Television Production By: Benjamin Clark

Introduction to TV Production

In this day and age TV production is advancing faster than ever with the introduction of multimedia platforms people watch TV in various different ways. Families approach to watching programmes on TV have changed because of services like Youtube and Netflix which allow or people to watch these programmes on many devices i.e their laptop or phone. Now kids might watch different shows and different times which make i much easier to watch their preferred shows while the adults can enjoy theirs. Throughout this journal I will explain what TV production is through theory and also how it's done with my own experience of doing one at school.

*Black Diamond Group's Picture*

TV Programmes:

Happy Days:

*TV Fanart's Picture*

The acting felt forced using sit-com aspects putting emphasis on things like smiles and laughter, the laugh track in the background added onto the forced feeling. Most of the shots were in one angle and were long shots. It consisted of slow cuts and pans.

The Next Step:

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It was based and felt like a reality TV show with things like on going commentaries from cast members. It was overdramatised by using emotions and verbal conflict frequently which creates tension. These dramatised moments are mostly close shots.

Roles of Live Television:

Control Room (Gallery)

1. Director - The person who controls everything

2. Vision Mixer (VM) - Controls visual effects and transitions

3. PA (Production Assistant) - Connects the Control Room to the Studio floor normally through earpiece

4. Sound Mixer - Controls the sound

Studio Floor

1. Camera Operators x 3 - Controls the Cameras

2. Floor Manager - Controls the Studio (where the cameras focus and at what time as well as where the actors look)

3. Assistant Floor Manager (Autocue) - Helps the Floor Manager

4. Other Assistants

What impact has developing technology had on the relationship between the media and audiences?

As television has advanced so has the audience and their perception on everyday Media. With Place and Time Shifting every type of media reaches a much further range of people than before due to technology using downloading and streaming on mainstream devices. Not only does it reach more people but it can also changes how flexible all media is and that this idea of everything being 'On-Demand' or available at anytime for your viewing makes it far more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, there's no need for the rush sit back and relax and when you're ready enjoy your TV show or your music.

The use of more ways of viewing Media leads to more demand of more genres or more options of one. Let's say there's 100 Jazz songs on Spotify (A popular music streaming service) but since it's so easy to access Spotify people will ask for different types of music, so let's say now people want 100 Rap songs or they want 100 more Jazz songs. Now there's so much more choice due to more consumption tools, this method is called Channel Fragmentation. This branches off into Audience Fragmentation, now audiences are being split up into smaller or 'Niche' Audiences. This happens when a genre splits into sub genres and those sub genres split into even more sub genres and now everybody is split into smaller groups, for example: when people want more jazz but a different type they'll maybe opt for Smooth jazz

Audience theory

Cultivation Theory & Mean world Syndrome:

Cultivation Theory

  • A theory composed originally by G. Gerbner and later expanded upon by Gerbner & Gross
  • They began research in the mid-1960s endeavouring to study media effects.

Mean World Syndrome

  • Cultivation theory states that people who watch TV regularly/high frequency tend to believe the media messages and the belief of that they are real and valid

The Bridge

  • Key point/skills we can incorporate in our film
  • How does the TV show affirm mean world syndrome?
  • They have a lot of close ups of the hands and the imagery is very dark making it hard to see what is happening. The music adds a lot of suspense. There were a lot of silhouettes and the camera is often out of focus making it hard to see. The bad guy had black leather gloves. These kind of gloves are generally used for dangerous and mean characters.

Audience Research

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  • Have research question
  • Quantitative, qualitative Information/Data
  • Subject
  • No copywriting
  • Target audience
  • Make a survey?

Primary and secondary research

  • Analysis
  • Understand
  • Demographics (Y10, SIS, Gender)
  • Interest
  • Environment (Influence their habits)
  • Needs
  • Customized
  • Expectations

How to find your audience?

  • Program Title
  • Target audience in mind
  • Are the viewers relaxed or engaged
  • Don’t stereotype
  • What is the purpose of your research?
  • Is there an audience for your product? Could there be more than one audience?
  • Who are the audience? Age, gender, location, ethnicity, tv shows, movies, games do they use?
  • What media do they consume? What magazines, TV shows, movies, games do they use? What platforms do they use? (TV, internet, Playstation, XBox, PC, Mac)
  • How much time and money are they willing to spend on media product?
  • What other products already exists which are similar to yours?

Primary Research

  • More complex
  • In Depth exploration
  • One-to-one talks with active industry players & observers
  • Focus on prospect companies

Secondary Research

  • Easier to conduct
  • Broad understanding
  • Obtained from public sources
  • Focus on markets
  • Preparation for primary research

Primary Research

Research that is newly sourced in order to answer certain issues/questions through forms like Questionnaires, Surveys or interviews with individuals/groups

Secondary Research

Research that has been discovered before for public use using sources like the Internet, Libraries or Research Reports.

Purpose

  • Assess easy, low-cost and quick knowledge;
  • Clarify the research question;
  • Help align the focus of primary research in a larger scale can also help to identify the answer; and
  • Rule out potentially irrelevant information
  • The information already exists and is

Limitations

  • The information lacks specific or does not exactly address question of concern
  • Some external secondary data may be of suspect quality or outdated
  • Internal secondary data such as sales reports and customers database mao only describe existing customers

How to use it?

  • Identify the subject domain and where to acquire the information;
  • Gathering existing data;
  • Comparing data from different sources, if necessary and if feasible; and
  • Analysing the data

Where to look?

  • Database, sale reports, past primary researches;
  • Government statistics and information from government agencies
  • Information resources companies
  • Different media such as articles from respected magazines and newspapers, reports from the university research centers or non-profit agency

The Machine is Us/ing Us

What I took away from the video is that with every action that we do the Web compiles/saves the video. Once we have given the information it creates trends and patterns, teaching itself only becoming smarter the more knowledge we apply to it.

Cultivation Theory and Mean World Syndrome

Cultivation theory was a theory composed originally by D. Gerbner and later expanded upon by gerbner and gross (1976 - Living with the television: the violence profil Journal of Communication, 26, 76

Leading to Mean world syndrome:

Cultivation theory states that high frequency viewers of television are more susceptible to media messages and the belief that they are valid. Heavy viewers are exposed to more violence and therefore are affected by the Mean World Syndrome, the belief that the world is a far worse and dangerous place than it actually is.

The Bridge:

How does the TV show affirm mean world syndrome?

They have a lot of close ups of the hands and the imagery is very dark making it hard to see what is happening. The music adds a lot of suspense. There were a lot of silhouettes and the camera is often out of focus making it hard to see. The bad guy had black leather gloves. These kind of gloves are generally used for dangerous and mean characters.

Audience Research:

  • Have research question
  • Quantitative, qualitative Information/Data
  • Subject
  • No copywriting
  • Target audience
  • Make a survey?
  • Primary and secondary research

AUDIENCE

Analysis

Understand

Demographics (Y10, SIS, Gender)

Interest

Environment (Influence their habits)

Needs

Customized

Expectations

How to find your audience?

  • Program Title
  • Target audience in mind
  • Are the viewers relaxed or engaged
  • Don't stereotype

What is the purpose of your research?

Is there an audience for your product? Could there be more than one audience?

Who are the audience? Age, gender, location, ethnicity, tv shows, movies, games do they use?

What media do they consume? What magazines, TV shows, movies, games do they use? What platforms do they use? (TV, internet, Playstation, XBox, PC, Mac)

How much time and money are they willing to spend on media product?

What other products already exists which are similar to yours?

Digital Natives → A demographic group comprising individuals who are born or brought up during the age of digital technology and are therefore familiar with computers and the internet from an early age.

Digital Natives & Participatory Culture

How do your experiences of digital media relate to the description of participatory cultures (Henry Jenkins)

Tastemakers (elite) → Media producers

Audience → Largely passive then one direction flow (Producers → Artifact → Audience)

NDW → part producer/part consumer

→ Co-creators

→ Multiples

Harry Potter Alliance:

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Raising over $123,000 for Partners In Health and sending five cargo planes of life-saving supplies to Haiti - As the Harry Potter fandom has grown the Harry Potter Alliance

Donations of over 250,000 books across the world through HPA’s Accio Books campaign. - They managed to give away 250,000

A partnership with Public Knowledge that brought over 20,000

The HPA’s efforts have been mentioned in publications worldwide, big and small, ranging from The Washington Post, The New York Times, and a special mention in the premiere episode of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore.

A partnership with Walk Free that engaged over 400,000 fans

An alternative definition of the ‘Media Consumer’. Acknowledges how in the digital age, audiences are no longer passive. They add value to the media artefact by involving other (e.g remixing). They multiply value in collective acts of construction (e.g wikis). They further multiply by using their connections and networks to publicize innovation (e.g sharing)

Textual Analysis:

Blue Peter: How to make a Puppet

In this Blue Peter Make they create puppets. This type of make appeals to kids or the parents of kids as they can spend time making them and also play with them.

The Set Design

Set Design

Visual appeal is created from the many colours and pictures in the background which sets a very fun and exciting vibe. There are an abundance of flashing lights that helps younger audience (The kids) stay focused on the programme not making seem to continuous and dull.

The Make Table

Everything is laid out neatly on the make table before the "make" to show what you will need later on, this will also allow for easy access to tools and materials throughout the show. It's good that the make is shown before the actual show as viewers can actually see if they are interested or not in this particular episode. Props are used to draw attention to the table like the robot on the left, the robot is great because the foil reflects light which allows for it to give off all the light the background offers.

Graphic Elements

In this programme there is no title but the resource list is a animated clip which lasts for a couple of seconds. In the clip not only is there the list but also background tools in order to create a fun and creative vibe. The video really supports 360 degree commissioning because it has been put on youtube which is multi-platform.

Presenters

There are two presenters, one of them is in charge of making and instructing whilst the other is more of the supporting presenter as he asks questions every now and then. The use of a second presenter allows for quirky questions creating a bit of humour into the make so that the main presenter can focus on making it and not having to engage the audience too much. The allowance of specialising in each role makes sure that they do their jobs well. In terms of clothes the main presenter wears a smart casual so that he seems a bit formal to show he knows what he's doing but the supporting presenter is in complete casual, the casual aspect makes it easier to watch as he looks like someone who would joke and there would be no confusion in who's the main guy.

Use of Language

A upbeat and fluid tone had to be used as it sets a great atmosphere. If someone was monotone and no emotion in their face it would be a very boring show as there's no change in tempo or pitch. It is very loud and clear so that the audience understand. The enthusiasm of the presenters really help the kids in the audience excited about the show as it proves that there the make is something great and that they love making it.

Camera Coverage

There were 4 different shots (Mid , Mid Close Up, Freehand Close up and Freehand Overhead). All of the shots are used for different reasons like the Mid shot is good for showing everything in the set i.e the background and table, the shot is used at the beginning and at the end. The Medium close up is good for making the puppet but it's not close enough that you can't see the presenter talk. The Close up is good for showing a part of the puppet and the overhead is good for showing the whole make in detail. Only 3 cameras were necessary for the make as both the close up and overhead could be be one camera.

Diagram of Camera Positions in accordance to the Make Table in Blue Peter Makes

Demonstration

There were a couple of ways they shortened the whole production. One way was probably the easiest was that the second/support presenter would help more often so that each step took half the time, the other way was to cut out a few steps towards the end and instead point to the end product and say what could be done to achieve what they've done and the end product. There were about 7 segments of the actual make, the way they transitioned was just through connective words especially the two words that they used a lot "and then" adding on to the change of camera after each instruction.

Structure:

In this episode there were 3 clear segments which were the intro, demonstration and outro. This does offer some structural variety although some other sections like for example a Question and Answering segment could be added in for some interaction with the audience. The segments are split up by when the medium shot is transitioned on/off.

Preparation

Our Production Group

When we first started getting into groups to figure out how people think about the change in TV viewing and it's audience. This was done using the 3 types of research (Desk Research, Qualitative Research and Quantitative), this task would also test how we worked as a group. We were assigned Qualitative research (Primary research used to gain a understanding of reasons/opinions) so we went to interview several people with questions regarding how people view TV and how we communicate with each other.

My Application for Floor Manager

In the end I didn't get the role I had hoped for but one very similar. I had the responsibility of the PA which had aspects that the Floor manager had e.g counting down and saying which camera we're on. At the time surprisingly I wasn't too upset as long as I could have a job which really tested me. I think the reason I was chose for the role was because I put that I could handle pressure.

My role doesn't have too much preparation really it's just nailing the calls/shots and getting that ready and written out, also my team has to know how my calls work. In order to learn how to do these calls I had to consult Ms Curran as I had no idea how to do the calls and she explained thoroughly what I had to do. In the two images below

Example Script (With Arrows)
Example Script with a annotation

In the meeting we had discussed what I needed to say and in what order I did it in. Ms Curran told me that I had to say the shot, the camera and then the next shot in this order. It was also a great tip to write arrows leading to what I would say in that order. I was really nervous going into the meeting because I didn't really know too much about what I was doing but I came out fairly confident on what my role was.

Preparations right before shoot

As we arrived in the studio for the shoot Ms.Curran had given us a set of instructions to complete before our shoot. I didn't have to do much and really just helped the others get ready before the stagger through.

The Shoot:

This picture shows where the people in the broadcasting room sat during the performance. From left to right it was PA (me), VM (Seth), Director (Alex) and Sound (Lawrence). This set up was useful as all I needed to do was speak into the mic so I would be on the side whilst the director would sit in the middle of the VM and sound as she had to instruct them on what to do.

The two videos above were I broadcasts. It only shows what happened in the broadcasting room. It was super tense as all of us had to nail our role to make it happen and anytime something went wrong we would stress. Eventually we would have to overcome our nerves and nail it which we did.

Distribution:

How our film would reach the Target Audience:

To allow for 360 degree commissioning we had to have our film put onto either youtube, Vimeo or any software which allows for multi-media video streaming. Luckily our school South Island School put and send all student films to the whole production team and cast of each production so we could just use that clip. This means we can get to our intended audience which were the parents of kids and kids if they have any device that can video stream.

The Evolution of TV Audience:

When video streaming services like Youtube, Vimeo and Netflix were introduced in the last decade it changed television viewing for the better or worse. Audience Fragmentation is prominent as compared to before where people liked watching shows together where it was kind of social, now people prefer watching shows by themselves. Watching on separate allows for people to watch shows when they like and the shows that they like without the influence of others to constrict these options. It is also very beneficial for companies as there are more opportunities for advertisement which is a whole business in itself.

Conclusion & Evaluation

This is our final TV production and the result of this whole project. I honestly think it went amazingly well with all the cool stings and animations but also camera shots. None of this would have been possible without the people in the broadcasting room especially the director. I think I did my role greatly and I executed my calls. I handled the stress relativity well and I executed the calls when they mattered most. For next time some more practice would be needed because at some of the times I couldn't keep up the tempo as it was always moving. A way I could do this is that I would practice with the presenter before the shoot to get used to the speed of their voice at certain parts.

I learnt a lot during this experience not only the theory behind TV production but also the practical aspects and how to execute them. I learnt how to call shots and work as a team to create a live broadcast. Of all things I learnt the most important thing I did learn was how to handle stress to live and learn from mistakes. Honestly I found it really fun and would totally do it all over again. Next time I want to try a different role though to get a wider perspective on TV production as a whole.

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