Working in the Studio
For those who don’t know, I’ve just started my second year in a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in media production. Now i’m only three weeks into the semester but one of my favourite subjects is ‘TV Production’, and just this past week my class got to have our first go at shooting in the studio with a multi cam set up. I need to say this right now, it was one of the most exciting moments at Uni. Kind of like the first time we got to take the awesome, incredibly expensive, JVC cameras into the field. Knowing that you essentially have tools to recreate what you’ve seen on TV screens all your life is both overwhelming and empowering. Aslo, knowing how expensive the equipment is, makes one a little nervous, focusing hard not to be the fool who breaks something first.
So what were we filming one might ask? We got to shoot a couple of segments modelled on the Australian children’s show ‘Play School’. For those people who don’t know, Play School’ is is a long running children’s program on the ABC which began back 1966. If your an Aussie kid, you grew up with ‘Play School’. This wasn’t exactly the sort of show I expected to be shooting. Just so people know, what we shot wasn’t our choice, the activity was set up to tech us the basics of studio production. Although no one expected to be making ‘Play School’ scenes at uni, I speak for most of us when I say we we’re excited to give it a go. The nostalgia alone was enough to get one excited. When the classic window scene (you Aussies should know) appeared on our monitors for the first time, no one could could hide the giddy childish smiles. The classic music only exemplified those emotions, transporting us back to a long forgotten, more innocent time.
During the production itself, I was the sound mixer in the control room. I sat at the end of the dark room with the vision mixer to my left. My past experience using a sound mixer was at high school levelling music and drama performances at MAD nights (the schools, music art an drama nights three times a year). Mixing in the studio was a whole different experience. Although less people would see (or in this case hear) the results of my work, I felt more pressure than ever to get my job right. My job itself was really quite simple, test the mics, get the right sound levels for each element correct, then mix live as we record. Like any form of collaborative work, success is dependant on everyone fulfilling their independent roles, then being able to seamlessly come together to form the finished work. This is the sort of pressure I enjoy, knowing that if I do my part, I’m contributing to something greater. If all goes well, at the end of the day we’ll have a piece of art. Often you start art work but you never quite know how it’s going to turn out, when your finished you end up with something entirely different to what you envisioned. In a collaborative work, this even more true. Each individual will put their own style into their element, enriching the overall outcome. I guess that’s what I love about art so much, creating something from nothing. Creation.
As you can see I’m quite excited, it’s hard to properly articulate my thoughts.Come week 8 the class will begin our own work in the studio. The task is to pitch individual ideas for an 8 minute promo. Then the best idea, as voted by the class, will get made. Fingers crossed I win! Although I still haven’t come up with my idea, so many possibilites…