Archive for November, 2010

The TV Quiz Show – Reflection 1

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags , , on November 27, 2010 by Adam Broome

The road to this story has been a bumpy one to say the least. Knowing full well the clock would be against us (one week less than the group before us), we got together before we’d even done our radio shows in order to discuss and plan our TV show ahead of time. An online group was set up on facebook, with which we used to make sure we were all happy with our roles, and make sure everyone was up to date on what was happening with the developing project.

The final idea we came down to was that of a movie quiz show. It would take the style of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, but where that revolved around music, this one would revolve around films. We decided we would have several rounds – one involving the identification of famous one-liner, and another involving charades. An audience could pick up the rules easily, and it was a well-known concept that would be easily applicable to a large audience. What’s more, a lot of us knew a lot about films, so we were well-equipped with the research. With the roles finalised, and the idea seemingly agreed, we were all thoroughly looking forward the project as we went into our first week.

The first problem hit us straight away – during the very first seminar we had, our lecturer effectively scrapped our idea and told us to start again. Given that this seminar clashed with the All Students Meeting (when all lectures are meant to be cancelled), I had to leave this meeting as I was filming the event for Source TV. Apparently, many others left thereafter, possibly to head to the ASM themselves. Out of the eighteen of us, six were left, and they finalised a concept around an identity-based game, where the theme would be mystery people, and this notion of ‘identity’. I know the lecturer wanted us to be more original than our initial idea, however I feel that we did not have time for these changes. Altering the concept undid almost all our work prior to this first week, and I imagine it left a lot of people feeling a bit lost. We had decided on our initial idea as a group. The idea we stuck with was decided by six. This was no doubt going to affect people’s motivation for the project.

Personally, I was much more for the movie idea. The reason I kept my mouth shut during the seminar was because I had no input to give. Given that we have three weeks to make this artefact, movies may have been cliched, but it would have been accomplishable, and it would have been generally a ‘safer bet’. However, the final decision fell to the producers and director, and they went with it, and thus so did I. However, only a few hours later, in-fighting broke out amongst the group on facebook, knocking everyone’s confidence in the project. Despite that the issues were resolved in the end, the atmosphere was definitely a little negative the following day. Whether it had anything to do with the change of idea I can only speculate.

The following week, however, things got even worse. Now doing several run-through attempts, I started to realise that my position of ‘camera operator’ was a slight mockery of my professional title. For this project, we decided to use something called ‘Chromakey’, which is where the blue background we concealed in The Gents Show would actually be used as a sort of ‘green screen’ (ie: we would put a digital background behind the presenters and guests). This, however, meant that the cameras in the studio would not be able to move, as the movement would affect the digital images through the lens. Thus, as camera operator, my job in the studio is to set up my camera… and that’s pretty much it.

On one given day, our lecturer came in and gave us a big boost of confidence by telling us we were all going to fail because none of us had put enough effort into this project. I’m sure everyone had their own feelings about this, but for myself, as a camera operator who can’t operate his camera, its questionable how much effort is actually expected of me. In an earlier session today, I actually dragged a seat behind my camera and sat on it, only serving to make sure the camera didn’t move, and change the focus or zoom slightly if the director ordered. Shortly after the telling-off, our lecturer then re-shuffled three of the roles – namely, a producer, a VT operator and a set-designer got demoted to ‘web designers’ – positions that did not exist for the other group. This throughly de-motivated those members, which dragged some of the rest of us down further still. Now, even the roles we had all agreed on before the show were changed. And all with only two weeks left to go.

Ultimately, I think we are a hard-working team that are doing as well as we can with this project. I think the majority of the problems with this project have come from external influences, rather than internal. Every time we do a run-through, the gallery members are sorting out technical issues, whilst an ensemble of camera operators and presenters wile away the hours in the studio beyond. This project is nothing like The Gents Show. In my opinion, the show we created in Term 3 is shaping up to be better than this one. Considering this show will largely be based on technical skills in editing and graphics, we wont really know how good or bad it is until days before the hand in. But having gone from producer of a radio show I was quite proud of, to a camera operator who sits in a TV studio all day, it is hard to really reflect on anything at all related to this project.

Although I feel most of the gallery personnel are having much more input into this project than we are, it is not a stretch to say I chose the camera operator role this time to defuse my responsibility for this project. Being a set designer on The Gents Show is by many a mile the worst thing I have had to do on this course so far. All I wanted to do this time was set up cameras, film stuff, and take orders from a floor manager. However, with this in mind, I still think my current role takes the biscuit a bit – especially considering the things that other projects demand of me – operating tracks, conducting interviews, organising marketing events, creating separate projects in groups and on my own… I have much to do, and I feel that when I sit at my camera in the studio, I am not being pushed, technically or creatively. I am almost unused. And that for me is the main issue here – I have nothing to reflect upon because I am not developing in any way in this project. All that is developing is my patience – which in all fairness is quite well-grounded anyway. Perhaps this is a reality check for all us ‘Formats’ lovers – ‘shut up and do your job’. Yes ma’am!

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Source TV – The Story So Far

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags on November 26, 2010 by Adam Broome

When I’m not doing Source Radio, or doing something University-module related, chances are I’m caught up doing something with this lot. Source TV are the CUTV upgrade – a new start for Source Radio’s ‘other half’. Generally, people from all over the university converge on this to form it as a society of sorts. This being a society dedicated to creating media artefacts for the university, the student’s union, and all therein – and just why there’s only a handful of us media students part of this is anyone’s guess.

I discovered CUTV rather late last year, and at the start of this year stampeded towards Source TV at full speed. I have quickly asserted myself as a reliable camera operator, and have taken part in almost all of their projects so far. Because the students in the society are from all over the university and across all faculties, it is clear that I have some responsibility in this society to ‘look after’ all the none-media students (and at the same time set a good impression!).

The first project I ceased with both hands was that of Johnny Rickard’s request for us to film a showreel for him. This project has now been dubbed ‘The CVTV Project’. Because Johnny wanted his showreel done before christmas, after a week or so he quickly turned his attention to my Media Production course, somewhat turning his back on Source TV. However, given that the project is immensely ambitious (turn a large room into a makeshift TV studio), in retrospect it is rather wise he did. Source TV to this day have failed to give proper training to the non-media students, who still don’t really know how to operate semi-professional cameras, or edit films. I understand why this project left Source TV’s hands, however it may have been an idea to keep those who were interested included in the project, so they could join us media production students and make the artefact with us.

Elaborating on a previous point, the fact that non-media students don’t know how to use professional media equipment has meant that those with prior knowledge have been solely responsible for creating all the artefacts so far. CVTV Project aside, this has included filming the protest march (which I was doing anyway), filming the All Students Meeting, and filming a night at the Platinum nightclub with a special guest. For more information about the protest march, a separate post will be put up along with the finished artefact. Filming was done in conjunction with Johnny Rickard (who wanted some shots to add to his showreel), which made the event part of my professional experience, and allowed me to use professional equipment on site.

The All Students Meeting ultimately fell down to just myself and one other cameraman. Two high-ranking members of the society conducted an interview at The Junction (the student union basement). Given that this was the week following the events of the protest march in London where Millbank was assaulted, the ASM had one of the biggest turn outs in recent memory. Madeleine Atkins opened proceedings, with all the students waiting with eager ears upon what the vice chancellor to their university had to say about the uncapped tuition fees. She managed to defend the position well, talking about an uncertain future, and that Coventry University was among those universities that are not likely to maximise tuition fees. The answer was a little to vague for some, which ultimately gave way to Aaron Porter to take the pedestal and give a rather inspiring talk, condemning the attack at Millbank, but commenting that the actions sent the government a strong message. The president of the National Union of Students’ speech was met with an applause that erupted all the way from the very back, lasting a full minute as he left. Following matters to be discussed included banning Facebook in the library, and suggesting the student union to take on the pub crawls ‘Carnage’ and ‘Stamina’ at their own game.

Overall, this project had me behind a tripod for the entire two hour duration. I managed to successfully get another tape – I only took one DV Tape as I thought it would be enough (whoops). The lighting at sun set, as predicated by my instructor, changed the white balance every minute or so. I was advised by the other cameraman to set the white balance to automatic during sunrise and sunset, if you do not have time to change it manually. It is something to consider for future projects. Given that nobody has had proper training on any of the editing software yet, no final artefact can be presented at this time (and that goes for the following project as well).

The other major event that has occurred recently was the night at Platinum, where the actor who plays the character ‘Curtis’ in the E4 TV series ‘Misfits’ was doing a DJ set. We arrived at platinum half an hour before the actor was set to arrive. We were greeted by the owner, who gave us a quick tour of the building. We then set up our cameras and waited for the man’s arrival. It was over an hour and a half later that he turned up. Whilst everyone got involved with an interview, I quickly set off on my own to the ‘meet and greet’ location with my Z1 prepped on a tripod. Upon reaching the dance floor, I skidded on some spilt drink all over the floor, almost sending the £5000 camera plummeting towards the unforgiving floor. Luckily, I managed to retain my step (and I imagine I have kung-fu training to thank for that!).

Curtis was so late, his meet and greet was delayed until after his DJ set. Now at my post, my filming options were limited, and so I got what shots I could, tilting the camera, and trying to get shots of Curtis from across the dance floor, over the heads of his adoring fans. After a brief DJ set, Curtis came over to meet his fans. Much too late, it seemed I was in a rather odd place, with only side-on shots being available to me given the small space where this event was being held. Several drunks stumbled towards my tripod, leading me to almost have to fight them off. Luckily, the local bouncers had my back. Thirty minutes later, and the night was over, leaving me feeling quite relieved the Z1 had made it out in one piece. It was our first photo as a team, and hopefully the first of many:

Apparently, the way I defended the camera will come in handy for the project that will occur in Prague. I’m still unsure whether that’s a good thing!

The Radio Quiz Show – Reflection 4

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags , , on November 22, 2010 by Adam Broome

In the final week of the show, we confirmed our roles – Kayleigh would be a guest, and Lydia would be the recording operator. Faye would be our other guest, and only needing two guests, the roles were complete. Everything was set for Tuesday, and we had the studio booked out. Not wanting to land anybody in it, but one member turned up on the day with a terrible hangover. Luckily, she managed to fight through it, and after three successful run-through attempts, we decided we had enough to edit in the suites and make a high-standard final piece. However, this is where it all went wrong.

We uploaded the files to a USB stick, and in the process got talking with some light-hearted conversation. We were all busy for the rest of the week, eventually managing to meet up Friday to do some editing, but only to find the editing suites were fully booked. Come Monday, disaster struck – the USB drive was found to be empty, leaving no trace of any such radio recordings. Upon investigation, a Journalism hand-in day called ‘News Day’ had taken place after our show, and had erased all our saved data, meaning our final recordings were now lost. At this point, with the deadline less than 24 hours away, I apparently had a cool head and managed to treat the situation in a rather calm manner (as referred to by fellow teammates). There wasn’t much to it really – we had nothing to hand in, and the chances of a re-recording were second to none.

But then, suddenly, the recordings appeared as if by magic back on the USB port. We rushed an edit together, deciding that a rubbish version is better than no version at all. The editing was not done by myself. The two that did do it did I good job overall – the final piece had only one glaring error, and that was my fault of not turning up the gain on Faye’s voice (which was quieter compared to Kayleigh’s). That was fine by me – being the producer of this artefact, I was quite happy to go ‘down with the ship’ as it were. Given the hassle of the day previous, the fact it turned out as well as it did with only an error in the gain to me means we were pretty darn lucky!

On Tuesday we presented our shows. I acknowledged my error with the gains, but we did recite the events of the trouble with the editing. Two lessons can be learned:

1. Never talk when uploading things – pay attention right to the end.

2. Technology will never be 100% reliable.

As for reflecting upon the final artefact, gain issues aside I can’t really fault it. Kate stumbles several times as the host, but we left these in for added realism (and that was a genuine intention – not just because of our limited time window). The sounds were used well, and my fading in and out skills were pretty good. We were told that some background music could have been used to differentiate the rounds of the game from the ‘talking’ sections of the show, which I agree would have worked well (perhaps beds of some kind could have been used). We were told that the questions could have been music-related, given that the title ‘Sixty Second Song’ implies a music-related quiz show. We were also told that a sound could have been inserted for each correct or incorrect answer – I beg to differ however. Given the speed of the answers, these noises could quickly become repetitive and annoying to the listener. Final feedback considered that Kate needed more interaction with the guests. This would be nice, but given that we tried to fit a whole show into seven minutes, things were always going to be a bit tight.

So no, overall, I’m going to call this one a success (which is good considering this was my first producer role). We have created a media format that could work on TV, or on radio. The rules are simple and easy to understand, it is easily repeatable, and it’s cheap to make. I really liked our format – what’s better, I believe it’s my own brainchild, so all the more to obsess over my own work (never have before – I believe I deserve a bit of self-indulgence!). For better or for worse, here is the link:

So You Wanna Know What I Think About The X Factor?

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags on November 21, 2010 by Adam Broome

🙂

*inhales breath*

Riiight…

This week Coventry University has been courteous enough to set me the task of watching fifteen minutes of The X Factor. This TV show is very relevant to the media of today. Some say it is the saviour of television. Some say that it is the death of a respectable christmas UK chart. What do I think? Well, I think a lot of things… for example, this week I thought it was in my best interest to go back to Nottingham and buy an Iron Maiden ticket, so therefore I missed the show on Saturday. I have watched various sections of the vote-off show tonight, and I have happened to have had a small discussion with a few none-media production people. And here I blog.

So, first impressions? Rubbish, obviously. Ironic that I’m doing formats, eh? Four judges sit on their little panels, as the first five minutes of the show reveal flashbacks from the night before. Useful to me – not so much for the people who watched it all just last night. The judges are all the usual – Cowell applauds and ridicules. Cheryl says nice stuff. Louis looks far too happy for his age, and Danni just sort of smiles and nods. As the background signature music plays, the effect on me is similar to that of epinephrine – suddenly my heart rate increases, my pupils dilate, and all of a sudden I find myself teetering on the edge of a place not meant for the human consciousness.

Bringing it all back, we have the smug host, the hyper audience, and the singers who can’t sing. Woe is me – formats production at it’s very best. Repeatable, cheap, comedic, entertaining… it’s all there. So, let’s start talking discussions – what do my friends make of it? One girl has so aptly put it: “The X Factor is the face of the downfall of music.” Almost all across the board, we also seem to share this idea that the show is fixed. How else can Wagner still be on it this year? Whichever way you look at it, clearly with people like ‘Chico’ from years back, people who are entertaining get more votes than people who can sing – which says it all for the ideologies behind the show really.  Eventually, the entertaining ones inevitably bow out a week or so before the final… being used to get the ratings up are we? Hmm.

So, on an academic scale: I have a rather well-constructed argument here. For all those who say it is affecting music, I don’t think it is. There hasn’t been a band or artist that has made a good, decent Christmas song in years. The reason why The X Factor dominates the Christmas charts is because there is nothing else. You know there is nothing else – why else would we have put RATM at number one last year, with a song that was made when I was two years old?

However, to those that say The X Factor has saved television. I argue to the contrary. I say The X Factor is actually the thing that just killed television. Official broadcasters think they’re in trouble now, but with formats production now forcing their production values down to cheaper and cheaper forms, in a few years they’re going to start parring with the media produced on the internet. The production values of internet shows are going up. Format production does not exist on the internet (yet… give it one year or so). This all relates to my essay – I may duly refer to Yahoo TV, Google TV and Apple TV. These are the concepts that the big companies are crafting in order to prepare for the inevitable integration with television and the internet. Then, all media shows will be in direct competition side by side. And at that point, things like The X Factor will not be good enough. The internet is full of weird, new, clever, funny stuff. People will (hopefully) have access to a wider range of better things. Things they really want to see – not just what is being broadcast. And The X Factor’s little ‘interactive’ themes, with all the costly phone-ins (rigged or not) – yeah well, the internet is free. Shows online are three times as interactive and completely free of charge so… yeah.

All that stuff the lecturers told us about being at the forefront of a brave new era of media is slowly coming to light. Convergent media is going to happen. EVERYTHING will converge into an online forum in some way or another. The internet cannot be regulated, so these official broadcasters are going to fall into direct competition with the ‘free’ and, as Adorno put it, the ‘authentic’. Who’s going to win – ‘official’ media, or ‘pirate’ media? I know which one my money’s on.

When The X Factor comes on, the feeling is summed up quite nicely in this picture here:

Source Radio Catch-Up

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags , on November 21, 2010 by Adam Broome

It’s been a few weeks since my last update, so here’s just a few words to explain and reflect upon my ‘Source Radio Adventures’ so far. The first show went slightly awkward, but the second show went much better. Having guested on another person’s show, I could see how the faders were used to keep songs flowing from one into the other, minimizing the gaps between all the different audio channels. This was a big help for me in my second show, where I used the headphones to listen to my own show, whilst various faders went up and down.

The third show was one of the best thus far – a Halloween-themed show featuring songs varying from Ghostbusters to Enter Sandman. It was the first time I opened up requests, and actually got one – Jedward! What also happened in my third show was something I discovered that developed my personal style, given that most of these shows I do on my own. I was reading a book that had been set as a task from university during the airing time. I often referred back to how the reading was progressing – usually not very much. However, this gave me a talking point – almost a topic to my show. Then I realised that it is always good to be doing something in the studio other than just hosting a show. If you’re involved in doing something, it gives you something to talk about to the audience. It gives you a focus of conversation, and makes the show more informal as a result.

The show following Halloween was by far the worst one yet. A playlist comprising largely of internet songs were stopped as the internet continuously crashed and the streams were constantly broken. Myriad crashed indefinitely, locking me out of the system which most people use solely as a means of playing music. But then, finally, the iPod system broke, with sound only coming out of the right channel. All three systems of music were broken, leaving me without a clear path with which to broadcast music. Knowing full well that the iPod station wasn’t getting fixed anytime soon, and my hacking skills for Myriad were rather limited, I turned my attention back to the internet. I eventually managed to close all the windows, and finish the show with several internet tunes and a few half-songs from my iPod.

The forth show was the first time I had a guest on the show. Our banter was well-received by the audience. I used Myriad at several points during the show, but the music titles did not match the songs I thought thy were (eg: some songs were live, but not labeled as live). This was the final straw, and I actively strive to avoid using Myriad as much as possible in the future. The internet has become a saving grace – it takes much preparation to use, but it tends to work much better than Myriad. The iPod station is still broken – until it is fixed, the internet seems to be main method of broadcast.

The fifth show was cancelled as I went to Nottingham to arrange an Iron Maiden ticket. So all in all, I’ve had a themed show, a show where everything went wrong, a show where everything went right, a show with a guest, many shows on my own, and even a cancelled show. I’d say I’m getting quite experienced at all this!

The Essay ‘Plan’

Posted in University Work (Old) with tags on November 16, 2010 by Adam Broome

And I use the term ‘plan’ very loosely here, as I was en route to the Paramore gig when the details of this task were outlined. Of my essays that have been completed throughout my entire academic career, I have never thoroughly planned one down to every minute detail… and to be fair, it’s worked out pretty well so far. So, what do we know?

We know I’m doing question one, which sings something to the tune of:

The context of current media production is that user-generated content of little real value or worth is eclipsing more traditional forms of media production.

To what extent do you agree with this statement?

I’ve been answering this question in one form or another in pretty much every module I’ve done on this course so far, so it seems the logical choice. If you have been reading any of my posts, you will probably be familiar with my ‘Pirate Media’ theory at this point. Generally, this theory is that TV production is getting cheaper, with formats making cheaper and cheaper production values; and opposing this is the internet and it’s user-generated content, which started cheap, but is slowly having better and better production values. TV goes down, internet goes up. Eventually, the two will meet in the ‘middle’ (ie: when shows on the internet are as good as those on TV). This is the moment that all broadcasters are bricking themselves over.

So there’s one point, and we also have convergent media points, and how the internet and the TV will converge, thus allowing rise to ‘Pirate’ TV channels, which will be able to broadcast unregulated content to the masses. Perhaps satellites will become weapons of sorts for media distribution of the future (ie: who control the satellites above control the broadcasts). Cinema, radio, and everything else will converge on this link, which will not really be considered the internet as we know it (in other words, a separate form of media), but rather redefining the term ‘media’ itself, with all forms of media in the world flowing through it.

To these answers, I can do a simple run-through of the usual applications of key concepts we learned last year (ie: relate the question to audiences, institutions, genres etc). This is not to mention a current assessment of the pros and cons of the way things are now, and the way I predict things to be. I have been asked to find out what I need to read, but I’ll be predominantly using the internet for this essay, as the resources are easy to access, and are altogether relevant to the answer of the question (though just how you ‘harvard reference’ a website is anyone’s guess). All things considered, once I know how I’m going to start my essay (which for me is always the hardest part), then I should be well away. I have plenty to talk about, and if I write it in a stream of consciousness rather than from an intricate plan, the topics tend to smoothly make transitions from one to the other (however, this method does also increase the risk of me blabbing about irrelevant stuff). Oh well – that’s what the workshops are for!

Mark Kermode Live At Warwick Arts Centre – 12/11/10

Posted in Film Reviews And Conversations with tags , on November 15, 2010 by Adam Broome

This man, who rarely needs an introduction, is one of my sacred few idols of the cinema industry. Many an hour have been spent listening in to his ranting and raving reviews of all the latest on the silver screen. He is a much-respected film critic with an avid fan base, known for appearances on shows such as The Culture Show, and on the radio, notably on Simon Mayo‘s show. Tonight promised an audience with the man in person, currently on his ‘It’s Only A Movie’ tour. The journey to the arts centre was not as much fun as last time (they never are), but as I sit in the almost-sell-out theatre I can barely contain my excitement, as a book signing and a personal meeting with the man himself is now confirmed.

The first man to walk out onto the stage is not Mark, as we presume, but rather his manager, who sets out the format of the night. He leaves, leaving us to watch a little short from Mark’s youtube show ‘Kermode Uncut’. It was a clip I had seen before, and looks a little something like this:

Upon much laughter (of people who evidently have lives, and don’t spend as much time on Youtube as I do), Mark struts out onto the bare stage, and begins talking about his life. Ever the academic student, I’m expecting something like a lecture on cinema. Perhaps Mark will raise some questions, or perhaps make an unquestionable point that changes my idea of what media is. However, I quickly realise this talk is, much like a lot of Coventry Conversations back in the ‘home town’, going to be all about Mark’s life and his experiences. ‘It’s Only A Movie’ is the title of his new mini autobiography, which he’ll be signing at the end of the show. Finally I see, all the pieces fit.

That said, this is not to say the talk was worse of for it. Kermode talks about his early days as a movie critic on radio shows (as even he started off on radio apparently!). He talks about Werner Herzog getting shot, and his meeting with an angry Helen Mirren on the red carpet, amongst other often humour tales of fancy. Generally, it is not in any way in-depth, and does require you to have aprior knowledge of Kermode’s previous exploits (not to mention a good knowledge of the cinema industry) to get the full effect. But all seems well – he’s amongst fans.

One thing that does stick out is when says that ‘if you want to be a critic, you can’t have any friends, because the inevitable will happen where you’re friends made something, and you have to critique it, and you wont want to say anything bad’. From a slightly different perspective, given my previous clashes with people over Tropic Thunder, Kakera, and Paramore write-ups, I can definitely understand where he’s coming from! After his one hour chat, he spends thirty minutes answering various questions members of the audience have. None of them were particularly striking, and none stayed in the mind, so I imagine they weren’t that good.

I did have a question however. Was documentary as a genre going to die out? Putting my hand up several times, eventually the talk was ended, and everyone zipped outside. I quickly seized my opportunity, bought one of his books for a mere £7 (surprisingly cheap for such an event), and got in line to meet the man himself. Two hours later, and I’m almost there. I have read his book, but a lot of the content is what he’s already talked about. Go figure. However, moments later, I’m put up in front of him. During the queue I’ve realised mine is more of a ‘TV’ question, which is outside his area of expertise, so I’ve re-worded my question slightly thus since.

He asks for my name, and if it’s ‘one ‘d’ or two’. I don’t understand the question at first, but finally the penny drops. That would be ‘one d’. Mark casually sips a pint of Carling, and asks me if I’ve enjoyed myself. I say I have (wouldn’t have waited this long if I hadn’t), but I say I had a question. Merrily, off I go:

“This woman from the BBC came into my university last week… or the week before, some time back. Anyway, she was preaching that ‘documentary’ as a genre was dead, and that unless it changed or made the successful transition to cinema, that it was going to die out.”

Kermode looks confused.

“See, it has a lot of the media students studying documentary in a bit of a fluster. Do you think there’s any truth in her statement?”

Over to you, Mark. His reply went something like this:

“Well… no, not really. Documentary is never really about making money, it’s always about something else, like a statement or voicing your opinions. All documentaries shown at the cinema make a loss, with the exception of maybe one every several years, but generally, documentaries in the cinema industry are loss-leaders. They’re about more than making money, for example…”

At this point, he names a load of people I’ve never heard of, and a load of films I’ve never heard of either. This is where we clearly differentiate the difference between MY cinematic knowledge, and his. So, in a star-struck moment, I just enjoy the moment, and allow it to sink in that this is actually happening (sorryyyyyy…). Tuning back in:

“So at the end of the day, the main thing to realise is that the collapse of the UK Film Council will stop independent cinemas being open, and these institutions are pivotal for documentary films being shown. If we save these institutions, then documentary films will have their platforms. It is important that we do this.” He pauses. “But no, I disgaree, documentary isn’t going to die out, no.”

I mention The Arbor, much to his delight (perhaps hinting at my status as one of his ‘Youtube Followers’), but generally the point remains the same. He probably knows that, despite my knowledge of films, I’m a fish out of water in his presence. Either way, I have the autograph signed to me, and get the photo, we shake hands, and I’m off… actually not true. The guy behind me in the queue asked earlier if I’d take a picture of him, and I wait whilst he chats to Mark, mostly about Blue Velvet and, coincidentally, Twin Peaks, which I’m watching at the moment. Then he shakes hands and walks off. I put the camera away – Maths students are all the same. I retreat quietly, ever the lone ninja.

So there you have it, media production documentary makers. The good doctor has spoken (named so after his doctorate). Documentary will not die out, as it is not for profit. To ensure the survival, keep independent cinemas open, and support your local cinema industry. A comfy talk, and a long wait. A job well done, and a night complete.