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Students work with BBC on Election Special

Published: Tues 05 May 2015
Students work with BBC on Election Special

Students and staff from the School of Media, Design & Technology were heavily involved in the recent production of BBC Yorkshire's election coverage. Each BBC region was briefed to produce a 40 minute 'Question Time' style programme, featuring representatives from their region's prospective parliamentary candidates.

Due to our close relationship with the BBC, the University was approached by the production team to provide the broadcast resources to produce Election 2015: A BBC Look North Special.

The programme was pre-recorded ‘as live’, for broadcast just 90 minutes later after the 10 O’clock news. Hosted by Harry Gration, it featured an audience from across Yorkshire asking politicians where they stood on the region's big election issues.

The filming took place at the new First Direct Arena in Leeds, which will host a major general election count on the 7th of May. Our audio visual team liaised with the technical team at the BBC and engineered the event using our television studio cameras and outside broadcasting truck. Tega Events from Hull built a “black box” studio space with set and lighting in the middle of the arena. Staff and students were then able to rig the ‘studio’.

Our students were able to get really involved: operating half of the live cameras alongside BBC cameramen, running the autocue, and acting as assistant floor managers.

The BBC provided a satellite truck to transmit the output of our Outside Broadcasting truck in real-time back to the Leeds studio for last-minute edits. Followed by an expertly conducted de-rig of the set in time to watch the programme.

Stephen Sheard, Senior Broadcast Journalist BBC Yorkshire, was very pleased with how the production turned out:  “A big thanks to all involved in the election special; everyone from the BBC, the University of Bradford and TEGA worked really hard to make it a success. It was a great watch, looked fantastic and technically was as slick as Question Time and their team do it every week.”

The director, Michael Wood, also had this to say: “This production was one of the smoothest, stress-free programmes I've had the pleasure of directing; the result of brilliant editorial and technical planning, and a fantastic team effort from everyone involved. The University of Bradford's outside broadcasting truck and technical facilities were very impressive, and the enthusiasm of the staff and students was just superb. Thank you for helping to make the programme so successful.”

The students involved with the broadcasts have now also been given the opportunity of work placements with the BBC based out of the Leeds newsroom. 

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