Thursday 10th March:
Production Day 1:
In todays lesson we were able to split into our groups to start work towards our final shows. We started by finalising our roles and discussing possible topics and features. My role is Executive Producer, so I have started put things in place to help the organisation and communication of the group, for example I have created a shared google drive and Facebook chat so that we can easily see what everyone is working on and discuss ideas / set up group meetings.
Alongside working in our groups, we were also working with max, who was showing us how to use the tieline and we had the chance to test out a mini OB from the forum, which was actually a really helpful refresher. This took quite a long time to set up so our group time ended up being quite limited, therefore I think we will need to arrange some more time asap to further discuss some ideas for the show.
Friday 11th March:
I have spent a lot of time researching potential topics for the show this morning and elaborating on the ideas we came up with yesterday / thinking about the ways they could be treated . At the moment we are looking at making a package on detox drinks and their potential health risks, I have also been looking in more detail at the lifetime ISA, Stress Week, Digital Detoxes, E-Cigarettes and Refugees. At the moment my main concern is trying to include political issues in our show (as this is a requirement in our target audience description) without them being too dry. However I have been using the news app on my phone a lot and saving any stories that may have potential, I have also asked the group to keep a look out and this is something that we will definitely discuss in our next meeting.
Thursday 16th March:
Today we met as a group and discussed the 8 final topics that we would pitch to Matthew for our talk radio show, as well as the possible ways we could treat them. The pitch went pretty well and Matthew really helped us to expand our ideas and come up with more interesting ways to treat them. Following our meeting with Matthew we were able to set ourselves tasks and assign each story to smaller working groups or individuals, I have transferred this information into a small table which I have uploaded onto the google drive so that everyone is clear about what it is they need to be getting on with in time for the pilots. I am going to be working on a stress awareness package with sam.
Friday 17th March:
I have started looking at articles and doing some research into the stress package I am going to e making with sam. The main route we are looking at at the moment, is Ruby Wax’s Frazzled Café, which is a programme she is running alongside M&S as a way of providing a space for stressed individuals to talk about whats worrying them etc. in a non judgemental environment. At the moment it has not been announced when the event will start, but we are hoping if it is time for our final show, we will be able to attend one of the events and speak to attendees and organisers. we were also aiming to talk to a mindfulness coach or charity spokesperson.
Monday 20th March:
Since my last entry I have bee researching further into the M&S Frazzled Cafe, however there is still yet to be any dates announced and contributors are proving to be very hard to contact, as the only founder being mentioned so far is Ruby Wax herself. Therefore I decided to look on meet up for alternative stress related events that Sam and I could attend, I was able to come across a ‘stress release workshop’ run once a week in Primrose Hill. After contacting the organiser, Beatrice, we have planned to meet with her before next weeks session for an interview and following this we will also attend the workshop, where we hope to interview some of the other attendees, although beatrice has already raised issues of confidentiality in her emails.
I also spent some time today making a plan for tomorrows meeting, just highlighting the main points that need to be discussed, I have uploaded this onto the shared google drive.
Tuesday 21st March:
We met as a whole group today to talk about what everyone has been up to so far, and put some plans into place as to what needs to be done in order for us to be prepared for the pilot show on the 30th. At this point Sam and I are the only ones to have arranged to meet with contributor, although other members of the group have started researching contacts to be used in the live interview and in the OB. Today was really useful in making sure that all members of the group had a specific task to be getting on with and making sure that they were totally clear as to what needed to be done and by when. We were able to brainstorm as a group and raise any issues that we had. I have created a document and uploaded it to the google drive, that clearly lists what each member of the group needs to have done by our next meeting on Thursday as we are cautious that the pilot is not long away and the more we have done by our lesson on Thursday the more advice we will be able to get from David.
Thursday 23rd March:
In todays lesson we did another OB practise, in which we sent mark and James to Westminster Bridge to report on the attacks. The rest of us were back at uni putting together a 15 minute show also reporting on the Westminster attacks. The whole thing was a bit of a disaster but actually this was useful as now I know what needs to be worked on, the main issue turned out to be timing which is something i hadn’t even started to stress about yet. We also came to the realisation as group that we need to make sure that everyone is totally aware of what is going on and where they need to be with suitable time before we go on air, this sounds like something that would just be common sense but on the day it didn’t work out so well.
Following the pretty disastrous 15 minute show we were all feeling a bit disheartened but we were also very keen to make sure that it didn’t happen again, so we had another group meeting where we were able to put together a clear plan for the next week and actually this meeting was pretty productive. However I think that I need to start taking more control as editor, at the moment i am finding it hard to tell people what to do and even harder to pester them when they haven’t done it especially those who I am slightly intimidated by. However during the 15 show today it felt pretty shitty not really knowing what was going on or like i was in control of the situation,so for next week i am going to start being more authoritative and making sure that stuff is actually getting done because at this point it is only certain members of the group who are putting in the work.
Friday 22nd March:
Today I have taken the information form yesterdays meeting and formed it into a clear plan for the next week, including everything that needs to be done and by whom, i have uploaded it to the google drive and encouraged everyone to look at it. Next week we will begin 30 minute run throughs so I am hoping that everyone will have done what has been asked of them in the document (including myself) so that we are in the best possible place to practice and are able to make the most of David’s advice.
Monday 27th March:
Today I started contacting potential guests for the stress segment of our live show, Louis Alexander, an emotional wellness therapist got back to be pretty quickly and seems really keen! She is happy to help us out for the live show and we are currently exchanging emails and talking on the phone to arrange how it will all work, although she has shown some concern about offering personal advice so we may have to re think the format of the piece.
In the evening Sam and I interviewed Beatrice Cetze, who holds a weekly stress reduction meet up in Primrose Hill. She spoke to us about the causes of stress along with some ways to reduce stress/ the benefits of her session. However she had a very strong French accent and as we were in a pub there was some background noise, so we are going to see if theres anything we can do with it but may end up re recording with a different interviewee.
Tuesday 28th March:
Today we met for another group meeting to discuss where we were all up to so far and plan some ideas for Thursdays 30 minute practise show. Things are moving pretty well and I can see the majority of our items being finished by next week, with the main difficulty at the moment being the financial expert and timing.
However I am feeling much more positive after todays meeting as everyone seems to be very clear on what they are doing and seem to be feeling much more proactive! We left the meeting in agreement that in Thursdays lesson we will put some time aside to start working on a rough running order. In order to make this easier I have asked everyone to fill in a table that I have uploaded to the google drive, that will include the brief, treatment and length of their separate pieces. This way will have a clear written way of knowing what we are working with.
Thursday 30th March:
Today we did our first 30 minute show, using items that we have been working on for our final show along with some burli content as filler. We were working much better as a team today and almost everyone came with some audio or a live guest that could contribute to the run through, which made it much easier to practise something that would be as close to the final show as possible at this pint and therefore allow us to make the most of davids feedback.
I felt much more in control today, however there a still a few issues with certain members of my team straight up ignoring me when I ask them to do something or ask them questions as to how far they are getting along with their items which is worrying. However this is just an issue with one team member and the rest of the prep for the show is going well, as the majority of our audio has been collected now and is just in need of being edited up to the standard of the final show.
We met with David after our 30 minute run through and he gave some really useful feedback, the main thing that I need to work on is creating a really clear, precise running order, including timing, stabs and other information that the presenter may need. This will make sure that everyone is really clear of what they are doing when in the studio so that the atmosphere can be as calm as possible, it will also help us to run to time which has also been an issue so far.
Following David’s feedback we had another group meeting to discuss ways to improve our items and ensure that they are ready for the pilot next week. I have uploaded a document to the google drive listing what needs to be done to each item and by who so that it is as clear as possible for the whole team. We have decided to have another run through on Tuesday to ensure that we have as much practice on the studio as possible as this is where the majority of our problems seem to lie.
Tuesday 4th April:
Today we were meant to be having a run through show in preparation for our pilot, however this did not work out in the end as although it had been organised almost a week in advance the majority of the group found themselves to be unavailable on this day. We were however still able to have a quick meeting to discuss how people were getting along with packages etc and we decided that in order for beth to have time to look over the scripts and for the running order to be timed correctly we would have all audio along wit cues, ins outs etc up on the shared drive by Wednesday night so that there was not a mad rush Thursday morning before the show.
Thursday 6th April:
Today was the day of the pilot show and it went really well!! we ran pretty much exactly to time and the majority of the items are near enough ready for the final show! we were able to manage a difficult change over between phone interviews and the OB and i think all in all we have a much clearer idea of how the show will run on the day.
After last weeks lesson David sent me an example of a running order, I followed the format of this for the pilot and it seemed to work really well and was much clearer for beth, tony and myself especially when it came to timings etc, however for the real show I will need to include the timings of branding which is something that was a problem the week.
The feedback David gave us after the show was really helpful and I have arranged his advice into a table which is on the google drive so that it is clear for everyone what needs to change between now and next week. During another group meeting we have decided to have all final audio and scripts up on the google drive by Monday night so that we are able to have a quick run through on Tuesday and allow time for beth to look over the scripts an make them her own.
Thursday 13th April:
Today was the day of our final show, and I was feeling quite calm as we had the majority of our content prepared, meaning all that really needed to be done was the scripting of the topical two way and last minute changes to the running order. Following the pilot run through I decided to split up the live segments of the show up to avoid complicated transitions between items and to try and keep the studio as calm as possible when we went live. As well as this we made the decision to move the running order around a little bit so that we had a live item last, meaning that if we needed to we could change the length of the item which would help us to keep the show to time.
Overall I was really happy with how the show went, technically everything worked, and i think the scripts and links sounded much more natural. There was a moment of total stress when we weren’t sure whether a skype call was going to work, however this is largely due to the fact that on the day the phones decided not to work so we have very little time to practice the segment, especially as there was three groups all wanted to use the two studios. However in the end it worked out fairly well despite the fact that our live guest was giving very short answers. This actually meant that when we came to the last item we were running 1 minute short, therefore mark and beth had to fill a little and include some more questions etc, although this didn’t sound quite as polished as some of the other scripts , it did mean that we were able to finish on time. However we had also prepared some back up scripts for if this was to happen, which beth had if she were to need them.