Since my last post, I have been tremendously busy working on content for BOA Broadcast’s first magazine show, ‘Friday @ Two’.

After finishing off ‘Sack Sales on New Street’, I filmed a cooking show with Jake. We tried to steer away from the usual presenter led programmes and concentrate more on the visuals. I am really proud of the finished product so please, check it out!

The final VT I worked on was a feature on the Clothes show. With our press passes we were able to get into restricted areas and get interviews with designers, organisers and models. For me, the highlight of the experience was having to fight our way to the front of the press pit at the end of the fashion theatre catwalk.

Here’s the final product…

The filming of ‘Friday @ Two’ went smoothly. It was a very collaborative effort, we chose two students from the acting pathway to present after the auditions and they were absolutely fabulous. The rest of the crew worked well together and despite a few hiccups along the way, I think we pulled through it.

I am looking forward to working on the next episode of ‘Friday @ Two’ and using everything we learnt to make February’s show even better than our Christmas special.

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‘The Valleys’

 I’m not going to beat around the bush, MTV’s reality shows have really reached an all time low. The channel’s latest addition is ‘The Valleys’, the Welsh version of ‘Geordie Shore’. Now admittedly, the genre isn’t really targeted at an intellectual audience and nudity in similar shows is generally to be expected, however ‘The Valleys’ had people stripped down to their boxers in the first 5-10 minutes and a particularly classy lady was flashing within the first half an hour of the show. I honestly couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.

The MTV producers obviously realised sex was what made people want to watch their other UK show so much. So they took away every endearing quality of the show, brought it to Wales and found a fame hungry Welsh cast to create a dodgy doppelganger.

As a Broadcast Student, I am interested to see if MTV’s rehashed idea will be as successful as the UK original however I don’t think I will be able to subject myself to a whole season of this over the top rubbish. 

Documentary Diary: Dreams of a Life

Taking the advice given to me during the Second Light Documentary Lab, I decided to watch Carol Morley’s Docudrama, ‘Dreams of a Life’.

The film tells the tale of Joyce Carol Vincent, a londoner who died in her bedsit and remained there for three years, undiscovered. It begins with interviews with her long-lost friends and colleagues that narrate the story or Joyce’s life as the filmmakers begin to piece together this woman’s untold story. It was revealed that she was beautiful, popular and had three sisters, it is mind-boggling how her death went unnoticed. The re-enactments are haunting and the documentary is incredibly thought-provoking.

Inspiration: Noé and Manson…

After rewatching Gaspar Noé’s ‘Enter the Void’ I began to search the internet for interviews with the boundary pushing director. I stumbled upon one conducted by rock legend Marylin Manson in which they discussed what drives their art.

I reinforced my desire to produce films that make viewers question the world around them. Manson raised a very valid point, not to over think things or they will become contrived.

It is something I hope to keep in mind during the production of the single camera dramas we are starting to work on.

Big Brother will be watching you…

So we now know that the government are proposing to keep hold of huge amounts of electronic data containing all the juicy details about websites we visit, emails we send and whoever we call.

They are claiming that they will only survey and use this information for court cases and that it is an important step to keep with with today’s technology.

Lets examine the changes we will see when the project gets put into action:

  • Landlines: Are already monitored and police/government need a warrant to check this information. There will be no real change.
  • Skype: Particular interest has been given to how they can monitor Skype, they suspect terrorists have been using it because no one has been tracking who and when you video call someone. This will soon not be the case as they will use IP addresses to store who you are skyping with and when.
  • Games Consoles: Much like with Skype, terrorists could plot using the headsets or text messages and this will be stored in the future.
  • Mobiles: They can already find out who we have called/texted and when. They can also find out where you are using phone signals. They are now looking into monitoring app use and BBM because at the moment they are a free-for-all.
  • Laptops/iPads: No real change, emails are already tracked and under a warrant the security systems and police can access this information. At the moment whenever you start browsing the web it is stored but under the project the address you look at will be stored. From this the authorities will be able to check if you have using any subversive websites.
  • Facebook: Social networking data is not currently stored but in the future information on who you’ve been talking to on Facebook and when will be stored.

My initial response was surely if you’re not participating in any criminal activity you have nothing to fear. I don’t think of myself doing anything wrong and I don’t have any information I need to hide from the authorities and if the project is put into place to keep me safe by putting criminals behind bars, then I’m all for it.

But we opened this up in a class discussion and it did kind of change my opinion. The News of the World scandal was brought up, it brought up the issue of corruption. What if a publishing body were to get the hands on all of our information? Our health records, bank details, personal and private information could all end up in the hands of the likes of Rupert Murdoch. This could be particularly problematic for celebrities, politicians and people involved in local/ national news stories.

Major/Minor crimes?  How severe does the crime need to be in order for the government to get a warrant to check out our information? It is likely to be for minor as well as major crimes to prevent people arguing that ‘manslaughter’ is a minor crime and therefore their information cannot be checked.

Another issue arose, the government has never really been particularly good at handling data, remember the National insurance and bank Details being left on the train. This could lead to mass fraud. People could easily steal your identity if they obtained all the information being stored about you.  Can they really be trusted to securely hold information about us for up to two years? Even if they manage not to leave our precious details on the train we have the issue of hacking. If there are hackers out there who are skilled enough to break into the CIA and FBI information systems they are likely to be able to get to the government’s stored data on every one of us.

There seems to be more possible disadvantages to this project than positives. It is an invasion of our privacy. The internet does need some sort of surveillance though, as a society we are in too deep, we are 100% dependant on the internet but I think storing information for two years is a step too far. Perhaps just monitor suspected criminals once they have been brought to the authorities attention instead of storing unnecessary information about everybody.