Media TV Production Unit Michael 10k1
In his book, Steven Johnson said that, contrary to other opinions, that TV, especially for teens has become more complex, rather than dumbed-down.
‘74-75 TV Show: Social Hierarchy, Obvious, Exaggerated representation, Metaphor/switching places, Social Dynamics, Emphasis on personality, Comedy, Close calls/misses (Requires suspense of disbelief), More reliant on comedy
The Next Step, Modern: Relationships, Subtle (But easy to figure out), Realistic but eccentric personalities, More reliant on actions, Seriousness, suspense, etc.
The Uses & Gratifications Theory (Blumler & Katz et al): This theory suggests that we choose to watch certain programmes because it satisfies a want - we USE a programme to GRATIFY or please ourselves. They identified four main uses and gratifications: Diversion: Taking you away from your own problems and your own world for a while - escapism. Information: Helping you to get knowledge about the world and how it works. Personal Identity: Comparing yourself to characters on the TV - what would you do in the situation. How would you behave? Would you be as brave? As foolhardy? Personal Companionship: Getting involved with the characters as if they are real, wanting to find out what happens in their lives; also having something to talk about with other people - 'did you see that las night ...' conversations.
There are two parts in a TV Production: the Gallery (or Control Room), where live editing, directing and PA takes place, and the Floor Studio, where the filming is done. Because of the multi-camera set and live environment, it's important to do many rehearsals, communicate and co-ordinate. In the Control Room, there is the Director, Vision Mixer (VM) in charge of switching between cameras, titles, visual effects etc., PA (Production Assistant) who announces to co-ordinate, and the Sound Mixer, who controls what sound is transmitted. On the Studio Floor, there are around 3 Camera Operators, a Floor Manager, similar to a director, Ass't FM helping with cuing, and other assistants. Some good qualities to have are trust between the team, clear communication, and to be good under pressure.
Channel/Media Fragmentation: The increase of the number of outputs in the past decades, mainly due to advancing technology, allowing for convenience, cheapness, many devices, and therefore multitasking, eg., watching one thing while going on social media.
Audience Fragmentation: The division of audiences into smaller groups as a result of Channel Fragmentation. TV content now targets niche (small, small) audiences as well as mass audiences.
Time Shifting & Place Shifting: New technologies have allowed audiences to choose when and where they consume television content. This refers to television 'on demand'. So, rather than the whole family tuning in to watch the X-Factor @ 8pm on a Sat night, they may choose to watch any other time and place. Television is no longer experienced communally. However, social media allows for a shared experience still.
We are not getting a drop off in TV viewings, rather an evolution. TV has outgrown the TV set, it's now a flexible fusion of visual and audio, on pretty much any device.
What impact has developing technology had on the relationship between the media and audiences? As time has progressed, so has our technology, and with it, media. As the technology to view TV shows has become cheaper, with inventions such as ultrabooks and smartphones, people can view on the go, and more importantly, don't have to share devices with friends and family, allowing for more channels. The number of TV channels has increased exponentially these past decades, in a phenomenon known as Channel Fragmentation, where many channels have split off, causing Audience Fragmentation. Because of the large number of channels, and available programs, audiences can split up into 'niche' groups, with specific needs. Along with this, the internet allows consumers to download shows, letting people use their portable devices to view at any place, any time, a change called Time-Shifting & Space Shifting.
Cultivation theory was a theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and was later expanded. They began research in the mid 1960s to study media effects, specifically whether watching television influences an audience's idea and view of life. The theory was that high frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and believe that they are real and valid, heavy viewers are exposed to more violence, and are affected by Mean World Syndrome: a belief that the world is much more dangerous and worse a place than the world really is.
How is Mean World Syndrome affirmed? In the Bridge, the crime happens at night, it's very indifferent, the rest of the world goes on, the police officer is cold, blunt. Gives off a very dark theme to the world, despite this kind of thing not happening very much.
Audience research is a good idea to know what your audience wants, identifying attitudes and behaviour, why they do that, to learn how to appeal to the audience. Things you want to research are how to customise your product, what they want, expect, etc. Identify your audience, then think about what mood you go for, don't stick to ideas of stereotypes, imagine you are the viewer and how they'll react to it, how the talent affects the audience, think about your programme's title - establish a brand. Audience research should be able to answer: if there is an audience for your product, who the primary and secondary audience are, who they are, their attitudes, beliefs, what other media they have, how much time and money they are willing to spend on the product, what they are already watching to compete with or work with.
Qualitative Data is mainly about descriptions, open questions, opinions, but less precise data, while Quantitative Data is numbers, statistics, mainly numerical data, represented in graphs and percentages, with closed answers.
Surveys are quick and get lots or responses, but there are no guarantees that they will be finished. Pre/Post designs compare the same survey before and after an intervention/event. Pilot studies draw from previous studies, they can be quicker, but your methods may not match.
Good interviews don't lead the interviewee on, or load their questions, create closed questions, or pressure whoever they interview for answers. Good interviews respond to answers, build rapport, get open questions, won't lead questions, will respond neutrally to answers, etc. Basically, good questions don't lead, avoid being loaded, aren't double-barreled, don't use absolutes, and are clear and understandable to the respondent.
People watch media for a few reasons, these have been defined under the Uses & Gratification Theory: the need to understand one's social world (surveillance), the need to act meaningfully and effectively in that world (social utility), and the need to escape from that world when tensions are high (fantasy-escape).
Secondary Research: AKA Desk Research. Called this because it doesn't require going out, using secondary information for your research. Easier to conduct logistically, provides broad understanding of a topic. Obtained from public sources, focuses on markets or audience, can be used to prep for primary research. Has good breadth. Because it pulls off of primary research, it must be referenced.
Primary research is more complex in terms of logistics, but has greater depth. Can involve one-one talks with experts, but in this case, the audience. Secondary research can be broken down into: Internal/External Secondary Data. Secondary Research is mainly used because it's low cost, quick, and easy. It helps clarify the research question, and rule out potentially irrelevant project proposals, such as work that's already been carried out. It's useful because the information is readily available and may only be available as secondary research. However, sometimes the information's not as specific or relevant, and may be questionable in terms of truthfulness, bias, and may even be outdated.
Secondary Research Method: 1. Identify places that you can get information and record them. 2. Gather existing data. 3. Compare data from different sources if necessary and possible. 4. Analyze data.
Good places to look: Databases, past researches, government information, information from resource companies, different media such as news articles, reports from university research centers or non-profit organizations.
Convergence v. Synergy: Originally, the different types of media used different technologies. Then computer technology caught on, bringing together the production systems of media organisations. So media convergence is a result of the digital revolution. Now, media production is faster and cheaper, allow print, visual images and sound to be integrated much more easily and take content from one form to another and experiment with cross-media films. Eg. Websites incorporate text, images, sound, video, converging into a central hub for many forms of media. Mobile phones have become a platform for media convergence, allowing all forms of content to be delivered on one device.
Web 1.0: A static website, text, images, hyperlinks. Evolves into Web 2.0: More user-friendly, allow anyone to create a website, gives videos, sound, interaction. Web 3.0: Spreadable media, sharing, viral media, deliverable information. The web has evolved through many stages, going from simple text, hyperlinks and images, to being able to transfer content between pages, websites being able to be created easily, being able to mesh websites onto Web 3.0, where information comes to you, and Web 4.0 will soon become mainstream, where we can control our appliances across the web.
Now we are learning how to research a specific way. For my group, that's desk research. During my research, I used sources provided by the teacher, and some from the VLE, while using Google Doc's research function to let me cite my sources easily.
Digital Natives: A demographic group comprising individuals who are born or brought up during the age of digital technology and are therefore familiar with computer and the internet from an early age. Participatory Cultures are characterised by strong support for creating and sharing those creations. Making of media is quick and easy, doesn't require much investment of time. In such a culture, members believe their contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connectedness with one another.
Important Skills in Participatory Cultures: Play, the capacity to experiment with one's surroundings as a form of problem-solving. Performance: The ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery. Simulation: The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes. Appropriation: The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content. Multitasking: The ability to scan one's environment and shift focus as needed to salient details. Collective Intelligence: The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal. Judgement: The ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources. Transmedia Navigation: The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities. Networking: The ability to search for, synthesize and disseminate information. Negotiation: The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
Generation Y: Rapid embrace of new technology. Generation Z: The first generation born into a digital world hence an alternative name for gen Z: digital natives. Generation Z is different, "a move away from the past decade's rampant materialism, a stronger emphasis on social justice and a generation of highly educated, technologically savvy, innovative thinkers. Generation Alpha: Loosely defined as those children born after 2010. However, a child born after 2005 could easily be considered alpha since their lives are completely digital and much different to the child born in 1991, before mainstream internet. As this new generation has smartphones in their hands from day one, they are likely to live and learn quite differently from generations that came before them.
Multipliers theory: In the old days, there were tastemakers, an elite deciding what was trending and the norm, whereas now people can and do promote themselves. It used to be tastemakers-media producers. Now it's audience-part producer and consumer, (AKA co-creators). The flow of demand and supplying in trends is no-longer linear, allowing producers-artefact-audience back to producers. Audiences, Artefacts, and Producers are closer to free now that audiences have also become producers.
Social Activism and Participant Culture: Slacktivists: Slacker + Activism refers to simple measures used to support an issue or social cause involving virtually no effort on the part of participants. Seen as participant gratification because they lack engagement and commitment. Activists would be people campaigning to bring about political and/or social change. Spreadable Media: A media that travels across media platforms at least in part because the people take it in their own hands and share it with their social networks. A case study, the HPA is a youth community exploiting networks and platforms to achieve sustained social change. Examples of Mechanisms being used to achieve social change via remix, share etc: Appropriates story and themes of HP, uses concept of Houses to bolster competition and enthusiasm.
Viral Media is similar to Shareable media, using the audience as "passive carriers" different from spreadable media i.e Memes.
The meaning of consumer suggests that they destroy value and can't actually participate, which doesn't make sense in terms of Media because it suggests it degrades, and that it sounds like consumers are "ravenous" for it. It also suggests it as a 1-way process, while it's more like a multiplier, someone who treats a good or service as another starting point.
360 Degree Commissioning: The use of programs and mediums across many platforms such as online, television, on mobile, all at once at high quality.
For my job application letter, I wished to take the job of Audio Mixer, which I had succeeded in taking. The letter said as follows:
Dear Ms. Curran,
I am writing to you to express interest in the vacant sound mixer position for your TV production. I have had experience working in sound, during the production of short films, giving me expertise and knowledge in sound equipment operation and handling, important traits to have in such a role.
I am excited to be working for this television production, especially because this kind of live production is an unique and interesting style of work. My background in media production, as well as skills in sound equipment which are well suited to this job. On top of this, I think on my feet, allowing me to handle any problems that may occur in the sound department, as well as use the audio mixer efficiently. Should the need arise, my schedule can also adapt to any time for production rehearsal and live production, as well as book equipment outside of production time.
I believe that after you have reviewed my application, you will find that I have a suitable skillset for this vacancy, matching your requirements.
Group Plans: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jgU4vsOcXamyfFASuw8jHeyV4RFRbEeL2f5mi3SY5eQ/edit
Production Audio Notes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13ZpbqpHNKpVgX30oMeDs0HGu9tUrmU2iY2tZClWVcpU/edit?usp=sharing
Presentation Logistics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PyB6zhkT2EyTc-VcilkjSzvzt1Z3nxTbYHGHOhquH00/edit?usp=sharing
My selection of music for the animations was mainly based off of the animator's original choice for the intro which I found was quite fitting, and so, I put a song of similar genre in the outro. At the start, we weren't going to use background music, but the choice in the end was a cheery song for a quiet narrator.
Some of the things I've picked up off of this unit regarding sound mixing is skills with the audio mixer, fading in and out, the use of clip mics (specifically how to hide them and linking receivers and transmitter frequencies). Also, I've started using music that matches in tone to other musics and the tone of the show. Some techniques I might use to make the clips blend in are darker clothing, hiding it behind hair and clothing, I might also, to make sound mixing easier, use my laptop to play downloaded music and turn the input from that low to make sure the narrators can be heard.
During the production and practices, I had to use the sound mixer to control specific audio inputs: the wireless clip-mic for the presenter, the main visual mixer console for animations, and my laptop for the background music. During shots, there were multiple different variations of interactions during cuts, unmuting the clip mic, then fading in BGM, or just fading BGM, etc. Some of the controls I've learnt to use are gain for volume, muting, how to operate wireless clip mics, and how the audio mixer console is set up. During the practices, a few mistakes I've made are about how the clip-mic should be set up during the setup process, the fact that the BGM almost muddles the presenter's voice, and during one take where the presenter's voice input was too high, distorting the audio.
During production, following suit from my teammates in the booth with me, I noted down key moments and what to do during said moments, revising the notes across the session, as seen here: