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My ‘excited’ Life

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For those of you who know me may know that I love the CBBC series My Life, and this time last year my blog contained lots of mentions of the series.

The series takes children from all parts of the UK with a unique story to tell and creates a 30-minute observational documentary; the episodes are made by different independent production companies rather than the BBC in house team, The episodes are stand-alone films but also work as a part of the series on the CBBC channel.  The series is now in it’s forth year and having seen every episode I can say that they have told some great stories, about boys doing ballet, girls doing boxing a father to son kidney transplant.

One reason that I know so much about the series is for my final Masters project I completed a research question about the series and how it produces factual programmes often about sensitive subjects for an under 12 audience.

This time last year when series 3 was on I hoped that one day I would get to work on the series, and in the summer the dream has come true and I was luckily enough to work on not only one but two episodes the first to air today.

Both episodes are very different but equally amazing and I can’t wait to watch them today’s episode. It is about family who have 12 children we follow Annabelle one summer through the build up to her eldest sisters wedding, the family are amazing and the wedding brilliant and was all caught on camera for your viewing pleasure!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/my-life 

So this week there is not a list of recommended programmes for you to watch there is simply 1 but it is a must see.

 

Tuesday 26th February 2013

My Life: My Big Family Wedding

5:45 pm- CBBC channel

(repeated on Sunday 5:30 and on Iplayer) 

TV times is back……..

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So as with many things New Years are a great time to start or re-start things, so this is one of the reasons I am re starting my blog, www.myboxitslifeandme.wordpress.com for you avid followers that have been lost in recent months without my televisual recommendations, you may notice that I have re- invented my blog we have moved from blogspot to wordpress, and over the summer I was writing a new section all about my final project which I completed, and received a distinction.

For those have you who are new to my blog it is a little insight into the world of TV, I believe myself to be fair choice to blog about TV as I have recently finished a Masters in Children’s Media Production, I have been working in an Independent TV company and am now on the hunt for a new job within the industry, with all this free time this means I also have plenty of time to watch TV, write reviews and recommend to you what I think is great.

I’m sure I have said before I got into to Downton Abbey quite late and in fact I started watching the first series after the second had aired. I am now addicted and think its AMAzing which means I of course watched the Christmas episode which at feature length was amazing, my only slight disappointment was that it was set in the summer and with this December being very wet and Christmas not really feeling very Christmassy, I would have loved our trip to the Abbey to be filled with turkey, crackers, and festive feelings but I did still enjoy it. Just a little tip and the reason I will not be discussing the ending, when next season is out:

  • Downton Abbey is not the kind of programme you should watch on Iplayer, it seems to be the programme more than most that people on social media sites ruin the cliff-hangers.

 

But this Sunday sees the ‘opening’ of a programme I am extremely excited about! I will compare it to Downton due to its period drama feel and it’s Sunday evening time slot. Mr Selfridge, I am hugely excited about this new programme on ITV, as a huge Selfridges fan anyway I think that any programme giving us an insight into a world that we are unfamiliar with is going to be exciting, but we shall see when the programme starts on Sunday the 6th Jan 2013 at 9pm.

 

I also found myself watching Channel 4’s new Wednesday night line up, Gok’s new match making show seems to work much better when he is matchmaking in a more familiar setting with style rather than the programme ‘Baggage’ which saw him trying to be the Cilla Black of Channel 4, I enjoyed this new format followed by One Born Every Minute which of course returning in it’s 4th series was as exciting as every episode before it. The 10pm slot is held by the Sharron Horagon secrets of a good marriage, which appears to be Channel 4’s answer to the Authored series by Cherry Healy, I liked it and of course was left wondering what good researchers they have working on these programmes to find the married twins that live together with their husbands. So if you are a fan of Cherry Healy I think this series is one to watch as it returns next Wednesday at 10pm. 

Practise Research Project 6

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In May I went to meet Chris she was extremely interested in my project she has done a lot of work for guide dogs, from helping on the tours, giving speech’s about being a Guide Dog owner, and has been on TV for the charity.

            Chris was diagnosed with Retina Pigamentosa many years after seeing something on daytime TV explaining about symptoms that were similar to hers; she is now completely blind and has had 5 Guide Dogs since then as well as completing 2 degrees and raising 2 children.

            Chris has a best friend called Shane he’s a golden Labrador retriever cross. And she has 3 grandchildren who came round whilst I was there. And they have agreed to be in my documentary. ‘My Life, My Nan and Her Best Friend’ 

🙂

Practise Research Project 5

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The series My Life, is in my opinion a hidden gem on the CBBC channel it is not something that too many people know about in particular adults (some who actually work for CBBC) don’t know that there is a documentary series for children about children but in many cases the children who actually fit into the channels target audience they don’t know either.

I know this from some research I carried out with some groups of 9 year old children out of 8 only one had actually seen and knew of the series.

The series is not actually made by the BBC’s in house team it instead is made through independent production companies for the BBC because these are themselves based across the county it means that the contributors of the documentaries also are. 

Documentary series following the highs and lows of a group of youngsters. Tackling a different subject each episode, the strand provides an insight into the lives of different children across the UK, each with a unique story to tell.

 The series’ have seen many amazing children contributors with incredible stories to tell, there have been episodes about disabilities, sports, traveller children’s, children’s whose parents are in Afghanistan and whose dad’s are in prison, over coming their stammer, children with alopecia, children with prosthetic limbs, narcolepsy, dwarfism, and to a child getting a kidney transplant from his dad.

I have seen them all and can tell you that the series is extremely diverse and as you can see covers some very serious issues.

It was at this point that I realised that from knowing the concept for the series you could see the programme themes fitting on BBC2, BBC3, Channel 4 or Channel 5. And even with their contributors being children the programmes would still do extremely well if they were appealing to a older target audience. So I wondered how it was possible to make the series about complex issues suitable for children if the CBBC channels target audience is 6- 12 years old.

 I set myself the research area and question Looking into CBBC’s series My Life what factors are important to make factual programming about serious subjects suitable and appropriate for children?

It would be through making my own version of a My Life episode I would endeavour to answer to this question. 

Practise Research Project 4

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2nd August

 

(We are looking back and it’s about May time now.)

 Now that I am a volunteer for guide dogs, I have learnt so much not only about the charity and the great work it can do but also about the amazing partnerships that have been made.

 My Job role, is as Media Assistant so I have written several press releases one that I am particularly proud of because I wrote it as though from a guide dog Edward, through this I learnt that it costs on average £50,000 per dog that Guide Dogs fund, this figure I think is astonishing but so worth while.

 I have also decided that I would make a couple promotional videos for Guide Dogs to help promote the charity and hopefully encourage people to volunteer or perhaps even donate to the cause.

 Through out the process of becoming a volunteer, I met Janet who works for the charity and she put me in contact with Chris, who is a guide dog owner that might just be interested in being a part of my project! 

Fingers crossed. 

Practise Research Project 3

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25th July 2012

Having watched many of the My Life episodes I took these thoughts and contemplated how interesting a My Life styled documentary about guide dogs would be.

The more I thought about it I soon realised that it combined all of my passions and was the perfect final research project for me.

I came up with two possible types of contributors that could provide an interesting story:

  1. A family member who has an assistance dog and there under 12 children, niece/ nephews or grand children tell the story
  2. A young person of under 14 year olds who has or is getting an assistance dog.

And so in early February 2012 I set about trying to find the perfect contributor, to begin with I contacted charities, Dogs for the Disabled, Canine Partners, Support Dogs, RNIB, National Blind Children’s Society, An many local deaf support centres. (to name a few)

Most got back to me and although were very interested in the project, but due to being charities did not have the resources or contacts to be able to provide me with any assistance.

It was a huge disappointment but I was not going to give up that easily!!!

Throughout my research into assistance dogs, I started to really appreciate the work that the support charities do and how important volunteers are to them. And so I decided that I could spare some time to volunteer.

Practise Research Project 2- The inspiration

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18th July 2012

I wanted to create a documentary about children for children.

So the idea: way back when things were colder and we were signing carols and I was certainly craving mince pies I watched a documentary on ITV called ‘My Child’s Not Perfect’ now the title grabbed me…..surly every child is perfect I wondered how they were going to make a programme with presumably negative connotations to their parenting.

But I loved it I thought it was not only really interesting but also inspirational, and I don’t just mean this because it inspired me. Having watched the documentary in the evening I woke up the next day and knew what I wanted to complete my final project on.  A sort of role reversal my parent’s not perfect.

For many years I have been interested in assistance dogs, since Brownies when a local lady who had Multiple Sclerosis came to give a talk she had a beautiful black poodle who was her mobility assistance dog, the dog could support her to get back up if she fell over get the washing out of the machine. From this moment I set about learning about assistance dogs.

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Picture description- Guide dog wearing harness walking down the street.

http://assistance-dog-aware.blogspot.co.uk/

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Picture description- Hearing dog wearing coat.

http://bloggers.com/post/hearing-dogs-for-helping-deaf-people-4663619

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Picture description- mobility assistance dog reaching for bank card at cash machine wearing purple jacket.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/2007/mar/09/post273