Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was an author called Robert Thirkell who wrote the incredibly insightful book called ‘C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T’. He wrote about two chapter which are relevant to the task we have been set for this weeks blog task. He wrote about in one particular chapter the ‘creative sparks’  and how it is good to be on the lookout for as many stories as possible. He also mentions in this book that the most important ingredient for a story is for it to have ambition. You start out with a simple idea and expand upon it to make it so that it’s ambitious. An example he mentioned in the book is Jamie Oliver’s school dinners, this is ambitious in what it’s trying to change according to Thirkell by trying to change eating habits of children in the UK but ambition, makes it sell around the world which is an interesting concept to think about when coming up with an idea in pre-production.

He also talks about how meeting contributors and persuading people to contribute into doing the program is a hard task in itself because of negotiations. He claims that he will spend two hours finding the right contributor and once meeting with them he will simply talk 3/4 of the way about life and finding common ground. In fact, they got a statement from a former controller, legal and compliance, Channel 4, MD, Media Law Consultancy saying that the key thing is trust and wording the agreement to take place is vital for the contributor.

Not only that but later on in the book, Thirkell talks about how people skills are equally important into keeping lots of different constituencies happy. I think Thirkell’s book is really interesting as it not only teaches you a lot about how to keep a contributor happy and keep them in the fold even if the producer decides they don’t want them in the final cut is vital to a show’s success. He mentioned in the book that you want to push the boundaries of the contributor but also make them feel happy and comfortable to do so, this obviously comes with a lot of practice but it all depends on how you treat people as a whole which comes in handy when trying to gain contributors for a program. The book C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T is so compelling and useful when wanting to gain information into how you get people to trust you enough to take part in a show you are filming.

Robert Thirkell’s book C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T is truly a one of a kind book which offers some extremely insightful and thoughtful analysis into gaining contributors, and they all lived happily ever after.


BBC World Service – In Search of Henk and Ingrid

The locations in the BBC Radio show, In Search of Henk and Ingrid, involves a lot of public speaking with one of the politicians, Geert Wilders’, and they described him as the “radical right-wing Party For Freedom (PVV) – which wants to close mosques and ban the Qur’an – is expected to be one of the big winners in next week’s general election. Wilders says his typical voters are “Henk and Ingrid” – Holland’s Mr and Mrs Average. Tim Whewell sets out to find Henk and Ingrid in parts of the Netherlands that tourists, and Holland’s own elite, rarely see.” (BBC, 2017) The presenter, sets out on a journey and interviews a lot of interesting people along the way which adds to the depth of the program as you can visually see in your head everything you’re hearing because of the sounds of the location in the background. It is done really effectively.

NETHERLANDS-TRIAL-WILDERSThe locations that are described within the radio show are very interesting because at one point, it is made known that the political stance in Holland has taken an effect on locals because they shut their own houses and they describe how the shutters are down to make it a little safer and that they are kind of excluded from the rest of the town because of what’s going on in with the elections and rest of the neighborhoods. Whilst having a tour of this neighborhood, they ride bikes throughout it and give a brief explanation that in Holland it’s more effective to ride them and lowers pollution. Listeners can faintly hear the actuality of the rides being rode whilst the local is describing the atmosphere around them which seems to be isolated and rough.


This radio show is very good at describing the location through sound and locals giving detailed descriptions. All together this is a very successful radio location package telling the story of Holland’s elections.


In Search of Henk and Ingrid, Assignment – BBC World Service. (2017). BBC. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04vhgbq#play





Manchester’s Serial Killer – Channel 4

The ‘Manchester Pusher’ as previously nicknamed in the program uses a lot of good locations to illustrate the story of the serial killer. Allegedly, “85 people – 72 of them men – have died in rivers, canals or other waterways in Greater Manchester between 2008 and 2014. Eleven of them were found dead in Manchester city centre” (Scheerhout, 2016) by a serial killer who is unknown to the police. The location of the canal adds to the depth of the documentary because it is local around the Manchester area and makes people more aware of how dangerous it actually is. Other locations they used skillfully to portray how serious the situation and how poignant the story is, would be the victims houses that have a family member describe what it was like losing someone they loved. This enhanced the story as it showed how much it’s affected young people. In addition, they also used footage from CCTV to back up the point of how it could happen at any point to anyone.


The locations are really important in conveying the story, they pointed out in the documentary the key areas where the killer had attacked his victims which the audience could feel unnerved by. This emotion response enables them to view how, as previously mentioned, the families are dealing with the loss. According to the Daily Star, “” (Culley, 2016) This adds more to the case because the audience then become invested in who is the Manchester Pusher and why is he luring down the canals. This is also highlighted in the program along with the locations in Peel Park, Salford Crescent Train Station and Media City UK, two of the locations are based near student villages.


The locations of the canals and the street views highlight just how serious the situation is and also makes citizens aware of the dangers in the locations that they have shot at. The Manchester Pusher is responsible for a lot of deaths which have alerted a lot of the general public since coming out in the Channel 4 documentary. One Twitter user complained that the evidence they supplied on the program in the CCTV location wasn’t clear enough, “ CCTV in Manchester ” (Rodney Marks, 2016) and another user noted that “Birmingham has twice the canals & half the deaths? Not in city centre, Manchester has loads more canal. This programme is skewed ” (Lee Kyle, 2016)


The Manchester Serial Killer raises a lot of questions amongst audiences but the locations that this program is set in helps to raise awareness in the places the killer has been attacking victims and also to illustrate a story told by both the families, police department evidence and specialist opinions.


Culley, J. (2016). REVEALED: Favourite ‘murder spots’ of feared Canal Pusher serial killer. Dailystar.co.uk. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/504025/Canal-Pusher-Manchester-drownings-serial-killer-unexplained-mystery-deaths

Scheerhout, J. (2016). Fact or fiction? Ten things we learned about ‘The Pusher’. Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 19 March 2017, from http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/the-pusher-documentary-canal-killer-10760364

Commisioning Meeting

For this assignment at University of Salford, I have been tasked with pitching my idea to my tutor to see if it is suitable for a show we had to pick. I chose to do a BBC Three Short Documentary as originally planned but the idea had changed to a day in the life of a paranoid schizophrenic. Whilst researching this idea I found a lot of interesting facts like “It affects about 1 in every 100 people and it usually starts during early adulthood. It does not mean that you have a split personality or that you are likely to be violent. The symptoms of schizophrenia can be split into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ symptoms.” (Rethink Mental Illness, n.a)


The feedback that was provided from my tutor was very positive as I pitched my idea and found a couple of contributors who fit perfectly for the program. I found an interesting girl who is schizophrenic and has been very open about her struggles with it, I have emailed but had no response yet. Another contributor who I thought would be perfect for the program is an expert in the field of mental health and could shed some light why this is happening and what happens to the brain. All of this and information from charities such as ‘Mind for better mental health’  want to get the word out about the mental illness and the sigma surrounding it.

mind for better.jpg

The only piece of advice that my tutor gave me was to think of back up contributors just in case one fell through and to also think about the locations it would be set if it was in oversea territory or it was local in the UK. Apart from that he stated he would like to have seen this program being made once researched and had all the relevant contacts to make it happen.



What are the causes of schizophrenia? – Rethink Mental Illness, the mental health charity. Rethink.org. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from https://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/schizophrenia/causes