Category Archives: Loose Women

My time working on Loose Women at the London Studios

Loose Women – Day 5

And so my week’s work experience at Loose Women has come to an end. I must admit, even after only a week I felt a pang as I walked out the elevator for the last time. Of course, with all the running about I’ve done this week this may well have just been the ache ebbing from my legs.

But wow. What a week it’s been. The buildup to today’s big celebration show has certainly been an interesting one, with puppies, prosecco and Gemma Collins all featuring in the highlights. It’s been a really educational experience and even in the short time I was there my knowledge of terrestrial television as an industry has grown tenfold. From the Producer’s desk to Director’s gallery, Floor Manager’s studio to editor’s suite, Stylist’s wardrobe to Set Dresser’s workshop, I’ve had a glimpse into the huge workforce behind the TV we enjoy daily. It’s given me a clearer sense of not only what I want to pursue as a career, but my own place within the media industry.

It’s been a great start to my placement year, I can’t wait to see what the rest of it brings!

 

Loose Women – Day 4

So today I shadowed Jack, the Assistant Floor Manager, whilst on air. Running around behind the set getting everything ready, I was suddenly transported back to my acting days at school, the familiar buzz of preparing for a production surging through me. It was a feeling I’d missed.

The Floor Manager’s job is to keep everything running smoothly in the studio. This means organising props, the cast, rehearsals, timings and generally being alert to anything which might cause an issue whilst live on air. As to be expected, this involves a lot of running around trying to do 12 things at once. Thankfully I was only a witness to this, completing errands and relaying instructions, but nonetheless remaining largely observant of this manic activity at work. Gemma Collins (whose memes are dominating Twitter right now) was the main guest who we had to escort around the studio for the day.  It was a strange sensation seeing someone who had garnered such a frenzy of attention online in person.

Me and the Queen of Memays

Once the show was over I went down to wardrobe, where I got to see the somewhat less glamorous side of fashion – sorting through and bagging up all the multiple outfits which hadn’t been worn on the show. Although I don’t have a particular interest in pursuing fashion as a career, it was still another insight into one of the micro-industries which make up the world I want to work in.

Loose Women – Day 3

Well, puppies. As the four tiny Springer Spaniels bounced around the green room, I must admit I didn’t really feel like I was ‘at work’. I must admit, it was a strangely satisfying feeling, seeing the little ribbons which I had spent several hours searching for the day before tied around their collars live on national television. It once again underscored what I have slowly come to realise as I gain more experience in the industry – the sheer scale of effort that goes into making even the simplest piece of media. The puppies that people saw on TV for a no more than a minute were the product of hours of preparation and rehearsal by a whole team of professionals, as well as my personal contribution of the little bows.

It made me wonder how many of those satisfying little moments happen for different people in everything we watch. A prop they’d spent hours finding, a camera-movement timed just right, a line they’d drafted again and again until it rang true. I am extremely grateful that I have had the opportunity to come to more fully appreciate the craftsmanship in such an integral part of the modern world.

Speaking of craftsmanship, I had the opportunity to watch Richard direct in the gallery today.  For those of you that haven’t seen the inside of a broadcasting gallery, it’s not dissimilar to some kind of alien spacecraft (or the set of a JJ Abrams movie), filled with large boards of lights and buttons and manned by a small team of highly skilled professionals.  I’d try to go into more detail, but I think with the number of Star Trek references I’d make this blog would be shut down for copyright. Anyways, manning this futuristic pod is the director, who (in very basic terms) tells the team what camera/footage to cut to whilst live on air.

                                                         Inside the Enterprise

It was like watching a conductor. From the wall of screens in front of him known as ‘the stack’,  shot-by-shot he pulled the show together, the next command flying out of his mouth before I’d had a chance to process the prior. Speaking to him afterwards, he said that the key was to give everyone in the studio enough information to be able to get through the frantic moments. Seriously cool stuff.

Loose Women – Day 2

Well, that was certainly an eventful second day. My list of accomplishments for the day include being in the same room as the Mock the Week cast minus Dara O Briain, but including Hugh Dennis holding the door open for me (which is definitely going on my CV) and being a personal shopper for the 4 puppies on the show tomorrow (also going on my CV). I got a proper feel for the runner role, traipsing through London for a list of items which ranged from leather gloves to birthday candles. Of course, I also got to network and learn more about various roles within the company, such as the function of an Assistant Floor Manager. But mostly the puppies personal shopping.

 

I mean it’s not these puppies but it’s close enough

Tomorrow I get to have a meeting with Nick Thomas, the Head of Editing, which I’m very excited about. I’m interested to see his career progression, from his younger years to where he is now, to gain some sense of trajectory for my own path. As someone with a lot of experience in the industry, I’m keen to get his take on where it’s headed as a whole, both in a technical and wider socioeconomic sense.

When I first travelled to London, looking around the crowded tubes I wondered why people stared steadfastly at the floor in front of them, oblivious of the people-watching opportunities all around them.

Heading back to my flat at 6:30 this evening, with the weight of a long day’s work pulling on my eyelids, I think I better understand.

Loose Women – Day 1

Finally home from my first day working on Loose Women at the London Studios. I’ve chosen a great week to start; Loose Women is celebrating its 18th birthday as the longest running daytime talk-show in Britain. I spent most of the day running around helping with the manic preparation before going live. I got to see a large part of the process of filming the show – pre-production up in the offices, the gallery where they mix the live show, the actual studio (where I got to see The Script warm up) as well as numerous other departments which kept the whole operation running smoothly. Once again I was staggered by the sheer number of people it takes to make a piece of media.

I got to speak to a few people, mostly in the Loose Women team, about their roles and how they had come to work where they were. In particular I spoke to John, the junior editor for Loose Women, who gave me a clearer idea of the career path needed to become an editor (as well as re-affirming my fears that I will, in fact, have to teach myself Avid in order to make a career of it). I need to learn more about ingest (as I will most likely start out in it) and so this will be my mission for tomorrow. I’m very excited to see what the week brings.