Nathaniel and Charles) came up with the full narrative. I will be production assistant on this project, helping with all pre production work up until they go to film. I unfortunately cannot go on the trip due to it clashing with another professional experience trip to Moscow.


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1st April 2014

Today Charles and Nathaniel (producer and director of the short film) met up to discuss the film idea more. Unfortunately I have tonsillitis so was not able to attend the meeting, but they kept me updated via Facebook. They sent me some information on the new storyline as it has now changed slightly after pitching the idea to a lecturer who felt the idea was a bit too complex.

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The new idea is of a young girl being chased through Bucharest streets by two men. She runs into an alley with no way of escaping when someone grabs her and she black out. She awakes in the middle of the desert, she begins to move through the desert, trying to find a road or a town or a person she can ask for help. As she travels, she begins to remember what happened, with violent flashbacks. She begins to get delirious and hallucinates. She eventually finds a road a car starts speeding towards her, clearly not noticing her at the side of the road. As she continues to move closer to the road, she moves in front of the car, ending her pain.

They also discussed crew, and have secured a DOP, Heather Louis. Another person, Richard D’Costa is also interested but so far we are unsure as to what role to give him. Sound is proving the hardest role to fill as nobody seems to specialise in this on our course. We also need to think of a new working title, as Case 17 is no longer valid, due to the case not being part of the story anymore.

2nd April 2014

We have thought of a new name for our short film – Quell, which means to suppress; put an end to; extinguish. This fits the new ending well.

I have been looking for fundraising options today, I have found the Krispy Kreme fundraising scheme, which a few people at Coventry University have already done:

http://www.krispykreme.co.uk/fundraising/how-it-works/.

I will also look into starting a pub quiz at a local pub so we can get friends and family together to raise some more money.

Another way for us to fundraise would be to contact companies or charities that would like this film to be made to raise awareness of a certain issues, this film deals with human trafficking, so it would be a good idea to contact some charities or companies that deal with this to see if they could help us out.

I’m also looking into accommodation for Abu Dhabi. The dates will be roughly from 21st – 24th April and the cheaper the better.

http://www.booking.com/hotel/ae/century-apartments.en-gb.html?aid=309654;label=hostels-08AocBqT9W3y_ry2q_gKawS23513039212%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg;sid=a3e969f78f2d47bd6b92a58fcd45f2d7;dcid=1;checkin=2014-04-21;checkout=2014-04-24;ucfs=1;group_adults=4;group_children=0;group_rooms=24459801_83426926_0_0_4_0_0;srfid=4df8173e734e80a37a068b81414fca3b0d5b95a4X12 – This is the cheapest hotel I have found so far. This will cost approximately £60 per person for 3 nights.

After looking at a lot of different hostel sites on the internet, I have found that hostels are not very common in Abu Dhabi.

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So I may have to consider finding a hostel in Dubai, where they are more common and getting a bus or train to Abu Dhabi, depending on the cost of this.

http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/Camel-Campus/Dubai/81247?dateFrom=2014-04-21&dateTo=2014-04-24 – This is a hostel in Dubai. This will cost £28 per person for 3 nights.

After a quick google search, I came across this website, which gives details on bus routes in Dubai.

http://www.rta.ae/wpsv5/wps/portal/rta/home/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gfd9cAfwM3M0N_PydnA0_TEFNjR0NPAyAAykeaxRvgAI4GBHSHg-wD6TcN9gmz8LZwMXA2CvMzNDIxhpoAk8dpvp9Hfm6qfkFuhEGWiaMiAEwM8Qg!/dl3/d3/L2dBISEvZ0FBIS9nQSEh/

This then lead me to a timetable that seems to be the right bus:

http://www.rta.ae/wpsv5/links/buses/timetable/E102.pdf

I will now look to see how much it may cost.

I found a timetable for the E102 bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. 

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I then copied the title of the first bus stop to find out the price and according to this, it will cost 20 AED.

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Which is roughly £3.20

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I then needed to find out how long it would take to get from the hostel to the bus station and how far away this was.

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It is about a 30 minute drive, just to get to the bus station, which would mean further costs for travel. I will now try to find a way to get from the hostel to the bus station.

10th April 2014

Unfortunately, this project did not go ahead due to difficulty in finding crew and cast members for the dates set. The idea will still be developed and used in later projects and Charles and Nathaniel will still be going to Budapest and Abu Dhabi to take photographs and scout for locations we can use in the future, so this research has not been wasted.