The Wheels on the Bus

Unit 27 – Factual Programme Production Techniques for Television

In this graded college assignment we were tasked to individually research, plan and produce a 5-7 minute factual television programme for a pre-watershed slot, that conformed to the disciplines of factual programme production techniques and was supported by pre-production paperwork -(production proposal, treatment, running order, shot list, script breakdowns, interview questions, production schedule, location recce, risk assessments, contingency plans and filming consent forms).

I decided to make an expository documentary called, ‘The Wheels on the Bus,’ using a Cambridgeshire family company called ‘Kenzies Coaches’ and its owner Cyril Kenzie, as an example to show the change in the Coach Industry over the years. I used a range of Interviews, voiceovers, filmed footage of the Kenzies’ daily activities and archived pictures/footage for the video. I was in charge of the artistic vision + direction, production and composition of the entire documentary to make a programme that was both informative and interesting for a large young adult and adult audience. I filmed using a Go Pro, Canon XF 100 camcorder and a Rhode shotgun microphone. Edited using Final Cut Pro X software.

I achieved a Distinction for this task.

You can see a PDF of my research portfolio >>here<<

Analysis of work:

  • I’m really pleased with the strong personality of Cyril Kenzie and his family business that comes through in the programme, driving the documentary forwards, adding to the charm and acting as a selling point of the video. The light hearted music, humour and short + understandable informative sections add to the joy of the production, blending nostalgia with professional opinion.
  • A large amount of pre-production and research allowed me to understand what the audience wanted to see, discuss the schedule with Cyril himself and film interesting shots for the programme.
  • The video is visually interesting with quick changes is scenery and visuals that help to tell a story, along with interesting framing and moving shots to keep the audience’s attention.
  • However, there is an issue with the sound from the interviews as it is either too echoey or drowned in wind and very difficult to hear. I should have recorded audio closer to the subject with headphones, used a dead cat over the microphone to try and stop the wind noise or tried to fix the final soundtrack in a post-production software. I think the production would benefit from reshooting some of the windy scenes and fixing the issues on the soundtrack.