Set Design Research

While sumera and giselle were beginning the designing stages of the set design, I decided to do alittle bit of research myself into how the set is designed on children shows these days. I mainly focused on the cbeebies children show. Here are a few video’s I found of clips taken from several different shows, I began to compare and contrast the differences and similiarties into each set.

As you can see, the set design can be displayed in a specific theme e.g the bedtime stories show has the studio set up to look like a bedroom with props such as a bed and the use of lights to imprint shapes of moons and stars creating an night time atmosphere.

Looking at existing shows and how the set has been designed for them, helped me to draw inspiration and generate ideas for our own set. Although set design was not the postion issued to me and technically is not my job, I still wanted to contribute as much as I could to help the set designers. Designing a set for our show is a big show and needs everyones contributions.

(To  be continued )

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Final Risky Developments

4th May 2011

We all met up for another group meeting, this meeting was specificly aimed at set design. We had previous talks about what ideas we had on how we could use props to dress up the studio. The aim of the meeting was to get everyone together and begin collecting/spending the budget and beginning building the set.



The main concept of our set design was to have three seperate areas and spiliting the studio up so that we could use the space as efficently as we could. Sumera and Giselle (our set designers) built a visual model of what the studio could look like.

Personally I didnt feel this meeting was very effective as we didnt get a lot done, I felt there was a lot of sitting around this may be due to the fact we have such a big group and it is often hard to organise and control. We did have a good attendance though which was good, it gave Joe the chance to issue indiviual jobs to each member and to try pull the odd jobs together.



Myself and James are working together on sorting the sound equipment and working out what we will be using for the final show. I am still having problems figuring out what sound equipment would be best to control both presenters separetly. I have experimented with clip mics but didnt go down well with the floor manager or producer, both decided that the visual aspect of them over ruled the practical side. This was disappointing as I felt the quality of sound was very good and it gave me the control I needed to keep a close watch on keeping matt and sophies sound levels the same. I may go as speak to Paul our sound guy at uni and see what his thoughts are on what I can do. I do feel slightly under pressure as the sound is very important and if something goes wrong it will be my responsibility. I feel I could do with bit more practice using the sound desk but as we only have one more studio practice before our live show, there isnt much of an option for me. Also with complications with the sound desk, having to use a replacement was not easy for me. Picking up the basics was not hard but it was a slightly different sound desk then the one I had previously used, I am concerned that I will have to use this new sound desk on thursday for our show. Fingers crossed It will be replaced by the orginal! 🙂 and all will go well.

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Working in Sound Production

When the time came to pitch for the roles we wanted during the television module, I had orginally pitched for Floor manager as I felt I would be a good candiate for the job. Unfortanely I lost out in the vote and this left me with my second choice of sound. I am really happy with my job role if not alittle anxious about doing well and not letting my team down.

My job role is known as gallery sound, which basically is what is says I am in charge of controling the sound from the comfort of the gallery. Working Along James as Studio Sound, together it is our responsibility to make sure the sound is the best quality it can be. Sound is a very important factor within the show, if the sound is poor it could potential ruin the show. Same goes for lighting really. Both are very important job, although at times they may feel like once youve set up and done all the sound checks thats your job done but they need to be done right and to the highest standard.



Working in the gallery :Gurraj on vision mixer (filling in for the role on this particular occasion) myself on sound and Giselle all in the gallery.

I found this video, while I was researching into my sound postion funny enough it looks exactly like the gallery at the university. Spot of luck there I think.

Using the sound desk, has many big responsibilies as it puts me in charge of bringing in the titles and intro music and out in time for the studio sound and also having to control when the VT’s are brought in and out. At the beginning of this module when I was first given the postion of gallery sound, I didnt quite understand the interesting challenges that lay ahead of me. I have enjoyed learning new sound skills and would definetly like to learn more into the technical skills of working in sound in the future. I have learnt many things so far during my time being gallery sound.

– I have learnt that timing is everything and is very important to the success of the running of the show. You need to be very organised with controlling the studio sound and the VT’s, In order for the sound to be controlled right you need to be paying close attention to the PA’s instructions as they are in charge of timing the show and informing how long is left untill the next VT etc.

– Having good quality sound, makes a very big difference to the overall projection of the show. I believe that sound is just as important as the camera shots because when everything is put together if done right makes for a great show. However if the sound is poor it doest matter how good the lighting is or the set design, If the show has poor sound is will ruin the visual aspect.

– The last and most important thing I have learnt is that you need to have full constrentation and full focus to everything that is going on. Mainly listerning to the PA’s instruction and knowing the running order of the show pretty closely, so that you know exactly when to be ready for bringing in the VT’s in and the studio back in. Being on the ball is key to making sure the sound quality stays consistent and clear.

The things that can still go wrong….

Here our a few examples of times when sound has failed to work on television shows, Things can just as easily go wrong. I have experienced a few of these problems already myself during a few studio practices in this module. On one occasion myself and James, tried to experiment with using more microphones then just the one but this did not prove successful because I was not picking up any sound from one of the microphones and the other two were slightly poorer quality then previous experiments often. We tried to solve the issue as quickly and efficently as we could as we were in the middle of a studio practice but unfortanetly it was not as easy as we first antiperpated. We did eventually resolve the problem but it put it against using more then two microphones as it had not been successful before.

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Risky Times…

28th April.

So today began the first day back at university after the easter break and back in the studio. Firstly we had arranged a group meeting, this meeting was a chance for any concerns or quiries to be brought to our attention and to find out where everybody was with their indiviual roles and jobs. Unfortanely there was not a great attendance for this meeting, with many of our group not back in coventry untill the following week. This problem also meant that the attendance for the studio session was also poor. This led to roles being empty which meant we couldnt perform practices successfully as their was not enough people to fill the roles that were most needed.


Here are some pictures of the list I made, I made this list to help our producer Joe to monitor attendance and so that we could work out who was going to be there at the studio and session and who wouldnt.

While we were waiting for other members of the group to come, I decided to begin making a list, one of many of jobs I know needed to be done or quizzed.

Here are some photos of the plan making done during the studio session, Joe and the members of us that were present :

Nick – Camera One

Tom- Camera Two

Sunil – Lighting

Sammie – PA

Giselle – Set Design

Matt and Sophie – Presenters

Joe- Producer

Decided that there was not much point in trying to do a studio practice as we were missing the most important people e.g Director, Floor Manager, Vision Mixer, so we spent the time talking and discussing what our next steps are and what needs doing. Our Director Dicken had done a script over easter but we felt after reading through it together with the presenters that there were parts that needed editing, so Joe spilt the group up into different jobs so that we could all use our time efficiently.  So myself, Joe and Sophie worked on the script trying to make a rough plan of the running order.


This is a rough plan that myself and Joe worked on, we tried to come up with a better structured narrative that could be work as the foundations for the show. We included VT’s and spent a lot of time deciding which VT’s out of the ones everyone submited on our facebook page would work in keeping the narrative flowing and running smoothly.


Our producer at work.

We also spent some of this time to discuss set design, as is this plays a very big part of our show its important that we get it right. So far we talked about spilting the studio into three parts and having three different areas of the set. We hadnt talked much into the goings on into each area.

As our childrens show has a theme of health and safety looking at road safety, there were dicussion of designing the set with a zebra crossing and including an outside environment. This way we could introduce a story that could unfold from inside a house and lead into the street/park.


Giselle – Set Designer, Here are a few sketches of ideas for the set. (Needs updating with more pictures to show the developments.)


Working through the Script with producer and presenter.

From here : We need to arrange a meeting with everybody attending, Hopefully tuesday/wednesday of next week we can get everyone together. We need to have it as soon as what with the short amount of time left before we go live. I am feeling anxious about everything we still need to do, but we are all aware of how much time is left so hopefully fingers crossed we can all work together when everyone gets back and get organised.

3rd May 2011

After speaking to the other members in our group previously in the week and also following on from our last group meeting. We decided that wednesday would be a good day to book our next studio session, however after speaking to Bex wednesday had unfortanley already been booked out therefore after speaking to Joe, we both decided to book friday afternoon instead. I was in university anyway so  I took it upon myself to make sure that the studio was booked for our group.

I also carried on with the research started by Tom and Nick into costumes and props, I went around coventry town centre and looked into the fancy dress shops to see what was on offer for us. I was hoping to be able to talk to the other members in the group and save time by already looking into all this previously.  Here are a few photos that I took : ( Everything is still in a planning stage, but hopefully towards the end of this week things will start to be pinned down)


Using Gold Frames for the wall of the fame – Childrens wall.

I briefly mentioned this idea to Joe, in our last meeting as I figure having the pictures on a wall or in frame would look better visually instead of the presteners just holding the paper in their hands.


I found some wood in my gargage, that I figured could be put to good use when making the zebra crossing strip. I am not sure yet as to how big it will be because we have yet to measure the studio. Once we have measured the studio we can get a better understanding to how big the props will be and the blueprint of the set design.


Tape to be used while making props for the costumes.


Print screens of the postings and communication via facebook page.

4th May

Group Meeting – ET Building/Mac Room.

Today we had another group meeting. I was very happy with the attendance from our group members as we were full in numbers, it was great to see everyone working together. The main issue we wanted to discuss and sort out was the set design, It is such an important part of our show and we needed to make sure that we were on the right track and to try get organised. 

After speaking to Giselle and Sumera, I tried to help out as much as I could while we waited for Joe to arrive. I spoke to everyone in the group and basically tried to inform what myself and Joe had done already and what is left to do. It was hard work as Joe is in control and therefore knows more about what he wants doing and how. I tried my best to talk to everyone indiviually and try to find out where everyone was at. Myself, Giselle, Sumera (Set Designers) and Sammie (PA) worked on doing a floor plan for the set design. Sumera built a rough plan out of coloured paper and card. It was a great idea, this way we could visualize the set and get the image in our mind of how it will look once built.

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Risky Bussiness Developments

 31st March 2011

After our group discussion last week during the editoral workshop , we all spilt up into smaller groups to talk about ideas we each had about what our television show could be about.

Many of us had similiar ideas as each other, the main ideas that re-surfaced quite a few times were the following:

* Dangerous jobs: This involves discussing the most dangerous jobs- jobs such as in the emergency services which I felt personally would be a good one because it would highlight how risky there jobs are and what people go through each day to keep us safe.

*Child Safety : This involved either teaching children to be safe general or presented in a theme, The theme idea would probably work best as it would have structure and purpose. Theme could include things like : Road safety, Safety around the house, Key life lessons.

After a group vote we all decided to go with the child safety idea and to focus on teaching children to be safe. The target audience would be aimed at children aged from 3 to 6 years. The show must follow certain guidelines as outlined in the brief  : The show must last 10 minutes and include the following :

–          3 or 4 user-generated clips

–          An interview ( contributor’s should not be MP students)

–          A performance or demonstration

–          Evidence of Audience participation

The next steps once we were certain on going with the childrens show was to begin thinking about the style of show we wanted, although we decided on road safety how could we project this across to the children. As we need to use 3-4 VT’S we were all set the task of finding a couple of VT’s that we all thought were appriopriate to use and to post them up to our facebook group page, from here on the producer and director could file down the best ones and then we would vote for the ones which we thought would suit the programme.



 Here our just a few VT’s that were presented in the workshop, As soon as the decisions have been made as to which ones we are going to use, Sean who is VT operator will download them onto tape. I am feeling slightly anxious at the moment as I have not yet done a practice run through with VT’s included. We have done one or two using VT’s that we had in the studio just so that I could experiment with bringing the VT’s in and out of the show. However we have not yet done any practices that involve using our final VT’s. I have spoken to our producer Joe and he has reassured me that when we go back our first studio session back he will arrange that VT’s are included so that I can get familiar with the process.

From here We have discussed characters that would featured in the show. We disussed using animals as research into children’s shows its evident that they respond well to animals and can feel comfortable learning with these type of characters.


Notes taken during group discussion, Here shows the display of names we had for the characters. We talked about having a bear, owl , raccoon, fox, a variety of different animals and we were trying to go for a spot of alliteration with the name for example Barry the bad bunny, Ben bandage bear, Randy the risky raccon (this seemed a favourite!!.)


Gurraj’s amazing work in Adobe Flash creating the beginngs of our characters. Here is a mock up of Randy the Risky Raccoon.


Printscreens of posts on our group’s facebook page.

26th April

Myself and Sammie went into university to speak to the loan shop and to sort out a few problems we were experiencing with booking out equipment. Sammie tried to book the talkback and the headsets the previous day but she could not book it out, after talking to her I also tried it and had the same problem. I decided to speak to a few friends of mine in both the second and thrid year and they told me the best option was to go into university and speak to the guys at the loan shop. This is exactly what we decided to do, so I met Sammie at half ten at the ET building, unfortanely the loan shop was closed when we got there because of the bank hoilday the previous day the times were not normal. We tried again to book the equipment out using the mac computers but again didnt haven any luck. We did manage to find one of the loan shop guys and he informed us that there had already been a booking made in bex’s name and this was why we could not book the equipment out ourselves. He very kindly deleted the booking so that we could book the equipment out ourselves and Sammie got right on it. I also took it upon myself to book out what we needed being gallery sound I felt it was my responsibility. Having regular contact with our producer Joe, he was happy for us to book out the equipment and from this we discussed what was needed to be done before we had our studio session on thursday 28th.

Myself and Sammie decided to make a list and from this we shall bring up the issues in our group meeting that we are having before the studio session.


After making this list, I felt that we should have a group meeting before we have our studio time because we need to all know where everybody is terms of the roles and what needs doing. I spoke to Joe our producer and he said it was good idea, so I posted up a post on our facebook page to inform all group meeting and to get there feedback. The plan is to meet between 12 and 12:15 this gives us atleast half an hour for anyone to discuss any problems or concerns they may have. Also its a great chance to find out where everyone is and what work they have done so far, by having this meeting it saves us wasting time in the studio talking and hopefully everyone will be up to speed on where we are and what needs to be done from here on.

I am a little dissapointed that several members of our group cannot make the studio session, this is slightly worrying as we have two weeks before we go live and although we are a strong group and work well together it would have been a good chance to get everyone together and practice. Also it creates an unnessary problem of trying to get people to fill in for the missing roles which leaves other jobs empty and means we are not working to full capacity. We shall see how things go in tomorrows session, We have a script so thats a good start.


Printscreen of arranging group meeting : 

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Studio Session’s – Being Risky…

On Monday 28th March we had our first studio session without supervision. During this studio session I wanted to experiment with sound as much as I could because this was the perfect opportunity to experiment to see what we could do with the sound. I wasnt sure how things were going to go but I got the equipment out of the loan shop : Two Rode Blimp plus Microphones, Three sets of clip mics (2 presenters, one guest) and lots of XLR cables.


Clip Mic’s. ( Left)

Setting up the microphones. (right, Bottom Left)

XLR Cables (Bottom Right)



Myself setting up microphones.                     Gurraj, Myself and Giselle in Gallery.

Clip Mic Experiment

The clip mic’s were pretty simple to use they literally just involved plugging an XLR cable into the bottom of the mic and then into the wall socket. They did need to have a longer xlr cable though, because of the presenters moving around the set this meant that they needed to have enough flexibility to move. However this then lead us to have major problems with wires because there were already camera wires already on the floor, plus  the extra wires from the clip mics meant there were too many wires and it caused a lot of problems for the cameras. The clip mic had many benefits but the wires are a big problem and I’m not sure how we can work around it.

I am trying to research into other ways to use clip mics but with minimum wires possible, as the loan shop don’t have any kind of wireless clip mics I could use radio microphones but I’m not sure yet as to how they would work and if it would work. However it is possibility which I will look into for when we retreat back after easter and carry out some more experiments untill I have solved the issue.  I decided to use two microphones this time instead of just one, I placed them at opposite sides of the presenters to explore the difference in sound levels, obviously it was better having two microphones and with the clip mics the quality of sound I felt was good. I have spoken to James about my thoughts on the experiment during this session and we both deciding the next step would be to try three microphones and possibly some boom mics and work from there. At the moment we are still working through the experimental stages and trying to see whats available in terms of equipment and what works well and what doesn’t.

Thursday 31st March

During our next studio session, I experienced several problems with the sound which were challenging to deal with but I think myself and James did our best to work around it and solve the issues as best we could. We experimented with using three microphones this time as planned, however we had problems with the microphones as no sound was being projected through the sound mixer. We both made sure that the xlr cables were inserted properly and also changed the wires to check if it was not just a faulty wire however this did not help the problem. I then decided to change which socket the wires were inserted too as I know from previous work in the studio that socket 2 and 3 have worked before and are usually the most used sockets. We managed to get sound out of two of the microphones but the third one wasnt working, we don’t know if there was a problem with the microphone itself or the wire however because of time schedules I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to correct the problem. As we were running through the program, It was wasting valuable time trying to fix the microphone when we had already had two working fine. I wasnt happy with the sound during this studio recording and now feel slightly concerned I want to make sure that problems such as these don’t happen again especially not leading up to the live show.

One of my main concerns at the moment is that both of the presenters speak in different sound levels, Matt is much louder than Sophie and this is hard to control when they are both coming through on the same microphone. I hope to be able to set up with James’s help a way of controlling Matt’s level and Sophie’s level separately to see if this would help solve the problem. At the moment both Matt and Sophie’s sound is coming through as one sound which makes it hard to control if Matt speaks loud and then Sophie speaks quiet it means the sound levels are constantly up and down and I dont think it sounds right. I am not sure if I am right in thinking this but I feel it could become a problem leading up to the live show. Therefore If I can try to solve the issue before the week leading up to the live show then It wont be a problem and If I am wrong, making a matter of nothing it still helps attune my ears to sound levels. I am not sure yet how to work around this problem, when we used the clip mics this helped me to control both matt and Sophie but because of the complications I am at a bit of a loss as to what I can do. I was thinking we could use boom mic’s and having one next to both Matt and Sophie as they would be higher up in comparison to the microphones that are on the studio floor this could have a positive outcome. Obviously there is only one way to find out how best this idea works, so I shall keep you posted on how well this pans out. I hope to do this experiment as soon as we get back and also by then I hope to have come up with a way around the clip mics issue.

I also need to start considering VT’s and hopefully begin practising with controlling the levels during the show. I have been including it in the practice run through but we only used practiced VT’s a few times and do not do this every time. I am feeling a little anxious because when we go come back after easter we will not have much time left in the studio and I havent experimented with bringing VT’s in and out and bringing the studio sound back in. I have spoken to my producer about this and I will get onto it when we go back, the more practice I can get the more confident I will feel when it comes to the live show.

Script we have been working on, It’s only a basic practice script although it is based on our final concept. It just helps the presenters get into character and practice working together.






O Hello. We were just playing with

these plasticine models.




I’m just playing with Snake head

McSnee. He’s a crazy fella. Look at

his mohican and devilish fangs.


And I was just playing with this

monster’s claw.




Check out the hairy hand and sharp



Ooo, they are very scary and would be

very risky indeed if they were real.


Oh it would be very risky if you were

face to face with these. Let’s have a

look at what else would be risky should

you be face to face with.





Come Mr. Snuggleworthy.




Ooo look how cute and fluffy he is.

Now this is a very non-risky animal and

very safe to handle.




Whoa. Easy there Fin Finny Fiddle.


That’s a very risky animal you have

there. Why do you have such a risky

critter, Matt?




Well Sophie, you would think he’s

risky, but he is actually getting



He is?


Yes. I’ve given him several sweets.


Look at him. He’s falling asleep now.

See he’s as good as Mr. Snuggleworthy



So by given fierce animals sweets,




You can make them as good as Mr.



You sure can Sophie. Infact let’s have

a look more risky animals after taking

some sweets.








O look sweets. I wonder if I should

have one.


No. Don’t have one, Matt. You don’t

know what they are.




Yes I do. They’re are lovely scrummy

sweets. Look how good they look.



Just because they look good it doesn’t

mean they are good for you.


It doesn’t?


No, Silly. You should never touch

things that you don’t know what they

are, especially things that look like



But I gave Fin Finny Fiddle some sweets

earlier that I found.


O yeah forgot to say. Fin Finny

Fiddle died because of a drug

overdose. Did no one tell you?


So that means he died because of my



…O well. So I’ve learned today that

you shouldn’t eat sweets.


No. You learned today that you should

leave things alone, if you don’t know

what they are.


O yes that’s it, leave things alone as

they are dangerous and a huge risk to

your life.




Well said Matt. That’s we have time

for today.


Yeah so take care. Goodbye.

<FADE TO END CREDITS> Theme Music – Script also on dicken’s blog.

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Researching for VT’s.

During the workshop on thursday, we began to look into possible VT’s we could use in our live show. As our group has decided to go with a childrens show focusing on risky decisions that could danger a childs life and looking into healthy and safety.

One thing we need to be careful with is copyright, especially with it being a childrens show therefore I thought that by using exisiting government campaigns would be an idea because they are created for the public therefore they would be open to public useage.

We looked at the “THINK” campaign aimed at keeping children safe out on the roads.

I think these set of adverts are very effective in getting the message across to children in a realistic way yet without too much of the horrible side to it. After doing some research into this campaign I found out that it is aimed at children between 6- 11 year old.

Research found that children in this age range need to understand the reasons for always using good road safety behaviour. The campaign therefore uses animated characters that are vulnerable to the real consequences of not following good road use. The key message is ‘you need to use good road safety behaviour or you could come to real harm’. The campaign also demonstrates the correct road safety behaviours. – Taken from

After Thursdays Editioral workshop we have now got a final concept for our childrens safety show, It will be based on road safety. Now we have etablished this it will be a lot easier to finalise VT’s we could use.  We havent decided which VT’s we will be using …. TO BE CONTINUED.

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