Thursday, 9 February 2012

WINOL Review - 08/02/2012

Mike Smartt's thoughts on this weeks bulletin.

Our second week at WINOL was certainly lacking in terms of hard-hitting news stories, but as an overall bulletin it was much better than last week.

It's extremely important that as reporters you're aware of just how important preparation is. If a story falls through, then you need to have a backup ready to go as soon as possible. I'm aware that a large number of your stories fell through this week, but ultimately this was due to a lack of balance and just generally a poor understanding of the story you were trying to cover. This wouldn't be the case with effective preparation, so lets hope next week we have a news meeting where everybody can pitch a solid, interesting story.

In terms of individual feedback:


You were abit of a hero this week, Eddie. I'm very glad that you and Nathan (thanks Nathan) headed down to London in search of some footage to piece together the Harry Redknapp story. I was extremely impressed with your efforts and in the end you managed to get particularly close to Harry as he gave his statement. You remained calm under pressure and knew the process you had to go through to ensure you had the footage needed for us to form a working news package back in the newsroom.

There were some issues our end with editing the footage together, but that was entirely down to upload speeds and wasn't your fault. The footage we got from you was brilliant. We had to alter the sound on the Harry Redknapp statement slightly as it was rather quiet but I was able to rip the sound from ITV's report and fuse it with your footage. During the debrief on Wednesday afternoon Mike Smartt was very complimentary. He said you did particularly well to arrive at the scene on time.

There was a slight issue with your piece to camera. Mike pointed out that the 'I'm stood outside..' at the start of the shot wasn't necessary. The way in which you delivered the script felt slightly rushed too, but obviously you were under very tight deadlines and I thought you did well to record what you did. A very strong week, Eddie!


I'm aware you had some more editing issues this week, Lou. I was annoyed that you had the Steve Brine footage since last week, but left it to Tuesday evening to edit it together. You only told me about the issues with the wind noise on Wednesday, which put me in a difficult position. If you had edited the footage sooner, perhaps we could have fixed the audio using Final Cut audio adjustments. I was right to shorten the piece because of this.

In saying this, I am impressed with your ability to arrange interviews week after week. You were particularly good at this during your last period as a reporter, too. In future we need some more exciting quotes from the people you're interviewing. Mike Smartt pointed out that your story wasn't really a story.

I'm going to suggest you practice abit more with the camera before you head out for your next interview. Make sure you nail lighting and the focus of the shots in your next package, because It'll make the stories you're producing look much more professional.


I know this was a hectic week for you, George. You came to me with an interesting campus story which eventually fell through. I thought you did well to come back from this to try and piece together a court story. Your court story wasn't able to go into the bulletin for legal reasons, but I think it's good you now have a clear idea of the process of gathering a story from court and shaping it for WINOL.

You were very helpful in piecing together the footage Eddie sent back from London, so thanks very much for that. It was great to have somebody helping to put the footage together. You were surprisingly calm about putting it together which was great.


You were disappointed with your original story idea falling through, but from that moment you became determined to get something else into the bulletin. In the end, you were the reason three of the stories got into the bulletin. You collected the footage for the Jamie Oliver OOV and the broadband OOV, which was very well done. Thanks to Dan for scripting them.

You also managed to turn your council housing OOV into a full story and even managed to arrange an interview at the last minute on Wednesday. You were able to get the package balanced and edit it together before lunch on Wednesday, which was impressive. It would have been great if you could have found some more interesting shots to bulk out the package, but obviously it was difficult to prepare something perfect last minute. I liked your use of sequences that played before Lucille's interview.


I thought your Marwell story was a nice way of ending the bulletin. I personally liked the use of music, but during the debrief you were told that you didn't need to make a 'cute' story even cuter. During Mike Smartt's feedback, he said that the music would have made the story feel out of place in a real news programme. He also said a vox pop would have been nice to add.

The shots you managed to get were nice. I particularly liked the shot of the Giraffe in the cold with its breath coming towards the camera. I also know you had some issues with the zoo keeper interview. Admittedly, he wasn't saying anything particularly emotive or interesting but you did well to salvage something from the interview captures.

Also, thanks for helping with Eddie's London footage!


It's a shame you couldn't find a story this week but to me you didn't seem very well prepared with a backup. Try and think ahead for next week.


I know you had alot of trouble with finding a story this week. As I said at the start of the blog post, the key is preparation. You don't need to make it hard for yourself, either. Find a story that involves a clear argument / disagreement between two parties. Fingers crossed you can find something for the next bulletin.


I thought your package this week was good. It was a little dull in terms of shots, but I'm aware that you were limited as you only had a construction site and artists impressions of the building to work with. I was impressed that you managed to reach Jeremy Moulton in such a short space of time and I thought he gave some good quotes. You're clearly confident with the camera because your interviews were well framed and your shots were in focus. I also thought the use of natural sound at the start of the package was effective.


I know you were disappointed you didn't make it into the bulletin last week, but I thought you did very well this time around. I thought the fact you got access onto the bus to film and were also able to show the driver explain the technology made the package look very well shot. Your piece to camera was good and you looked natural on screen. Your ability to use Final Cut to edit looked promising. As you put together more packages, this will obviously improve. You had a good week!


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