In the Media industry there are a variety of employment opportunities that each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Jobs can be found in a variety of ways such as online advertising, newspapers, word-of-mouth, recommendation and inquiries.
An example of one job search would be an individual asking an establishment such as a cleaning company if they have vacancies. This business may have roles available to offer, however the company may still be successful without these roles being filled, so they won’t be advertised.
An online newspaper called The Guardian Jobs is a popular online site that advertises the latest jobs. They categorise each role into field and requirements, making it easy for job seekers.
Full-time employment defines the minimum number of hours worked defined by one’s employers. This form of employment often comes with benefits that aren’t generally offered to other employment opportunities such as fixed holidays and guaranteed sick pay. This allows employees to plan free time and have rest days where appropriate.
Full-time workers can also qualify for advancements in their position and “climb the ladder” through promotions. These opportunities are awarded through a positive relationship between the worker and employer.
For example, a trainee teacher can advance into a higher level of teaching, become a Head of Year or principle.
This form of employment can also provide health benefits such as free or discounted eyecare checks to ensure workers remain healthy and able to work efficiently.
Specific working hours and fixed schedules are also an advantage as they allow the employee to plan their time as changes must be agreed in advance. It allows stability and a healthy working experience as the employee does not risk unexpected obstacles or distractions.
A fixed wage also provides stability to the worker as it allows for easy budgeting and confidence in being able to meet financial commitments such as bills.
However, full-time work does have disadvantages such as potentially becoming “too comfortable” in the role which has the potential to prevent the employee discovering their other talents and wanting to further their careers.
When full-time contracts come to an end, it can be hard for an employee to find new work as their CV lacks previous employment or a range of skills built through various experiences.
A full-time employee can also find themselves out of the routine of job hunting and can feel a lack in confidence and motivation to search for new employment.
Part time work defines work defines a form of employment that works less hours than full-time. It generally works in shifts or blocks.
An advantage of part-time work is the flexibility as it allows time for other commitments such as illness, hobbies, education and second jobs.
It also allows workers choice in their working hours and in busy periods their income can increase by taking on extra hours.
Part-time positions typically are generic, such as waitresses, so workers can swap shifts or fill in for other workers that are unwell. This can increase their earnings, but also works as a disadvantage as part-time workers normally aren’t paid when they are unwell.
Part-time work is also not always guaranteed regularly. For example if the workplace isn’t busy less staff will be required.
Freelance workers are paid per each hour worked. For example, paparazzi and writers are freelance workers.
The biggest advantage of freelance work is the control the worker has over their job. It allows them to choose their hours and have complete flexibility. It also allows them to choose how they work and what clients or customers they serve. It is also a fully self-profitable role which means earnings go solely to the owner.
For example, paparazzi and journalists are able to decide what photographs or articles they write, have control over how they do their job and can profit should they choose to sell their work,
Freelance work, however, is not always guaranteed to be steady and thus income can be unreliable. Workers can face dips in their hours during certain times of year or if the lines between personal and professional life become too blurred, meaning time is limited to certain aspects of the worker’s life.
Permanent employment is work in which employees are paid directly by an employer and are guaranteed work. They are not bound by time-restricted contracts.
This form of employment has similar advantages and disadvantages of full-time work, however the main advantages that permanent employment offers are health benefits such as premium health and life insurance. Strong retirement options such as contribution from employers to their pension are also a great advantage on top of no fear on either parties behalf that the position has a termination date.
Although employment is always guaranteed for the employee, they can risk a reduction in their income if the company changes. This doesn’t provide security to the employee.
An employee’s ability to “climb the ladder” is also compromised in this form of work as employers are likely to have hired the worker for their initial set of skills that are always necessary. The employee doesn’t need to enhance their skills to benefit the company which can be disheartening.
Temporary work is work that is limited to a time period and is generally contracted.
Temporary positions can provide income while a worker looks for a more permanent position and can also work to fill in a CV or gain skills. This employment can also be a probationary period for workers and employers and can lead to other opportunities within the company.
An example of temporary work would be a receptionist who is filling in for the permanent receptionist on their maternity leave. This means the new employee is aware of how long they will be filling in for.
Temporary jobs, however, can be difficult as they generally last no more than a couple of months and can be “fillers” for employers such as someone to take over maternity leave. A worker can get their hopes up hoping their successful temporary position can get their foot in the door, but in most cases this isn’t necessary or beneficial to the company.
Entry Routes into The Media
The media industry is notoriously challenging to get into as it’s a very “who you know, not what you know” sector. One must be very creative and talented to become successful in this industry and this can be achieved in multiple ways.
Networking is a way of getting one’s foot in the door of the industry by making their face known by those already in it.
This industry, however, is very competitive so it can sometimes feel like a race to grab every and any opportunity that arises. This can be achieved by easier methods such as voluntary work or work experience, as a lot of companies are happy to have people willing to work for free as it doesn’t impact their company greatly and these forms of workers are easy to let go if necessary.
Those wanting a role in the media industry could consider creating a personal website or blog to publicise and promote their portfolio. The right person could come across it at the right time and provide great opportunities.
Most job roles in the media sector require a range of skills, the most notable being creative ability.
Some creative job roles require the interconnection of technical and editorial skills. For example, a screenwriter’s process involves consideration to the technicians and editors that will be handed the scripts secondly. When writing, the writer considers how the scenes will be filmed and all aspects of mis-en-scene and then this must be weighed against the abilities the post-production team has to create the screenwriter’s vision successfully.
Administrative roles also marry with financial roles successfully. Examples of this include members of a theatre’s administration team. This role requires administrative skills such as punctuality, organisation and strong communication abilities alongside mathematical and systematical skills that allow figures and statistics to be considered in making decisions for the theatre company.
Professional Career Development
Training on the job and self-training are crucial elements to any role within the media industry as it’s a fast-paced and ever-evolving sector. This means skills can outdate and in order to be successful, one must keep updating their skills. This can cause a great workload for many workers and can prove difficult.
In order to be successful there are a number of crucial professional qualities individuals are expected to show.
The first being strong self-presentation. First impressions mean everything in this industry so it is expected that individuals that want to succeed will present themselves in the appropriate manner.
In my college and professional career I have always maintained appropriate self-presentation. At college I abide by my college’s moral codes by ensuring my attire is not revealing or offensive, however I do indulge in my college’s acceptance of individuality and wear my facial piercings and dreadlocks freely.
However, in my professional career, I must ensure don’t allow too much of a balance between what I want to wear and what I have to wear. For example, in my theatre rehearsals I am expected to wear appropriate attire that involves my “blacks” (all-black work-out clothing) with my hair slicked away from my face and strictly no make up or jewellery. This not only serves a practical purpose, but it also allows uniformity in the work space which enhances our ability to feel less like ourselves so we can act and perform better as different characters.
The second professional quality I utilise in my career is my commitment ability which I also find interconnects with my time-management abilities. I have found that, in order to commit to anything in my career, I must be able to pace myself and manage my time effectively. An example of this is my current college course. To succeed on this course I have to remain committed and manage my time effectively to complete my work. My attendance and punctuality is also crucial as this allows me to not miss any important information given to the class.
For example, my lessons are dedicated to each assignment, and my tutors give us helpful information that can’t always be accessed online. My attendance is also important as this allows my tutors to plan their lessons affectively to meet the class’s needs.
Another professional quality I use in my college career is teamwork and communication skills. In one element of my course, I had to create a TV advertisement in a group. As a group we pitched our ideas and discussed where our individual skills could benefit the whole group. For example, my narrative idea was chosen as the strongest in the group, and this morphed my role in the group into that similar to a director. This meant I had to have strong communications to explain my ideas to my group to ensure the process ran smoothly and the advert remained effective.
– A rule or directive made and maintained by an authority
The media industry in the UK is heavily regulated which means it is controlled by a strict set of rules.
The BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) are the board responsible for regulation in the film and cinema sectors. They award BBFC Age Ratings certificates that indicate what audience is appropriate for each film and cinema text.
In 2011, the BBFC came underfire for rating “The Woman In Black” as a 12A which means it’s appropriate for children aged 12 and over, and children aged under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The Woman In Black was the most complained about film of all time with 134 complaints in total being received by BBFC.
As a result of this, the BBFC made a regulatory decision to offer the creators of the text two options; the first was a rating of 15 without cuts being made to the film, and the second was the option to cut certain scenes to maintain the 12A certificate.
I believe these options were given with the legal constraints of The Obscene Publications Act in the minds of the BBFC. The Woman in Black featured “dark and unsettling” scenes which were not deemed appropriate for 12 year old children. In regards to this decision, I believe it was in the commercial interests of the film’s creators to cut out the scenes to gain the broadest audience they could for the largest financial yield.
PEGI (Pan European Game Information) is responsible for the regulation of the games sector in Europe.
They regulate games texts in a similar way to the BBFC in that they award PEGI Ratings age certificates to indicate what audience they determine is appropriate for each game.
In 2011, PEGI were challenged by the public on their age rating of the WII game “WeDare”. WeDare is a party game that faced initial dispute over the appropriate PEGI rating due to it’s “mild sexual innuendo”, but overall was awarded a PEGI 12 rating and a “Parental Guidance Advised” sticker to ensure the age rating was not undermined.
On face-value, WeDare is a silly animated game that features small challenges such as flying like a bird through the movement of your body and is inarguable not inappropriate for 12 year olds on the ethical grounds of one’s safety and the legal constraints of corruption of one’s mind, however it was advertised in a very different way.
The YouTube advertisement for WeDare featured adults in work attire using the Wii remote to represent falick objects and the positioning of the players was sexually suggestive and highly inappropriate for children.
PEGI faced their own legal constraints in this case as 8.3/i of their Codes of Conduct states “An advertisement shall accurately reflect the nature and content of the product it represents”, however WeDare publishers argued that it was not misleading advertising as “the off-screen game play can be whatever you want it to be” and the gameplay featured in the advertisement does not specify how the game should be played.
PEGI considered the commercial and financial interests of all parties and concluded that WeDare could maintain their PEGI 12 rating so long as the online advertisement was taken down immediately as “an imperative first measure”. I believe this was a sensible and wise decision and it didn’t compromise the aims and success of PEGI or WeDare.
PCC (Press Complaints Commission (recently replaced by Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the regulating board for the newspaper and magazine sector in the UK.
They regulate under the Editor’s Code of Practice which contains the ethical and legal constraints they, and all press companies, must abide by.
In 2010, Dannii Minogue complained to the PCC in regards to a Daily Record article announcing her pregnancy before her 12-week scan. This was a breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice as the newspaper were aware that she had not yet had her scan and thus the complaint was upheld. PCC deemed the publication of the story as “a gross intrusion into her private life”, however the newspaper article argued that the news of the pregnancy was already public domain before the story was published.
PCC stated in their adjudication that there was no excuse for the publication of this news as it is “a matter of common sense [that] newspapers and magazines should not reveal pregnancy before the 12-week scan” and they claim they “had no hesitation in upholding the complaint”.
In my opinion, PCC could also have considered the media legal constraints in this case such as the Defamation Act of 2003 which allows Minogue to protect her reputation. This could have strengthened their argument and further justified their decision to uphold the complaint as Daily Record was spreading already-public news.
ASA (Advertising Standards Association) are the regulators for the advertising sector in the UK.
They enforce Advertising Codes which are a set of rules all advertisements must consider and abide by.
To name one example of ASA regulation, in 1996, the ASA received 50 complaints regarding fashion company Benneton’s new poster advertising campaign. The poster advert featured three hearts with “black, white, yellow” written beneath.
Benetton began an advertising campaign called “The United Colours of Benetton” in 1984 which featured models of different races wearing their products. In 1984, the campaign evolved into “The United Countries of Benetton” and involved the use of country flags. Over the years, the campaign continued to evolve and feature cultural and racial diversity.
Eventually Benetton’s campaign grew so large that they had a stable platform of wealth and support for their company and their controversial ideologies. However, Benetton’s campaign began to follow a powerful and more raw path, beginning to feature images of breastfeeding, dead bodies, victims of HIV and prisoners on Death Row.
Throughout their campaigns the ASA received numerous complaints, but I believe their understanding of Benetton’s intentions and messages outweighed their moral and legal constraints which states the adverts should have been removed.
OFCOM (The Office of Communications) is the regulation authority for broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries in the UK.
They regulate all TV and Radio texts under their Broadcasting Codes which are the ethical and legal constraints of which all TV and Radio texts should be created under.
In 2008, BBC Radio 2 broadcasted the Russell Brand show that breached the “generally accepted standards” and “adequate protection for members of the public from unwarranted infringements of privacy” sections of the Broadcasting Code. The BBC received 45,000 complaints following the “gratuitously offensive, humiliating and demeaning” prank phone calls performed by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to actor Andrew Sachs. These prank calls involved lewd messages claiming Russell had slept with Sachs’ granddaughter and Ofcom fined the BBC £15,000. Ofcom said the scale of the fine “reflects the extraordinary nature and seriousness of the BBCs failures and the resulting breaches of the code”.
I believe this was an appropriate response by Ofcom as they strongly maintained their ethical and legal binds under the Broadcasting Codes and demonstrated the importance of them not only as an example to the BBC, but to the public. This played in the commercial interests of Ofcom and may have enhanced their reliability and image to the public, allowing them to be regarded as a strong and responsible company with the public’s interests at heart.
However, as mentioned under Structure and Ownership, the BBC yield millions every year and could easily afford the fine without any issue and Brand later took to Twitter to mock the fine by saying he’ll “put BBC fine on [his] expense account”. This, to me, demonstrates that the BBC have such high reputation and power that they can commit whatever acts they please without fear, as no fine or complaints can affect them.
Regulations Within My Own Media Texts
Under the Structure and Ownership section I mentioned that I faced ethical and legal constraints when creating my advert. Amongst these constraints I also had to consider the ASA’s regulatory codes to ensure my advert could be successful. I insured that my advert abides by all codes including Code 03 – Misleading Advertising. To ensure I was promoting the product realistically within my majestic advert I used multiple shots of the protagonist using the product correctly. The setting and post-production such as the music used enhanced the theme of the scent and did not give any untrue illusions about the purpose or properties of the product.
Ethical and Legal Constraints
In the UK there are ethical and legal constraints within the media sector. The ethical constraints are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conduction of an activity, and the legal constraints are where people or companies consider the potential laws which affect their industries and whether or not they’re breaking the law.
These constrains mean that producers of media texts do not have free reign over what they can create.
Ethical constrains are moral principles that govern the behaviour and conduction of the media texts.
The producers of media texts also have certain ethical considerations when creating their texts; plagiarism, bias and company guidelines.
Plagiarism is the act of taking the ideas or work of someone else to pass them off as one’s own. An example of plagiarism is “Martian” directed by Ridley Scott. Mikhail Raskhodnikov, a Russian screenwriter, filed a claim in a Moscow court, claiming the idea for the film was stolen from him. The screenwriter alleged that his story was written long before the US author’s version and demanded the copyrights for the 2015 film.
Similarly, another example of plagiarism in the media industry is the book and film The Da Vinci Code. In 1982, authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln published “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail”, a book that maintained the hypothesis that Jesus Christ married Mary Magdelene and had children and are the root of a sacred bloodline that is told to have emigrated through generations to what is now known as Southern France.
The Da Vinci Code is a conspiracy fiction novel written by Dan Brown which follows the same plotline as The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and thus Baigent and Leigh attempted to sue Random House, Brown’s publisher, for plagarism in 2005. Unfortunately the case was lost and was ruled as a “wasted case” due to Baigent and Leigh’s loose and vague evidence.
Bias is a term that refers to prejudice against an individual or group in an unfair way.
The Sun, a UK newspaper, is notorious for right-wing political bias in their newspapers. One example of their bias is in the front covers pictured below.
On the left is a front cover featuring Liberal Democrat Party leader Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich. The Sun chose this embarrassing photo to damage the reputation of Miliband and the slanderous line “This is the pig ear Ed made of his helpless sarnie, in 48 hours he could be doing the same to Britain” depicts Miliband as useless and unfit to have power over Britain in the same way he is seemingly incapable of eating his sandwich.
On the right is an image of David Cameron’s face edited in the style of a war poster beneath the captions “In Cameron we trust” and “Our only hope”. This cover paints Cameron as a heavenly and heroic leader that Britain needs to defeat the metaphorical wars (challenges) Britain could potentially face.
These two covers demonstrate The Sun’s methods of promoting their conservative ideologies onto the public and show no evidence of balanced or fair information in their papers.
Company guidelines refer to strict rules for companies that state what they are and aren’t allowed to do.
The BBC’s Principles part 3.2.3 states that they “must not knowingly mislead its audiences”, however in 2011 it was found that their documentary series “Frozen Planet” featured polar bears filmed in a Dutch zoo, despite the audience being led to believe that the show was filmed in the Arctic.
BBC said “we never claim that such sequences were shot in the actual location depicted in the film” and “it can be editorially and ethically justified to use captive animals” to justify themselves against their negative responses. It could also be argued that the BBC would not be enriching the public with the educational and entertaining scenes included and promised in their mission statement.
Legal constraints mean that the law must be considered to ensure no laws are broken whilst creating the texts.
Legal considerations such as Defamation Act 2003, Privacy Law, Obscene Publications Act 1959 and Copyright much be followed by producers when making their media texts.
The Defamation Act of 2003 provides the ability to protect one’s reputation. In 2012, Frankie Boyle successfully won a legal case under this act against the Daily Mirror for a printed form of defamation known as “libel”. The Daily Mirror libelled Boyle as “racist” after he made a joke referring to immigration containing a racial slur on Mock The Week.
Boyle, however, is known for his controversial but weighted humour, and thus The Daily Mirror perhaps should have considered there was no offence intended with his joke that was directly quoted from the context in which Mock The Week was discussing.
Other successful libel cases against newspapers include Russel Brand V Sun on Sunday in 2013, in which Sun on Sunday falsely accused Brand of cheating on his girlfriend in a 3-page spread in their newspaper. Brand received a substantial amount in damages along with a formal apology and withdrawal of the article from Sun on Sunday’s website.
Copyright refers to the exclusive rights the creator of an original work has for its use and distribution.
“Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice (1989) is an example of copyright as it copies Queen and David Bowie’s song “Under Pressure” 8 years previous.
Vanilla Ice used Under Pressure’s bass line and hook and Queen and Bowie’s representative’s threatened a copyright infringement law suit against him, however the case was settled outside of court and Queen and Bowie were awarded the songwriting credits for Ice Ice Baby.
In 2013, a similar case occurred in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were taken to court for copying Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up” with their own song “Blurred Lines”.
The jury concluded that there were 8 distinct elements that were similar in each piece and thus deceased Gaye’s family were awarded $7.4M on copyright infringement grounds.
Privacy laws regulate the use of personal information about individuals. The UK maintains a data protection legislation which protects the rights of individuals and ensures that their personal information remains private and secure.
In 2012, Charlotte Church was awarded £600,000 in damages from News of the World newspaper after she and her family’s voicemails were hacked. This had been occurring since Charlotte was merely 16 years old and involved the publishing information about Charlotte’s teenage lovelife and her self-harm and suicide attempts. Metropolitan Police found that there were at least 829 victims of the same illegal acts by News of The World and thus the newspaper closed down in 2011 after 168 years of print.
The Obscene Publications Act of 1959 defines obscenity as something that “if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely to have regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it”. Things regarded as obscene or in “bad taste” are offensive or go against the accepted standards of morality and decency.
By the late 1970s, VHS tapes and players became available to most households and they were mostly always unregulated. This sparked the rise in “80s Video Nasties” which were unregulated, horrific films such as “I Spit On Your Grave” and “Driller Killer”.
However, under the enforcement of the Obscene Publications Act in more recent years, 39 films have been successfully prosecuted and others, such as “The Human Centipede 2” have had obscene scenes cut in order to be approved by the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification).
My Own Ethical and Legal Constraints
In the creation of my own media texts, I have encountered ethical and legal constraints. I created a TV advert for a perfume called “The Story of Lily” which was heavily inspired by “Nina Ricci’s L’Elixir” perfume adverts. I used themes featured in the Nina Ricci advert such as the whimsical setting and female actress, however I remained aware of the complications of potential plagiarism and only allowed the Nina Ricci advert to inspire my work and not influence it.
However, I did use Anastasia’s “Once Upon A December” song in my advert, of which I did not gain permission from the owners. This was an act of copyright infringement, however I ensured that my use of the song was for personal and private use which abides by YouTube’s Fair Use Policy that the owner consented to upon uploading the song.
Understanding Structure and Ownership
Media Sectors in the UK
In the UK, there are multiple media sectors including films, advertisement, television and the Press.
Another of these sectors is radio, which holds around 600 licensed stations and thousands of employment opportunities in the UK.
Typical job roles in the radio industry include presenters, producers and journalists. Major sectors in the radio industry include Heart FM, Capital FM, and the BBC.
The radio industry is one of the most traditional forms of entertainment in the modern day, however with the creation of the internet, this robust industry faces the challenge of under 30s (radio’s general demographic) using more online services for entertainment.
The radio industry asks whether listeners aged 15-24 might revert to more traditional listening habits as they age, as they have found that only 71% of listeners are 15-24, whereas listeners above this age account for 89% of listeners. This is a challenge to the radio industry, however, as the dominance of radio in cars is decreasing as newer technology such as Apple Car Play and AUX features become installed in the latest cars –a feature that appeals to many young people.
Moreover, the growth of digital stations offering more choice and diversity to cater to a variety of tastes may be a saviour for the radio industry. In 2016, more national radio stations were launched which married successfully with Radioplayer, to provide radio online and in smartphone apps which can be played anywhere there’s a connection to the internet – another feature popular with young people.
Private and Public Sector Owned Media
There are two types of sector-owned media; private and public.
Private, in the context of media, means a company is owned privately and may have shareholders. It also means this company will seek to make profit.
An example of a private media company is The Guardian Media Group. This company is funded by private foundations such as Open Society Foundations and Humanity United.
In contrast, public, in this context, means the companies are owned by the public and do not have shareholders. It also means any form of profit will be invested back into the company.
An example of a public-owned media company is the BBC. The BBC is publicly funded through TV license fees.
Conglomerates, Multinationals, Mergers and Takeovers
In the UK today, there are many large companies that operate such as conglomerates, multinationals, mergers and takeovers.
A media conglomerate is a group or institution that owns many companies such as radio, television and films. Examples include Sony or the news corporations 20th Century Fox and Sky.
An example of a multinational company would be Coca Cola, as they are a company that is based and has headquarters in one country, but operates globally.
Mergers is the term referred to when a large company takes over or merges with another company. In equal partnership, the companies join
and form a new company.
Takeovers refers to one company taking a controlling stake in another and then owning the smaller company.
An example of mergers and takeovers would be Time Warner, who own Warner Brothers, DC Comics, HBO and Time Cinema, to name a few. These are also examples that show how Time Warner is a cross-media ownership, meaning they own media in different sectors.
In the UK, our government enforces Cross-media Ownership Rules. This is a form of regulation that sets rules on what media companies can own.
For example, the company News Corporation owns Fox, Sky and The Sun, which means they can only own 20% of the company ITV. This regulation prevents competition as it prevents companies owning too much, and in turn, allows for balanced content to be produced. If, for example, News Corporation was allowed to own more media, the UK would only receive their messages which would be biased and unfair to other companies with different ideologies.
Independent Media refers to the opposite of Cross-Media Ownership; any form of media outside of the control of large companies or the government.
Examples of independent media are independent or “indie” films.
These films are produced outside of the major film studio system with much lower budgets. These films also allow the creator’s personal artistic vision to be realised, which is a key ingredient in the definition of any independent media. Independent films are generally screened locally or at film festivals and rarely reach “the big screen” or DVD releases.
An example of an indie film is the 2014 film “Frank”, directed by Lenny Abrahamson. The film premièred at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and is about a group of musicians and their journeys through mental illness and their formation into a band.
Frank is an indie film as it had a budget of £1m and only generated £1.2m at the box office, not making it a highly successful film.
New technology has made it easier for film makers to make films today. Cameras and recording equipment are becoming more affordable and the internet has
played a major part in educating filmmakers and allowing them to use their own personal computers and cheap/free software in post-production of their films. There are also many ways to access free or affordable tutorials online to help filmmakers succeed. This new, low-budget technology has changed and revolutionised the art of filmmaking, allowing anyone to take part.
British Broadcasting Company (BBC)
The BBC (British Broadcasting Company) is a British public service broadcaster, however it also owns the channels BBC America and BBC World that have a global reach. The BBC holds the mission statement “To enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that: inform, educate and entertain”.
The BBC is funded by the public through our TV licences. This means the BBC has a duty to the public and must be above other similar companies that the public do not have to pay for.
The BBC TV licence costs £147 per year and causes controversy.
On the one hand, the licence fee allows for the BBC to fulfil their mission statement. To inform and educate, the BBC provides a reliable and unbiased source for news and information. To entertain, it allows for full programmes to be played without the interruption of advertisements and it also broadcasts a variety of programmes from CBBC (Children’s British Broadcasting Company) to BBC Parliament. The BBC caters for all and acts as a generalist station for the British Public.
In addition, the licence fee also funds the production of BBC radio stations, BBC iPlayer and the festival Radio 1’s Big Weekend, to name a few, which are
strong examples of how BBC funding has allowed BBC services to adapt to the modern world and provide alternative entertainment options outside of television.
On the other hand, there are many cases against the licence fee.
The main argument is that the licence fees are not necessary. Many BBC employees have admitted that the BBC has an extortionate amount of funding and heavily encourages them to claim back any form of expenses that occur while working for them, be it personal or relevant. One anonymous worker revealed that he was threatened with losing his job for not submitting enough to expenses.
Another argument is that the British public are used to TV advertisements, and can find them convenient at times. In addition, advertisements can be avoided using Sky+ features that allow you to skip them.
It is also argued that there is now a rise in specialist channels such as MTV and Comedy Central to cater to a variety of TV habits, so the BBC isn’t as unique in its acting as a generalist station.
People also argue that the licence is simply not affordable, or that it’s unfair to have to pay it if they don’t use any of the BBCs services.
This report discusses and identifies what a brief is and their importance.
A brief is a written document that identifies a desired outcome of a project, specifying particular criteria and any constraints. It is essentially a plan for solving a particular problem.
For example, a company would like a new logo. The problem with their current logo is that they do not feel it captures the essence of their company. The company creates a brief for a graphic designer outlining their current problem and their ideas to solve it by giving the designer ideas about their desired new logo. The graphic designer can then work from this brief to ensure both parties are clear in what needs to be done – avoiding any misunderstandings and ensuring all objectives of the projects are established and confirmed.
There are many types of briefs used in the industry. These are explained below.
A contractual brief is an agreement between two parties where one party makes an offer that is accepted by the other. Contractual agreements generally have some mutual exchange of value.
Contractual briefs are an organised approach to an agreement between commissioner and producer, as once they are signed, they are set in stone. They have clear guidelines with set fees and timescales. This leaves less room for errors and “on-the-fly” decisions.
However, as they are set in stone, they have disadvantages such as unclear small-print and legal repercussions if they are breached.
A negotiated brief is an ongoing negotiation which is subject to change as per requirements. Negotiations could occur regarding content or the cost of production.
Advantages of negotiated briefs include their ability to change according to ongoing suggestions and circumstances, making them easier to solve problems “on-the-job”. They also enhance communications between the client and producer.
However, negotiations can be time-consuming and can slow down production. This can result in costs rising and a risk of missing deadlines. Also, loss of business can be a result of weak communications.
Informal agreements are more relaxed and can be adapted to suit each party. They are written in colloquial language and are discusses and developed in social settings. It is said in old folklore that “the best briefs are written on the back of a cigarette packet”.
Informal agreements relieve pressure as they are more relaxed, quicker to establish and decrease changes of disappointing the client.
However, these forms of briefs can have unclear guidelines and therefore are less professional. Also, as there is no legal agreement, parties involved in informal agreements should be wary of their own investments.
Commission briefs are where a contractor asks a client, to a specified cost, to submit ideas for a project.
These forms of brief have the advantage of having smaller margins for misunderstanding. Also, as the client asks a producer directly, there is less chance of competition.
However, a client may have unrealistic expectations or be overly generous with their fees.
Tender refers to multiple producers providing an estimated description of how a product might be produced including cost. All of the proposals are discussed by the client and one is chosen.
Tender can be healthy competition and encourages a drive to succeed, however, there is a chance of disappointment and minimal margin for profit.
A cooperative brief is shared by other producers and each may have their own role or section of the project.
Cooperative briefs encourage more ideas and increased perspective; however it leaves less control over ideas and more chance of conflict.
Competition briefs are provided by a client and outline what is desired and by when. A prize is generally awarded for the best product.
Competitions increase chances of getting noticed and building reputation.
However, there is no guarantee of winning after such a time-consuming task. Also, losses are often publicised along with the winners.
When reading a brief, it is important to look for the main elements to ensure a successful project. These elements include; the overall objective of the brief, the budget, timescale, target audience, scope, aesthetic, existing assets and things that the client does not want. Briefs should be read carefully to ensure there are no assumptions or hidden expectations.
In order to produce my project to the standard specified by the client, there are certain skills that I will be required to acquire.
During the project I will need to use hardware such as cameras, tripods, Mac computers, microphones and lighting.
During my time at college I have gained suitable skills by creating a TV advert which involved filming and editing. I am skilled in using cameras and tripods as I have experience using them. However, for this project I will be required to use microphones and lighting, both of which I didn’t use for my TV advert and therefore I will need to work on my skills to be able to use this equipment successfully during the project.
I will need to use the Adobe Creative Suite during the project for editing in post-production. The programmes I will use will be Premier predominantly, however I may also use Photoshop and After Effects.
I am experiences in using Photoshop through my own independent editing and my graphic narrative work during college. I am familiar with Premier and After Effects as I have used them a few times for college work such as my TV advert and college lessons, however I will need to spend more time on these to ensure my skills are of a satisfactory level for the project.
Although I have adequate filming and editing skills, I feel my best strength is writing and directing. I used this strength during the creating of my TV advert as I wrote the synopsis for our advert and took the directing role to ensure the final product was executed successfully to reflect the initial pre-production work such as story boarding and idea generation.
For this project I am working in a group with a variety of strengths. One member of my group, Corey, is highly skilled in filming and editing and we can utilise his strengths to help us create a strong corporate video. Corey can also help us to improve our skills so we can work well independently.
The Doorstep Arts blog would be an ideal platform to publish my interview. This blog consists of posts and findings by members of the theatre company Doorstep Arts. Here they post about anything they find interesting, and they would embrace my interview about them.
Musical Theatre Magazine
Musical Theatre Magazine is an online publication of articles from voice coaches, award winners and theatre performers.
My interview would easily suit this magazine as it features topics such as the build up to professional theatre.
This magazine, however, feels too “loud” and my interview discusses sensitive topics that may not be respectfully reflected if I emulated the house style of this magazine with their bright colours and bold imagery.
The Stage is an online website that works as a platform for all news about theatre. They have different categories for easy navigation, including a section dedicated to interviews where my interview could be published.
The Stage has a simplistic array of colours and a contemporary feel.
The above interview is not laid out as a double-page spread, however there are elements that I will emulate in my own double-page spread.
For example, they have used bold black text for questions and titles. They have also used their signature blue colour to highlight important words to links.
They have also used one large image of the interviewee in one of his performances, which is relevant to the article.
I will create my double-page spread for The Stage, pretending The Stage is a print magazine.
I will emulate their house styles and use relevant imagery to the topics discussed to make my page seem like it could really be published in this magazine.
12/05/2017 – Email Hugh asking if he’d like to be interviewed
22/05/2017 – Interview with Hugh recorded on my phone. Also take pictures after the interview using timer on my phone. Afterwards, transcription of the interview for my double-page spread onto a word document.
01/06/2017 – Research similar magazines and create my double-page spread using the Adobe Creative Suite software.
03/06/2017 – Go over double-page spread and ensure it looks like a real magazine. Correct typing errors and add relevant images.
My interview is between myself and aspiring director Hugh Malyon discussing the amateur theatre industry.
It will be published in The Stage, an online theatre magazine aimed at all fans of theatre as there is content that appeals to all audiences.
My interview article, in particular, is aimed at young theatre performers and their practitioners as it is a tool that can be used to gain awareness of the issues involved in the field of youth theatre.
I have chosen to interview Hugh as he is an active member of my youth theatre group and assistant director to Dr Erin Walcon and our productions.
Hugh suffers from a chronic disability, however he does not allow this to become a barrier and successfully achieves his goals.
Hugh has always been involved in theatre and discovered his desire to become a director in 2013 when first given his opportunity to direct a theatre production. Now he works alongside all co-directors of Doorstep Arts in Torbay.
- Research and identify your target audience and chosen magazine genre
- Issues or products interviewee is involved in
- Previous activities of interviewee
- Comments by others regarding interviewee
- Story context research- facts and figures (Recording key facts and dates about topic)
- Production schedule
- Contact list
- Treatment- purpose and target audience of the print interview, Appropriate setting and ambience, Recording methods
- Introduction and summery
Palace Theatre Arena Space at 9pm on 22nd May 2017
Interview Script and Questions
Included in email confirmation
As my interviewee has a disability, he is unable to sign the waiver. However, the terms of my interview were agreed to via his email response and also verbally at the beginning of my interview.
Mobile Phone (Camera and microphone) for taking photograph of myself and Hugh and to record the interview.
Script for myself
Chair for myself
This is an evaluation of my final photographic portfolio.
My photography falls into the genre of abstract and I circled my work around the theme of “optical illusion”.
As mentioned in my sketchbook, my original idea was based around the environment and I used elements of this planning my my final products.
For example, as my shooting location was a recycling centre, I was able to utilise my surroundings by using the setting as my prop. While there, I found the featured mirror in my shoots.
My theme was inspired by works by Daniel Kukla that I discovered on the Daily Mail website called “The easels in the desert: Photographer captures stunning mirrored reflections in American valley that look like paintings”
Kukla places mirrors in easels and took photographs at careful angles to make the reflections appear as paintings.
One of my images was directly inspired by Kukla’s work (pictured below).
My pictures are above. I didn’t include these in my final shoot as I found that they didn’t provide my desired optical illusion. However, I enjoyed experimenting with the direct reflection of the bricks, similarly to the rock reflection image of Kukla’s.
Also, the crack in the mirror spoiled the illusion.
Similarly, below is a side-by-side comparison of another of my images that was inspired by Kukla.
My final images, although intriguing, are quite contemporary. I believe an audience of young adults, or perhaps aspiring photographers like myself, would appreciate my work the most.
I believe most of my audience would appreciate figuring out how the illusion is created, and then perhaps realise the simplicity of the images and not be as impressed.
Culturally, I think my images could be used to portray images and ideology. For example, the reflection in the image could be that of a hardship in the world such as homelessness, but the location of the mirror could be in front of a rich person’s house.
This is one of my images that I feel could potentially reflect this. I used a grid with large bars over the top of the reflection of the trees to create this image.
The bars reflect the cold and constrained society and the trees represent the trapped or imprisoned organic culture in our society.
Critique – If I was to take this image again, I would reinforce this idea perhaps with a caption or by placing the mirror underneath all of the bars.
This is my favourite photo from the shoot. I like the strong contrast between the plain gravel and the bright trees. The strong tree branch running through the middle of the reflection is also a drawing point for the viewer.
If I was to take this image again, I would centre the mirror to maintain an element of symmetry.
I would also avoid fingerprints on the mirror as they spoil the illusion, however this was somewhat unpreventable as I couldn’t manoeuvre the mirror without touching the glass directly and I was at risk of breaking the mirror further if I wiped it too often.
I found with all of my photos that my camera really struggled to focus on the whole desired image. Because of this, I decided my main focus was to be the reflection in the mirror.
I believe this image works well because the mirror is well-centred and the contrast between the two elements of the photo compliment each other.
I would, next time, take this image from a more direct angle as the mirror is too obvious. This may also have increased the possibility of focusing the whole image.
With this image, I really played with my theme to create an illusion. You can just about see the mirror in this image, and I achieved this by taking the photo from a low angle and holding the mirror enough so that I, myself, couldn’t notice the mirror immediately when first looking through the camera lens.
With this image I also practised working with the Rule of Thirds. The head of the daisy in this image is the focal point/point of interest as it is in the lower right third of the photo.
I think the clean, bright daisy also compliments the overall photo because it features all organic life.
With this image, I played with the reflection to create a straight line between the role and the its reflection.
If I was to take this image again, I would attempt to create a stronger contrast in the reflection in the mirror, as the trees are uninteresting.
The outline of the pole works as leading lines and draws the attention down to the mirror where the viewer can be told how the image was created.
I achieved this image successfully be keeping the pole and its reflection in focus and I think this worked well to achieve my intentions. If I was to take this again, however, I would try to focus the whole reflection in the mirror to create a stronger image.
With the above two images, I played with the theme of “portals”. There is a heavy contrast between the blue background of the left image and the reflection of the trees. This photo also feels the most natural as the angle is centred. I didn’t have to take this photo as a strategic angle to avoid my own reflection and thus I achieved a balanced image.
The image on the right captures a car, road signs and trees, almost reflecting a different world compared to the rusty background. I also attempted to line certain elements with each other like the top of the ground.
Overall, I found this shoot successfully achieved my intentions. I really enjoyed this shoot and managed my time well to avoid rushing these images.
If I was to take these images again, I would avoid fingerprints in the mirror to not spoil the illusion.
Also, I would work harder and seek guidance from peers such as my tutors to try and get my camera to focus on the whole images to avoid blur.