Every election counts


Charlie Watts TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Charlie Watts
Issue 102 - June 2015

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard." - JF Kennedy

This may seem slightly overblown, but that is how we face things here in the University of Portsmouth. It's possibly because we have to try that little bit harder due to our location, but mainly because we love a challenge, and we want our students to get to a full-on and very real experience!

Let me set the scene. In September 2014 we were contacted by ITV Meridian News and asked if we would be interested in helping film declarations from the Hampshire and Sussex constituencies. It was just before the start of the new academic year, and we figured, sure, that's months away, why not! And so begun the slow build up to what we believe was a U.K first, with Meridian arranging to work with HE institutions in the South of the country to gather a wider and more comprehensive recording of election counts.

So let me be blunt and completely upfront with you, this was going to be no easy task. Of course, delivering election content is an exciting prospect - and whilst the broadcast industry is well versed and can take it in their stride, as an Educational institution, there are many other layers of complexities and concerns! The reality of letting students work overnight on an event where their footage has to be good enough for TV broadcast was going to be a challenge. If you have extensive expertise in producing video content you'll know how daunting and terrifying it is to go to a location you have never visited before, knowing you can't mess up! Framing, rule of thirds, horizon, exposure, focus, etc, etc, are all incredibly important requirements for any video crew, and to throw students into this environment without a plan would have been foolhardy.

Of all of my dealings with the film and TV industry, the Meridian News team rate up there with the very best; with every meeting we had with them left us feeling welcome and valued as collaborators. I think even they felt relieved that the demands of the shoots were within the grasp and capability of the staff and students. The latter statement is a significant one, and an equivalent analogy would be an amateur musician performing comfortably in their bedroom who suddenly gets to appear live on stage in front of an audience. This was the challenge laid out; to select students for the event and then effectively cut the umbilical cord. All we could do was hope that the learning and experience we've endeavoured to provide was good enough to stand up to broadcast standards.

So how did it go really? To be honest like clockwork. Students were picked up by a series of taxi's organised by Meridian to take them to the various counts. From our point of view (and I'm sure theirs) this was an exciting and significant moment - the journey was beginning. Then came the period of waiting for the students to reach their destination and for the counting of votes to begin. The staff team had all decided to come in and support the designated workflow required for sending the gathered media back to Meridian. Just a note, its amazing how much work you can achieve in an empty, almost vacated building overnight, and whilst we waited for the returning students and media we were all able to plan for our 8 hour final year outside broadcast scheduled for May 29th.

So I am pleased that the course team of Television and Broadcasting were able to provide that moment of real learning to 16 students who I'll assume will have changed overnight because of the experience. For us it was the equivalent of sending students to the moon, with the staff in the control centre, able to help over the phone, but aside from that, unable to help if things were going terribly wrong.

Challenge accepted, mission complete, splashdown!


Tags: iss102 | election | university of portsmouth | coverage | news | polictial | local news | Charlie Watts
Contributing Author Charlie Watts

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • NewsTicker 5 from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

    NewsTicker 5 from ChyronHego at NAB 2017

  • 3D Storm at IBC 2015

    3D Storm at IBC 2015

  • AVIWEST at IBC 2014

    AVIWEST at IBC 2014

  • IMT Vislink Air Pro 75Ka and NewSwift 240HD Antenna at IBC 2018

    IMT Vislink Air Pro 75Ka and NewSwift 240HD Antenna at IBC 2018

  • QNews Newsroom system from AQ Broadcast at IBC 2017

    QNews Newsroom system from AQ Broadcast at IBC 2017

  • New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

    New CEO and news update from TMD at NAB 2017

  • ChyronHego NewsTicker at NAB 2016

    ChyronHego NewsTicker at NAB 2016

  • AQ Broadcast News Room System at BVE 2016

    AQ Broadcast News Room System at BVE 2016

  • Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies news at IBC 2015

  • TMD news update at IBC 2015

    TMD news update at IBC 2015

  • ATEM Mini and more news from Blackmagic at ISE2020

    ATEM Mini and more news from Blackmagic at ISE2020

  • Ross Video at BVE 2017

    Ross Video at BVE 2017

  • BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

    BroadStream ARMADA at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream OASYS at IBC 2014

    BroadStream OASYS at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream CURRENT at IBC 2014

    BroadStream CURRENT at IBC 2014

  • BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

    BroadStream HARBOR at IBC 2014

  • Ateme at IBC 2014

    Ateme at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Dejero at NAB 2014

    Dejero at NAB 2014

  • Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Dalet at IBC 2013

    Dalet at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego Virtual Placement at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego Virtual Placement at IBC 2013

  • Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

    Inmarsat: Global Xpress and Explorer at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

  • PlayBox Technology at BVE 2013

    PlayBox Technology at BVE 2013

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2012

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2012

  • ITFC at IBC2011

    ITFC at IBC2011

  • PlayBox Technology at IBC2011

    PlayBox Technology at IBC2011

  • Mosart at IBC2011

    Mosart at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 19th April 2021

    KitPlusTV summarise the Broadcast and Pro Video News 19th April 2021


Articles
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read
HOLLYLAND LARK 150 Review
Phil Vinter

The exponential growth of video supercharged a technological revolution that began in the early noughties with the advent of DSLR cameras.
The cinematic-style shallow depth of field image video quality from DSLRs was a revelation, but, back then audio was the big drawback. As demand has grown so the technology has improved and today’s one-man-band small rig set ups can capture pretty good sound into a DSLR style camera.

Phil Vinter reviews the latest release from HOLLYLAND and it's a thumbs up from us.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | radio mic | audio | LARK-150 | CVP | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read