PP1: 500 Word Research Report

Research  report

The majority of the PP1 module has cantered on getting us accustomed to our new surroundings, our class mates and working practices at university through the use of various small research tasks. The research tasks such as tasks in the library and our guided walk to the centre of Bristol were interesting introductions to what Bristol has to offer. The research for the media futures factual film encouraged us to build on this research and explore further the types of opportunities that Bristol has to offer in terms of Media production.

Through our research for the Media Futures film we discovered that although Bristol is known for its big name production companies such as Aardman animations and The BBC’s Natural History unit it was also home to a vast number of smaller independent production companies, many of which specialise in their own areas of the production process. I found a great resource for my research was the directory website ‘Bristol Media’ which is like a yellow pages of all the relevant media practitioners in the area. An article on the Bristol Media website states that according to a NESTA poll Bristol & Bath account for 2 out of the top 9 cities in the UK for creative industries. The Bristol Media Barometer (2014) reports that there are 15,900 jobs in the creative industries across the Bristol and Bath region, amounting to £660m in Gross value added (GVA) each year.

A lot of my own research for this project came with researching our media practitioner prior to setting interview questions. Research was essential to ensure the questions we asked were relevant to both the practitioner and our films theme. Luckily there was a lot of information on our practitioner on his website biography and there were many other sources of research available online. The interview itself offered some interesting information about why Bristol is such a great media city with our contributor explaining that it was relatively cheap to set up here when compared to other cities and the close nit feel of the city means that small production companies can work and socialise with each other making for a more creative and productive environment.

The Sweding and TV Studio exercises were an excellent opportunity to jump into media head first and a great way to break the ice with our fellow students. The Sweding was an interesting way to show how using fundamental scenes we could re-create a film in its basic form using basic methods. The TV studio exercise was a real eye opener for the majority of us and introduced us to the fast paced (and exciting) world of live TV broadcast and the many different job roles that there are when creating such a product.

All three of our projects in this module have introduced us to the importance of productive group work when creating media products, they encouraged us to try out different skills while working together and sharing expertise to create a product. We learned how if the group doesn’t work together then the end products quality will be affected. The Module has been a good introduction to Bristol as a media city and encouraged me to continue researching what the city has to offer in terms of employment opportunities when I finish my studies.

References:

http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/Media/new-assets/14305bristolmedia_0.pdf

http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/

http://www.nesta.org.uk/

http://davealexriddett.com/biography/

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Media Futures – Finding Music

Production Journal:

Having decided on the use of a montage to open our factual film I began looking for music that would be appropriate for the production. I wanted something that would be relevant to Bristol and also suit the style of the film as well as complimenting the style of our interview. I discovered a track called ‘Bristol Love’ by a group called Laid Blak.

While some of the lyrics depict drug use and prostitution I felt that overall the song fitted quite well with what we wanted to achieve in the introducing bristol with a montage of unusual clips as opposed to the more traditional images of landmarks and attractions. I posted the link on our facebook page and after some discussion the rest of the group agreed that we should use the track in the opening montage as a way to set the tone of our film.

Sparked

Brilliant short film, as a quadcopter owner this strikes a nerve. Mines spent more time on its arse or in for repair than gracefully floating in the air.

Inspirational Geek

Lately it seems that drones are encroaching on everyday life more and more.  From security and warfare, to sight-seeing, Amazon deliveries, and, of course, good ol’ fashioned fun.

The word “drone” often seems to have a somewhat negative connotation to it, though this video definitely proves otherwise.  It falls into the latter category I mentioned, albeit with a touch more finesse and coordination than your average RC helicopter user crashing into trees at the park.

any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

Sparked was performed live with perfectly synchronised human and drone quadcopter interactions to conjure up the magic of lampshades flying into life around an electrician who is working late into the night.

No CGI.  No post-production.  100% live and awesome.

The production was a collaboration between the incredibly famous Cirque du Soleil (if you ever get the chance to go to a show then you must), ETH Zurich

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Filming Locations

Production Journal

Bart has produced a list of locations for our filming days. He will be responsible for organising a route for the locations to enable the most efficient use of our time.

Locations for the shoot –

Clifton:
BBC Broadcasting House – Whiteladies Road, Avon, Bristol BS8 2LR
Films at 59 – 59 Cotham Hill, Avon, Bristol BS6 6JR

City Centre:
Hippodrome Theatre Box Office – 10A Saint Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ (theatre)
Colston Hall – Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5AR
Watershed – 1 Canon’s Road, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 5TX

(On the other side of the river)
Arnolfini – 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA (this place is more arty but yeah)
M Shed – Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, Bristol BS1 4RN
Aardman Animations, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol BS1 6UN

Other places of interest:
ITV – Bath Road, Bristol BS4 3HG
Knowle West Media Centre – Leinster Avenue, Bristol BS4 1NL

RESEARCH – Questions for Dave Riddett

Production Journal

Part of our  task for PP1 will be designing questions to ask at our interview. Our contact is Dave Riddett, a stop motion DoP at Aardman animations. Researching Daves background, past work and future projects will be key to getting a good interview, going into an interview without knowing a bit about your contributors connection with the topic will not only be unprofessional but will make it difficult for the interviewer to engage with the contributor.

We have conducted our research using a number of online sources including interviews with Aardman on behind the scenes DVD extras as well as YouTube, internet reference sites such as IMDB and Wikipedia. We gained our most valuable information from Dave Riddetts own website which includes a very detailed biography along with showreels of his past work. Daves website is also a great resource as we know this information will be accurate where as sites such as Wikipedia may not be 100% accurate.

Dave-and-Nick-3-300x258

 

When designing the questions we have structured them in such a way as to ease into the interview comfortably with some informal questions and they gradually move into more in depth questions where we hoe to gain the majority of the responses we require to fit in with our films theme. The last question will be an informal one just to lighten the mood at the end if we need it.

Questions for Dave Riddett Interview

Do sound test – Say name, spell name. Ask about breakfast and what Dave did yesterday.

Your family has a background in the creative industries, and you started learning your craft at Art college. Can you tell me what is was about film that made it take priority over your other interests. (such as performing)

  • You have many credits for your work in stop motion animation. Having an interest in both cinematography, art design and puppetry – would you consider this your ‘dream job’
  • You’re in  final stages of filming the latest Aardman feature. How does your job role change as it shifts to post production?
  • Everybody has a camera of some form these days and websites such as youtube make it easy for anyone to produce their own material. Can you tell me about your first camera and how it felt to be able to produce your very own films at that time?
  • What advice would you have for a student moving to bristol to pursue a career in media?
  • what drew you to study in bristol…what was the bristol media scene like then and what changes have you seen
  • You set up your first production company [BOLEX BROS] after studying in Bristol University. How important was University in helping your career progression?
  • Do you believe that University still offers one of the best ways of learning your craft and breaking into the industry?
  • How does the local council support the filmmaking industry
  • Why do you think bristol has developed into such a media capital
  • How do you feel bristol compares to other media focussed cities
  • Bristol is famous for the work of Aardman, do you think the constant name dropping has a negative impact on the ability to promote the other forms of creative production that Bristol has to offer?

Finally:

  • We have been told that Bristol is the City that never wakes up. Can you shed any light on this?

RESEARCH – Doco Inspiration

Inspirational Videos

I am going to try and pitch my music video idea to the group and have been searching for different videos that can explain my ideas. I find it much easier to show something as a lot of the time I find it hard to explain an idea I have in words.

The Sigma/Paloma Faith video I discussed shows essentially what the pacing of the film might look like, I think if we can get close to this then we could have a really good product.

I filmed some of this years Bristol Balloon Fiesta and in this clip I think it shows how i’d like the voice over to work against the music, The producers of the show have picked out sound bites to use to convey a message, in this case just like our film they are praising bristol.

When imagining how the video will climax I looked at the BBC Promo for the 2012 Olympics. Toward the end of the video their are action shots of spots, this is how I image our video could end with our lead character taking part in activities such as skateboarding or BMX stunts.

 

 

Can a Music Video be a Documentary?

We had just discussed our plans for our short documentary about Bristol and the opportunities for media in the city. We came up with a narrative that explored how Bristol was probably now known as a ‘one trick pony’ in media (everyone is always harping on about Aardman) so we wanted to show something different. Driving home I hear Sigmas latest dance tune, featuring Paloma Faith ‘Changes’. I’ve heard it many times before (being a bit of a fan) but never really heard the lyrics.

Now listening to the lyrics it seemed like it would fit ideally as our background audio and could even be used to push the narrative along. I had visions of fast moving shots of Bristol landmarks and people along with our ‘sheep’ narrative that had already been discussed. The main issue that I was debating with myself was can a music video be a documentary?

I think Documentary or Factual as a genre has a very wide reach. As long as something is being ‘documented’ then does it matter if it’s being done in the style of a music video?

I don’t think it’s a problem but would be interested to hear what other people think.