Story ran by Northants Telegraph about my nomination for the Sony Radio Award.
Story ran by Northants Telegraph about my nomination for the Sony Radio Award.
The seagull who flew away at the last moment when Pastor Maldonado went off-track during Q1 for the Australian GP Qualifying has been reprimanded for impeding the Venezuelan.
Maldonado went flying off the track at turn 11 in tricky conditions, causing him to bounce through the grass and the seagull having to take last-minute avoiding action.
Race stewards for the event decided to call up the seagull, believed to be a representative of HRT this season, for blocking Maldonado’s way during the incident, but after reviewing the footage decided to only hand down a reprimand to the bird.
A translator for the seagull told RF1NN ”when he realised Pastor was heading towards his way, he feared for his life”. It’s believed this isn’t the first time anyone’s felt this way about Maldonado when being in close proximity of him on the circuit.
Stewards are also investigating the seagull’s team, HRT, as a whole - who decided to hold a convention at the same corner prior to Qualifying taking place, as well as the human chicane that formed between turns 11 and 12 when the Medical Car drove through.
Alan van der Merwe, the Medical Car driver, currently holds provisional pole position for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix, ahead of a tow truck driver and a fan who realised he was out of beer.
You can watch the rest of qualifying through our technical difficulties on a semi-working TV near you.
This is why Andy Levy is a hero.
So, as you’re probably aware, I’m a rather big Formula One fan. And I’m not talking about my height or the size of my stomach.
From 2009 to 2011 I was glued to BBC every F1 weekend. The standard of coverage they gave was absolutely amazing, and they really raised the bar.
But I could not have a channel that showed half the races live, and the rest as highlights later on in the day. Against my wishes (because I didn’t want to pay), I turned to Sky Sports F1.
The same Sky Sports F1 which has just been awarded the Best TV Broadcast Award by the FIA. To be fair, they did a decent job of it. I expected it to be nowhere near BBC standards, but whilst it was a dodgy start, they definitely were on the ball by the end of the season.
Now this next bit probably might not count for too much as I didn’t see very much of BBC’s coverage this year (I watched their Aussie highlights to see what they took out compared to Sky’s all live coverage), but I did watch a bit of it, plus I have seen reactions from major F1 websites. If I were to build the ultimate F1 coverage team, based on who was available for 2012:
Lead: Jake Humphrey (BBC)
Simon Lazenby did a good job at it, but with three years already under his belt, plus showing more passion for it, Jake wins this one. With Jake leaving though, Simon has the opportunity to outshine Jake’s replacement, probably Lee McKenzie.
Pundits: Too close to call
I think in both retrospects, the two channels win here. DC and EJ have the combination of experience and comedy between them, whereas (what it was for most of the year) Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert were able to pull off a lot more descriptive and detailed explanations in what they were talking about. It honestly depends on what you prefer more: If the casual but informative approach, it’s BBC, if the really in-depth stuff, Sky.
Commentators: David Croft and Martin Brundle (Sky)
I honestly do not know why BBC missed this trick in 2011. Crofty and Brundle has been a dream line-up for me for a few years now, so knowing these were the two voices I’d hear during Qualifying and the Race pretty much sealed the deal for me. Take nothing away from Ben Edwards, he is on the same level as these two, brilliant in what he does, but I feel BBC’s loss is with Coulthard also being a commentator. DC would also consistently refer to the two compounds at a race weekend as “Primes” and “Options”. Yes, this is technically correct - but for the casual fans, don’t you think it’d get a bit confusing when these two compounds kept changing colour? At least Crofty/Brundle called them Supersoft/Soft/Medium/Hard.
You also have to consider Crofty/Davidson for practice, as had been with BBC 5 Live the previous three years, is a duo that works successfully. James Allen is a great journalist but not a great commentator, and what I heard from Alguersuari (I was in a car during Q1 for the European GP) was abysmal.
Pit Lane: Ted Kravitz & Natalie Pinkham (Sky)
Gary Anderson is a wise man. VERY wise man. But when it comes to broadcasting voices, he just doesn’t have one. It’s like having someone tell you some amazing information, whilst making it sound like it’s the most boring thing in the world. Ted may not have the technical expertise of Gary but he’s a keen researcher of this side of F1, and he’s able to keep it sounding good (even in free practice!). Natalie and Lee McKenzie are close matches, but Natalie wins for the variety in the questions she poses to the drivers. If you notice during qualifying and the race, Lee will pretty much ALWAYS use the phrase “bitterly disappointed” talking to drivers eliminated from the session.
So like I said, I’ve been impressed with Sky Sports F1’s coverage this year, but here’s a few things that I’d like to see improved for next year:
REMOVE ADVERTS FROM FREE PRACTICE
Before Sky started broadcasting F1, they advertised “live, uninterrupted coverage” throughout the whole season. Unfortunately, this actually only applied for Qualifying and the Race, not free practice. Now having a degree in Media Production I understand how valuable advertising is to TV channels, and I have absolutely no problems with them taking advert breaks in the build-up or analysis of sessions, but I don’t want advert breaks during the free practice sessions. Honestly if BBC were covering the weekend live, I jumped to them during Sky’s ad breaks. It was especially awkward as something important happened almost every time Sky went to a break during FP1 of the Australian GP weekend. So if we can lose them for Free Practice, that’d be great.
LESS FORCE INDIA DURING TIMES WHEN THE CHANNEL IS OFF-AIR
For those of you without Sky, when the channel was off-air they showed VT’s from previous shows that they’d done. The only problem was the majority of these were based around Force India - mostly their European GP weekend and Paul di Resta’s Silverstone Circuit guide in a helicopter. Occasionally you’d get one of Martin’s Grid Walks or a brief clip of F1 Legends, but when I flicked the channel on I was greeted to something to do with Force India if it was off-air.
Speaking of alternative things they could do whilst not broadcasting F1…
FULL CLASSIC RACES
As far as I understand, Sky Sports F1 actually has a library of quite a lot of F1 races from the past. It begs the question then: why not air them? It’d be brilliant if they did. And it’d mean a lot less of off-air Force India loving.
OTHER RACING SERIES COULD BE BROADCAST
Sky Sports has the license to broadcast the IndyCar Series, which they do - on Sky Sports 4. It makes much more sense to move it to Sky Sports F1 (a dedicated motorsports channel, after all), as it rarely clashes with the F1 schedule - and if it does, then by all means put it on Sky Sports 4. Again, this allows for more of the off-air to disappear and more racing action. What could be more fantastic than sticking on the same channel to watch the Monaco GP and the Indy 500 all in one day?
If they could bag it for broadcasting too - wouldn’t it be awesome if Le Mans 24 Hour race was on there? Admittedly it could be an issue if it clashed with F1 (it managed not to this year), but that’d be great too.
We’ve already got GP2 and GP3, so why not try to add some more? Less off-air, more action, it’s what we all want!
Whilst I’m sure there’s more I could think of in the future, if these points above could be implemented for 2013, it would make what has been a good start for Sky even better for next year. More value for money for the audience, more ratings - surely it’s all win win, right?
Because overtaking on the right is too mainstream nowadays.
Because swimming is that damn hard.
Kimi tells it like it is!
So our University… or Faculty of Technology - not quite sure, think it may be the latter actually - ran something called “Enterprise Week” for us final year students. This is the first time it has been done, so if there were minor flaws I guess we can overlook it as things to iron out for the future.
Sadly, I can’t call this a successful event, or one with a few fixes to look at either.
Now, I’m not going to completely bash this week. There are guest lectures going on around the University linked with Cultural Exchanges too which I’ve heard nothing but positivity from the students for. I too have been to one of these, entitled “It’s All Becoming Interactive” - invaluable information from people in the radio industry that encouraged me to continue with what is a rather unique mix of radio and comedy drama put together.
However, with this week, there have been mandatory sessions to attend and these haven’t gone down so well.
These have focused on different types of businesses, and how they can be set up. I appreciate that there are many students who have not done business before, but I studied what we were being taught five years ago. I wasn’t learning anything new, and a few other students were the same.
So Monday and Tuesday are done, we’ve had four hours about business (remember, we’re all Media students here). On Wednesday (today as I write), we were to do a phase test regarding what had been taught in these lectures (worth a grand total of a mere 5% of our module’s end result). As the students were waiting outside the room, we were having a laugh and a joke about what the test could contain.
Then my flatmate (who’s also on my course) Karl asks me what the time is. I check my watch and reply “Quarter past ten”.
Well what’s going on? Fifteen minutes after we were meant to start, nothing’s happened. We’re still outside, not gone in, and we’ve not heard anything.
Five minutes later and students start filing their way back down the stairs. Inevitably the rest of us start asking questions, and we’re told that the test is cancelled. A few minutes later, we find out it’s because the room was not prepared for the test - in fact, there were no chairs in the room.
Now, the small things I’m sure we could overlook. But what we’re doing here is questioning our own University’s ability to put chairs in to a room.
Next, we receive an E-Mail later from Andrew Clay, who is heading this Enterprise Week, which reads as follows:
We do not think it is practical to arrange an alternative test or other form of assessment and so we have decided to remove the Enterprise Week component from overall module assessment.
That means that your overall module assessment will be based on the remaining 95% of coursework components that will count toward your overall grade for the TECH3010 module. In effect, therefore, we will adjust your achievement on these components so that it constitutes 100% of module assessment.
Andrew Clay, DMU Lecturer
I’ve highlighted the main point from this: Our week was for nothing. Time we could’ve had working on our dissertation or other pieces of coursework that we can’t get back because we did lectures that actually led to having no purpose towards our course at all.
Now re-read that final paragraph, and remember it. I was there on Wednesday because there was a final lecture prior to the test, but I wasn’t taking the test myself until Friday (for an extra room/extra time as a result of my Aspergers). When the test was cancelled, I received this E-Mail from Eric Chowanietz, who was sorting this out for me:
In view of the inconvenience caused to many students Andrew Clay and myself have decided to call-off the phase test and award all students an automatic 5%.
Eric Chowanietz, DMU Lecturer
So now, I have two lecturers telling me two different things. Are the other sections of the modules being re-weighted, or have I been given 5% automatically? On top of having our whole week wasted (barring guest lectures), this extra confusion is ridiculous.
It doesn’t even sound like the idea was well met with lecturers at DMU either:
…I thought it was a silly idea & a distraction. 5% is not enough to be important
Jon Ivins, former DMU Lecturer
Interesting that he uses the word “distraction”. Consider when this is being held. It’s the final week of February. Part of our dissertation has to be handed in at the end of next month, and I have two other group pieces of coursework to hand in for the end of March as well. It’s a terrible time to be giving us this week, when time like this is so valuable and important to us.
To then remove anything to do with this from our marks because someone can’t remember to fill a room with chairs is absolutely shocking. That’s a lot of time that we could be doing our other work which has now been wasted doing something of no value to our end grade.
So what is going to happen then? Is Eric’s E-Mail to me actually correct, in that we’ll be given the 5% automatically? Or are we going to get extra time for all our coursework because our time has been taken up for nothing?
I’m pretty certain I’m not the only student demanding an answer to this, because there’s many people I know who are livid and taking to social networking to show this.
#EnterpriseWeek_12 - Just… terrible.
So, let’s be honest here. First term of final year has gone pretty terrible really. And there’s still two more to go.
The amount of work, at least, isn’t that bad to handle. It’s just all the setbacks that make things worse and worse. Kinda annoying when the only thing seeming to go somewhat right for me at the moment is Rewind - the one thing I’m NOT marked for.
TV Production. Fun, definitely fun, but here’s one of the areas I’ve fallen behind in. I was doing alright, keeping up with the tasks and whatnot, and then I stumble upon the issue of not knowing Avid. No matter how hard I try and find solutions to my problems, they never work. When you don’t get assistance from the lab tutor either, how the hell are you meant to cope with all of that? I’m still trying to edit together a piece of an interview I did about a month ago, and I can’t do the current task because I’m having so many problems with this bit - which no one’s helping me out on, and when I try to focus and see if I can solve it, something else pops up that stops me from doing this work. ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!
Dissertation, or “Technology Project”. Had the idea, ready to go ahead. Was told by my supervisor I needed to expand the idea so that it was big enough, which is a fair comment. But the suggestion for my research, whilst I get it, I don’t get what the heck I’m meant to have it say to me. What is my research meant to tell me that will actually help my cause when creating the product? I don’t understand, and still not having any support at all for this project is hindering me a lot.
Radio Production - this one’s a kicker. I was chosen to be an Editorial Team Leader from the start of the project, however last week I lost that position because I wasn’t doing enough. Fair enough, I hear you say - until you find out that there was another person in the same role who was informed by the lab tutor that he wasn’t doing enough and needed to improve. He didn’t, and lost his place because of it.
At no stage did anybody tell me I wasn’t doing a good enough job.
So, the other person in my role is given the chance to improve, doesn’t, and loses his place - but I lose mine as well because he wasn’t doing enough? I don’t call that fair at all. I wasn’t even aware of any of these goings-on with the other guy until it was announced that someone else was taking over the position for both of us. Absolutely ridiculous, and I intend on appealing the decision, getting my place back, and using that as a kick up the backside to get things moving.
Audio Post-Production is kinda annoying too - I’ve not really got round to understanding the software, which is my own fault - but as it’s not run on a PC, it means I also have to learn how to use a Mac, which isn’t easy for me. It’s far too confusing. I had an assessment a few weeks ago as well which went horrifically - I did as much as I could to prepare, and I had everything ready on my part - it’s just a shame my partner wasn’t as prepared. I still had my flaws in the assessment, I digress, but it could’ve been so much better.
With a week and a half left of this term, lesson learned: Must try harder. So much harder next term. Otherwise Wood Norton and the Leicester Comedy Festival is gonna have me for lunch.
…of my E-Mail addresses apparently let me on to my blog for TECH3013. Houston, we have a problem.