TVFutures: Student pitch


Jonathan Quinn TV-Bay Magazine
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by Jonathan Quinn
Issue 105 - September 2015
Its that time of the year again to welcome the next selection of students who will are willing to share their experiences and adventures to our readership. However, as KitPlus continues to evolve, so does our approach to features and articles, and we tackle TVFutures with a slightly different slant this time around.

The focus this year is still on the University of Portsmouth course - BSc Television and Broadcasting - but the twist will be that students will be pitching ideas for articles en mass, thus giving them a real insight into the competitive challenges of having an idea and suggestion selected via a commissioning editor.

My selection this month is from soon-to-be third year Jonathan Quinn and his pitch on OBs and multi-skilling seemed very appropriate to this months theme.

Hi everybody, my name is Jonathan Quinn and at the time of writing this Im just a few days away from beginning my third and final year of my TV and Broadcasting degree course. Thinking back to when I was originally searching for an appropriate course, the one thing I kept on hearing was make sure you choose one that has a particular focus on multi-skilling. To be really honest I wasnt entirely sure I fully understood what that meant, and it unnerved me a little because I knew in my heart that post-production was really all that I wanted to focus on. The open day at Portsmouth convinced me that multi-skilling was an essential element of a specialist course, mainly because this is one of the clear messages coming from the industry.

So I choose a course that was incredibly strong in post-production, and one that offered Avid User Certification, but also one that produces weekly live TV and outside broadcast. As a student Ive been able to pursue my passion and interest in post-production as much as I hoped I would, but Ive been amazed at how much the live element has attracted my interest as well. I thought that a live outside broadcast would be an exciting and great experience, and Ive really not been disappointed. There is an element of adventure when going live on air, and couple that with a new external location, well, everybody starts to get a bit giddy from adrenaline and nerves. My OB experience really began after an invite from my course leader, Charlie Watts, who is keen to always put on one big broadcast in May. All students were offered the chance to attend and help, and I got jib operator!

Ive never operated a jib in my life, but thankfully after I had the initial training and most of the day to practice, things started to fall into place. When the show began and they starting taking my camera feed it felt like an extra jolt of electricity was circulated through my veins. I felt so alive! It was exciting, nerve-racking and amazing at times, but also stressful, sometimes a tad scary and, when I wasnt live, a little dull due to the waiting for something to happen! None of this is to say that I didnt enjoy the experience, because I am already looking forward to the next one.

Ive never operated a jib in my life, but thankfully after I had the initial training and most of the day to practice, things started to fall into place. When the show began and they starting taking my camera feed it felt like an extra jolt of electricity was circulated through my veins. I felt so alive! It was exciting, nerve-racking and amazing at times, but also stressful, sometimes a tad scary and, when I wasnt live, a little dull due to the waiting for something to happen! None of this is to say that I didnt enjoy the experience, because I am already looking forward to the next one.

So, if I had to review the whole experience of using the jib Id say that the Libec Swift Jib50 is superb. The one we have can be operated at a height of up to 4 metres and is very quick to assemble, making it easily transportable from studio to outside broadcast location. All the components can be powered via batteries allowing great flexibility, and, with a bit of practice (thanks Mike Parsons!), the jib is fairly straightforward to operate and is equipped with the Libec REMO30 Remote Head. The remote head offers pan and tilt at variable speeds from a joystick, making it simple to achieve great dynamic shots which add to the production value. Its an excellent addition to the arsenal of kit that is appearing within our faculty providing new angles and scale to our approaches to broadcast. So if I havent been crystal clear, this bit of kit gets a big tick from me!
Its been a hell of a ride since joining this course. Ive ended up completing an amazing placement with Avid where Ive spent time at Pinewood Studios, visited high-end post facilities, and I even got chance to attend a keynote speech from Tom Cross, the film editor of Whiplash! Ive spent time working with Portsmouth Football Club and dealing with OB responsibilities there as well. I really wanted a full-on experience, and I sure am getting it. On the latter point, if I had to advise any other students on how to reap the benefits from any extra-curricula activity, Id say once you hear about any kind of opportunity, go for it with all of your energy! The whole issue with student fees these days seem to give some the idea that they are owed opportunities far beyond what the course is about. In my experience a great course provides all of the opportunities to learn, and the staff will also give out lots of notice and information on things we might want to get involved with. Essential they let us know of an open door, but youve got to make the effort to go through the door yourself, and opportunities arent going to chase you, and its you that have to chase them. Im genuinely not sure if students in general really get that last part. Anyway, Im pleased to have got that off my chest!

My thanks to you all for reading this and I hope it was informative. I hope to win another article pitch later in the year and have this platform again to share my thoughts.

Tags: iss105 | #TVFUTURES | student | university of portsmouth | broadcasting | equipment | studio | camera | Jonathan Quinn
Contributing Author Jonathan Quinn

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Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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