Monday, 3 October 2011

WINOL bulletin - week one (dummy)

My first week on WINOL, was an emotional one, and I can say with a great deal of certainty that I will never forget it! So here is my story/soap opera/drama of what happened when I went out and took up my new role as Eastleigh Correspndent for Winchester News Online.

I went out to cover a fantastic spectacle of a game, I thought I was going to bump in to Andy Townsend or even, if I was really, really lucky Chris Kamara! I was covering the Wessex Premier league clash of the titans Alresford Town Vs Hamworthy United! Unfortunately, I didnt manage to bump in to Kammy, but I did get to see a cracker of a game.

My first hurdle I had to overcome, was a very strange, but ridiculous problem. Chris has actually pointed out in our recent HCJ lecture that you would be foolish to assume every will run smoothly, and when I ran out of petrol two miles from the Winchester services with 40 minutes until kick-off, this was realised! Luckily enough, I was going with another person (namely Chizzle) who had the equipment. With a cab quoting £60 to take me two miles I was lost! I did have a very good friend who lived in Winchester that drove, who managed to come and bring me petrol in my hour of need, but despite his best efforts I was still late, having to send Chizzle in the cab by himself to start without me!

I only arrived 20 miinutes late which was kind of a result considering the circumstances, and luckily enough I had missed no goals or moments of controversy. We were filming from groudn level, so it was very hard to get a great shot, and also, with only one camera, not wanting to miss any action, found myself zoomed out on a lot of the shots.

During the de-brief, Angus picked up on the shots and advised us for future to try and get closer shots as it will look a lot better, and also that we still couldnt get the full shot because of where we set up.

I had the footage, now it was time for the dreaded FINAL CUT PRO! I learned a new phrase whilst editing: 'disco-wheeling'. When the mac/Final Cut decides to destroy your life by freezing, and if you haven't saved your work then it is literally pull your hair out time! This happened to me once. And never again will it happen. I have however taken some new techniques away, courteousy of Mr Editor aka The Sparrow, Mr Gareth Messenger. I have learned to do cut aways, so when the goal is scored, we cut away to the celebration, but keep the sound going on underneath, which makes it look proffesional (and apparently Angus likes this). I have also learned how to manage audio levels so the voiceover is not drowned out. This brings me to my next hurdle.

VOICEOVERS!!!! 6 TIMES! 4 DIFFERENT ROOMS! My first one was so echoey it sounded like i was in a church hall, after trying again, no change. We then discovered that to and from this 'church hall' the reason for the echoes was in fact because I had the gun mic plugged in to the wrong input on the camera! Silly me! Then, we were kicked out of this room by a rather disgruntled and Anne Robinson like character who insisted 'this room is not for journalists!' So onto room number two. Right input, all done, came back, captured the sound, but no sound came out. Something had gone wrong clearly. I think, that I didn't press record, but I don't want to believe that i'm that stupid. Nevertheless, I tried again and again it came back echoey. This time it was becuase of the room. So I tried the next door room, there was a projector on, but didn't think it would come up on the recording. I was wrong. Finally, I managed to get the studio which was perfect, and just as I was about to start recording, the battery on the camera dies. Great stuff. Finally, got it plugged into the mains, and recorded and all up on Final Cut, with the package about 45 minutes later than it should have been, but it made it!

Things to do next time:

1) Get closer shots
2) Make sure the camera can face the whole pitch for a wider shot
4) Make sure the mic is plugged into the right input and make sure I am in a decent enough room for recording (also make sure i press record)
5)...erm, make sure I fill up with petrol before hand! And expect the unexpected!!

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