Britain In A Day

Students from East Coast Media had a chance to be involved with the BBC Britain In A Day project recently.

The project’s aim was to capture people’s lives in one day – November 12th 2011 – and for them to post their films to the BBC where they are being collated into a documentary and archived. Film Director Ridley Scott and director Morgan Matthews invited everyone in the UK to submit a reflection of their lives on that day.

Our degree students were invited to look at 10 films each and check them for compliance against the BBC guidelines. The films were checked for language, copyright issues regarding music, branding, advertising to ensure they were suitable for inclusion and broadcast. From there they then had to decide which films would be archived and which would join the playlist and then this was whittled down to 10.

It was a difficult choice – there were some excellent films and sadly not all of them made it to our final 10. The students analysed the films and there were deep discussion taking place. Most films were chosen because it’s felt they truly reflected live in 21st century Britain from people washing their clothes to taking a shower to deciding what outfits to wear. Others included tours of where they lived or snapshots of home or family life.

It was riveting to sit and take a peek into their lives knowing they were all shot on the same day. It truly is a big undertaking but what a great project to have been involved in. Sadly I never got chance to make a film to submit on that day. Look out for the documentary Britain In A Day and visit the YouTube archive.

Use #Britaininaday hashtag and follow them on Twitter @Britaininaday

East Coast Media students looking at Britain In A Day


Social Media

I’m currently exploring  some new apps for journalists to use on the iphone4. I’m a being fan of using my phone in the role of a journalist. It’s great for taking photos, shooting video and recording podcasts.

For podcasts I use audioboo as it’s so simply and easy to use. Recording time is limited, though you can upgrade, but I find it is sufficient. I’ve also experimented with iProRecorder, which was good and easy to use and allows longer recording time.

I use the iphone4 to film in HD and use ReelDirector to edit. While it is simplistic and I don’t find it easy to trim shots down, it is straightforward to use. I’m also looking into Vericorder’s range of apps at the moment for video and audio editing and also at an app called Luci Live, which allows you to live broadcast and link into the studio. Perfect for when  you don’t have an ISDN line. However at a hefty £300 I don’t think I’ll be rushing to buy this one!

Of course everything I produce is all interconnected and instantly lists things on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. I’ll feed back some more as I experiment further with these apps and if you use or know of any other apps suitable for journalists to use then please share.

#LincUpLive 360 is here next week, so watch/listen/read for more

YouTube Channel

Check out my YouTube channel if you get chance on here you will find work I have produced over the years for the Grimsby Telegraph and Seven, broadcast on VirginMedia 879.

You will also find material I have shot on my iPhone as when I’m out and something catches my eye I will capture it. You’ll also find on there other films, which I have not shot. They belong to my son who likes to experiment and make his own films!

I also encourage all my students to set up their own channel as it is a great way of collating and showcasing your work, especially when you can link it to your blog and your social media accounts.

Cleethorpes Camera Club

Last night I gave a talk to members of Cleethorpes Camera Club’s video section about my career as a video journalist and lecturer of media.

The average age must have been 60ish and I was extolling the virtues of social media and how it was a great way to engage with people globally. The club has its own youtube channel, but has not posted many items on it. Apart from friends, family and the club’s own in-house competitions; their material never gets a public viewing.

I asked them why they made films if people – an audience – were not going to engage with them. Ok, so they enjoy making films – travelogues, news items – and it is a hobby for these people, but surely you want others to see your work then for it to fester away somewhere.

And that is where social media can be used. I was encouraging them to use Twitter and get a Facebook page, as a means of sharing their hard labours with a greater audience. They said some of the their films were ten minutes – I suggested they repackage them in to bite size chunks.

The members had plenty of questions to ask about the kit I used (Sony Z1 and Final Cut Pro) and the types of stories I’ve covered and how I’ve treated them. They also wanted to know about legalities and ethics of filming and how I got consents. They were a great audience and enthusiastic to learn more.

However, the club is in jeopardy and needs funding to keep going. It seems not many young people want to join clubs now. They’re probably happiest sat at times playing with the cameras and edit suites – if they do that at all. If you can help the club then please get in touch with them – see the link below to their website.