Friday, 19 April 2013

The One Show - Work Experience

My three weeks working at the One Show in London were highly enjoyable, useful and insightful.

This blog post serves as a summary of what I got up to during my time at the BBC and also provides some interesting information on how the show itself is run.
The Morning Meetings
It became clear from my time at the BBC that the daily routine in the office was not far dissimilar from the routine at Winchester News Online.
The One Show team meet every morning to discuss the show from the previous night. The topics covered during the debrief include the running order of the stories and their effectiveness in that order, the quality of the VT’s themselves, (What worked? What could have been improved?) and how well the audience took to the content.
The performance of the in-studio guests from the previous show is also covered. Questions such as 'Were the guests too quiet or were they useful in filling the gaps between the VT’s shown during the broadcast?' are answered. 
After the previous night's show has been covered, the news of the day is discussed. Any member of the team can contribute to the current news discussion and raise points of interest that could potentially lead to an interesting 'topical'.

The One Show's Topical Team has another meeting after the general news meeting to share updates on any stories that they are currently working on or any ideas that they feel should be picked up by another member of the team.
The Topical Team members do not present their own pieces. A number of presenters are available for the One Show Topical Team to choose from, and certain presenters specialise in particular areas. A historical VT, for example, would ideally enlist the help of Dan Snow, the One Show's historical expert.
I was delighted to be a part of the daily meetings and felt they served as a nice way of looking to the day ahead.
Story Research
The majority of my time on placement at the One Show was spent completing various research tasks. I was a member of both the Research team and the Topical Team, but was also signed onto the runners mailing list. This meant I was able to assist with anything that needed collecting, purchasing or transporting. Carrying a large Michael Buble sign down a flight of stairs was one of the more unusual assignments!

First, though, I completed a number of BBC training modules that were designed to ensure I knew what I was doing when it came to managing equipment out in the field. The tests also covered copyright ownership, legal issues, live broadcast and filming in potentially dangerous situations. I was also briefed on the BBC's video archive system, which is used on a regular basis by the Topical Team, particularly when it comes to producing historical VT's.

Presenter's Matt Baker and Alex Jones

Before a VT can be given the go ahead, the people involved in the story need to be contacted and numerous facts and figures about the subject matter need to be written up and forwarded to the head of the Topical Team.
During my time at the One Show, I phoned a number of contacts associated with potential future VT's. Notable stories I researched during my placement included the UK's only 'Pet Blood Bank' and an upcoming carnival event in Soham.
I researched countless other stories during my time at the BBC, producing (on a daily basis) a list of potentially interesting stories that could be used to structure VT's.
London Film Shoot
One of my favourite days at the One Show involved spending the evening with a member of the Topical Team, filming throughout London on location for a video segment that would accompany an on-sofa discussion with One Show guest, Joan Collins.

The concept was this: As Joan had a show coming out called 'One Night with Jone', myself and team member Jonathon were to find people who worked night shifts and get them to ask Joan a question. As Joan couldn't come with us, we took along a life-size cardboard cut-out, and predictably got many confused looks along our way.  The real, in-studio Joan would see the footage myself and Jonathon filmed and answer the questions put to her by working Londoners.

We frantically travelled across London with the camera equipment and a lighting rig. In the end, we interviewed a good selection of contributors, including hotel staff, garage workers, nightclub owners and fast food restaurant staff.

The content was due to be broadcast the next day. As a result, it was vital to gather as much quality content as possible. The video piece was used on the show the following day. I was proud to be a part of the filming project.

Editing Room

I took a great interest in visiting the editing room on a number of occasions to watch the construction of VT’s and indeed how they take shape. The VT’s are regularly edited on the day they are due to broadcast, so the time constraints for the editor are set in stone. The VT must be edited before the evening's show rehearsal, which arrives at around 5.45pm.

The show goes live at 7pm and having the chance to be in the studio on a regular basis when the show went live was exciting stuff. Often, the camera would pan around to show the runners and research team, so it was nice to be a part of the programme! The show relies on sounds and reaction from the people behind the camera as much as it does the people in front of the camera, so there was never a dull moment when 7pm came around.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the One Show. Getting to know more about the structure of the show and meeting members of the team and learning about their roles was extremely useful. 

From gathering story information and ringing contacts to being a part of the team on the night of Michael Buble's live outside performance, it was a fun, unique work experience placement that I'm glad to have had the opportunity to complete.


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