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Unit 27 LO1; LO2; LO3; LO4
Unit 3 LO2; LO3
Sarah Wilson; Adam Jones; James Ashford & Alan Gubby
Date Issued: 11th April 2016
Final Deadline: 24th June 2016

Aim and purpose

This unit aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop the full range of skills
needed for factual programme production, from researching and planning of
productions through to the production process.
Unit introduction
Factual programme production is one of the largest areas of television output,
providing an extensive range of opportunities and professional roles within the
This sector is the prime communicator of information in relation to worldwide events,
local issues or opinion, and attitudes within society and communities, from the most
serious global issues to the purely entertaining. It provides enormous scope for
potential production ideas.
The genre includes news, documentary, educational, magazine, discussion, review,
chat show, special interest (hobby, makeover, and how-to formats), reality TV and
other sub-genres. It involves engagement with the key media issues of
representation, access, objectivity, subjectivity and communication of meaning.
This unit builds on general pre-production, production and production management
skills and provides opportunities to develop more advanced specialist skills such as
broadcast journalism, interview and presentation techniques and the professionalism
required when working with the public.
Though factual is the basic definition of the genre there is a wide range of
opportunities for the development of creativity both within the production process
and in the topic or subject content, including opportunities for you to work on
projects that you find personally interesting and challenging.
On completion of this unit you should:

Understand issues relating to factual programming for television

Understand codes and conventions of factual programming for television
Be able to plan and research a factual programme for television
Be able to produce a factual programme for television.

Introduction to unit:

U27 LO2: Understand codes and conventions of factual

programming for television
U27 LO3.1: Research a factual programme for Television
U3 LO2 & LO3: Be able to apply a range of
research methods and techniques & be able to present
results of research
Task Description:

Before you embark on planning and producing a factual programme for

Vibe Productions, we would like you to look at all the different genres and
conventions within this category. This will help you decide which sort of
factual programme you would like to create and how to produce it to
professional standards.
In order to research correctly and professionally you must also REFERENCE all
your work. Using this website you will be able to
reference correctly. You will need to sign up but it is free and will do all your
referencing for you.
NB: You will not pass this unit if you do not use this reference tool

Task 1:
U27 LO3.1 Research
You are required to create an INTERACTIVE PowerPoint with definitions,
conventions and examples with YouTube clips (you must EXPLAIN why the
examples fit into the category)
1. News
2. Documentary
3. Docudrama
4. Docusoap
5. Infotainment
6. Reality TV
7. Educational
8. Wildlife
9. Special interest
10. Makeover
11. Magazine
12. Discussion
13. Review
14. Chat show

You should have 2 slides per genre

Slide 1:
Reference section
Slide 2:
Illustration, which is hyperlinked to an example
explanation as to why this fit the genre
Reference section

An example of how PowerPoint should look can be found on vibe or here

Task 2:

U27 LO2.1 News

You are required to produce a FILMED PRODUCTION covering the following
conventions of a factual News Show

1. Studio news readers

2. Field reporters
3. Links to studio
4. Mode of address to viewer
5. Interviewing
6. Experts and witnesses
7. Report structure
8. Actuality footage

For each convention you are required to produce THREE pieces of evidence
to document your understanding
1. A text screen with the definition plus REFERENCE of each and an
explanation as to why they are important
2. An example of it being used in a news show (just a section not the
whole report) with a REFERENCE link to where it came from
3. A recreation that you have made
An example can be found on Vibe Productions website

Task 3:

U27 LO2.2 Documentary

You are required to create a WRITTEN REPORT covering the following
conventions of a documentary

1. Documentary formats


2. Realism
3. Dramatisation
4. Narrativisation

Your report should contain:

1. Title of type of documentary
2. Definition (with reference to website)
3. An example of that type of
documentary (illustration with hyperlink)
4. An explanation as to why the example fits the convention

U27 LO1 Understand issues relating to factual

programming for television
U27 LO3 Be able to plan and research a factual
programme for television
Task Description
Vibe productions would like you to plan and produce a NINE-MINUTE factual
programme. You must stick to this length (no shorter or longer), as it will be
broadcast in a 10-minute time slot on TV.
Opening and end credits will not count in the 9 minutes but must be added
Guidance on developing an idea
Out of the mass of possible material, the documentary maker chooses a
topic. It does not just come out of thin air and it is not objective or neutral.
A range of factors, including your own life
experiences, personality and political beliefs,
will influence the topic you choose.
Ask 4 questions of your topic before you
1. Do I already have some
knowledge and opinions about
this topic?
2. Is this a subject I have a strong
emotional connection with?
3. What is unusual or interesting
about it?
4. How narrowly can the
programme focus its attention?
Representing and visualising the topic
Once the topic has been decided upon you then have to start making
choices. Certain people, places or events can be carefully selected to
create a point of view (exposition). Despite this selection process, the
documentary needs to retain a certain degree of reality.


As with any line of enquiry or development of an argument you need to be
well researched. A documentary filmmaker will undertake this in several

1. Facts: essential in order to make the documentary believable. These

can be left for the viewer to interpret however they choose or they
may be influenced by the context of the documentary.
2. Visuals. The main question to ask is what can be shown in the context
of taste, decency and ethics. Archive footage is often used and as
with fictional film making, camera shots can determine how the
audience feels about a subject.
3. Interviews. The actual questions asked could determine how the
audience feels about the person being interviewed. The interviewer
can choose to be sympathetic or antagonistic.
4. Vox Pops. This is the voice of the people. The technique consists of
street interviews of the general public that is used to highlight either a
general agreement or a contrast of opinions.
Having carried out this research the exposition becomes possible. But how is
the conclusion of this argument / documentary reached?

Narrative conventions of documentaries

Documentaries are an interpretation of reality and therefore follow the
same conventions as films. Unsurprisingly we would expect to see a beginning
middle and end, within which there is a sense of progression and at some
point a conflict.
Your documentary should highlight both a problem and an answer / solution.

Task 4:
U27 LO3.2: Develop Ideas
a. Brainstorm of ideas

Drugs (all forms)

House parties
Skateboarding (unless your report is news worthy and

b. Subject Knowledge: List what you know about subject already

(personal experience; hobby; interested in topic you must know
something about the topic and have an opinion on it)
c. Programme concept: Outline of documentary and the aim of the
programme What is the point of the programme? What is the viewer
going to learn?
d. Target Audience
e. Development techniques
Creation of narrative outline the beginning middle and end of
your production
Scenario what format will your documentary take?
Synopsis Write a Radio Times synopsis on your documentary
(equivalent to information button on sky)
Research process What will you research and who will you talk to /
Interview questions what questions will you need to ask to find the
answers / information on your topic

U27 LO3.3: Research

You need to undertake EXTENSIVE research into your topic before you can
start to produce a programme. This research MUST be referenced using this
You must research your topic and print screen and upload ALL research. This
includes chats with people, emails from experts, list of people you will be
interviewing in your production as well as for information and obtaining many
points of view on your topic.

a. Primary sources


b. Secondary sources,

Checking information



U27 LO1: Issues relating to your documentary

You must now look at the issues you will face with regard to opinion and bias
For each of the below issues you are required to:
1. Explain what each issues means and why it is important in factual
2. Detail how you are going to overcome these issues in your documentary

a. Opinion and bias (what is YOUR opinion what is the opposite)

b. Accuracy (How are you going to gain facts and make it accurate)
c. Balance and impartiality (How are you going to make your
documentary balanced do not just put I will show both sides of the
story what are they and how will this balance your programme?
d. Objectivity and subjectivity
e. Representation Who is being represented and is it fairly or are you
leaning towards your opinion of that person?
f. Access and privacy What access do you have are you invading
anyones privacy gaining the information?
g. Contract with viewer What are you promising the viewer and how are
you going to stick to it?

U27 LO3.4: Legal and ethical considerations

Now you have looked at issues relating to

your production you need to make sure
your documentary follows all legal and
ethical regulations

a. Are you filming in public? This includes the street, someone elses home,
shops and the studio. If so you need to ask permission and gain
evidence that this permission has been granted via email.
b. Are you using archive footage? Do you need permission to use it? Do
you have a reference for the footage in order to put on screen?
c. Are you secretly filming on location? Will you invade anyones privacy?
d. Is the angle / plot of your production going to offend an individual or
group? Is there a chance you will be sued for defamation or be libel for
a lawsuit due to content?
e. You need to make sure you have followed the requirements of the
Broadcasting act 1994, you follow the BBC producers guidelines and
you stay with the OFCOM regulations. All of these can be found here or

This research MUST be referenced using this website

U27 LO3.5: Planning

In order for your production to run smoothly you are required to plan you

a. Do you have a crew? What are their roles and responsibilities (use
professional terms)? If you are working independently what roles will
you need to take on for it to be a successful production?
b. Complete a production schedule this is to include interviewing,
vox pops, footage, and editing (post production to include sounds
and credits)
c. List of interviews with contact details and times of interviews, phone
conversations and meetings.
d. Location recce for ALL locations including studio, houses and
outdoor locations
e. Budget: this to include transport, drinks, phone conversations
f. Risk assessment
g. Any documentation you may have required (email confirmation,
location confirmation, archive footage referencing)

U27 LO3.6: Proposal

Now you have all your research you are required to put
together a proposal

Title of production
Channel it will be aired on
Subject idea Make it personal discuss why this subject is important to
Intended aim

This proposal must be professional in its layout and content. Many proposals
can be found at

Task 5

U27 LO4: Be able to produce a factual programme for

Task Description
Vibe Productions wishes you to produce your 9-minute factual programme to
near professional standards using the correct production techniques. You will
also be judged on your production management and must monitor progress,
write down issues and how problems were solved. All booking forms must be
uploaded (studio and equipment)

U27 LO4.1: Production

Your production must have the following

Opening credits with sound

Moving images (cut away, general view, location footage, archive
Scripted pieces to camera
Studio and location shoots
End Credits
Sounds (ambient sounds, narrative building sounds, music)

Your production must have a beginning / middle and end and must follow a
straightforward narrative with a solution / end thought at the end.

You will get marked on your narrative structure, interviews, location shoots,
camera work in studio, sounds and conclusion as well as editing skills and cut
away / location clips.

U27 LO4.2: Production management

You must complete a logbook of how you managed your production

Your booklet / web page must include:
a. Monitoring progress
b. Identifying and solving problems
c. Production organisation, e.g. call sheets, equipment booking,
location management, logistics management

U27 LO4.3: Editing

Through your editing skills you must:
a. Create narrative
b. Convey meaning
c. Illustrate topic
There will be no blank spaces, no sound errors and your edits will run

Grading Criteria

Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative media sector, has a substantial section
of its website dedicated to careers, including job descriptions
Further general information on work-related learning can be found at the following websites:
5. work-based learning guidance local, regional business links National Education and Business Partnership Network Learning and Skills Network Centre for Education and Industry, University of Warwick
work experience and workplace learning frameworks.

Indicative reading for learners


Baylis P, Freedman A, Procter N et al BTEC Level 3 National Creative Media Production, Student
Book (Pearson, 2010) ISBN 978-1846906725
Baylis P, Freedman A, Procter N et al BTEC Level 3 National Creative Media Production, Teaching
Resource Pack (Pearson, 2010) ISBN 978-1846907371
Adams S Interviewing for Journalists (Routledge, 2009) ISBN 978-0415477758
Barnouw E Documentary (Oxford University Press, 1992) ISBN 978-0195078985
Berger A Media Analysis Techniques (Sage, 2004) ISBN 978-1412906838
Boyd A Broadcast Journalism: Techniques of Radio and Television News (Focal Press, 2008) ISBN
Bruzzi S New Documentary: An Introduction (Routledge, 2006) ISBN 978-0415385244
Dovey J Freakshow: First Person Media and Factual Television (Pluto Press, 2000) ISBN 9780745314501
Emm A Research for Television and Radio (Routledge, 2002) ISBN 978-0415243889
Evans R Practical DV Film Making (Focal Press, 2005) ISBN 978-0240807386
Evans H Essential English for Journalists, Editors and Writers (Pimlico, 2000) ISBN 978-0712664479
Hartley J Television Truths: Forms of Knowledge in Popular Culture (Whiley Blackwell, 2007) ISBN
Hicks W Writing for Journalists (Routledge, 2008) ISBN 978-0415460217
Jarvis P The Essential TV Directors Handbook (Focal Press, 1998) ISBN 978-0240515038
Jones C and Joliffe G The Guerrilla Film Makers Handbook (Continuum, 2006) ISBN 978-0826479884
Rabiger M Directing the Documentary (Focal Press, 2009) ISBN 978-0240810898
Rudin R and Ibbotson T An Introduction to Journalism: Essential Techniques and Background
Knowledge (Focal Press, 2003) ISBN 978-0240516349
Winston B Claiming the Real (British Film Institute, 2008) ISBN 978-1844572717 Journals
The Journalist

Websites BBC producers guidelines BBC online training modules including links to modules on
interviewing for radio; streaming content and text versions available