Film and TV Production: What’s it like?

Hi guys, for today’s blog I’m gonna talk about the course I am currently studying within the media department, and some things that you may not know if your thinking about doing this or something similar.

Type of material studied: Film and TV production is at its core a creative subject so you know that there will be lot’s of practical work throughout the course, but what you may not know is that there is a fair bit of theory behind the material as well. This is down to it being an honours degree so there has to be an element of theoretical understanding behind what you are studying. Now, I honestly can’t say I loved all of it! But, it’s definitely not all bad and some if it is pretty interesting and in some aspects can feed in nicely to your York Passunderstanding of the production side of things.

Travel opportunities: If you are interested in trips away then there are things available, this year there was a placement opportunity in Greece if that interest’s you. Closer to home last year we went to York for the annual film festival which is a neat day out.

Events within the University: The Festival in a day is a big one for the media department as they get in different speakers from various roles within the industry, there are also raffles for work placements as well. Speakers can also come in at other times of the year to give masterclasses and are usually free to attend if you are a student, most recently David Yates visited, the director of four Harry Potter films and both Fantastic Beast’s features. These events are definitely something to look out for if your thinking of, or already are studyFestival in a day postering at Edge Hill!

That’s all for today, any question’s let me know and thanks for reading!

Jordan

Second Year Film and Television Production: First Semester Summary!

So here it is. Here are my thoughts on my first semester of my second year in Film and Television Production! A bit late I know, but you know what they say, ‘better late than never’. As I did before in my first-year summary post, I will be going through the modules, giving my opinion on each one, enjoy!  
(Disclaimer: modules on this course are always changing so might be different or non-existent by the time you’re reading this blog post.)


Genre Filmmaking: (Optional)  
Short version: The module was good, the teamwork side of it not so much.

Genre Filmmaking develops your knowledge and experience of the technical, creative, organisational and practical demands involved in genre film production. The overarching theme of the module is the development of the creative processes in relation to genre. Genre filmmaking gives you the opportunity to test out ideas or tell a story within the boundaries of generic conventions. In addition, you will need to think critically about genre in the context of your production.

Long version: I have mixed opinions on this module, as I somewhat liked it in places, but

A screenshot from my film.

I did find it stressful in places due to the heavy focus on teamwork, because if members of your group don’t want to work, you’ve got to do their share of the work in most cases, which unfortunately happened a lot to me.
For this module, there is two pieces of coursework: a 10-minute group pitch and a 5-minute film with all the required paperwork. The pitch went really well overall, as you can get extra marks for being theatrical, so my group dressed up as the victims from our comedy/horror film, with fake blood and all.
The film, on the other hand, had many complications tied to it, as the footage shot had many errors with it, so it made my job of editing it needlessly stressful. But with everything said and done, the film got a first, so overall there’s a happy ending to this story.


Analysing Film and Television: (Compulsory)
Short version: I don’t really like this module.

“Analysing Film and Television develops your skills in the close analysis of film and television. The module surveys a range of critical approaches to the study of film and television institutions, texts and audiences. You will gain the skills necessary to develop and undertake analysis as part of a film and/or television research project.”

Creative Edge lecture theatre.

Long version: Theory isn’t for everyone, and I am the everyone in this situation. This isn’t the first time I’ve studied films in this way, my whole media A Level comprised of this sort of analysis. But for some reason this time I wasn’t very engaged, which could mostly be down to the fact that I’m a very hands-on sort of worker, I like to have a finished product at the end of it all I can be proud of. Unfortunately, most people on my course also seem to struggle with this theory module because just like me, they’re very practical. And the whole module is marked on essays.
On a happier note, I got to learn more about the male gaze and studies around this topic, which I loved, as I find it interesting to learn about the representation of women in the media industry, as spoilers: it can be very phallocentric (all about men) on times. Which hopefully will change, one woman at a time!  


Screenwriting: (Optional)
Short version: I loved this module!  

Screenwriting develop your understanding of the theory and craft of screenwriting and will include consideration of story, narrative structure, character, setting, dialogue, original screenplay and adaptation.  The module enables you to demonstrate your creative potential via the development of and reflection on their ideas and scripts.”

Long version: Okay where do I begin. First off I’m an aspiring screenwriter, making this module a big must when it came to picking modules. However, I didn’t know how much this module would impact my writing.
There is two pieces of coursework you are marked on for this module which is a 3-minute pitch about the script you plan to write, and the finished script with development materials (log line, character biographies, etc).
When I heard that we had to pitch in front of the whole class I was not happy, as I sometimes struggle to talk in front of crowds, but what made it worse was the fact that we couldn’t have a powerpoint and it had to all my memorised, I’m terrible at that. However, against all odds, I did one of the best pitches in my course, which is honestly crazy to me. Which goes to show that a lot of preparation and rehearsing of these types of things always helps. And now my fear of pitching has dropped by quite a bit, I still get butterflies, but that’s natural and actually helps me to do my best.  
So now that’s out of the way all I had to do was write the script, which I loved doing, once I was on a roll there was no stopping me, which was part of the issue. I wrote 16 pages, for a 10-page script… so that took a lot of editing down.
But I can honestly say I’ve taken four key things away from this module:

  1. How to format a script, as I kinda knew, but not to a professional standard.
  2. Short films don’t have to be complex, as most great short films are one place, one time.
  3. Only keep what is crucial to the story when writing short films – waffling can occur on times when you’re writing without you even realising it, so is something you have to keep an eye on when editing!  
  4. And finally, I learned that it’s best to follow what you think is right than what other people think sometimes. I was headstrong with my idea and it paid off, I took on people’s critics and changed when needed, but never compromised on what I wanted. Which is probably why I got a first overall for this module, who knows.But to summarise: screenwriting is an awesome module if you love to write and want to turn that love into a skill!

I hope you learned something from this post or at least found it interesting. There is a lot of other modules that I have not discussed as unfortunately, you can’t study them all, so please feel free to check out the website for the rest of them. I’m currently studying documentary and advanced post-production, so stay tuned for that post!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Planet Earth II (2016-)

First Year Film and Television Production Overview!

Disclaimer: Film and Television Production is a weird and wonderful course that’s always changing to keep up to date with the ever-changing media world around us, thus changing the modules and structure. To summarise: What I do/have experienced in my course might not be the same experience you’d have if you joined the course as the course is always reshaping itself.
Okay so now the formalities are out of the way, welcome to my course!


Film and television has always been my passion from a young age. Growing up I watched every kids program on air and every VHS given to me, which led to a lot of digging through my family’s collection of VHS to search for ones I hadn’t watched yet. So this course seemed perfect for me as I’m still the same to this day!  
The course is split up into a variety of modules over the academic year so I’ve decided the best way to do this is to list the modules I studied and tell you what I think about them. Before I start, all of my first-year modules were compulsory and I will be referring to the module overview on the Edge Hill website.


First Semester

Screening of my film for Production 1.

Production Skills:
This is, as you’d guess, the first production piece I had to create. This piece has a distinct theme, as it is the infamous “Coffee and Cigarettes”. Ask any media production student about this and see the horror in their faces, as this film is a right of passage which most the media courses at Edge Hill have to do. Fortunately, mine was quite successful, as were most people’s surprisingly, as this task is a tester at the end of the day, it’s there to allow you to get to grips with the equipment and teaches you how to work in a group. I feel like I learned quite a bit from this task as I had limited knowledge of the equipment that we used for this task before this assignment.


Creative Ideas
This module was super fun in my opinion as it allowed us to let our creativity flow as the main goal of the module was to create a portfolio of ideas which could later be turned into films. Each week we’d learn a new technique of how to generate ideas which ranged from visiting art galleries to looking into philosophy. And at the end of it all, you’re left with a book of original ideas which can be used in your future productions!  


First & Second Semester 
History in Context:
This module is the main theory component in the first year of the course and runs through the whole of the first year unlike the other modules. Surprisingly enough I liked this module, I myself am not a theory kind of person, I’m more hands on and practical, however, this module taught me to love theory, as I learnt about how film and tv has developed over the years, I came to appreciate how far the medium had come and how it influences modern day media. Context is everything after all.


Second Semester 
Production 2:

Inside Creative Edge


Onto the second film I had to create, which was a three to five minute film about anything we liked. Unlike the first production, this film had no theme and was not limited to certain camera shots, which allowed for a lot more creativity. This task inspired most groups to aim for 5 minutes which gave us a lot of experience about teamwork and planning in itself. The film my group created was very ambitions which made it harder to create, but at the same time gave us the chance to try whatever we wanted as the marks didn’t really count, so there was a lot less pressure overall. This project also helped to encourage people to specialise in their chosen skill, mine being editing. 

 

 


Storytelling for the Screen:
Finally, the last module I studied was ‘storytelling for the screen’, which is basically screenwriting 101. I loved this module as I excel at screenwriting, and learning how to format everything really helped me in the long run.


Overall the first year of my course was quite informative. There were times when I felt like giving up, but overall I love university way too much to do that, and I’m glad that I did stick around!
I hope you found this helpful or learned something new from this.
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Battle Royale (2000)

 

Hi Edge Hill!

Hey there, welcome to my first official Edge Hill blog post!
I’m so excited to start blogging here and giving you an insight of what my student experience is like here. A good idea however before I start would be an introduction, so here I go.
Hi, I’m Charley, a second year Film and Television Production Student who lives in a student home in Ormskirk. (Phew, that’s out of the way.)  

Edge Hill hosts a variety of courses and has the facilities to prove it. However, you’ll usually find me in Creative Edge (as that’s where my course is based), in one of the editing suites as I’m an aspiring editor.

The Hub on the other hand, is one of my favourite spots to go on campus, mostly because of the shop and the mini market they usually have on. But most importantly when events are held there such as freshers fair, the hub comes alive and there’s a buzzing atmosphere in the air, and a chance to grab freebies always helps.    

Speaking of freshers fair, that’s where you can sign up for a variety of societies, which Edge Hill has a lot of. I myself am President of Disney society, editor for Vibe Media, editor/ runner for the Label Recordings and part of the Raising and Giving society. However there’s a massive range of societies to choose from if those don’t take your fancy, from Anime to Rock Climbing, there’s a lot on offer. As well as having the ability to create a society, if acceptable, from one of your hobbies or interest, but that’s a blog post for a different time.

Inside the Art Centre

And finally there is the Arts Centre if you like open mic nights, live performers and pizza, this is the place for you. The reason I go there though is for ‘Free Film Friday’. As you can guess by the title the Art Centre most weeks screen new releases of films in their cinema, which is free for all students, which is great for all you media buffs out there and perfect for a free night out of the flat.

Thank you for reading my first post, I can’t wait to tell you more about Edge Hill and what it has to offer in future posts!
Until next time!

Film/Show of the day: Black Mirror (2011-)

Let’s Get Quizzical!

Last week I was invited to be part of the audience for the filming of Let’s Get Quizzical, a TV game show created by my housemate, Sam, and his group as part of their TV Light Entertainment module for their course (Film and TV Production). I was really excited to attend as I’d never been to anything like it before, and I definitely had an excellent time.

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The studio

They used the TV studio in the brand new Creative Edge building to film it in. It looked extremely professional with all the lights and cameras. I learnt a lot about the process behind making these kind of shows, from the tons of equipment required to the weeks and weeks of planning that are necessary before they get to the filming stage.

Gallery access!
Gallery access!

 

If you ask me, Sam and his group handled everything very professionally. It was so great to witness one of my friends in his element, doing something he loved. Quite different from anything I do on my course, it was also really interesting to see what the Film and TV Production students get up to.

 

 

After the show was over, Sam, my friends and I headed to the Quad, the SU bar, for some celebratory drinks. When I lived on campus last year I used to visit the bar all the time but this year it’s been a bit harder to. The bar had a special deal on cocktails that night, which we gladly took advantage of. It was also an Open Mic Night and it was really great to see Edge Hill students perform and there definitely were some talented people.  We also grabbed some dinner there, and it was really very yummy. The prices are student prices, but the quality of the food there is high so I’d absolutely recommend  grabbing a bite to eat there if you get the chance.

Cocktails!
Cocktails!