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BTEC Creative Media: FYI - The Evaluation

A look back at our recently broadcast factual show FYI as well as a look back on my own factual show idea "Storage"
by

Jake Nicholas

on 17 May 2013

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Transcript of BTEC Creative Media: FYI - The Evaluation

By Jake Nicholas FYI: The Evaluation In this short Prezi,
I will be talking about: The Brief
Changes made during the process
Research into FYI and what considerations
Conventions
Ethical issues considered
Strengths and Weaknesses of our show
Challenges
Target Audience The Brief When we first started doing our show, unnamed at the time, we had the brief of making a show which was meant for Channel 4 that would be about the East End's potential of becoming a new cultural hub for London.

We were also given instructions that it had to be around 9 minutes which I had a problem with at first as I like to be able to do things with no time limit as I allows me to showcase what I do best in the best possible way with no compromise. It also had to be 9 minutes due to the fact that if this was a real programme, for it to not clash with others in the schedule it had to be exactly nine minutes.

Initially, we watched a few factual programmes along with Lizzie and Jordan with one of them being The Culture Show: Book of Mormon special which was mainly around the new musical being headed by the creators of South Park.

While watching this programme, we wrote down on an A3 piece of paper what we found from the show dividing it into several sections such as: Presenters, Locations, Target Audience, Scheduling as well as Ethos and Branding so that it was a lot easier to analyse and once this was finished, then we would write in pink next to the points made on what we would like for our show.

Some of these points that we wanted for our show, with Lizzie and Jordan suggesting its name FYI, would be that it should be presented with three people, have three separate sections which each of us had a complete say on and that it should have History, Art and Music with the theme of History being a sort of anchor to the whole show which is something that we all felt that The Culture Show did not do so well on. Once this was established, we all went out and did our own planning. My planning was specifically to get permission from various places such as The First and Best Beigel Shop, G Kelly and The Ragged School Museum while at the same time getting permission signatures which I managed to do on the fly as my part was talking to the camera.

The subgenre of factual programming which our show was aiming to be was a Magazine Show which the likes of The Gadget Show, BBC Breakfast (with News overtones) as well as The Culture Show itself being Magazine Shows. What these shows have are small sections which are linked to one main topic with ours being history and the East End. While we claimed that FYI is different to The Culture Show, looking back, I do think that our show was trying to be The Culture Show in a way but aimed for a much younger audience as such because not only does it feature younger presenters, the branding of the show also is pivotal with the use of colours and other effects to make it more pleasing and interesting which I feel that The Culture Show does not have any of and it is often presented in a more serious way. Another feature which made our show cater for younger audiences is the choice of music that is played throughout mainly being mellow electronica to relax the audience and at the same time to make it lively than just hearing talking.

To be quite honest about my group, I do feel that I had a major role to play in my group not because I did most of the work but because I chose members who had their own strengths and they were passionate. Jordan was a good choice as he is a hard worker but just needs to focus sometimes as he can get distracted, which is counter balanced by my hard working ethic, and his serious love for music which would be a good element as young people are very interested in music. To get somebody who is a musician in some respects to present a short segment along with his connections was a goldmine. The same goes for Lizzie as well. Having worked with her before and seen her quality and work ethic, I think that she was perfect to work with as once she puts her mind to something, she would try her best while at the same time being carefree and confident about it in the process. Personally, I thought I was the glue, getting all of our work together while at the same time, being a sort of catalyst for starting things instead of being stuck in the planning phase.

The main idea, at the end of the day was to create a show which did not go to as much detail as The Culture Show but to give people a sort of well-rounded, short taster session in which would stimulate them to go out and explore for themselves as such. In addition to this, we wanted our show to be very friendly and open rather than being too serious which we felt was a factor for us being a bit put off by The Culture Show. Changes Made -
during the course of FYI To be quite honest, when looking back throughout the entire show, there were few changes. I remember the very first change which we had and that was for Lizzie. Initially, we agreed on having a section on History, a section on Music and a section on Art because they were our own strengths and because Ms Stuart has connections to some Art galleries herself as well as me going to these said art galleries, it would be very good. Lizzie changed her mind and said that she wanted to do activities in the East End for young people but then changed back to Art a lesson later to say that it would be a lot easier, even though this was said previously.

A few other changes happened when I was obtaining permission from the various places for my part of FYI. Initially, I wanted to film in The Museum of London Docklands but they rejected my request in favour for three free images from their archives. As well as this set back, I also had a change when I did not want to include Beigel Bake one of the Beigel Shops on Brick Lane in favour for another one next door, which had a more historical value when compared to the rejected one. While I rejected some, I added others with many being from when I was walking down Brick Lane Market and Petticoat Lane Market to film some shop stalls and gaining signatures on the way from various shops while walking.

I think one thing that changed very frequently was the actual location where principal photography was going to take place. Initially, I wanted to film in Victoria Park as it is fairly historic, has a nice atmosphere about it and it is fairly close to the college meaning that it is easy to get to. Due to the weather conditions, I changed to Morpeth in the main open area but that was also changed due to windy conditions and then inside the new building which when recording was rather dark which lead onto me filming inside my house as it was light and I was able to do it in my own spare time.

One thing that I wanted to change was that I wanted to make my section look like a video diary using a Bad TV effect on Final Cut to make it look like it was shot on a camcorder to achieve a sense of verisimilitude. If i would have had a choice to do this with an unlimited budget, I would have used a green screen to use more professional effects.

During the editing, I think the choice of music was probably the hardest decision when looking back as I wanted to include tracks which we had clear permission for and that is possibly one of the hardest things to do with commercial songs as we would have to pay royalties as well as other hassles with contact information and the like. We eventually chose a song from Diarmuid as he runs his own record label which is small, the type of music would suit the show and not only can we get direct permission but we can also give exposure to Diarmuid and his label. We also wanted different colours that took around 2 lessons to solve as we wanted to have each section having its own colour, with my colour being changed from Yellow to Blue and in the final edition, some of the locations were omitted Research into existing
Factual Programmes At the start of this project, we saw one factual programme to get us started, which was The Culture Show: Book of Mormon special which showed us the new musical, as well as interviews with the creators while having a look at their other material from others sources being that of South Park. During the course, we also looked at other shows such as BBC Breakfast, Louis Theroux as well as other information films with Mr Wotton which, when combined, gave us a look at the variety of factual programming and gave use a good choice on what to think about when making our own.

While researching, we divided what we were looking at into the same sections which we did for the spider-diagram. Upon doing this research into The Culture Show, we found out a variety of interesting points about The Culture Show which some of these included:
the presenters were often acclaimed in different parts of the media which makes the information a lot more reliable,
the locations were not specific to one spot but they related to the subject that was being talked about. The interview locations were often in lounge-like settings in which would make it informal and it would not be a surprise to see the interviewer sit with the interviewee
The target audience, although the show could be classed as accessible, seemed to fit adults more than teenagers (and that is something that we wanted our show to fit more)
The show is now broadcast towards the later times of the day (10-11pm) with other education programming

The purpose of researching real texts, in my opinion, was probably one of the most important parts of the entire project as it could make a break a show on how accurate and reliable information is. It also helped me looking at other shows as it acts as a sort of "benchmark" for us to achieve and to do better with. When looking back, I think if I did not watch some of these shows, I think it would have been a lot harder to do as we would not know what is what.

Inspiration wise for FYI, I would say that it was a mixture of programmes that I was inspired by. Although the main one was The Culture Show, I was also inspired by shows such as The Gadget Show and early morning Saturday Programming on BBC Switch and T4 as it had that teenage vibe to it and it is quite sad that these shows are not on TV anymore. FYI is a sort of descendant from these shows and fills in a sort of metaphorical hole Conventions used in FYI When watching our footage back, I think FYI fits the various conventions of factual programming. Some of these I think FYI fulfills are:
Use of Still images, this is seen predominantly in Lizzie and Jordan's parts where in Lizzie's she has The Black Paintings by Goya and the pictures of two local galleries whereas Jordan uses pictures of The Isley Brothers, Michael Jackson as well as the Jackson 5
Facts and Figures: This is predominantly seen through my part as the other twos are more opinion based, my one is based solely on the history of the East End, where I talk about the inclusion of the East End during the Victorian period, the various immigrants that came over, some of the problems but also positives such as some of the recent events like the Olympics and Lovebox.
Presenters, we have three throughout the factual show being me, Lizzie and Jordan
Interviews, we have two interviews in the whole factual show being the interview with Mr Cooper by Lizzie and Spikebowl for Jordan
Graphics/Overlays/Idents: for FYI, we have a colorful one at the start of the show which has us in three slices and the logo. We also used a specific fonttype "New Facebook" on Dafont.com throughout our video as part of the overlays and name tags. Not to mention the actual logo being in that font but in three colours for each section
Cutaways, during me and Jordan's parts where I have cutaways of several places within the East End such as Brick Lane Market, Petticoat Lane Market
Archive images: My images from the Museum of London Docklands Ethical Issues When looking back at FYI, I think we had to consider a variety of ethical issues but in different ways and each section would have its selection of issues in which it would have about it.

In Lizzie's and Jordan's part, where they used interviews, they would have had to overcome the issue of objectivity/subjectivity as they were interviewing two people who have had experience as a music producer or artist respectively and it was pivotal that they remained open and flexible otherwise the interview would have been bias.

Another potential problem is that of selection and representation. As some of the interviews were longer than first thought, they had to be cut down meaning that we had to extract the information that we wanted the most that related to the subject at hand. This means that some of the interviews, although we tried to leave them on how they were, they were mediated and that may affect the total reliability of these interviews.

They do rely a lot on opinions as well which should not be taken as seriously as say the facts but in this case when we are talking about what they do, opinions would have more value.

For their parts, we tried to leave as much of the original interview as possible so that it truly reflects what they wanted and what was going on. We also made sure that we asked them questions that were balanced and were not bias to what we wanted them to say, an example being asking Mr Cooper "what does he think about Modern Art and how does he feel about it" or asking Spikebowl "In your personal view, how do you think music has changed from the 80s to now"

For my part, because I am talking towards the camera about the history of the East End, I had to make sure that the information that I was saying to the viewer was up-to-date, accurate as well as relevant to what the East End is going through now. During the research process, when gaining information I had to cross reference various sources to see if the facts were universally agreed upon so that it was reliable and accurate. Audiences At first, we established in the first pitch that we were mainly appealing to teenagers but when we showed this people in the class did not agree citing that the history component of our show did not suit this at all and it would suit a different audience.

After talking to the group, we decided that FYI may best suit late-teens and adults as they would be more likely to have the time and money to fully explore the areas and cultural values expressed in our show compared to teenagers who may not be interested and may not have the time to go and explore as much with reasons such as exams and the like being a sort of barrier.

We also said that our show wanted to be clear and accessible to all as we wanted all people to learn and enjoy exploring new areas and finding out interesting facts. That said, we felt that this show would be able to suit people of a Working Class- Lower Middle Class (NRS C1-D)

We also went a bit further to say that our show may cater to people who have a "Reformer/Explorer" psychographic type as these are the types of people who are inquisitive and want to explore to learn new things, which is our overall premise of our show. Feedback from an industry professional Changes Made -
between FYI and Storage The main differences between Storage and FYI would be:
Storage was mainly planned to be shown towards the later ends of the schedule as it was mainly for a niche audience who were interested in unsigned, underground artists and for those who wanted to listen to vinyl. FYI's main plan was to be shown early Saturday mornings hammocking with other popular shows like the Simpsons that attract teenagers
Storage was a magazine show that was mainly focused for underground artists, FYI was a show that is to show cultural areas to a late-teen, adult audience
Storage had no real presenters. It was joint presented by one person but by the audience themselves. FYI has clear three presenters who do a single part of the show.
The contents of the show were often unclear and were picked out of a hat to show people what was going to be featured in a show for Storage. It was never clean cut. With FYI, it is clearly defined with sections that often focus on the history, art and music of an area
Storage was mainly based in a warehouse whereas FYI, the location changes depending on the subject at hand like The Culture Show
FYI is presented in a more information film style, using a mixture of direct talking to the camera, interviews and stock footage whereas Storage will be presented mainly as a live show but the features will be presented in a mixture between "A day in the life" style and "Information film" Strengths and
Weaknesses Looking back, I think overall FYI was a successful factual program as it had many strengths but, in my opinion, there were only a few points where I thought that there were some weaknesses.

Some of the strengths of FYI were:
Presenters, the delivery was clear on all of the parts. We can hear what is going on and it is easy to understand
Technical, the camera work is very good. There are no real shakes during the filming
Content, the content was varied, interesting and was not monotonous to listen to
Music, the choice of music complemented the overall shows feel and sometimes adds to the sections which were nothing more than talking to make them a little but more lively
Graphics, the graphics and overlays were consistent with the use of colours being consistent to each part of FYI, the font type being used throughout the show meaning that it is very consistent.

Some weaknesses which I will say are:
The transitions between each clip could have been fine-tuned slightly so that it is more smoother
We can see the boom mic right at the bottom of Jordan's frame which at the time on the camera, was unnoticeable.
There is slight walking noise when the camera is moving along with Lizzie during her little introduction part for her section. This is slightly justifiable as she is moving along with the camera too which means that the footsteps could have just have been her walking
The interviews should have mic-ed up a little bit better as the art teacher's interview has a lot of room reverb on his voice as well as Spikebowl's which we had to sort out some of the loudness issue being that the loudness was mainly coming from the echo than the actual voice itself Challenges I think probably one of the biggest challenges, in reality, was getting started. Although we knew exactly what was needed of us, it was rather hard to get that "kick-start" but once we had established what locations we were getting, it went smoothly from there with everyone getting on with what they needed to.

For the locations, I would say initially it was easy as I originally had Victoria Park on my mind but it got increasingly difficult when it came to actually filming as I wanted to film on the outside of Morpeth which kept on changing, eventually filming in a dingy corridor and at home.

Gaining the actual permissions, personally, was quite difficult as I was unsure upon which if any were going to give me the right to film as well as arranging for appointments that did not clash and were universally agreed upon.

There was incident during filming where I was being filmed in a dark corridor and i was silhouetted meaning that I was barely visible. I tried correcting this on Final Cut with limited success and had to re-record at home on my own. This was initially hard at first as I had to first adjust the focus on the camera with no-one in front of it at the same time filming and making sure that the sound was OK. It was like doing three jobs at once but it was easy once I got the hang of it.

For working in a team, I thought that although we work very well together, I did feel that we were stalling sometimes and indecisive with certain things. I think one of these moments was the uncertainty of what Lizzie was doing as well as who Jordan was going to film. Sometimes during group work, we would be bogged down in what work we were doing individually that we forgot about the project. Storage vs FYI 11pm - midnight Early morning Saturdays Underground Artists Culture Shows dictated by
audience selection Shows dictated by
production team and
geographical
area of focus Set in warehouses Setting depends on
location Day in the life/
Live show Information
film Here are the permissions as well as
pictures of Victoria Park, and my change in location from Morpeth and at home
Full transcript