I took part in a major incident simulation for Birmingham City Universities Faculty of Health. The simulation worked with emergency services and specialists to produce a realistic accident scene involving actors and manikins as the injured. The simulation provided a selection of Faculty of Health students with the opportunity to undertake roles as qualified professionals dealing with with a simulated serious event simulation.
The event happens once every five years at the City South University Campus and commenced on 20th March 2013. My role within the event was to form part of the press, as in order for the simulation to be as realistic as possible for the health students there needed to be a media element present as the incident involved a fatality.
As part of the press I formed the role of broadcast reporter, where I reported live from the event. This enabled me to experience first hand what it would be like to report live, understanding the need to maintain correct information whilst dealing under the pressures of live television. The simulation also gave me the chance to experience press conferences as the PR teams constructed real life conferences, enabling me to ask relevant questions into the accident. The event also developed my understanding into the proceedings which could be undertaken by the press at real events, realizing the competitiveness among news organisations in gaining the best shots and most exclusive news.
My other role within the day formed part of the production team where it was my job to film the most creative shots which will form part of a documentary of the day. This filming was caried out using a z7 sony. This documentary will reveal the proceedings on the day and also look at the behind the scenes work which went into producing such an event. Throughout the documentation of the day I interviewed PC Nigel Hackett on why he thought the simulation was a great idea for the health students.
As part of the documentary and reporting I edited the footage to produce both a promotional video of the accident simulation day and a showreel, showcasing my ability to edit, report live and film. This was edited using Avid, demonstrating my ability to confidently use industry standard editing software.
I found unscripted reporting challenging but felt that it gave me great practice, giving me an insight into the job of a reporter. However, due to the live nature of the report there were moments in which I stumbled over words which are evident at the beginning of the showreel, although I maintained professionalism by continuing to report.
In hindsight I feel that I could have improved my skills as both a reporter and producer as looking back over the footage there were both technical and practical elements that should have been taken into consideration which would have enhanced my performance.
On editing the footage I felt that the camera needed to have been white balanced on certain occasions as it is clear that this I had not carried this out due to the inconsistency in the colour of the shots. However, this was only seen on some of the shots that were filmed, as on all other shots I made sure that I white balanced the camera before use. After filming for the day and relying on the microphone to pick up the sound in interviews I found that our microphone was not working. This hindered my work as it meant that during certain interviews and reporting the background sounds of the accident over powered certain clips. However, I was fortunate in the fact that our camera managed to pick up sound which enabled the footage from the day to maintain an appropriate element of audio. In future in order to avoid these technical difficulties I intent to produce a list of checks before filming. This would require me to carry out these checks on the camera to make sure both sound and image are to a high standard and are in full working order.
I feel my reporting for the day could have been improved as I feel I came across very amateur. This may have been because I did not produce any sort of script when reporting as it was carried out spontaneously to the camera. I feel that having a script or practicing what I was going to say before hand would have enabled me to become a more professional broadcast journalist.
Overall, although there were some things that in hindsight could have been improved, I feel that the footage from the day was a success demonstrating my ability to undertook the roles of a director, camerawoman and reporter. There were also some unique shots that were captured on the day which differed to any other producers. This was particularly seen when I was able to access footage from inside the police car and hold exclusive interviews with the press office which other reporters failed to gain.