Week 6: Research Project – Unit 2

Introduction:

In this post I will be researching into a question that I have decided on. The question is: Are ethnic minorities represented enough in UK media? I will be doing primary research through a survey and secondary research by finding information on the internet about my question.

I created a survey using SurveyMonkey in order to get answers to my questions so that I can create a suitable conclusion for my work.

Here is a link to my survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KZMNTVR

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Through my survey I found out that 75% of people I surveyed thought that there were not enough ethnic minorities on TV; compared to 25% who thought there were enough.

For my question “In your opinion does it matter if an actor is an ethnic minority?” most of the answers consisted along the lines of “It all depends on the role and if their ethnicity has an impact on that” and “It does if it is relevant to the plot, but if not then it doesn’t matter that much” this may point to people wanting to see more ethnic minorities in lead roles, but only when the role is for their character and it isn’t forced to fit diversity quotas.

I also did secondary research into ethnic minorities on TV and found out that exactly 1/3 of news presenters on the BBC are ethnic minorities compared to ethnic minorities being only 13% of the population.

There have been movies in recent years to get more minority actors into roles on TV, as seen here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2608492/Lenny-Henry-calls-boycott-BBC-licence-fee-unless-corporation-diversifies-gets-black-ethnic-people-television.html. Lenny Henry, one of the most well known black actors in the UK, along with others like Idris Elba want funds to be ring-fenced for specialist programmes to get minorities into acting.

 

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Week 6: Research Project – Unit 2

Week 2: Iconic film stills representing framing and composition – Unit 2

Introduction:

In this task I’ll be comparing my own pictures that I have taken to iconic stills taken from films or from journalism, in order to see the similarities between the shot types and composition. Iconic images are images that are known by a large amount of people and often trigger an emotional impact on a person.

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The scene on the left is from “The Dark Knight” and is using both a medium long shot and a wide shot, as the bottom of his legs are cut off, but we can still see the explosions happening in the hospital. My primary research has similar aspects, as it is a medium long shot.

1966 World Cup FinalIMG_1744

The photo on the left is England winning the world cup in 1966, with Bobby Moore holding the World Cup trophy up. It is the only time England has ever won the world cup and it was on home soil, so it was an extra special occasion and this is why it makes the photo iconic. These 2 photos are similar, as they both use Depth of Field to blur the background and draw attention to the subject at the front of the picture.

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This shot is from “Children of Men” and uses rule of thirds to separate the troops on each side of the two people and them. In the film this is the first baby to be born in 18 years and so the reactions of the soldiers around them are faces of disbelief and wonder. The still is not particularly iconic in the world, but it is iconic to me, as I think the emotion shown on the characters faces and the soldiers perfectly encapsulates the movie as whole. The shot is a Mid shot and so is similar to the picture I took for my primary research.

vietnam_warIMG_1725

This photo is from Vietnam in 1968 and shows a South Vietnamese policeman shooting a suspected Viet Cong member in the head in the streets of Saigon after the Tet offensive. It is one of the most iconic photos from the Vietnam war and was on the front pages of many US newspapers and magazines. It became so iconic, as the photo was taken mere seconds before his death. The Viet Cong member was actually an assassin and the leader of a death squad with the sole purpose to kill troops and policeman. The photo was picked up by anti-war protesters as brutality, but they didn’t know the actual background of the photo and the people in it. The photo on the right is my primary research and uses rule of thirds like the photo on the left. The photo won the Pulitzer award in 1969.

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These 2 photos are similar, as they are both using an Extreme Close Up (ECU). The shot on the left is the very first shot from “Lost” the hugely successful TV Drama. The shot type was used in “Lost” as the opening of the eye and it being the first shot symbolized the start of the show and how he didn’t know where he was and neither did the audience. I don’t believe this shot is particularly iconic, however the shot in general of the person opening their eye at the start of a scene is very iconic.

Primary sources are available straight away and I can shape them to look however I want, however secondary sources can offer a much wider range of actors, locations, scenery etc. So each can be useful in different situations depending on what kind of photo/information I need.

Evaluation:

I’ve learnt that even tough my images are primary images they’re not in any way special or iconic, as I haven’t come across any kind of artistic luck or used any type of filters or special effects. A lot of money goes into the shots from movies and so of course they’re going to have better production value. However its not impossible for me to take an iconic photo, as long as I am in the right place at the right time then it is possible.

Week 2: Iconic film stills representing framing and composition – Unit 2

Week 1/4: Life on Mars – Creating a Scene

Introduction:

In this task I’ll be trying to recreate the process the producers went through when trying to create the first 5 minutes of Life on Mars. I’ll be researching the location, Actors, Catering, Cameras, Sound etc. Everything needed for a film set in order to understand the magnitude of pre-production that takes place to create such a short amount of film.

Location:

I’d use the location of The Red Road flats in Glasgow, as1 the flats look quite old and rough and there seems to be a lot of empty space around them which helps for space for cast and crew and health and safety reasons. This location would be good as wide shots could be taken from one of the flats in the towers. The towers give a certain look off that makes the area look rough so would be perfect for a kidnapping scene.                                [1]

For the first scene with the main character entering a house I would need to rent out a house for a day. To do this I would research areas on the outskirts of a city and find a house that is currently vacant and speak to the landlord about hiring it out for a number of days to film the scene there. https://www.purplebricks.com/ I could use this site to search for properties to rent. I’d send my Location recce out to look around the area that the house we were using was to see if he can find a suitable location for the alleyway fight scene, and if not to find an alleyway that is right in a different location that could be conceived by the viewer as the same place.

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I found this alleyway which is located in Middlesbrough which looks like an ideal location for the scene in the alleyway and the fight. It has bins as well so when the criminal wields the bin lid he can take it from one of them. [2]

Actors:

Using a website like http://www.castingnow.co.uk/ where you can advertise for acting parts and extras could be very good when trying to find cast members for a TV show like this, as a lot of people would see it and you could get some very skilled actors and actr2esses. Another site where actors advertise themselves is called http://www.peopleperhour.com/freelance/actors this is also good as you could pick actors and actresses that fit your parameters of the characters by their bio and reviews. It helps by being able to see if the actor is reliable and will get the job done to a certain standard by what other people have said about their past work. The creator/actors portfolio is also available so you can see to what standard their content usually is and what kind of acting skills they have.

Props:

As this is a BBC production the BBC have a large costume and prop department that we could use for outfits. As seen in this video about the costume designer on the 8th season of Inspector George Gently: http://www.bbc.co.uk/academy/production/article/art20150218105336161

At http://www.tellycars.com/ you can hire genuine police vehicles for the scene at the beginning when Sam Taylor is travelling to the criminals house to try and arrest him.

Computers for the police station will be needed, which can be sourced for cheap on the internet on sites like eBay for around £60 per unit, or if money needs to be saved then cases could be bought if you cannot see the screen, as it doesn’t matter if there’s anything inside.

Costumes:

For the entrance into the house scene suits can be hired for the police detectives that are getting out of the cars from http://www.burton.co.uk/en/bruk/category/formal-hire-281505/home?geoip=noredirect

At http://www.policeuniformhire.com/ you can hire an extensive amount of police uniforms that can be used for the driving scene and the chase scene at the beginning.

Script:

For the script I’d employ a professional screenwriter like Tony Jordan, as he has done script work for other drama shows like Minder, City Central and EastEnders.

Equipment:

For the camera I’d use the RED one, as it is currently one of the best cameras on the market. It costs £250 per day to hire or £1250 per week. http://camerakithire.com/

For audio I’d use the RODE NTG2 Shotgun Mic, as I feel this would be sufficient for the sound recording I’d have to do when shooting. http://www.amazon.co.uk/RODE-NTG2-SHORT-SHOTGUN-MICROPHONE-Black/dp/B00093ESSI

For lighting I’d hire http://ftvs.co.uk/ as they have a good resume and have worked with Big Brother, Most Haunted and other dramas.

A custom mount will have to be produced for the wheel shot, as I am not able to find a mount that will fit that position.

Crew:

http://www.bluefintv.com/ For my crew, as they have over 20 years of experience as a company and have worked with the BBC before and are an approved supplier of them. They can provide anything from:

Directors of Photography, Lighting Camera Op’s, Videographers, Sound Recordists, Camera Assistants Steadicam Operators, Jimmy-Jib Operators, Grips Electricians, Producers Production Managers, Runners, DP’s & DoP’s, Broadcast Editors, Motion Graphics Artists, Autocue / Teleprompter, Photographic Services, Studio & Set-Designers, Hair & Make-up, Artists, Lighting Gaffers, Directors, Creative / Copywriters Production Assistants.

An animal handler will be needed for the chase scene along with a dog, as there is one barking at the main character when he’s running through the house.

(http://www.theknowledgeonline.com/search/MakeUp_Artists) At this website you can find respectable Make up artists to hire with reviews of their previous work.

Legal:

Permission will be needed from the police and local authorities for multiple things. Permission from the police to have actors wearing police uniforms and having police cars on location. The police will want you to represent them in a positive manner or may not give advice or permission if they think you’re portraying them in a negative way.

Permits of some sort will be needed in order to close the road for the driving scene under the flyover and for when they enter the house. (http://filmlondon.org.uk/filming_in_london/planning_your_shoot/get-permission-film/road-closures-filming) here you can see that it costs £1000-2000 to get a street closed in London and you have to apply at least 8 weeks before and 24 weeks in some places. There is also a 24 hour limit on each order.

Advice from the police will be needed as well, for instance what the main character said when knocking on the door is a police call and they will want to make it realistic so will get what the police would really say.

Evaluation:

This task is harder than expected, as there are so many different aspects and components to consider for such a large production. However it is quite easy to get hold of some props I thought would be hard to find. It has helped me to understand just how much work goes into pre-production on even lower budget TV shows, so there must be so much more for feature films.

[1] Urban Explorations, (2007). Red Road Flats, Glasgow. [online] Available at: https://urbanexplorations.wordpress.com/red-road-flats-glasgow/ [Accessed 29 Sep. 2015].

[2] Mail Online, (2013). Gardening? It’s right up our alley! Community transforms Victorian passageway behind homes into oasis of greenery. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2397899/Community-transforms-Victorian-passageway-Middlesbrough-homes-oasis-greenery.html [Accessed 29 Sep. 2015].

Week 1/4: Life on Mars – Creating a Scene