evaluation of our ‘never mind the buzzcocks’ filming session

My group decided to shoot an episode of ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’. We shot it in the studio with five cameras, and a separate mic for both teams and the host. To keep things straightforward we used a script transcribed from an old episode. We filmed the intro and then just one round, to keep it short and sweet.

My assigned roles (due to low numbers we all doubled-up) were director and visual mixer, although it may as well have just been visual mixer, as i would confess the direction given was minimal. Using five cameras also proved to be a big challenge. We filmed the intro, and both teams doing their rounds all separately. Despite this, the whole thing took nearly two hours I believe. Each thing we filmed had to be restarted a couple times due to one issue or another.

Preparing for each shoot took a while. I found the visual mixing difficult, it was hard to keep up with the actors speech. It was also tricky and at times confusing to use five different cameras, and also have to tell a certain operator at a certain time to change angle or zoom in for medium close-ups. I think what made this more problematic was that we didn’t have a script in the gallery with us, just a shot list. This made it very tricky to know who needed to be in shot at any given moment, and if there was a close-up, who was it of!?

The actors all did well, especially the host (played by Jamie). It was quite funny. When it was the other groups turn I was the host. They were using quite an unusual script, some of which the actors (myself included) had trouble getting their heads round. But after a few alterations and dry-runs we familiarised ourselves and it all worked out. The other team only used three cameras, and as beginners I think this may have been something we did too.

All in all, it came together in the end. The footage may not be visually mixed particularly well, but I think there has been a lot we can all learn for next time. It was definitely an interesting and overall satisfying day in the studios. Once all groups have edited their footage, I look forward to sharing what we have created with each other.

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Multi-Camera Programme Report

Multi-camera production is a huge part of television. It creates opportunities and possibilities not possible with single-camera production. Usually things that are filmed live use multi-camera production as they can’t be refilmed from different angles (as you would with single-camera production).

 

Quiz shows and game shows usually use multi-camera production. It allows different shots sizes to be used live which is important as there are usually two teams and host, sl who need medium close ups for reaction shots etc. Some soaps such as Eastenders use multi-camera, it speeds up the filming process saving time and therefore money. Sport based programmes like like Match Of The Day always use multi-camera. There are various tracking shots, and wide aerial shots so you can see all of the pitch. There are conventionally reaction shots of players (or managers) after they score or something else deemed important. Then back at the studio where they discuss the football there are several cameras too.  

 

Looking at the TV shows Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Mock The Week, we can see several conventions that are the same in both. The first thing we see in both programs is an establishing shot, the audience is visible in both. This allows us to see the setup of the studio, and familiarises us with where everyone is in relation to each other. Without this shot (and only medium close ups) it would be confusing. Next in both programs we get a medium shot of the host. In Mock the Week it the camera is zooming into the medium shot, so it is somewhat different but still using the convention.

 

Next both the shows introduce the guests that particular week. On Mock the Week you get a shot of one whole team, and then the other. Next it shows a medium shot of each individual guest, one after the other. On Never Mind the Buzzcocks it is structured slightly differently. You get a shot of each guest as the host introduces them. Then when all have been introduced, you see see a shot of the whole time, one team then the other. So both the shows do the same thing, but in a different order.

 

Both of the shows use reaction shots. These shots come almost always when someone has made a joke and it shows a medium shot of another contestant laughing or smirking. They don’t last very long, about half a second to a second (mostly) on both programs. I can’t see any detectable differences between the reaction shots on the programs. Sometimes it seems there is a reaction shot mistakenly, as if they thought someone was about to burst out laughing but actually they don’t. I suppose it would be hard to gauge which reactions to show as you have to make the cut live and instantaneously.  

 

As we can see there are key similarities and conventions used between these two quiz-shows. People don’t realise the repetition of the format, but that’s because it is seamless and works well. There are differences, but the actual shots used are exactly the same throughout each show.    

 

evaluation of swede (for a few dollars more)

For our first PASSPORT project we had to re-create a sequence form a film, with limited time, no budget and just a small selection of props. My group chose a sequence from ‘For A Few Dollars More’. There was a lot to do in pre production. We had to watch the clip to extract type the script. We screen-grabbed each shot to compile a storybook. We made a contact sheet, cast list, production schedule and a shot list. All these things were aimed to ensure production went smoothly, and our sequence ended up looking as much like the original as possible, with the time and recourses we had. 

The things that worked well: 

  • We thought the editing was well paced, matching up quite closely with the original
  • At one point the is lens flare because of a camera defect, and although this was involuntary, it gave the shot quite a professional look to it
  • It was a nice sunny day, so the shots are well lit

The things that didn’t work well:

  • several of the shots are a bit shaky, which distracts from the immersive experience 
  • due to an editing hitch, in the middle of the sequence the is about a quarter of a second of just a black screen
  • there is an incontinuity error: my character is holding up his watch, it then cuts to someone else, when it cuts back to my character he is no longer holding anything and his arms are down by his side

There are things we could have done to prevent the mistakes we made. We needed to take more care when panning the camera. We possibly needed to loosen the grips on the tripod to make it smoother.  We also should have watched every clip back after shooting it, o we would have known what needed re-filming. The editing hitch might actually be able to be amended now. We could think of it as post-post-production. To prevent it we simply would need to take more care as we edited. The incontinuity most likely occurred as we didn’t film the scene chronologically. I suppose that to prevent it we would just need to take more care to remember where each character should be, and what they should be doing at each moment. We should have also refereed back to the storyboard, script and shot list more often.     

All in all it was an interesting and enjoyable project. I think we learnt a lot and it made us more confident with all the processes of single camera production.  

for a few dollars more swede

for a few dollars more swede

This is the swede Todd, Reec and I made. We went through the original sequence, and screen-capped every shot, one after the other. We also made a script, a production schedule a shot list, a cast list and a contact sheet. We then filmed and edited the sequence. We used a few basic props and the original soundtrack. It is now up on YouTube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuA-0K2nVTg