161MC Creative Critical Process

Set design plan
Set design plan

At the start of the module we met up as a group to discuss the various elements of the show and put forward our ideas.
We’d been given the theme ‘fantasy’, which luckily is very broad and quite fun. In our first group meeting we brainstormed various ideas for the show including:

  • A fantasy film show; review fantasy films and have interviews with people involved + show trailers for new fantasy films
  • A ‘found footage’ show where we would discuss various fantasy creatures and show evidence, interview experts and talk to people who’d witnessed  things.
  • A show from a different planet that discusses humans and whether there’s life on earth, have people dressed up as aliens etc or have a Star Wars theme; we thought this could be quite amusing.
  • Discuss a fantasy topic and show evidence, interview experts and question whether it’s real or not.

We chose the latter and eventually decided on the theme of UFO’s.

The main reason we chose not to include people dressed as fantasy creatures was because of the cost to hire or buy costumes. We 399855_10200555325998702_603807810_nwould be unlikely to find enough people that already had costumes so we’d have to spend more money, and the budget for the production was quite low. Also there’s a lot of information on UFO’s out there and plenty of videos of ‘UFO sightings’ so there would be plenty to discuss on the show. It’s also an accessible topic so if we failed to find an actual UFO expert someone confident enough to be in front of the camera could easily do the job and pretend to be an expert.
I think that choosing the UFO topic was a good move because it’s not complicated and it leaves us with plenty of things to talk about and include on the show. It’s quite straightforward whereas something like vampires or werewolves would be more difficult to pull off.
I liked the idea of having a show on a different planet that discusses humans but with the low budget we’d struggle to make a convincing set or decent costumes, and it would probably end up looking daft. With the UFO subject the set could be minimalistic.

We also talked about ideas for the set, putting forward ideas for props etc, the main ideas we had in these group meetings and group Facebook discussions were:

  • Lava lamp
  • Sofa instead of chairs
  • Rug/something to cover the floor
  • Coffee table
  • Cushions/blankets – accessories to decorate the sofa etc
  • Plasma globe
  • Coloured sheets to cover the boards: black
  • Glow in the dark stars to cover the black background
clip from one of the VT's
clip from one of the VT’s

We did talk about using the blue screen in the studio as the background and then using a chroma key background instead of hanging up fabric. While this would save time and money, it’s not an easy process and no one in the group really knew how to do it. It would’ve been quite risky because if it got to the day and we still didn’t know how to do it properly, we’d end up with a bright blue fabric background which would look terrible!

We decided on guests and VT’s for the show, again discussing ideas. One of the obvious choices of VT was a home video of a UFO sighting, and there are plenty of them on Youtube. We’ve actually included two UFO sighting videos because it makes sense to show more than one in a TV show that tries to figure out whether they exist or not. We then decided one of the VT’s would be an on the street interview asking the public if they believe in UFOs. In terms of audience participation this is an important aspect as we’ve included the public’s opinion.
We decided a UFO expert would be the best option for a guest, and if we couldn’t find an actual UFO expert we could get an actor instead. We wanted to follow conventions as best we could in order to make the show successful, and in a show that discusses whether something is real or not it seems fitting to have an expert on the subject to talk about what they think.

The final stages in the creative process was to bring the show together, and we’ve all given input into how it looks and what we could change to make it look better. One of my main concerns was that when the expert came on, the set layout meant they were sat next to the presenters, when usually in TV they sit opposite. It looked a bit odd so I suggested that we change the set slightly to accommodate another chair so that the expert is sat opposite the presenters. The producer also created some brilliant graphics for the title sequence and credits which brought the whole thing together. The graphics are a lot more professional than before which in turn makes the show look professional.

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