Studio Practice – The Story So far…

Posted: November 5, 2012 by Alan Hardcastle in FdA 12_14
Tags: ,

We are at the turning point in the unit now. You have been led through a few projects – we have a regular working Radio Show, we have made a Game Show and have Forward Motion coming soon. To pass the unit, you need to have worked on at least 2 studio productions. So, so far – so good.

It is now time to start pushing your own ideas froward. There are a lot of possibilities – some people are involved in filming at the Digital Arts Festival, you may want to do more work on setting up the Radio Station and producing more programmes for that. You may feel the urge to write & direct a piece of fiction in the studio, or just continue being involved in as many productions as you can be involved in.

For each production, I need to see record of what you did. There are 2 ways that this happens. Firstly, blog all your experiences. Tell me what happened. What did you want to do? What did you do? Why did you do it that way? What should you have done? etc. This is your understanding of the event; I judge your understanding by your description of what you believe to have been important.

Secondly, the Planning and Pre-Production. OK, we focus a bit more on this in the next unit, but the logistics of choosing equipment, developing content, and generally setting up the studio are all important. Plus, it shows your intentionality.

All of the above evidence is of your personal practice – 2 practical productions, with blogs explaining what you did and Pre production to show your practical approach to the production process – all show how you approach Studio Production.

Then come the hard part – what happens in the industry? You also need to write a 2,000 word report exploring professional practice. But what does this mean?

It could be a historical overview of why Studios exist. This could cover studios as the physical building, with equipment to serve a specific purpose (the development of the radio, TV or Film Studio) or the Studio System as a business, the rise of vertical ownership within media, meaning that companies produce and distribute their own content, linked with Horizontal ownership whereby the radio station owned by the company play the song they own which is the theme to the film they also own and want to promote.

A few more ideas:

  • Operation of a Radio Studio – Development of content and technical delivery.
  • Studio Film production – Set, lighting and cinematography to fool the audience.
  • Studio Formats – Why some shows are logistically suited for the Studio shoot

You will have been developing your study skills as part of Critical Studies. Now, you need to put them into practice – you need to read books! Select the information that is relevant to what you want to say, and Organise your work into a report.

So – Step 1 – what are you interested in? Decide what you actually want to look at. Enjoy Radio? keep it radio focussed. Want to write your own scripts? Look at the limitations of the studio etc.

Step 2 – Find some information. What do other people say about this subject? Look around for information. Documentaries. Videos. Books. Internet. Even, dare I say it, Wikipedia.

Step 3 – Store the information! Read/watch it. Listen to it. Make notes about what is relevant in that source. Keep those notes safe (in a book, a word document, evernote, blog, etc.) and keep a record of the source (Zotero, etc)

Step 4 – Find the links between the information. This way you can start to structure your report. You need to take me on a journey somehow – whether that be you setting out to make a short play using experimental lighting, or setting up a radio station. Build on information, don’t just repeat a fact and then move on to the next random fact.

Step 5 – redraft it. Read it, and make sure it makes sense. Re write it until it flows – reads well and informs us.

Step 6 – redraft it. Again.

So, you have a busy month. Develop at least on idea, make sure you have planning & pre production for at least 2 ideas, blog about your production work and write a 2,000 word essay. Easy.

Just get me the first draft (500 words is fine) by next week!

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