Thursday 14 September 2017

My experience on Superfoods: The Real Story

As my undergraduate life drew to a close, I thought I'd completed, life. There was nothing else for me to do. Well, how about being on prime-time television, which was a disaster for me when filming?! Catch-Up on the episode here, then read on to reveal a behind-the-scenes look at how television is made; editing can change EVERYTHING.

Say yes to every opportunity you get!

I've been on TV once before for a few seconds on BBC2, for a Documentary called 'Britain in a Day' in 2012, which showcased the diversity of life in Britain. This experience, however, was based in a video-production company I had already attended work experience for; Ricochet. I worked on a program called 'Cowboy Builders and Bodge Jobs' and completed sheets detailing individual shots, listened to potential applicants and checked the credibility of builders. I wasn't able to attend an actual shoot whilst I was there, so two years on when my course's placement team announced Ricochet needed volunteers for a new show, I couldn't miss it! Especially when I have some great friends from the LGBT+ society along for the ride;

Motion Sickness Development Questionnaires (MSSQ) have been introduced and continually revised in academia since 1968, to highlight that motion sickness is individual for all of us; we feel sick in different situations, with different stimuli. We were asked to all fill one out, and it made me realise that on all transport I'm fine, but rides? Another story. Whilst it would never stop me going on one, there's something about being jiggled about (Star Tours for example) that doesn't make me feel 100%. Well, if anyone tells you Chessington World of Adventures doesn't have any thrills, ask them to ride this monster 4 times... 

Dragon's Fury is unique in that each car has 4 seats which can be weighed evenly or with bias so each ride will have a different amount of spin; my worse nightmare! During the show, it appears that everything runs very smoothly but I was quite surprised during filming at how many pauses there were that were very...calm. We arrived before the park opened and the production crew did have many staff, but everyone always knew what they were waiting for. On top of this, there were very few retakes! We were only told to repeat something twice if that, but editing made a product that was very different to what we expected...

The Power of Editing

Only two of the cars had go-pros on which filmed us during the ride, and it became clear that I was chosen for this car as very few people had said they felt sick on rides on their questionnaires. What I didn't realise was that I would become the central character in the whole ginger narrative! As the only person being sick, I became the most expressive; the slow-motion was especially jaw-dropping. 

Feeling much less queasy after the rollercoaster half-an-hour later, we filmed the numbers and conclusion segment. In the most unimpressive of embarrassments, I had put sun-cream on, ending up with some in my eyes. Whilst filming, we had to divide into our ginger/control groups and ask questions. I really couldn't keep my eyes open. The director (an amazingly kind woman) actually pulled me aside, and said I should go to the nurse - whilst I thought the show MUST go on! It took me a while to recover and filming was finished in my absence. I wasn't forgotten though, as my friend filmed the presenter giving me a shout-out:

What I imagined would happen is that the group would be shown from different angles so it wasn't obvious I was missing, but clips of me were used! Me looking so ill actually worked in the show's favor, as it made it appear that there wasn't a gap between the ride and the reveal; I was simply still queasy, from the ride! We filmed so much more than was actually seen, especially with intriguing questions and longer explanations from the researcher. We were also looking very tired at the end of the day, so overall, the editors are the real heroes to keep in the time limit and create a story from something that wasn't there to start!

After filming, we had a great day in the park; my first time here! Hocus Pocus Hall was my favorite experience, so much uncertainty and mystery on what would happen next. Overall, this was a great experience, and now with a better awareness, I'm up for filming anything now. Maybe I should have a few more than ginger biscuits to calm my nerves to start though...

Hanging out with all the poorly patients
Catch the full episode here

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