Source TV – The Story So Far

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!

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