Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Producer Guidelines for weekly highlights show.

As mentioned on the last post WE are going to start doing a weekly highlights show from this week. Because our viewers are so creative and have excelled at making awesome videos from the WE content, we decided the best idea would be to get you guys to post produce the content and create the final show. Therefore all of the WE family will be involved. Alex and the camera crew will provide the wildlife footage, Marco will give the behind the scenes footage, Pieter and Marco will present and the actual final assembly of the show will be done by you guys. Watching all the different interpretations of the weekly show will be amazing - WE are all very excited and can hardly wait. Below I have provided a few guidelines to help you with the creation of your shows.
1. The weekly highlights show will include sightings from the Friday evening drive all the way through until the following Friday when Marco and Pieter do their behind the scenes and links. This show from Pieter and Marco will mark the end of the week.
2. Marco will present his show live, half an hour before the Friday afternoon drive. This week that will happen 4pm CAT (Central African Time). He will play out sequences from behind the scenes that he has recorded throughout the week. This footage can be recorded, captured, ripped or whatever you want to do with it and Marco's voice over will help link it all together. It is up to you as to whether you put Marcos' footage all together in your show or you sprinkle it throughout, or something completely different. I would personally mix it with animal sightings so you are always watching something new. Marco will tell you what happened on what day so maybe you can do it in chronological order. This I will leave up to you.
3. Pieter will present his links show live, straight after Marco has finished. As I mentioned before I will be sending Pieter a list of the best sightings and events from the week (as decided by us and you the viewers) on Friday after the morning drive. On Friday after Marco has finished, Pieter will take you into the bush and introduce the week's most memorable sightings. For example: "On Monday I had the most amazing elephant sighting. He was so close to the vehicle, I couldn't believe it. On Tuesday night Mojo the mongoose was out again". This will just be Pieter talking to camera as hopefully you will already have the video of these sightings that you have recorded throughout the week. Therefore you can use the pictures of Pieter talking to camera or you can just record his voice and put it over the top of the relevant pictures. Its up to you. I would suggest doing a bit of both. We don't always need to see him, sometimes it is nice to use his voice as a voice over the sighting.
4. You do not have to use every sighting that Pieter mentions on his Friday show. In fact it is better not to as then everyone will produce something slightly different and they will be more interesting to watch. Pieter will give you a number of different sightings to choose from and then you can pick your favourites.
5. Timing for the show is difficult at this stage as it is our first, and we have nothing to go on. My instinct tells me 4-5 minutes and definitely no longer than 5 minutes. In my experience I have found that shorter, faster cut, pacier pieces of work are far more entertaining than long drawn out ones. My advice would be to put in the best parts of the sighting with a few sound bites from the presenter and an introduction from Pieter. Once we have seen what the sighting is all about we don't really need to see much more than that. Remember it is a news show that just lets people know what has been seen on the drive. The same goes for the behind the scenes portion. Marco will give you more footage than you need and it is up to you to pick out your best bits. Be ruthless!
6. I feel that music is very important. You do not have to have wall to wall music because sometimes it is nice to just hear the presenters voice but putting music in it somewhere is important. It makes it much more entertaining and gives it a faster pace. You can also record some "buzz" (general bird and insect sounds) from the waterhole during the day and night to enhance the sightings over and above the music and presenter talking. Remember sound makes video come alive.
7. Adding graphics, writing etc is all great, just make sure that they don't get in the way of what we are watching. The writing should generally be at the bottom of the screen and the graphics should enhance the footage. Having said this I love the idea of you personalising your own show with something different, It kind of creates a style, if you know what I mean.
Good luck.
(Note: By the way we have changed our game drive start times to the Djuma winter schedule of 06h30 and 16h00 (CAT) departures. Tomorrow Marco will be presenting the drives. WE are very impressed with his first drive on Tuesday, looks like he is a real natural ... it's in his nature.)

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