Week Three|Project 4

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Today was hand in day and overall I feel that the project went smoothly.

Pati provided some brilliant research which included lots of facts and figures about calories in fast food and also researched recipes. We decided that we wanted to hand out recipes for a starter and a main course and that we wanted to have different levels of difficulty, as some students may have more experience than others.
Whilst Pati was finishing off the research, Stu was able to set to work on creating the posters that we were going to put up around campus. We had decided that we were going to hold our event on the 26th March, 10-12 outside the terrace bar.
During the second week we began to put posters up around the university advertising our event as we wanted to give people plenty of notice. This was when my role came in as I had to film us putting up the posters. This was easier than expected as everyone inputted ideas for different shots to include whilst putting the posters up. We did hit a slight snag on the first day of putting posters up as my camera ran out of battery! At least that will teach me for stealing batteries out of remote controls! We met up the following day, once I had gone out and bought batteries, to continue putting the posters up. We also set up a Facebook (www.facebook.com/EatSmart) and a twitter account (@EatWithYourHead) so that we could raise awareness online as well!

In the final week, we decided to all go into town on monday 24th to buy the fruit that we wanted to hand out. We set a budget of £10, so £2.50 each and figured that if we bought fruit like apples, kiwis, strawberries and oranges that usually come in packs that we would get a lot for our money. We also bought bananas and grapes too. We also bought some cups to put the fruit salad in. We decided to meet up at 9am on Wednesday morning to prepare the fruit salad and set up the table for our 10am start.
Our event went really well and I was able to get lots of footage, including us explaining the event and other students talking about their eating habits and that they did not realise healthy eating could be so cheap. The following day came the part I was dreading – the editing. Although a small disaster in the morning as there were no macs free and the only other computers with Adobe Premier Pro on didn’t have memory card slots so I could not upload the footage to the pc. However, thanks to George Brittain and his trusty Macbook Air, I was able to transfer the footage onto his laptop and then put it on a memory stick for me to upload to the pc! The only casualty of this was that I used two memory cards and the first one with the footage I recorded on the first day of putting up the posters and then some shots of unpacking the food, wouldn’t upload to George’s Macbook so I couldn’t use them! This didn’t help calm my nerves at all about the editing.
Luckily, Natalie came down and sat with me throughout the time I was editing to add some creative input. Thankfully, my other memory card had more than enough footage, including more shots of putting up posters (glad my camera died on the first day actually!) it was more a case of trimming the footage down. Pati and Stu also came down to the mmc to help with the video and once it was done I was able to upload it to YouTube.
I am so thankful for my team on this project as I really don’t think I would have been able to get as much footage as I did without their input! They all helped me get as many shots as I needed and we all worked really well as a team.

The most important lesson that I have learnt throughout the past four projects that communication and a good project manager is the key for the project to be successful. It also helps to have a passion for the project, for example Morgan was a fan of Star Wars and it led to some brilliant research.
In this project each and every member got involved and we all shared healthy eating tips and tricks. Well done to all my teams! Working in a team is definitely one of the hardest things to do but also one of the most rewarding when you have all done a great job!

Week One |Project Four

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This week the final project was set and we are to create a nudge campaign aimed at changing students behaviour in some way. Unfortunately I could not attend the brief as I was unwell, however Natalie got in contact with me as soon as she found out I was in her team.
My group members are:
Natalie Down – Project Manager
Pati Marshall – Research
Stuart Phillips – Content Creator
Myself – Production and Dissemination

Like other groups we had all been in, we quickly set up a Facebook page so that we could easily contact each other. Through this we set up a meeting for early the following week to discuss ideas and get the ball rolling, although after some facebook discussion and because Natalie had to send Jane a proposal for the brief, we decided upon healthy eating.

At the meeting we decided that we wanted to focus on healthy eating for students, but take the angle of making it affordable too. We also wanted to create an event where we could hand out fruit and recipe cards. If I’m honest, I was quite nervous for this project as my role involved creating a video documenting our campaign. I was worried that it wasn’t going to be long enough and that my editing skills aren’t too great, however Pati and Stu had experience in filming and reassured me it will all be fine. It’s always nice to have your team backing you.

Pati set about the research straight away as we wanted to be able to start on the content creation as soon as possible so we could spread the word about our event. I think this project is going to be a learning curve for me as I am stepping far out of my comfort zone filming and editing (they’re not my favourite things to do!),however I am eager to improve my editing skills.

Week Three|Project 3

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Since I last blogged myself and my team had been working hard on our magazine and handed it in today.  Morgan provided me with excellent research which enabled me to easily write the articles for the magazine.  I have actually enjoyed the Star Wars theme with this project as it enabled me to learn more about something I was not originally interested in! During last week we met up as a team and discussed the design of the magazine, although Alice seemed slightly unsure and I don’t really think she took our ideas on board.  I suggested, since it was a Star Wars magazine, to use the iconographic rolling credits thats at the beginning of Star Wars films as the contents page.  Before suggesting this I even tried it out on photoshop at home to see if it was easily done, and it was.  We left the meeting confident that the magazine would turn out great.

However, during the final week there were a few mishaps.  Although I asked Alice in the beginning if she had photoshop, and she assured me she did, it turns out that it was only a trial and ran out before she had finished the magazine! Although myself and Sam offered to help with the design if she sends it over as we both have photoshop, she declined and continued to design the magazine on word.  When we finally got a look at the magazine, Alice had put the title as ‘Empire’, which we were all slightly confused by.  Although basing our magazine on the magazine franchise Empire was our initial idea, it was never to be called Empire and we couldn’t understand why she didn’t call it Star Wars as it was solely a Star Wars magazine.  This did make us all worry slightly as we don’t know how much attention Alice was paying in the group meetings and if they were wasted on her.  I also found out that she did not read any of the research.  I understand that it was not her job to read the research, however she was designing a magazine on something she had never seen and I think the research would have definitely helped her in the long run! 

The night before the deadline, Alice messaged the entire group and asked if it was all to be printed out on A4, to which we all replied quickly, no! Again this was shocking as she was in the lecture when the project was first introduced and in the group tutorial with Jane when Jane showed Alice on a piece of paper how it was to be printed out.  This again makes me wonder if she was paying much attention at all.  The confusion over the printing then led to Alice not printing the magazine until the morning of the deadline and when she turned up at the meeting we discovered it was all printed out on A4.  Although the rest of us reassured her it was fine (as there was nothing we could do now!) I think we all felt a little bit let down as we all put in a lot of hard work.

Despite the disappointment with the printing, I did thoroughly enjoy this project as it is something I would like my career to be in once I have finished university.  I learnt through this project that communication is key and although someone may turn up to meetings and say they understand, they may not.  I feel this was a valuable lesson to Sam, Morgan and myself.  Our group worked well together and Sam was a great PM, organising meetings and booking tutorials in advance and making sure we were all free to attend the meetings.  Sam was always there to answer any questions anyone had.  I would not have been able to complete my task without the thorough research that was provided to me by Morgan.  It was definitely the boys in this team that made this project successful. 

Week One¦Project 3

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For this project our task was to create a magazine with a front cover, contents page and two articles.  This project seems quite fun to me as I would love to work for a magazine after university.  The roles in my group were:

Sam Heron – Project Manager

Morgan Murphy – Research

Content Creator – Myself

Production – Alice Briggs

After the project was introduced we all added each other on facebook and began a group chat.  We decided to have a meeting during the following week on the Thursday as this was when we were all free.  During the meeting we discussed our options for the magazine and we decided upon a film review magazine, similar to Empire.  However, after our first group tutorial with Jane on the Friday, we discovered that a lot of other groups had also decided on a film magazine and Jane advised us to either come up with a different topic, or create a fan based film magazine.  During the meeting, where only Sam, Morgan and I atteneded we decided upon doing a magazine based on the Star Wars franchise.  Although I have never watched a Star Wars franchise, we felt as a group that the Star Wars franchise would prove an interesting magazine and Morgan (the researcher) had watched plenty of Star Wars films and felt confident he could provide me with enough research to write the articles.  After the meeting Morgan set about his research and we filled Alice in with what she had missed. 

Overall, I felt that this magazine would turn out successful as it would be a fun magazine to design, as even I know some of the iconography from the Star Wars franchise!

Week Three¦Project 2

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Throughout the first two weeks of the project, Nikki Vanessa and I were working closely together however we found it difficult to contact Cameron as he was not turning up to any lectures and rarely any group meetings we had together.
During the second week we all advised Cameron on what days during the third week we could all meet up and record our voices for the presentation so he was well aware of our availability in advance. Despite this, he emailed us all the night before he was going to create the powerpoint (towards the end of the third week!!) and asked if we were available. Me and Nikki were not available to record as we had told him in the previous week that we had other commitments and the PM Vanessa was fine with this.
I was told that during the week Cameron was creating the powerpoint, Vanessa met with him just to go over the powerpoint and see if any improvements could be made. Vanessa told me that she suggested improvements and that he just shrugged it off.
When Cameron finally uploaded the powerpoint for all of us to see on the Thursday evening before the deadline, we all suggested a number of improvements that could have been made. These improvements were small but would have aided the presentation and increased the continuity. Cameron’s attitude to this was less than negative and his response to the improvements was along the lines of “meh, I can’t be bothered to walk back down to the library in the rain, it’s my mark that affected so whatever”. This angered both Nikki and myself as we felt that we had worked hard on our roles and although yes it was Cameron’s grade that would be affected, we wanted a presentation to be proud of and displayed the amount of work the rest of the team put into it!
Cameron’s attitude throughout this whole project was lazy and negative and I would not work with him again.

Week Two¦Project 2

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We had a group tutorial with Jane on the 24th January where only Nikki and myself were able to attend.  It was unfortunate that neither Vanessa or Cameron could attend as they were both ill, however I do understand as it is that time of year where there is lots of illnesses flying around!

In the meeting we discussed with Jane the question we had chosen and she advised us to take a certain angle on the presentation as many other groups had also chosen our question.  We decided to look at the sensitive storylines from the audiences point of view and the ways in which they reacted to them.  In the meeting I mentioned Stuart Hall’s theory on readings (preferred, negotiated, oppositional) and I told Nikki I would include that in the research, including more research about the audiences perception of the storylines and would get the research back to her by the following Monday.  We also wanted to include some information about television regulation as we wanted to know why some particular soap storylines were allowed onto television, despite the controversy that they caused.

After the meeting I headed straight to the library to pick up some books on british television and regulation.  I was able to find several books on the topics and thought that the books would provide me with all the information I need.  However, I soon discovered that the books were rather outdated (post 2000) and most of the information did not apply.  Although I was able to find some information about audience readings from the books and apply them to the research, I found that most of my research had to be from online sources, including newspapers and journals, as these were the most current and applied to the topic.

The week continued with Nikki and I being in constant communication, looked over by the PM, discussing the script which Nikki had made and if any improvements were needed or if any more research needed to be done.  I found with being the researcher for this particular task, there were a lot of unknown unknown’s and were not known to be needed until Nikki was writing the script.  The Facebook group allowed us however to be in communication with each other and I was able to quickly research for Nikki anything that she needed. 

Overall, Nikki was a brilliant content creator!

 

Week One|Project 2

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For our second project we were to produce an academic powerpoint presentation answering one of four questions.

After a meeting on 20th January, we have decided as a group to answer the question:

Are there some stories that are just too sensitive for soap operas to cover? Discuss in relation to specific examples from television and/or radio.

As researcher, I was really drawn into this question as when I first read it, I instantly thought of the Eastenders Baby Swap storyline and that we could easily find a tremendous amount of research on this.

After the meeting, I set about researching the two main soap operas on television – Eastender’s and Coronation Street.  We chose to include Coronation Street as during that week and the previous week, they had been airing a sensitive storyline over an assisted suicide. My research contained average viewing figures for both the soap operas, research on both the storylines and also general key themes in soap operas.

My research found that most soap operas are set in a working class society and found that more often than not, there is a strong female character in most major story lines.

We have a meeting on the 25th with Jane and I will hand my research to Nikki whilst I am there and see if she needs anything else.