Category Archives: 262 MC – Formats Production

Gender Wars

Gender Wars is one of the projects of which I am really proud. In comparison with last year , now I noticed a more profound and detailed organisation and production of the whole show.  Not only, that we were more involved, but we actually treated our roles seriously, and in a more professional way too. We payed attention at every detail of production, trying to make it look as real as possible. If our budget would have been bigger, I am sure that we could have done a show that might have had a chance to be broadcasted on TV.

We decided to entertain the audience as much as possible, so we filmed our TV show in 3 locations/sets; we’ve had 2 studio shots and 2 VTS. Of course that we also used a twist in every battle, cause it makes the audience wait for the end.

Our first round took place in the studio, which was specially designed for this battle. We used many props including a dartboard and also 2 assistants in order to make it look more dynamic.The colour filters  and the recorded voice which presents the battle helped us create a game atmosphere. Also, the music helps by creating a little bit of suspense.

The second battle was filmed outside. We also used a couple of contestants, because it engages more the audience. We tried to combine the funny part, with some general knowledge questions to make it more interesting.

For the studio shots, it took us about 3 hours to make the set, because we really had to struggle  with all the materials, but I was happy to see that we all acted like a real team. As a producer I tried to pay attention at every aspect: floor, lightning, props etc.. I wasn’t as nervous as last year, because we knew that we have the chance to edit the footage.

And here is our  TV show:

Gender Wars TV show Team 2 from James Dove on Vimeo.

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Ghost busting

When we began this module, I thought that the radio show would be easier than the TV one, but this wasn’t my group’s case. As I wrote in an earlier post, I’ve made the draft of the script in order to start rehearsing and finalising it. I’ve arranged a meeting before the final recording, in order to rehearse a little bit the script and in order to see what to add or change, and what is the presenters opinion. Unfortunately, Vanessa couldn’t attend the meeting, so me, Raul and Sophie decided how should we make the final script.

After paying attention to all the details, and after including everything that we have decided, I finally finished the script. On Thursday (23.11) , we meet in order to record the studio parts, as we were running out of time. Unfortunately, this meeting didn’t went very well, because we were all stressed out and panicked that we won’t have time to finish everything, as we also had to record an interview, some phone calls and also the editing part. The presenters had some difficulties, as they weren’t used with the script, and they decided to change it. I’ve found this disturbing, because I really invested time and effort in making this script all by myself, as no one else wanted to get involved in making it. More than that I posted the  draft script on our Facebook group almost 2 weeks before recording.

The worst part is that you can’t work well under stress. So we discussed about this problem, everyone said their point of view and after this we calmed down and we tried to come up with solutions. So we changed the script in order for the presenters to feel comfortable with it, and we also decided what music and sound effects should we use at the editing part. After 7 hours in the radio studio, we managed to finish it. I can’t say that I’m really satisfied of the final result, as I think we should have rehears a little bit more, in order to make it sound more professional.

On Monday we went to record the interview with Tony Lawrence – Coventry’s ghost buster. The interview run smoothly, as our subject was  a person with very much experience in this domain, who could easily give us information about every question that we had.

Then, we went in the basement in order to choose the best bits of the recordings to put them together. Sophie finished the editing afterwards, by adding the bits of music and the sound effects.

Here is our Radio Show:

Gender Wars – Script

As part of my producer role, I made the script together with the director and the two presenters.  We already new exactly what we want to do, and how we want to do it, so we didn’t have a hard time in writing the script.

We only had some few problems with the style, because we wanted to make the script as engaging as possible and we didn’t knew exactly how to introduce certain elements. Dialogue and action are the most important things, so we wanted to make sure that the dialogue between the presenters will be realistic, without mixing to many styles of speech or vocabulary.  We also wanted to make sure that the lines are accordingly with the presenter’s personality.

For the battles, we decided that is better not to have a script. I think that it will have a much greater effect upon the audience if the presenters will talk freely during the challenges.

This is not the final version of the script – it’s only a draft:

START OF SHOW

[Titles – 15 secs]

D:

Hello and welcome to Gender Wars – the game show that answers the age old question, who is better? Men or women, Adam or Eve, Sherry or Steve.

H:

Each week we put you and ourselves through a series of grueling challenges, or as we like to call them, battles, to decide who will triumph as the dominant sex!

D:

Representing the women is Helena

H:

And the men representative is Dean. Who will manage to avoid humiliation with the help of the nation?

D:

Over the next half an hour we’ll take part in battles that test skill, knowledge and speed. But we can’t do it alone, we need your support.

H:

But first, I want to remind everyone of last week’s victory for the girls.

[OVERLAPPING VT] [          secs]

H:

You lost big time Dean! The girls are obviously the best, as we’re leading 3-1 so far this series.

[End of OVERLAPPING VT]

H:

You looked ridiculous!

D:

Don’t speak too soon, cause we’re going to come back bigger and better this week. And you will be the one facing this week’s forfeit of doom, back by popular demand – the gruesome shocking chair [Sound effects play here]

BOTH:

So let the battle commence!

[VT – Battle 1] [          secs]

D:

Wow, what a messy game. Let’s check on the scores.

[Graphic for Score summary]

H:

Right, let’s move on to Battle number 2!

[VT – Battle 2] [          secs]

H:

Today’s second battle is a test of knowledge. Earlier this week, we took to the streets and asked the public a series of questions.

D:

And for every incorrect answer, one of the contestants will crack an egg over the opposing teams captains. The team with the most correct answers wins. So let’s see how we got on!

[VT – OUTSIDE BATTLE 2] [          mins]

D:

That was a great crack…

H:

Very funny…Right, So, let’s take a look at the damage

[Graphic for Score summary]

D:

Ooooh it’s all-square with everything to play for, so join us after the break where we will see which gender comes out on top.

[Short VT to adverts]

Producer role

My second TV show, my second production role… This time I choose to be a producer, because I wanted to challenge myself. Being a producer is a big role, because it involves the coordination of the whole show. You are not in charge over a single area, you are responsible for the overall quality and survivability of the show.

The thing that overwhelmed me as a producer, was the fact that I was engaged in the whole stages of production: screenwriting, directing, music, editing, set. So in order to undertake all this roles at a professional level, I have to learn how to work under pressure, I have to be able to act decisively and more important I have to be a good communicator.

I think that the most appealing thing at being a producer is its random nature and  countless challenges. A good producer can handle numerous tasks, demands and questions in the same time. You have to be ambitious, persevering, creative, open minded, flexible but in the same time you also have to know how to approach business problems in a profitable way.

 Though , as a producer you have a huge advantage:  you don’t have to be the best in directing, editing, filming etc., but you must know who are the best people to hire for this jobs. You need to be really creative, but you don’t need to know all the technical aspects. This makes this role so appealing, in my opinion.

With all its aspects, it is clear that a producer’s job demands responsibility and hard work. I think that is amazing to know that you have successfully accomplished a project, at which you’ve worked from conception to completion.

I think that one of the keys of being a successful producer is to enjoy the whole process.

“These digital cameras now? People can make a show – make a movie. That’s what I like. The industry is just so hard to get into, you know, unless you have a lot of money. Now, people that have an idea of some kind of media that they want to share can put things on Youtube- the sky’s the limit now. It’s wide open for people to be as creative as they can possibly be. ” (Kellison, 2005: 225)

Research:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_producer

http://www.skillset.org/tv/jobs/production/article_5479_1.asp

http://www.mediacollege.com/employment/television/producer.html

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/television_film_video_producer_job_description.htm

https://nextstep.direct.gov.uk/PlanningYourCareer/JobProfiles/JobProfile1352/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.princetonreview.com/Careers.aspx?cid=156

Because it was part of my producer role, here is the risk assessment form and also one of the consent forms:

Radio format – Script

As we already need to start the rehearsals for our radio show, we needed a script. So I started to make a draft of the script. I tried to keep an informal and engaging style, and I tried to include all the elements that we wanted without overcrowding the show. In order to finish it, I will need to discuss first with my colleagues to see what do we need to change, add or remove.

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

Vanessa: How are you? Hope you are prepared for tonight’s show, – “ Undiscovered Coventry – paranormal activities”,  because I am already starting to feel shivers on my back.

Raul: Indeed, today we’ll be talking about ghosts and strange stories. So what do you say Vanessa? Do ghosts really exist?

Vanessa: I think that we cannot know if ghosts do exist. Strange things happen to us sometimes and we assume that the reason must be ghosts; but there must be another explanation.

Raul: I tend to disagree with you. When I was little …

(And here Raul can briefly  talk about a strange experience that he had in childhood; he will make the story seem very real, and at the end he will scare Vanessa, in order to add a comic element)

Raul: Gotcha (laughs)

Vanessa: Ok Raul, this really started to scare me (Laughs). Let’s better begin today’s quiz. The winner will get the chance to make a special dedication right here on air at “Undiscovered Coventry”.  Don’t forget – our phone number is 024…. And hurry up cause as you know we will have time to take only the first three calls.

 

Quiz – We should all think at some quiz questions, and who is going to make those calls.

 

Raul: As not many of you might know, Coventry had its own “ghost buster”. His name was Tony Lawrence.

Vanessa: Tony was a senior lecturer at Coventry University’s Business School but his real passion was searching out spooks. He managed to identify infrasound as the low frequency noise, thing that made people interpret it as a supernatural experience.

Raul: In 2004, one year before he died, Lawrence carried the first official paranormal investigation at Warwick castle.

Vanessa:.  So ladies and gentleman after knowing all this, I think I’ve made my mind about where I’m going next year for Halloween …

Raul: I was quicker than you; I’ve already been there this Halloween.  But, let’s hear what people from Coventry have to say about ghost and paranormal activities.

Vanessa: Have they experienced unusual things? Do ghosts really exist in Coventry?

 

Vox  pops

 

Raul: It has been  a spooky night  so far, but I’m afraid that we have to put an end at today’s show.

Vanessa: Don’t forget that you can listen us every day at the same hour  18:30. We’ll be here with new mysterious things from the Undiscovered Coventry.  Byeee!!

(And maybe we can also have a guest, in the studio – but I don’t have anyone in mind. )

Radio format – research

In order to start developing more the ideas that we have, we need to make some research around our subject.

First of all I’ve found some pretty interesting articles about Vic Tandy – the “ghost buster” of Coventry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic_Tandy

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/tm_objectid=15791201&method=full&siteid=50003&headline=pioneering-ghost-hunter-vic-dies-name_page.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound

So I think that we can use this as our main news, because not many people know that Coventry had its own “ghost buster”.

Moreover, I’ve found a news about Coventry Resident who talks about paranormal activities at the second annual ghost tours:

http://coventry.patch.com/articles/coventry-resident-talks-paranormal-activity-at-second-annual-ghost-tours-in-warwick

We were also thinking to include a story in our format, and make it more like a docudrama with the use of sound effects and music in order to make it seem as real as possible. So here I’ve found some good spooky ghost stories, published by people from Coventry:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/content/articles/2006/06/27/weird_reader_ghost_stories_1_feature.shtml

http://www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/content/articles/2006/06/28/weird_reader_ghost_stories_4.shtml

Sound is the key element in radio, and that is why I’ve tried to find sites which have free sound effects:

http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/soundfx/scary_halloween_sounds.shtml

http://www.soundboard.com/sb/halloween.aspx

I’ve also found some good articles around Halloween, but we won’t be able to use them, as Halloween already passed:

http://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/coventry/events/264709/the-ultimate-halloween-party-in-coventry

http://www.visitnewengland.com/events_halloween.html

And now that I’ve made my research, I think that I can start the script.

Radio format

We were asked to make a radio format of 5-7 minutes length about undiscovered Coventry. Our format can be anything from a quiz to an investigation or something else, but the point is that it has to tell something undiscovered about Coventry in an original way.

I think that the most important step is to pick up a theme, thing which is trivial in any type of format, especially for a radio one. The theme has to be engaging and catchy, because the listener must be able to visualise what the presenters are saying.

So we thought to make a programme about supernatural stories from Coventry, because is something more interesting and unique. I don’t want to make the show spooky, I want it to be entertaining, so I now have to think at what style am I going to adopt and what elements I am going to include in the show in order to make it more interesting and engaging.

A planned radio show not only that keeps the listeners tuned in, but it transforms the show in a memorable one.

First of all we must think at the audience, because is one of the most important aspects. So we started to put questions like who will be our target audience? We will have a younger or older audience? What is their occupation? And we the concluded that our audience will be formed from people of all ages, around Coventry who are interested to find out undiscovered things about their city. As we are going to use a more informal style, and the subjects will be from a wide area, I believe that we will have audiences of all ages.

How we plan to engage the audience in our show?

– informal style, chat show

– changing tones in order not to be dull

– use of music and sound effects, as they are one of the most important elements in radio.

– vox pops – a series of interviews with random people from the street. Depending on the theme of each show, we’re going to ask people different questions around our subjects, in order to see different opinions. While doing this interviews is really important to record carefully the background sound, because radio has the ability to use the listeners imagination, and we need to stimulate it

– comic elements, the use of humour – it needs to be consistent and it has to change all the time)

– we’re going to use 2 presenters, because they have different personalities and it will make the show more entertaining.

– also we want our listeners to be informed, so we will also add news to every show

– we lso plan to add a quiz element (phone calls).  The winner of the quiz will get the chance to make a special dedication “on air”

So, this is our plan. In order to make all this happen,  I started to make a little bit of research about this theme, in order to see if we can find enough material.

Radio formats

Advantages:

– it is a universal medium so people can enjoy it from their homes, work and while driving

– it has no pictures

– it is scalable and can reach large or small areas economically

– is cheap, because you can deliver new material with minimal staff and equipment

– radio has the ability to use the listeners imagination

– use of humour it’s really important, and it has to be consistent and it has to change all the time

– regardless of the technology employed or the actual delivery medium, program content is still the most important aspect

Disadvantages: 

– listeners cannot refer back to the ads to go over important points

– ads are an interruption to the entertainment

– radio is a background medium because listeners usually do something else while listening to it.

TV entertainment format

Making a format is not as easy as it seems, especially when you have only a few weeks to make it. This is why we tried to take advantage of every moment that we have, in order to figure it out what are we going to do. We are already second year students, so we want to make something more spectacular and complex and in a more professional way, especially because the show doesn’t have to be “live”.

We have a wide range of possibilities, and that makes it even more difficult to take a decision about what kind of format are we interested in doing. I started to think about all the formats that I really enjoyed watching and I came with a couple of ideas. I was thinking  about a format similar to “The Gadget Show” or maybe a makeover or fashion show such as “What not to wear”, so I decided to write this ideas on our Facebook group, in order to see what the others think about it. I was excited that everyone liked the idea, but now comes the hard part: how are we going to develop this idea in order to make it different from the Gadget Show. We need to personalise the concept, so we couldn’t make the show about gadgets. We decided to keep the idea of challenges and competitions, but raising it to another level, where everyone can be involved in it. So we decided to make a show about the eternal gender battle.

Now that we have an idea we have to think how to develop it in order to make it successful. We took a look at the essential ingredients of a format in order to see if it has all the key elements needed in order for the format to work:

A simple idea: Both genders think they’re the best so lets put it to the test.

A hook: Every team thinks they’re the best so let’s put it to the test

Play – A – Long ability – the audience will be really engaged; pick up men and women from the street in order to compete, the audience will barely wait to see who is going to win, because they can easily put themselves in the place of the competitors or presenters.

Branding – in terms of the set we have to make something distinctive. We haven’t thought too much at this aspect until this point, but I think that the set should emphasise the difference between genders (ex: a logo), but in the same time it should be elegant, stylish and it should be more high-tech.

Repeatable: – the format stays the same every week: there will always be three battles based on: balance/agility, cleverness/ mental and speed.

Competition – it’s a game show for fun, fear of humiliation.

A character – the presenters will bring their personality to the proceedings and they will be symbols for each team. They will make the show their own.

Transferability –  Every country in the world can have a show based on the battle between sexes, because it is a universal theme.

So here is what we have  so far:

Sex wars/ Gender wars/ X v Y
– Both genders think they’re the best so lets put it to the test –

1. Introduction – Pre titles/ After titles
2. Titles
3. Set- up show – (explain format + prize)
4. Battle 1 – studio
5. Score summary – ( gunge + audience vote)
6. Battle 2 – VT
7. Score summary 2
8. Ad break

Set- up:
Welcome to Gender Wars. The game show that answers the world’s oldest question: men vs women, girls vs boys etc.. Who will manage to avoid humiliation with the help of the nation?
Let the battle commence!

We should make a short VT to present the battles:
Battle 1 – Balance/ Agility
Battle 2 – Mental/ Cleverness
Battle 3 – Speed

Battle 2 – ask the same question for 10 males and females . The team who gets the most correct answers wins the battle.

The essential ingredients of a format:

Deal or no deal? 

Like any other thing in the world, of course that television has it’s own recipe. At this lecture I’ve found out which are the essential ingredients that make a format work. It takes a long time to make sure that the program will run smoothly and efficient, so producers take apart the format and rebuild it until everything is perfect.

Why do we watch them? Why are we so engaged with them? Because they offer us what we want: our love for winning (big money prize), big named celebrities and a good laugh.

Why Deal or no deal is a successful TV Show? Because it has all the ingredients:

A simple idea, which is based on the “suspense of decision”- “Will they won the money, or not?”. The idea of the show it’s really simple because it has only one rule: 22 sealed boxes and one question Deal or no deal? 

A hook – the audience becomes attached to the contestants, so they care who wins, and plus the prize is very big.

PLAY – A – LONG ability – everyone can play this game from their homes in front of the television

Branding – it has its own style, a distinctive set, dramatic music, the lightning changes from time to time, glamorous assistants etc..

Repeatable – the format is the same every show

Competition – everyone wants to earn the big prize – 1.000.000 pounds.

A character – The presenter makes the show their own, bringing in front their personality. he communicates very well with the contestants touching their feelings and making them talk freely

Transferability – it has many versions and adaptations depending on the countries where is broadcasted

–  Spin-  offs – 10 online games and iphone games.