This week in beer

On February 5, 2011, in Television & Video Production, by Television Faculty

This semester our first-year students will be producing 16 thirty-second commercial spots over the next couple of months (2 per week).  The goal is to train students in the entire production process, from pitching an idea, right through to production and post.  This isn’t all about just running out the door with a camera and shooting, but about the planning, logistics that need to go into making a production happen.

By strange coincidence, the first two commercials this year are alcohol-related!

For a bit of background, each student production company (usually group of 5) is required to produce two 30-second commercials this term, and we stipulate that at least one of them must be a real client (to give the project a bit more of a reality-check).

First up was a project for Heineken Beer which illustrates the old saying about, boy meets girl, boy chooses the wrong beer, other boy who chooses the “right” beer gets the girl.

Second up, was a spot for Industry Bar & Grill in Richmond selling on the idea that no matter what might happen by accident, it’s all good for this bar’s patrons!

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Come on!

On January 30, 2011, in Television & Video Production, by Television Faculty

Switching gears slightly with the first-year Television & Video Production students, we’ve moved from training on live multi-camera production to single-camera electronic field production (EFP).  Check out our Gallery for more photos!

In order to develop these skills, our first-year faculty members, John Mills, David Griffiths, and Ashif Jivraj decided to model a small production for our students and shoot a 30 second commercial for Coast Mountain Bus Company (part of Translink).

This production process is not just about heading out to a location with a crew and a camera, but included everything from site surveys, to obtaining the necessary insurance and contracts to put this production together.  Make no mistake, this is a lot of work, and our students will be doing the same on their own productions!

The process introduced both sets of first-year students to the skills and on-set coordination necessary to work in the film and television industry.  While we’re not a film school (and we would argue that we are better), many of the same skill-sets apply no matter if you’re working with digital technology or film stock.

In this case, we are shooting on Panasonic HPX-300 P2 HD cameras.  The first day of shooting was in AVC-Intra 100 at 1080-24PN, and the second day in DVCProHD 720-24PN, just for the sake of trying something different.

The students will be producing their own commercials in HD in the coming weeks, check back for more updates and the final products that are uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube!

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Practicum 2010

On April 28, 2010, in Other BCIT Broadcast Programs, Television & Video Production, by Television Faculty

The regular semester has finished, and our Broadcast students are current involved in Practicum, where the Broadcast Center turns into a leaving, breathing Television station.

Television & Video Production students perform the roles of:

  • News Camera (aka “Shooters”)
  • News Editors
  • Graphics and Animation production
  • Newscast production (Director, Assistant Director, Technical Director, Audio, Floor Director, etc.)

Our Broadcast Journalism students are responsible for the stories and interviews that make up the content of our weekly BCIT Magazine production.

Practicum is an intensive 4-week process that ensures that all students get exposure to all aspects of Television & Video Production in a live environment, with the challenges and deadlines that exists in a real station.

Practicum begins another first this year, as BCIT Broadcast has installed two video servers as we move closer to gracefully retiring our tape infrastructure.


Our Facilis server is an 18 terrabyte storage server that provides us with almost 1400 hours of storage for our edit bays.  The Omneon server is a play-to-air server which takes the final edited stories and allows playback through our control rooms.

Most of our aquisition and editing facilities are currently using digital tape formats, however we’re moving towards a totally tapeless workflow that allows us to go from acquisition to broadcast without any physical media (aside from memory cards) involved in the process.

Tape, old and busted…

Our Television & Video Production advisory committee, composed of broadcast and film professionals from Western Canada are very supportive of us making these changes.

memory cards2

Employers demand students and alumni trained in digital and tapeless production technology.  BCIT delivers.

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They blinded us with SCIENCE!

On April 15, 2010, in Television & Video Production, by Television Faculty

(Note: No students were blinded in the making of this science, but it was the best title I could come up with … The only other option was trying to find something that rhymed with “Bill Nye the Science Guy”)

So what’s this about Science?  We had the opportunity to take our production on the road and head down to the Telus World of Science to do a live production of their Centre Stage science education show.

This was our first live event production using the new Broadcast Pix production flypack that we’ve been introducing the students to this semester (check the blog history for info on our practise events back at the school).

We are actively looking for projects that students can produce with our equipment to get additional production experience.  If you have a project you’d like to submit, please feel free to contact us.


  • 4 camera shoot (2 x Sony DSR 370, 1 x Sony DSR 400, 1 x Panasonic AG-DVX100BP)
  • Broadcast Pix Slate 100 Flypack
  • Crew (15 students, 3 Instructors)
  • Load-in 10:30, Full Facs 12:45, Showtime 15:20, Wrap 16:00

I have linked a copy of our SW Technical Production Manual that includes some project planning details for aspiring production staff out there (some contact information has been removed for privacy reasons).

We expect students to provide this type of documentation (and more!) when planning their projects.

Continue reading »

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Breath Control & Skimboarding in April

On April 9, 2010, in Television & Video Production, by Television Faculty

Our last two productions for this term took place this week – it would have been nice to have a bit more warm weather in the forecast (considering both productions had exterior components), however rain or shine, we got it done!

First off on Tuesday was a spot for helping asthma sufferers using the “Buteyko Breathing Method“, where a couple spending a nice warm summer day in the park deals with an asthma attack using a special breathing technique.

On Thursday we made our way to Tsawwassen and onto the Boundary Bay beach to shoot a commercial for Kayotics Skimboards.  Our actor made a fairly quick transition from his day-to-day work in a cubicle to a more exciting work locale.

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