Sunday, 28 February 2010

Refined Subject and Audience Research

This is an update for the idea of my documentary. Recently BBC2 has aired a new series known as “Mastercrafts” which has similarities with my documentary idea.

The programme (Mastercrafts) itself focuses on a master craftsperson teaching 3 hopefuls the basic of there given craft over a period of 6 weeks. At the end of these 6 weeks the 3 hopefuls will create a final piece using the skills they have learned and have there piece judged by the master craftsperson. This examination will divulge whether the hopefuls have the skills to further there work or become apprentices in that craft. This is also dispersed with a history of that particular craft and how it has shaped our heritage.

The programme is in keeping with my idea of looking at how traditional crafts have shaped our cultural heritage, so following the programs ratings will give an insight to how popular this subject with the public. Currently I have found that the first episode of Mastercrafts (focusing on green wood work) achieved 2.7 million viewing figures (11.1%). Though I cannot accurately tell if this is significant amount compared to other programs it is a sign that there is interest in this particular subject (or at least for the first episode).

I also looked at online forums to find out individuals opinions about the content. The two I used was the digital spy forum and the facebook group. The digital spy forum is good because it is a forum devoted to television programming and content which offers a valid opinion. The facebook group is valid because it shows both the numbers of people involved and can offer positive feedback. This positive feedback shows areas that I will have to consider that people may want to see?

Another program for me to inspect would be the Victorian farm. This program was one of BBC 2’s most popular shows during 2009 and again encompasses hints of my subject in their content. However what may be more useful that online feedback about other programmes is first hand public research. This should be looking at what the public already understand about traditional crafts to see what else would be useful to cover in the subject, what are there favourite documentaries to see if there is a common theme to follow.


I have now narrowed down my idea:

The subject is looking at the traditional crafts within modern day British society and investigating what is being done to preserve them for future generations and craftspeople. This also looks at what has happened to crafts that are endangered or extinct and the effect this has had on the craft industry in Britain.

The subject is also an investigation into the British craft industry and wants to touch on what makes British craft different from any other craft in the world (essentially what makes British craft British). This is to show how crafts are apart of this countries cultural heritage and how important they have been in its history and will be in its future.

From this the documentary looks at the modern organizations that are working to preserve Britain’s traditional crafts and looking at what needs doing to ensure there survival. This area will also look at a selection of endangered crafts/craftspeople in Britain; to further understand there current situation and what can be done to help.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Finally Have a Clear Idea :-)

This past week i have been going over the research from last week. this has been most useful as it has allowed me to look at the research and find which pieces are relevant to the documentary. this research can now be included into the presentation and proposal for the documentary. However more research on the topic would be useful. something for me to do over the next week.

also this past week I have been looking at what channel I would like my documentary to be broadcast on. after looking at BBC 1/2 and channel 4 i decided to go with BBC 2. My reasoning for this i because it states on the BBC 2 commissioning site that they are the head of documentary making at the BBC and they are always looking for a diversity of shapes, approaches, and tones. My other reasoning for this is because of one of the programs they broadcast known The Victorian Farm which has elements of what I wish to touch upon.

for my research into the BBC 2 i looked through the commissioning page but also the aims of BBC 2 to further understand what they would like to see in a program. the reasoning for is that BBC 2 has a particular style and that anything pitched to them should at least appeal to there style. After that i also researched the BBC 2 controller Janice Hadlow as she would be important in the commissioning process of any program on BBC 2, so understanding what she may find interesting would be useful.

This process has helped me see what is or could be expected for commissioning a program with a particular broadcaster. first learning what each broadcaster already broadcasts for example are they mainly drama's, game shows, documentaries, news, entertainment etc. this will affect ones idea (depending of the broadcaster) as they will need to morph there idea to fit the broadcasters style of programming. also looking at previously popular programs that were broadcast is also good research as they may contain elements that could be Incorporated in ones pitch.

researching the relevant heads of departments is also important. Like an interview for a company job one would research the company to better understand what the company is looking for to better their chances. this is the same with the commissioning process because if you understand what the relevant heads of departments want, they one would have a better chance of making a successful pitch.

this has furthered my knowledge of what to look for when commissioning but has also introduced me to altering my my original concept to better suit the broadcasters need.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Week 1...........glad its over.

This past week i have been racking my brain trying to think of an idea for pitching towards the panel at the end of this semester. to find an idea I looked back at some of my previous ideas that weren't used in previous semesters. through this i was able to find two ideas that I am very passionate about.

  1. Re-enactment - a documentary based on the life of re-enacters focusing on how one family of re-enactoes live and how they are affected by external issues e.g. recession, law, history, transport, work, relationships, etc.
  2. Heritage Crafts - a documentary based on looking at the historical decline of traditional crafts in Britain and what factors have caused this. also looking at a select few crafts that are in danger of disappearing and what is being done to preserve them for future generations.

After thinking about both these subjects carefully I decided on the heritage crafts idea because i am to closely involved with re-enactment which would make it difficult. Also I greatly interested by how far certain crafts date back in the history of Britain (e.g. bow lathing 2500 BC) and I also know some of the people/organisations that would be useful being filmed for this project.

After deciding this I researched some of these people/organisations. the first place I looked was the Heritage Craft Association (of which I'm a member) as they are able to define what a heritage craft is and also they have links to other research such as UNESCO cultural sector that would be worth mentioning. I also looked up some of the work done by the Guardian that looked into Disappearing acts as this lists some of the crafts that are in decline or in risk of disappearing. these organizations also give me links to crafts people that I could use for filming purposes or even get information on there craft/profession.

This is only general research as of yet and needs to be correlated to find out what is useful and what isn't. I also need to begin constructing my proposal for this pitch.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

New Blog, New Journal, New Semester

my new blog has known been created for the purpose of giving week-by-week journal reports to document my progress for the new sysmester at college.