Production Skills7 Video Production Page 608 Audio Production Page 709 Print Production Page 8510 Advertising Production Page 9211 Interactive Media Page 100Production12 Web Authoring Page 10713 Reviewing Computer Page 115Games14 2D Computer Games Page 13115 Digital Graphics Page 14316 Writing for the Media Page 14817 Photography Page 155Techniques18 Animation Techniques Page 165This section covers the specialist units that deal with each sector of themedia industry. Chapters 7 to 15 will introduce you to the specialistproduction skills you will use when you make your products. In Chapters 7 to10 you will meet the video, audio, print and advertising sectors. Chapters 11and 12 cover the interactive media sector, and Chapters 13 to 15 cover thecomputer games sector.The final three chapters introduce you to skills and techniques that are usedacross several sectors of the media industry. These include photographytechniques used in the print, advertising, web authoring and video sectors,animation techniques used in the computer games, web authoring and videosectors, and writing techniques used in the video, audio, web authoring andprint sectors. You can choose for yourself which chapters will be most usefulto you, depending on your future career plans.
7Video ProductionWhat is video production?The term ‘video production’ covers a whole range ofmoving image products. These include programmesproduced as sales aids for large companies,educational programmes for schools or colleges orwedding videos produced by a local weddingvideographer. Video production is also an integral partof the broadcast television industry.There is a wide range of roles that you couldundertake in a video production. You could be thecameraperson, for example, the production assistantor the video editor. There are also many othertechnical, creative and administrative roles in videoproduction. You will be able to put these roles intopractice by working in a team to produce a videoproduct.
61.PRODUCTIONSKILLSVIDEOPRODUCTIONThe production process for videoproductionLook at Chapter 4, The Production Process, so that you can follow theproduction process to make your video product.Pre-production‘Pre-production’ is the term used for the preparation stage of the productionof a media product. You must know about the equipment you will be usingand the people you will need to make your product. You will decide whatmaterials, locations and resources are needed for a successful production.EquipmentThere are a variety of recording formats in video:• VHS: a consumer format that is rapidly being phased out in favour ofdigital consumer formats.• Hi-8 video: an analogue recording system (consumer format) with aprofessional digital sound recording track.• DV format: a professional digital format using digital video recordingon to tape or on to a DVD disk.• DVCAM: a professional digital video format recorded on to tape.• HD (High Definition): the latest format that records digitally at a higherresolution to increase the quality of video pictures. Many people can’tview this HD image yet as their televisions don’t support the higherresolution picture.You will need the following equipment to make your video product:• camera support: tripod or mono-pod.• microphones: rifle mics or radio mics.• lights: hand-held, stand-mounted or ceiling-mounted.During the pre-production stage you should make sure that all theequipment you will need for your production will be available for you to useat the time that you will need it. You should do an audit of equipment, usinga chart like this one:Equipment needed Where to find itVideo camera – miniDV Technician’s store – must bebooked out at least three daysin advance.Try this ...Make a list of all the videoequipment available in yourschool or college. Do notforget the lighting andmicrophones that might bekept in a differentdepartment.
62. BTEC First in Media: A Practical HandbookDocumentationAn important part of pre-production is preparing the documentation you willneed for the production process. For video production you will need tocreate the following documents:• A production schedule: lists all the requirements for production and atimescale.• An initial script: the basis of your video product. It includes dialogue foractors and suggestions for the location of each shot.• A storyboard: the visual representation of your ideas. It also includessuggestions for sound and effects.• A shooting script: a development of the initial script, and includes camerapositions, stage directions, lighting and sound requirements.• A risk assessment: a document that highlights any potential health andsafety issues with your studio or location work.It is important to understand what each of these documents is for before youstart to plan your own production.ProductionThis is the content acquisition stage. For this stage, you will need to choosehow you will be shooting your production. You must consider camera set-up,white balance, shooting techniques, lighting and sound. These are allexplained below.Camera set-upThere are important choices to be made:• Will the camera be hand-held or on a tripod?• Will you be shooting all the material on one camera (single camera shoot)or using two or more cameras (multi-camera shoot)?If you use more than one camera you will have to ensure that they havebeen set up to produce the same colour balance – otherwise, every time youchange the shot from one camera to another, the colours will change. Acamera does not automatically know which colour is which, however, so youwill need to give it some point of reference. The cameras have to be set upby pointing them all at the same image and then adjusting each one so thatthey all look the same. They will then have the same colour balance. In astudio, all the cameras are set up using a colour chart and then left inoperation mode so that the colours do not change.Look at the examples ofprofessional pre-productiondocumentation on theCD-Rom.Look at …
63.PRODUCTIONSKILLSVIDEOPRODUCTIONWhite balanceWhite balance is the system the camera uses to recognise the ‘colour’ whiteand then to recognise other colours. This is achieved by pointing thecamera at a white source and telling the camera to use this as its whitereference signal. White balance is one way of making sure a camera iscorrectly colour balanced.Shooting techniques• Framing: this involves framing the image in a viewfinder to produce themost pleasing image.• Shot type: there are a variety of shot types, for example:Long shot Mid-shotClose-up Extreme close-up• Shot length: the time that the shot you have chosen to use will last.Generally, this is determined by the action taking place in the scene. If itis a scene of someone running through a doorway it may last just a fewseconds. If it is a shot of someone running along a pathway and past thecamera it may last a minute or more.• Camera movements: the way that the camera moves during a shot. Itmight pan left to right to follow the action. It might zoom in to focus onthe action or zoom out to give a larger picture of what is happening in thescene.
64. BTEC First in Media: A Practical HandbookLightingYou can use natural light (daylight) to shoot your video or, when shootingindoors or when the natural light is poor, you can use artificial lighting. Thereare two kinds of artificial lights available:• 800 watt (‘redheads’)• 2000 watt (‘blondes’)Both of these lights produce artificial light with a colour temperature ofaround 3200 degrees K (Kelvin). This is the measurement of the light sourcethat the camera will respond to when filming. Natural daylight isapproximately 5600 degrees K. You simply have to ensure that the camera isset up to film using the correct degree K setting. If you film outdoors, usingthe artificial setting on a camera, your pictures will appear to be yellow. Ifyou film indoors in artificial lighting and use the outdoor setting on thecamera, your pictures will appear to be blue. Although this can be adjustedin the edit suite, it is wise to get it right in the first place to save you time inthe edit suite.SoundA video programme is nothing without a soundtrack, so you must makesure that the microphone is turned on when you record. The sound mightbe recorded using:• the camera’s onboard microphone (in-camera sound). If the camera isa long way from the subject being filmed, only limited sound will berecorded. The microphone might also pick up unnecessary sounds,such as traffic noise and wind.• a boom microphone. This is a microphone, usually a rifle microphone,that is mounted on a pole. This means that it can be positioned nearerthe subject (but out of camera shot).• a hand-held microphone, which a presenter or interviewer can hold infront of the interviewee to capture what they say.• a radio microphone, which can be attached to an actor or interviewee,usually on their lapel or other inconspicuous part of their clothing. Themicrophone is attached by a wire to a transmitter, worn out of camerashot. The radio signal from this transmitter is picked up by a receiverand fed into the camera. Multiple radio microphones can be used toensure that all the actors or interviewees can be heard.Sound effects, such as music or voice-over, can be added at the post-production stage.Try this ...Set up a camera and tripod.Plug in a rifle microphoneand record an interview withone of your friends. Thinkabout the way you positionthem in the viewfinder. Haveyou checked the camera forwhite balance? Is the soundbeing recorded? Play backthe footage you haverecorded and see how youcould improve it.
Timecode Length Shot Audio Suitability ofof shot description recorded material00.10–00.50 40 seconds Interior of office Office sounds Camera shot a littleunsteady65.PRODUCTIONSKILLSVIDEOPRODUCTIONPost-productionYou will need to be aware of the processes involved in shaping and editingyour recorded material. You should keep a footage log, which is a list ofthe scenes that have been shot. You should include:• Timecode: where each shot starts and finishes, recorded by a digitalvideo camera on to the tape. The timecode is used by digital editingsystems to find scenes. You can enter the timecode and the editingsystem will find the right place for you. This speeds up the editingprocess.• Length of shots: how long each shot or scene lasts.• Shot description: a brief description of each shot or scene. This will aidyou when you are trying to find a particular scene for your programme.• Audio: a brief description of the audio that has been recorded at thesame time as the visuals.• Suitability of recorded material: your comments on whether or not theparticular scene or shot is suitable for your programme.Here is an example of a tape footage log.Before you start the editing process it is good practice to do a paper edit.This process, sometimes called an ‘edit decision list’, provides anopportunity to look through the footage log and make decisions aboutwhich scenes should go together. This will save time (and money) whenyou get into an edit suite.You must always ensure that your tapes or disks are clearly labelled withthe name of the production, the name of the crew and the date the materialwas shot. If the tape has a recording tab, a small removable button, thisshould be removed to ensure that no one can record over your work. Storeyour tapes or disks in a secure place.Look at the examples ofprofessional post-productiondocumentation on theCD-Rom.Look at …
66. BTEC First in Media: A Practical HandbookEditing techniquesYou may have access to a variety of editing equipment to edit your videoprogramme. There are two editing systems – linear and non-linear:• The linear system uses two (or more) tape-based video recorders totransfer video material. You have to synchronise the two machines toensure that the material is transferred from one to the other at just theright place. This is the way that analogue footage has traditionally beenedited.• The non-linear system uses digital technology to convert video footageinto a form that can be saved as a file on a computer. The computer thenuses software to edit together the video footage and output it as a videosignal.In the linear system you have to edit material together in the order in whichyou want it to appear in the end. The non-linear system allows you to movefootage around as you edit it, making it easier to change the order offootage at any time. The development of digital technology has meant thatthe whole editing process is now more sophisticated.Video transitions can be used to add pace and rhythm to the edited videofootage. An editor may use a ‘slow fade’ to slow down the action or a ‘fastfade’ to speed up the action. A fade to black followed by a fade up fromblack is generally used to signify that time has passed. However, overuse ofthese video effects can make a programme look too flashy and can detractfrom its message. Sometimes it is better to simply cut between scenes.You can add new soundtracks to a video using dubbing – adding a musictrack, a voice-over or sound effects, for example, without altering the visualimage.You will have to decide which delivery format to use for your finishedproduct. Traditionally this would have been on VHS videotape, as this wasthe format many people had access to. Now this format is dying out andthe DVD format has taken over. In order to deliver your finished video onDVD you will have to change the format of the video and audio files andmake them compatible with the DVD format. This will involve the use ofsoftware, such as DVD Studio Pro, to compress your video footage to anappropriate file size and convert it to MPEG 4 files. You can then use thesoftware to create a DVD menu that allows the viewer to choose how toview your video footage. They might want to see only a part of the video.You can set chapter points on the DVD to allow the viewer to choose whatthey see.Try this ...Use the footage you shot ofthe interview with your friend.Try editing out some of yourquestions to make theinterview shorter.
67.PRODUCTIONSKILLSVIDEOPRODUCTIONContributing to every stage of theproductionYou must demonstrate that you can make a contribution to the pre-production, production and post-production stages of a finished video. It isuseful to keep a production diary that shows just what you have done inthis project.This is a sample of a production diary.Generating ideasYou should undertake a mind-mapping exercise to decide what videoproduct you are going to make. If you are working in a group, theneveryone should have an input into the mapping exercise.Here is an example of a mind map for a professional video product.Student Art & DesignTraining Video 2007Date Activity Roles undertaken and skillsdeveloped21 January Producing the initial script and storyboard.This will be discussed by the group, who willchoose a version to be used in the production.I have written my version of the script anddrawn a simple storyboard, based on the ideathat the group decided on. (Hopefully, myversion will be chosen for the production.)Teacher and studentsworking at Selby AbbeyStudents collectingmaterialsInterview with a professionalartist in a studioStudents sticking imagesdownStudents on a fieldtrip to the USATeacherdemonstratingtechniques
68. BTEC First in Media: A Practical HandbookYou will need to consider:• Genre: what genre do you intend to use for your video product? Will it bea documentary, a drama, a horror video, a thriller, a music video or acomedy?• Content: what do you intend to put into your finished product? Will it be allyour own material or do you intend to use found footage? Will it be incolour or black and white? Will there be dialogue and/or music?• Title: what will be the title of your video product? You should think of aworking title as soon as you can, so that you can put it on all your pre-production documentation.• Scope: will this be for one particular audience or for general release?What will be the length of your video product?Contributing to the pre-productionprocessYou will need to plan carefully for your video product. It can sometimestake more time to plan a production than it does to film and edit it. Youmust ensure that you provide evidence of your contribution to theplanning phase of the production. You should:• undertake effective research• devise an appropriate timescale for production• ensure that any locations and studios have been booked• book equipment and materials• communicate effectively with your team• provide a creative input into the development of the product• work within the agreed budget.Contributing to the production processYou must demonstrate your technical competence by using equipmenteffectively. You should also have a creative input into the production process.For instance, you might suggest what camera angles to use or what soundto record. You should take on one of the roles within the production team –as the location manager, for example, or the camera operator or the soundrecordist.You should carefully record all of the work you do in your production diary,and say how you well think you worked as a team member.
69.PRODUCTIONSKILLSVIDEOPRODUCTIONContributing to the post-productionprocessYou should demonstrate your technical competence in using editingtechniques and technology. Editing is not just about storing files and joiningthem together. It is a creative process, involving the pace and timing of yourshots and making the story flow. Your input should be about using the post-production process creatively to produce a good finished video product.Remember that you must carefully record all the work you undertake inpost-production.SummaryIn this chapter you have covered what you need toknow to achieve two of the three Learning Outcomesrelating to Unit 4 of your course. You should now:•understand pre-production, production andpost-production techniques•be able to contribute to each stage of the creationof a finished video product.When you have finished your video product youwill need to review it to achieve the final LearningOutcome. To find out how to do this, turn to Chapter19, Reviewing Your Work.