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Varsity (Sport News)

As a member of the Source society, I covered Varsity : a  sport competition between Coventry and Warwick Universities. The TV Package I made was not for uni but for my extra curricular activities.

To do my work I had to go there and to book the equipment I needed at the Media Loan Shop:  a camera (canon 650D), a tripod and an edirol. I had some problems with the edirol because usually to film an interview, you would take the sound and the image separately but for some reasons the edirol didn’t record any of the sounds. So for editing I had to make do. The weather conditions were not ideal:  it was raining, the wind was blowing . I had to manage the sound, the video, and the equipment.

TV music news

Check out the link of iCov music news segment here.

This is the music segment my group and i produced. The production process was very fun and interesting, it was not the first time for me that I was in a TV studio but it was the first time I had to manage and run a studio. Of course we had supervisors to help us during the training however we had to record our segment on our own without any help.

To have an effective outcome, we had to divide roles effectively : a director, someone dealing with the camera, another person dealing with  the VT and a sound engineer. I had this role, I had to check the levels and make sur the levels were good for the presenters.

It was a very fun experience, being on the studio all together. Though we didn’t know each other very well, we had to team up in order to be efficient and have a good communication inside the group. At the beginning we all wanted to be in front of the camera, I suppose we all thought that it was the most important job and not being in front of the camera was like we were left on the sideline. But it’s at this moment I understood we were at uni and especially that it was a place for mature and thoughtful student. By looking closer to how we had to organise the filming we all fall agree that it was not possible to have numerous presenters, it didn’t make sens. So as wise persons we just decided that two girls would be presenting the magazine.

There wasn’t any major problems, we just had some troubles with the camera, not filming the right person on the right angle. But we manage to fix the problem while editing.

 

Journalism task

For Uni, we were asked to produce an OOV (stands for Out of Vision). Basically  it is like when you see on the TV on the news. You can hear the voice of the journalist commentating some images but you can’t actually see it. To do so you have to learn how to edit, it exists thousands of editing software. At the begining of the year we were given the Audobe Suite but it’s pretty complicated and we need time and practice to nail it perfectly. So far I can use Audobe audition quite correctly without breaking everything  as soon as I touch to a button. But I wouldn’t say the same regarding Audobe Premiere, it’s a nightmare to edit on it, believe me it takes ages. The same amount of time as if you wanted to retouch Madonna on photoshop. I would rather advice you to use Final Cut Pro or even iMovie if the work demanded is not complex.

Coventry University held a sale of  vintage items.  To manage a student budget each  item could be acquired for a moderate price. You will found  jackets, tee shirts, handbags or even scarves. Some fashion students of Coventry are involved in the project.The idea is to recycle ancient stuff from old houses to give them a brand new life. The event is held  once a year at Coventry University but several times during festival in the UK. The money that is raised goes to a charity that help woman refugees.

You can watch my OOV below :

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Vintage clothes are a good occasion to find original clothes to stand out for the crowd, that you won’t find anywhere else .

PS: I was only joking for Madonna, she lights up my darkest moments!

 

Reflection:

As I had already experienced this format I was more confident to produce one according to the specific conventions. This time I have included still images and it’s not over the time limit. It’s very clear from the very beginning we know what it’s about; we don’t waffle and go directly to the goal. The voice over is clear, I filmed the hub with my phone and it was very noisy so I had to remove the noise while editing. The lights are also better on this OOV. I have used effectively the legend so it makes it clear to the viewer; he knows where  the story takes place.

Also regarding the targeted audience I think I have done a good job because, the target audience is students. Fashion is quite a big deal for them, along money so I tried to combine these two topics: how to find both affordable and trendy clothes.

 

 

 

Gig: Evolve

The Town Crier was  welcoming the band ‘Evolve’ to play live. Matt (the drummer), David (the bassists ), Steve (guitar player) and Rich the main singer gathered  to give a life performance in one of their Coventry’s favourite pub, city where some of them are originally from.

Evolve

For 10 years, the band has been making covers of a vast array of songs in an indie rock’n’roll style.  They have an extraordinary wide repertoire going from  the 70’s  with Richard Ash, the Beatles or the Undertones covers but also more recent bands like Razorlight, Kings of Leon and even Franz Ferdinand.

They  pleased  a larger audience by adapting themselves to such a wide range of covers.

What is noticeable is that they don’t  do dry covers but they try to adapt it to their genre of music. Though they keep the soul of the original song, they also try to put a part of them in the music. If you want to know a little bit more about the band you can visit their website.

The band celebrated their 10th anniversary  this year and for the occasion they took part in a momentous gig organised by the fundraising  Charity ‘Make a Wish’ .

As they have been playing together for 10 years, they have been used to play in weddings, clubs, pubs, birthdays and local gigs.When I asked them about their best memory in their career so far they all exchanged glances of complicity and laughed at the same time. Then they said: ‘ For sure it was for a live performance in a Pub in Coventry called the rainbow (doesn’t exist anymore , editors note). We were very excited about playing live and a live performance demands long shifts: it’s a lot of setting up, anyway we arrived at the venue with all our equipment and we were not prepared to what was going to happen. We discovered the place we were going to play we all looked surprised; in our head we just were all thinking where are we going to play? There was literally no place, we had a little and miserable square to fit all our instruments and lights and everything. It was terrible; I (Matt, the drummer) was almost sited on the floor to play. It’s a moment we are not going to forget.’ Laugh

The band seems to be like  a family that makes you  easily comfortable, there was no dull moments . We talked about music and its evolution. And they said: ‘ Music has radically changed thanks to all the thriving inventions that was made in the industry, with the arrival of the DJS music has gained something. Sometimes people wonder if DJS can be considered as musicians but they  worked with some of them, they really bring a touch to our music’.

Evolve, used to play original songs but  gradually they decided to cover a wide range of genre and age of music by mainly doing covers.

You can hear a rock’n’roll version of the song Price Tag originally performed by Jessie J :

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The interview ended with a piece of advice of from Evolve to aspiring artists:  ‘Just enjoy it! No matter how you learn music in a conservatory or you are self taught, you must enjoy it!’

Every Saturday the town Crier welcomes bands (usually local) to give a live performance. The pub attracts mainly middle aged people but also welcomes people of all ages. It’s a lovely traditional English pub where one can have fun.  It’s 3-5 minutes walk from Coventry City Centre.

The atmosphere at the Town Crier

The Town Crier, Corporation Street, Coventry, West Midlands, CV1 1PB
t: 02476 632317 | e: the_town_crier@hotmail.co.uk

Reflection: 

The reason why I have chosen to include this artefact in my portfolio is because it was one of the first artefacts I produced for an online content and I find that it shows perfectly the progresses I have made since the beginning of the scholar year.

Nowadays, each journalists must be a multi-platform journalist but witing for online content is different : ‘Online journalism provides the ability to go beyond the text of a story or outside it to give background and present supporting materials’ (Craig  2011:9).Due to the ubiquitous nature of news and information in today’s online environment ‘, the journalist has to become far more skilful story- teller, which includes guiding the reader through the ‘myriad of websites and other forms of online content… and establish which forms are reliable’. (Herbert, 2001:9)

Also a key of being a good journalist is to know which material to use and use it in an effective way. Each platform,  need a specific equipment. For this article I wrote a review about the gig but I also did an interview with the band. The only material I had this night was  a notepad and I think that it’s during this night that I bond with it, now wherever I go I have it with me. This is one component that a journalist should always have with him.

When  I wrote this article I wasn’t really aware of the professional conventions that were wanted for online purposes or the specific requirements asked for online media.I think my  story wasn’t brief enough, it was too much detailed.  In the present days people live very fast and don’t have time anymore. Information must go fast otherwise you loose your reader.

Silverside

 

Silverside

Silverside performed at the Town Crier, a local pub of Coventry located near Ikea. The band essentially performed covers. The pub was busy that night while they were performing energetic covers of the White Stripes and the Kings of Leon.
The Town Crier organises open music stage every Saturday where local bands can have the chance to perform in order to share their talent.

One of our uni task was to transpose the same story but  on two different type of text. I have transformed an interview into an OOV.

This is the basic interview, my friend and I wrote the questions together, but she chaired the interview and I was doing the camera work. we attributed the role on an equal footing because both of these jobs are important.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/87226121″&gt;

And this is the OOV made from the interview, OOV means Out Of Vision literally it means that we are talking about the story and we focus on this story without having any journalist interacting on the plan. To make a good OOV it’s primordial to have stills and it must not be over 35 seconds.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/85717416″&gt;

Fit as a Fiddle : The Asian Way

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Eating with chopsticks is characteristic of  Asian cultures. For the occidental world it is one of the first clichés that come to mind when they see Asians eating their bowls of rice with chopsticks. But it is more than a stereotype. Studies suggest that eating with chopsticks is healthier than eating with a fork.

Coventry hosts a large number of international students many of whom are from Asia. May, a Chinese student of Coventry, gives an insight into this tradition: ‘ I think that asian people have a healthier lifestyle than English people, there is not as much obesity problem in my country than here in England’

She argues that  eating with  chopsticks helps in moderating the pace at which we eat and the quantity we consume. This, she explains, is the reason why Asians eat small quantity of food in little bowls. But eating less does not make them  hungry. The logic is the slower the body swallows  food and the faster  it controls its appetite. More so, it enhances the rate at which the nutrients are assimilated.

But to make this work some rules must be observed when eating with Asians. For example, piercing your food with a chopstick is considered a funeral rite in Japan and discouraged.

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Obesity is a major health issue. Although eating with chopsticks does not solve the problem, it could be a step to tackle it.

Now that you know the benefits, take your time and your chopstick and enjoy your meal!

 

Reflection:Since the very beginning the reader know what the story is going to be about, and to be sure that the reader understands it I have used the appropriate style to make sense for the story. I have tried not to use passive tense; instead I have privileged the use of active forms. I also made my article shorter than the first one with the use of short sentences because according to Farhad Manjoo Readers can’t stay focused.’ The more I type, the more you tune out’ (2013 : online). I would add that for an online article, 800 words must be the maximum to keep it lively and tightly.

Online writing also includes knowing how to structure the news, this is why I have effectively made the use of the headlines and the subhead in order to give simplicity, precision, relevance, orderliness to the reader. I also broke the different paragraph so it’s clear to clear. I have referred to the inverted pyramid theory that states that a story should always go to the most general and then along with the development become more and more specific. The reader must be able to understand very quickly, you don’t want to write a scientific report with a lot of scientific notions, the use of a specific jargon. The work of a journalist is to vulgarise his knowledge in order to make it accessible to the people that would like to know more about a specific topic even though they don’t have any knowledge in it.

The information also must be accessible to any platform; nowadays thanks to all the thriving technologies people don’t only consult online news on computers, they have tablets or smartphones. I also learnt how to take advantage of the online platform for example with the SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) I couldn’t apply them for iCov but I have tried to use them for my own blog, by using the key words. The first rule for SEO is concision; it’s a way for user to find easily your story while typing key words on Google for example.

I also used the tags in order to make it easy for readers to look a story related to their centre of interest. This article is on the lifestyle category with students and health eating because it’s a major concern for a lot student. In Aim for the Heart, Al Tomkins gives us few tips to tell a story online for example taping into local passion groups : ‘Whatever people are wild about in your area, give them virtual watering holes where they gather to talk about and share whatever they are passionate about.’ (2013 :182)

The advantage with the online platform is that we can create a link with the reader thing that you can’t do in print or in radio : on the online platform, people are able to interact with you, share your article, comment it to have more information. This is why at the end of the article I have included a YouTube video to help the reader to go further.

 

Documentary – 72 Hours Challenge

In our Key Concept in Media and communication module we were asked to produce a 3 minutes documentary in 72 hours. Indeed within 3 days we had to shoot, to make interviews, to edit, to make risk assessment, find equipment, a lot of researches. But fortunately it was a group work, we managed our time and effectively  and eventually we met the deadline.

The subject was imposed , my group (the group B3) had to make an observational documentary about the history of Hillfields ( a sensitive neighborhood of Coventry) and the targeted audience was teenagers. We chose to cover Hillfields’s history of music

It was nice to work with them because everyone was very open minded to everyone’s ideas and listen to the rest of the team. We were organized since the very beginning and took all the decision together as a group. We decided that we would shoot the first day and that we would edit the second one.

It was my first “intense” shooting. We began our shooting from 10.30, we went to Hillz fm to film their radio show and came back to uni. We were supposed to go back there at 4pm to film but we were told thqt few others crew would be there to film as well. We decided to go back to Hillz fm in order to be the first. We waited there until 4pm and finished around 5pm. At the end of the day, all our crew was very tired but we were happy with the work we’ve done.

It was a very good experience, I’ve learnt how  important team spirit is. It was very interesting to work with people from other courses (some members from the crew were studying media and communication and others media and production) and share our knowledge and our abilities which tend to by complementary.

 

East Wind Film Festival

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This weekend took place the third East Winds Film Festival in Coventry University. During 4 days, projections of popular films from East Asia followed each other. It was a golden opportunity for people unfamiliar with culture from Hong Kong, China, Japan, Thailand or Vietnam to discover an other cinema; an other vision of the 7th art far away from the blockbusters.

Over 4 days, the city of Coventry was lucky to welcome 8 European Premieres and 3 UK Premieres. Students and staff from different cultural background came to assist to the movies. Indeed, there were  many international students but also few English students.It was interesting to see how ethnic differences could make people closer because the point of this event was to  make asian cinema known by more souls.

I chose to watch two films: The Midas Touch and Pee-Mak. I didn’t watch the trailers before going, I chose according the genre 2 comedies. It was a great opportunity to discover unknown aspect of the cinema because nowadays every movies tend to be alike. American blockbuster, the aim of them is to attract a maximum of audience with common expectations and generic conventions in order to generate a lot of money. You will see in the reviews below that these films were quite different from what you would expect from a movie today, in a good way.

At the end of each film, we took time to talk with the director and to discuss about it. All the staff were very nice and helpful and the festival was very well organized.

THE MIDAS TOUCH

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The Midas Touch, Chinese Movie directed by Andrew Fung Chih-chiang from Hong Kong starring Chapman To and Charlene Foi is a comedy. The film is about a crew of 7 girls who want to become superstar, during all the movie their manager Mak Chiu will set his heart on making their dream come true. He will be helped by Suen Mei, the farmer manager of JD an action film star that laid her off despite her professional qualities. All together they will form a real family, they will learn to rely on each other and that to succeed in this world being with the right persons is essential. I was very unfamiliar with asian humor, but this movie was a way for me to discover it. I have to avoid that I was a little bit reluctant about it but I was positively surprised because it was quite similar to the humour I know though there was some weaknesses like

After the movie, we had the opportunity to ask some questions to the director Andrew Fung Chih-chiang, here is the minute of the interview :

  • How did you come to write this movie?How did you get to work with Steven Cheung?

Steven Cheung is a huge a star, we got to work together previously about a script he has written. And the latest ask Andrew Fung Chih-chiang to work together for his film so that is how we got to work together.Regarding Chapman Toe, Legendary Hong Kong Cinema give me the chance to work twice with him, I have to say he’s a great actor comedy.

  • The artists that are playing the main characters are not famous in China. Why did you find these infamous actors to make the movie?

Actors need to show their talent so I wanted to give them a chance. I chose new people also because I wanted the movie to be more realistic. What stands out in the movie is that for most of the girl starring they don’t particularly want to be actresses, they don’t want anything but becoming famous.

  • What inspired you  the idea of the concept of the script?

Reflected entertainment based on truth facts, I aimed at showing true  facts to the audience.

  • Do you have any advice to upcoming directors?

Keep on believing, don’t be in a rush to write a script. Take all your time to write your own script because  it will be your only weapon in this war of writers. It thanks to your script that you will be able to find sponsors to give you money to make your movie.

 

This film festival was a beneficial experience, it was the first time I was watching an asian movie actually. I am a very open-minded person but I have to confess that I was never really appealed by watching this type of movie. My cousin is a huge fan of asian art but I don’t know why I always refused to give a chance to these movies and  it was a big mistake from me. I feel silly now to say that.

What I really liked in the movies is that mix different genres together : romance-comedy-horror. I know when , it may be complicated to believe that mixing all theses genres that look so different from one another will give a good result. Yet it does. And it’s not comparable to any other movies I have seen before.

In China, movies are an important place of people’s culture, indeed for them it’s their window through the world. Indeed many of them don’t have the opportunity to travel and it’s through  all the movies they watch that they can have an insight of the life abroad. Actually I have few chinese friends I met in England. They never travelled anywhere before and they were imagining foreign countries as it was depicted in the movies, with all the stereotypes.

To conclude, these movies were an open door to another culture. If you have never watch an asian movie, don’t hesitate one second you won’t be disappointed and you’ll discover something new!

Critical Reflections

It’s been now a month since I started university, since I started Journalism and Media, since I settled down.

A part of being a journalist is being able to have a critical point of view on every topics but also about himself. A  professional journalism  shall be capable of critical reflexions, to look backyards and to judge if he took the good decision, why does he find it was a good or bad decision . What he would have done if he had to make the same choices but in the present time. This is a reflection upon what I have been doing so far.

Getting used to lectures, learn how to be organized : two essential things for this year

I wrote a letter to myself in which I explained what I wanted to gain this year. I wrote that I wanted to have more experience in journalism area, that I would like to try a brand range activities of this trade. I wrote that letter one month ago and by reading it again recently I realised that I had accomplished some of my wishes. Nonetheless there are some other things that I would have done better if I have had known.

I was very exciting about studying in the media world and I have to say that so far I’m not disappointed at all. I have discovered plenty of activities and I am dayly aiming to broad my range of skills.

I was afraid to be overtaken lectures ,homework, parties. But since the beginning I have been wise regarding partying, I try to have a balance life between studying and leisure. I have learnt that thanks to last year when I went out a lot: I have evolved and understood that this year was getting serious and that it was time to be mature and to work if wanted to succeed. I used to read a lot but last year I lost this habit and I’m glad because I am now reading again.

Coventry is a vast city, the university is huge. offers a lot of diffrent activities, a lot of parties!The fresher’s week was all about partying. There was so much to do that I end up with not knowing what to do. And I was confused about life. Getting used to a new city, new people, new personalities, new university. And at the beginning I wanted to do everything at the same time. My schedule was very busy. But I quickly realised that I had to slow down and take things once as a time.So I focused on gaining Journalism skills.

And also moodle was a brand new system for me: I wasn’t used to it at all. And at the beginning it was very confusing, I got lost and I didn’t understand my timetable.

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We have been to some of journalism task : interviewing art.We had to be in pairs and to interview people on the street about anything we liked. It was the first time I was confronted to such a task, but I took a real pleasure to do it. I found out that I really liked communicating with people and I find it quite easy: it’s the basic if I want work in the media area. In a personal way ,it  was a very beneficial activity. We learnt how to interview people, the way you have to talk to them and to be friendly, you can find below a rush of one of our interview :

This is me interviewing a student and  my classmate recording the interview. I was quite comfortable during the interview, the student was nice and was answering to the questions I was asking and was very fluent. All the interviews  went very well except one maybe, we were interviewing a manager of the university. I was asking the questions but despite the fact that  my colleague and I prepared some questions before the interview I run out of words and I had a blank. I really felt embarrassed on the moment but failure is only human. I didn’t know what to say and when finally I gathered my wits I began to ask questions on a whim . If I could go back in time I wouldn’t have done so because it end us talking about global warming whereas we start our conversation discussing about international students; there was no connecting thread,no structure and no transition from a topic to another. Nonetheless this was a very good experience, it helped me to understand  how important it is to  structure  the news. I know that I still have a plethora of skills to learn from this course but I have that day by day , by setting my heart on learning and expend my knowledge I am getting closer to my aim: becoming a journalist.

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I tend to be shy sometimes  and I didn’t dare talking because I wasn’t very self asserted but I thing that I’m becoming more and more confident. I have started a radio show with two friends of my class and I really like it, I really do enjoy it. One other thing I wanted to find out this year was which job will I do in the future and I think that after my radio experience I would like to be a part of it. I’m trying to get involve the much I can. A major difference between high-school and university is that we students, have to create our own opportunities, they won’t be brought on a silver platter and throughout  the year I’m willing to take all the opportunity and to try new things to see how it. works.

I will end up my reflection with a quotation of the American Author Margaret J. Wheatley in her book Finding Our Way: Leadership For an Uncertain Time : “Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful“.

 

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