All about my University work


Binary Opposition – Gender

First thought of during the 1950’s, binary opposition is a relation between two things as a pair of distinctive items but yet one is absent the other. In this case its gender and how males and females are different.

Males and females are represented as different from each other and not of their biological differences. Males and females both have their ideologies and represented as masculine and feminine for the most part by culture. The rise of feminism has tried to close the gaps on the differences but traditionalist views help retain stereotypes.

  • Women seen as desirable – In traditional Hollywood films as soon as a woman comes onto screen, the direction is completely different to that of when a man walks onto screen. They show the woman to be idolised and awed over for her beauty and nothing else. Her role in the films is just to give the male audiences something pretty to look at as she generally have no primary part in the film. By choosing certain women by their looks it sends out the view that all women should be like this and how other women not in the media should also be.
  • Major Roles – Traditional Hollywood films were produced by men and therefore wanted men  as the lead role since it being a sign of power also the audience is also seen as completely male and having a woman in a major role would be perceived as too feminine and men wouldn’t want to watch it as men grew up believing they were the stronger sex. Women and power never really went hand in hand as history tended to suggest. You could argue with the exceptions of a few monarchs but then how are the next monarchs decided? Even the roles of women in Shakespeare’s plays were played by men as actresses were seen as whores and derogatory. It took until the 1970’s with Alien that a women was majorly seen as the leading role in the film doing as men have done previously.
  • Toys – Children are given certain toys depending on their gender. A girl a Barbie and a boy an Action Man. Straight away children are set into cultural ideologies and grow up with it becoming second nature. Even as a child I was given DIY tools to play with as males are associated with DIY and has become a masculine thing. Even the builder’s bum has become a masculine thing and is just generally accepted. My sister on the other hand had a dolls house and a little play kitchen. Traditional women’s roles again are driven into our mind early in our lives and follow all the way through to adulthood where these ideologies continue.
  • Intelligence – Women are perceived to be less intelligent than men. The ideology is that men rule the world so therefore must be more intelligent than women. Media again helps reinforce these ideologies. Boys and girls used to to do different subjects in school, girls didn’t do geography and maths because society didn’t think they would need those skills. The media also perceive this to be true and exploit it to a male audience in order to make themselves feel better and more important.

72 Hour Challenge Reflexion

After being given only 72hours to have to go from concept to production I felt that the university lip dub was quite satisfactory. I personally felt that it could have been a lot more fluent and perhaps been better with both the sound and picture quality. The task was also a good bonding exercise as I really didn’t know most of the E group by name or how they worked. I did really enjoy that aspect of it and felt that I gave myself a bigger and better reputation as a result of this challenge.

Our initial ideas in Group E3 were not that great because it had to be one take which we did not take into consideration, so fortunately the other groups came up with credible ideas. The organisation was I felt pretty good, Only on one occasion that all the group reps didn’t meet up together and we were informed before hand that they couldn’t make it. The group reps worked well together culminating everyones ideas and helping the production run smoothly.

I always felt that Group E3 always had the potential to do well but I don’t think we worked together as well as we could have with only all of us meeting up just twice, once at the beginning and once at the end. However despite that it was the best we have worked together since our inception. I took it upon myself to be the group rep as I sadly didn’t trust some of the group to do it and their input would be far from 100%. I also wanted to be the rep as it would give me more control and knowledge of what went on rather than hearing it from somebody else.

My personal work rate was at a good level, as soon as we had our idea I did what I could to get our Group (E3) together and communicating with one another. I managed to set the group tasks and keep them busy to try and make this a group task rather than an individual one for me. I made myself constantly available and worked primarily in the Ellen Terry building to maximise my efficiency and be available to other E groups and help them where needed and discuss ideas. I booked out the camera and was nominated to be the cameraman. Perhaps I could have worked harder on the directional aspect as I was never to sure with the direction but did talk with the other groups to ask how they wanted it to be shot.

Me (Dicken Richards) at University Lip Dub shoot. Photo by Kartik Ralhan

The last minute changes were not ideal. I took it upon myself to try and sort it out and had help from the group reps to re-arange the route and rooms. This lead to things being changed and we worked well to rectify the situation, which I felt went rather well and by the time of the shoot everything was sorted and appeared like we never had problems at all.

After everything considered it went well. I was a little disappointed with the fluidity of the video. It could have run smoother and give it more ebb and flow. Also I felt my camera work in places could also have been better. I had to change the aperture throughout as different rooms had different lighting. This especially was a problem with the James Bond scene as we had the effect of looking down the barrel of a gun. As soon as it came down it blocked the light coming in and had to change it from the time it took me to turn around which proved difficult as I was also helping with card and the direction.

72 Hour Challenge

Our Challenge: University Lip Dub

Needs to be: One Take

Include lip dubbing

Time in Which to Complete: 72 Hours


This blog will show how both I and our Group managed to go from spark to creation in just 72 hours. We were given a task in which we need to produce our very own University Lip Dub ( with our group (Group E). Each group also has sub-groups (1,2,3,4 and 5) and I was in group E3.

After  being given our task we met up in our small groups and started discussing ideas. This quickly came into an almost futile attempt in which to come up with ideas. I decided to split from the group for one hour and go and look for inspiration. After an hour or so I came back with several ideas and was disappointed to come back to just two ideas between the other five people in the group. The best Idea that we came up with that was in the limits of what we could do was just simple choreography to an opera track which was not yet picked. The idea had lots of holes in it and we came up with other ideas but due to the restraints of only being one take and copyright laws they were quickly disregarded. One person from our group was made the group rep and would therefore go forward with other group reps from the big E Group. That person was me.

Group Reps:

Helena Borthwick

Aaron Cawrey

Kieran Vauls

Tom Barne

Dicken Richards

The rest of the group reps then met up and we put ideas across. My ideas was quickly binned as I knew it would be and sadly relied on other peoples ideas in which to move forward. One idea that came across was the idea of using famous movie quotes. Our group had half put this idea across and was thrown out because of the copyright laws. We however started looking at possibilities around the laws and decided that other people can rein-act the voices and wouldn’t be against any copyright laws. We landed on this idea along with part of another group’s idea of moving from one room to another to help the story flow.

"What're you rebelling against, Johhny?" "Whaddya got?"

After our group meeting was finished I contacted the rest of the group and told them the idea in which we are going to do. I then met up with other people from the big group and we then started to come up with a plan of how it was going to be done. This proved to be rather hard with about 15 people in one room all shouting out ideas. We came up with many movie quotes and each small group decided to rein-act one of those scenes. We decided that each small group would act out two scenes, with one being short to act as almost a transition. The meeting was quite sporadic and didn’t have much structure so we therefore decided that the group reps should relay all that has been said to the rest of the group reps in order to halt confusion and to boost efficiency .

I then told the rest of my group what was going on and decided to get them all to come up with a movie quote or two and from them we can decide on what we will put forward and do and would meet in the morning.


We (Group E3) decided to meet up at 11am to discuss our ideas, unfortunately only two other people turned up. We decided then to scrap whatever quotes and ideas that the other three people had and go with what we had in front of us. The quote from Jerry Maguire (1996), “Show me the money!” was an almost immediate yes as everyone seems to know that quote. It’s quick, quite funny and would easily be used as the transition shot. The other quote we decided would be the one from Dirty Harry (1971), “Do I feel lucky? Well do you punk?” This would be our main re-inactment as it requires a whole paragraph and would last approx. 20 seconds.

Dirty Harry (1971)

"Show me the money!" Jerry Maguire (1996)

I then met up with the group reps at 12 to tell them what we have come up with along with their ideas and quotes. We then decided where it would be shot and we chose the ground floor of the Ellen Terry building as we spent most our time in there and it was inside so less people would disagree with the decision. We then put down a plan of who’s going where and in what order that it would be done in. We then decided that it would be shot on the thursday at 6pm (55 hours into the project) as it would be quieter then and everyone would be available. By choosing this time we then need to contact the key master of the building in order to make sure that every room that we have picked would be available. We managed to get hold of the number and had a group rep get it sorted. We also decided that since we are doing movie quotes we would need a clapper board to help set the scene of what the idea was at the beginning of the video. I took it upon myself to be the cameraman as no-one else volunteered but also because we wanted it to be one of the group reps as we had a fuller idea of what was going on. I managed to book the equipment with very little hassle so the only thing left was to make sure we had the rooms that we wanted open and I wanted the scene to have a music in the background to help make it flow, but at this time we hadn’t decided on a soundtrack

After the meeting I managed to get another meeting together to tell them what we have decided and to start our own rehearsals. This time 3 people turned up and only 2 were missing. We then designated each person with a role of either performing or doing a voice over. We then decided on props and clothing in which we needed a pistol, a mobile phone and to people in shirt n ties. This went rather well and the people who did not turn up we designated other roles. With one being the bank robber and one using the clapperboard.


Day three started with myself doing a risk assessment sheet on where our production was going to be, on the rooms and the corridors. After completion of that I stayed in the Ellen Terry building where I saw some people from our big group and asked them how they think the production was going. I was met with positive remarks however I personally had my doubts in which I was working to rectify . I then met up with my small group in which three other people turned up and we were two people short. We decided to record the quotes and do a few rehearsals with the people that we had. These went rather smoothly which I was pleased with. I then had another meeting at 12 but just before that I met up with one of the group members that didn’t turn up earlier and gave him the lowdown of what was going on and his role in the whole thing. I then got all the equipment needed such as the camera and the clapper board.

During our group reps meeting I found out that one of the group reps was not there and would not be available until 6pm. I then found out that the rooms were not booked so I took it upon myself to try and get the rooms on such short notice. I then had problem booking the rooms and could only manage the lecture theatre (ETG34). I then managed to get a few smaller rooms available such as the kitchen. This then made us have to rethink the route in which would be shot and who’s re-inactments would go in each order. We then plotted the new route and positions which I personally thought would give it a bit more ebb and flow and would make it more aesthetically pleasing.

I then took a break and came back to the Ellen terry building around 4:30pm (90 mins before full rehearsals start). This was to make sure that everything was going to plan and that everyone was pretty much ready and would be available by 6pm. People then started to arrive from around 5:30pm  and everything seemed to be coming together. The lecture theatre was booked from 6pm onwards and with 6 o’clock approaching the room was still shut and started raising a few eyebrows. For what was the first time since we were given this project everybody from E3 was all together and all knew what they were doing. At just after 6 we were setting up just well and the lecture theatre was then made available to us. I personally was relieved as I was the one that booked it out and the onus was on me to deliver. Everybody knew where they were meant to be and at what point they were meant to be performing. We had a couple of dry run throughs, in which there were mistakes but that was to be expected. After several attempts we were ready for a real take. I was the camera man which also kind of made me the director although there was quite a bit of help provided which I was pleased with. We managed to get a good take with a full run through however I wasn’t entirely happy about it and wanted to do it again much to the dismay of the rest of the group. After I second time I felt that I made a mistake and wanted to do it a third time to get it better but I was quickly shunned and that was going to be the take that we submitted. The video was then uploaded with no editing and submitted a full 12 hours before the deadline.

Creating A Narrative

Writer’s can often experience writer’s block. No matter what they do they can’t seem to come up with a narrative or something to help move the story along. There are however some cures available, one of which is looking at photographs and pictures and making up your own assumptions in order to create a story.

What do you see in this picture?


Pictures can tell a thousand words and in this picture we saw a vulnerable looking lady. We decided that this lady is looking vulnerable because she got raped. She looks all alone with nobody to help her. This was a basis for our story. We then cut out other pictures and arranged them into some sort of order. With two or more pictures side by side you can’t help but make connections between the pictures. Each Picture had it’s own meaning and with each picture we created a story to go around the rape scene.

The story that was created was that a guy and a girl are together and have good times until she catches him with another woman. In a rage she kills her and then flees. She then meets a man where he forces himself upon her and rapes her. A young man then offers his arm and helps her through her ordeal.





Couple having a good time

Boyfriend Cheats on her


Girlfriend kills mistress

She meets another man who rapes her

The girl after she's got raped













Young man comes to rescue and comfort her

Enjoy good times together like playing hook a duck

















This is just a basic story which has come from a selection of random pictures. Its not the most professional but with the basic story and plot in line you can now expand on each picture further and create a detailed structure which helps alot towards creating a narrative.

The Jerry Springer Show

The Jerry Springer Show 1991 – Present

Jerry Springer


The Jerry Springer Show was first aired in America on September 30th 1991 and has since aired over 3000 shows. Over the years it has become highly successful with cameos on Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged me (1999) and The Simpsons and having an Opera entitled Jerry Springer The Opera (2003).

The Jerry Springer Show is an American multi-camera talk show about the lives of everyday people and is shot in Connecticut, USA. Although shot in front of a studio audience the show itself is not aired live.

The show is a commercial institution today owned by a major company called NBC Universal who is part of General Electric and its low budget (Other than Springer himself) allows the show to make alot of money.In America the viewing figures are around 1.5million daily.Today the show is aired in many countries and re-runs are also played to allow the company to make more money without too much effort. It aims to get viewers by trying to shock them and humiliate their guests. A warning is now added before every show to warn viewers that there maybe adult scenes and themes throughout the show. Sound effects are added to the show such as a boxing bell to try and signal that a fight is about to start. Little effort is ever put into stopping them other than a couple of security guards to jump in if it gets pretty nasty.

The guests are not paid to come on the show as they are members of the public, this adds to the unpredictability of the show which has made is so popular. Each episode will have a different theme i.e. “Porn Star & Angry mom” And “Guess What? I’m really a man.”

The set is built in away to appear to be a in a warehouse almost industrial, with bricks and windows being the main stage set. It’s set like this to show that the people that come on the show are generally working class and live an almost sub-par life. The staging is also big enough to accommodate a a fight so that they dont get involved with the audience and a fair few other people such as security guards and camera men so that they can get close to a fight should it happen.

Ironically the demographic for the show is the same as they want to be on the show. This is so it keeps coming up with new guests that watch the show and also that the working class are more likely to watch as they are the same people who want to know about celebrities and their trials and tribulations, and would therefore want to know about somebody’s 15 minutes of fame. After 20 years it’s hard to know why there are still an abundance of people trying to get on the show, but Springer said, “We are probably the only show that grows its own guests.” Which helps emphasise the reasons why it shouldn’t change it’s style to fit a different demographic as it may be it’s own demise. The language of the guests is also one of which the viewers can relate to. the way that they speak and act may also be similar to the people watching.

At the end of each show Jerry Springer has a “final thought,” This is to try and give a serious notion to the show as it is some peoples everyday problems, no matter how funny it is to other people. It shows that the show has direction and Springer tries to reach conclusions and shows if you would act in the same way if it happened to you.

Media Diary

Over the course of 3 days 9-11 October 2010 I tracked my every piece of medium that I came across, weather it was watching tv or on the internet.

9 october 2010

Time Medium i.e. tv What watched/done Source
16:00 – 17:30 Internet Sky Sports News Sky Player
18:55 – 19:55 Television Commonwealth Games BBC 2
20:00 – 21:00 Internet Facebook
21:00 – 22:00 Television Friends E4
22:10 – 22:55 Television McIntyre’s Comedy 


22:55 – 00:00 Television 100 Greatest Stand Ups E4
00:00 – 01:00 Internet International Football 


Sky Player

11 October 2010

Time Medium i.e. tv What watched/done Source
13:10 – 13:30 Internet Sky Sports News Sky Player
13:30 – 14:00 Television Jerry Springer Channel One
14:00 – 14:05 Internet Checked Emails/Facebook messages Hotmail, Facebook
14:00 – 14:10 Internet Sky Sports News Sky Player
15:50 – 17:00 Television Commonwealth Games BBC One
17: 00 – 17:27 Television Friends E4
17:27 – 17:33 Internet Sky Sports News Sky Player
17:33 – 18:00 Television Friends E4
18:00 – 18:30 Television Scrubs E4
18:40 – 19:10 DVD Little Miss N/A
19:10 – 19:30 Television The Simpsons Channel 4 +1
19:45 – 20:10 Internet photography
20:10 – 20:30 Television University Challenge BBC 2
20:30 – 21:00 Television The Gadget Show Five
21:00 – 22:00 Television Horizon BBC 2
22:00 – 22:30 Television The Inbetweeners E4
22:30 – 23:15 Internet Facebook
23:15 – 00:00 Internet Sky Sports News Sky Player

Street Art

Street Art was arguably the first form of art that ever existed. Cave men drew on the walls and although simple told a story and had meaning. They drew on walls mainly due to not having anything else to draw on. As these marking were drawn and scratched on it is also considered to be graffiti. Graffiti is something we associate with crime and unsocial behaviour, however we have grown up to believe this when its not entirely true. Essentially graffiti and street art is the same thing and all has meaning and purpose.


Earliest of all Street art. Graffiti?

Over the last few years street art has had a big boom in positive media and is less related to gangs and crime as it was during the 1970’s. This is not to say that the majority of street art is still illegal and can still be persecuted for it. Exhibits of street art are now quite in abundance due to its rise and therefore making it more legal and beneficial to society. Banksy’s  rise saw his work get its very own exhibition in a somewhat controversial manner as people saw this illegal act get praise, however street art is where it is today because of him.


Banksy at the Gaza wall. Its not as beautiful as it looks

This piece by Banksy was taken on the Gaza wall. It shows a man ripping back the curtain to reveal and oasis on the other side. Why is there a wall in the first place? Gaza was blockaded from Israel because of Gaza’s political regime. Hamas (who run the country) are considered to be a terrorist organisation that run an entire country and the Gaza Strip has been at loggerheads for many years with Israel due to political and religious beliefs. On the other side of this wall is a blocked nation with war and terror being part of their daily regime. Banksy believes that if something is not yours then go get your view across on how you want things to be. He wants Gaza to be at peace and he shows what a beautiful place it can be.

Art should be about the time and place. This piece of art wouldn’t have been so effective is done at Disney Land or if this was done should Gaza and Israel be at peace. Without a time and place then art can loose its meaning and demeanour.


West Bank separation barrier. Perhaps the most religious place on Earth.

This street art shows violence in a different way..This is almost a typical Banksy piece of street art. It shows two different perspectives of the same thing. The tossing of flowers shows love but the clothing suggests that he should be throwing a petrol bomb or a grenade. Your eyes are not overly drawn to the person but drawn to the flowers that he is throwing. The vibrant colours suggest that this is the piece of the art that you should take notice of. The multitude of colours suggests peace and love as they are colours of which you associate with warmth.

The person throwing the flowers is a mob member, typicalised by the reversed baseball cap, scarf covering his face and the dark colours in which he is dressed. His eyes suggest that he is determined to cause damage. Done on the West Bank, this also shows that even the most religious place on Earth, the very place where peace is all they ever want, is infact in conflict with religious people causing the trouble but not looking typically religious.


The quirkiness and enjoyment of the art still has a meaning

I do like this picture, mainly because of its quirkiness. It shows that even drains need cleaning time to time. it’s original aswell which also help make this art better aswell as the vibrant colours which draw your eye.

People always want something new and interesting no matter what it is, it could be a new tasting apple or just like in 1917 when Duchamp turned a toilet seat upside down entitled ‘Fountain’. People are curious and will pay for the pleasure and in this ever changing world the new and the bizarre becomes harder to do. Street art has just as much meaning perhaps more than any other art due to there being no limits on where you do it which adds context.

Narrow World

I support our troops. Perhaps more so because of their media attention?

Cabinet of Curiosities

The origin of cabinets of curiosities can date back many of hundreds of years to when Europeans started travelling and exploring the unknown world. Ancient Egyptian artifacts, fascinating art and stuffed mammals filled these cabinets (or rooms) amongst many other items. Anything you wanted could be added to the cabinet, and was filled with anything that stimulated the mind, items you could either see, touch or smell or even a combination of all three. Items were added that you found to your likes or dislikes, and even things you had little or no understanding of, all where there to broaden your horizons and possibly give a better understanding of the world in which we live in.

The basis of the cabinet of curiosities was not only there to help you in your desire to understand the world, but were also there to show other people what influences you and what you have chosen. They showed your peers about your life and were also there to impress and be the envy of everyone around you. Each Item told a story and was a huge talking point and you appear more interesting and also helped emphasize your wealth.

Today in a highly media orientated world as well as a hugely global economy peoples cabinets of curiosities have somewhat narrowed in time. In the past the majority of the demographic was determined by class and gender, as only wealthy men had the ideologies to produce a huge array of items and was very different from cabinet to cabinet due to less globalization and a huge lack of media influences. Whereas today, class, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, race and religion seem to have little impact in the way of today’s society. Age seems to be the biggest diversity in people’s cabinets today.  The 16-25 age group tends to have surprisingly similar cabinets, i.e. Hollywood movies and the music (current, top 40) which help influence our lives. The only surprising thing that i found out about many other peoples cabinets was that they were all so very similar. And is the media orientated world the primary reason for all this?

My own Cabinet of curiosities consist of the universe and the science around it. The Universe has such big meaning, from the creation of time to the evolution of life on this planet and maybe others. Scientists have been plagued for centuries in how the universe works and it intrigues me that we know so little about our role within it. Stephen Hawkins wanted to prove the theory of everything within his life time and feels he will fail if he does not achieve this life long ambition. I am amazed by using simple formulae you can find out how many extra solar planets there are around a certain star and how we know so much about the creation and destruction of stars. What gets to me is after knowing all this we are not even scratching the surface of what science and physics within the universe can possibly be. What I love about the universe is that if it is infact infinite then within all possibility an infinate amount of other universes may exist or that another me is writing these very same words aeons away.

A Neutron Star - Marvelling wonder?

Earth - Are we really that important?

M31 Galaxy - Is there life in there?

Music has come to dominate so many peoples lives over the years due to advances in technology and the media. My outlook on music is generally if its on the radio or on it a night club I will listen to it. So the music I listen to is highly orientated by the media of today. I have perhaps only a dozen CDs stretching maybe 8 bands/artists. The Killers, The Who, Elton John and R.E.M. are perhaps the band I listen to the most and are ones that I could quite happily at this moment listen to for the rest of my life. There is little sentiment in why I listen to them other than the music that hits my ears. I have little collaboration with these bands, I don’t know all the members of every band and couldn’t really tell you much about them other than I like listening to them. It is more dominant in the majority of my age group, but I don’t listen to it all that much but what I do listen to has an influence in my life and the curiosity is more to the reason of why I am not in the majority

Brandon Flowers - An entertainer and a role model?

Elton John - He just loves what he does? But wasn't he depressed?

History has always fascinated me from the rise of the Third Reich to the demise of the Inca from Machu Picchu. I’ve always wanted to know more about the past than I do of today and could easily spend hours trying to learn more about everything. I enjoy watching war time movies and getting there aspect on things. There is a difference in documentaries and films but I like to get the analytical point on things, for instance the battle of Stirling was fought on a bridge whereas in Braveheart (1995) the battle was fought within a big field. Easier to direct and appear more entertaining or just ignorance on the production team? Photojournalism and its rise from the 19th century through to today has also been one to catch my eye, Robert Capa on the beaches of Normandy was one that inspired me most amongst many others. Again photojournalism isn’t one that features highly amongst my age group but I feel that it inspires and teaches you more about the world that we once lived in.

Robert Capa - D-Day 1944 and primary weapon is a camera. By any means?

The World At War - The most comprehensive documentary series of all time?

Movies, television, internet, the global media. These are what affects the majority of us (including myself) and how we live our lives. My life is plagued by sitting in front of the television and watching endless hours of junk but also junk that influences my daily life. Adverts and lifestyle shown on the tele and the internet have shown me how to dress and what is morally right and wrong more so than my parents. Peer pressure has come from the rise in the media and what people are shown. would I be wearing what I am now or talking how I talk if it wasn’t for the globalisation of the media world? Perhaps media has ruined my life but I enjoy it all the same and I’m sure so does almost everybody else. Out of the stacks of DVDs that I own I doubt that many people would fail not to have any notion of any of them and my playstation and the games that I play are influenced by everything around me. The promotion that many of the items that they get is probably more money than I’ll ever spend in my life and yet that doesn’t matter when I walk into a shop and buy a DVD or when I sit on my laptop or in front of the tele. I like to be entertained and I love that the media world has shown me these things. Would I perhaps have a more diverse understanding of film and tv if I had no clue in what i was watching? The answer is almost a certain yes. They’ve influenced my life and giving me sporting heros and made me laugh and keep me entertained. My love for football may not have flourished if it wasn’t for football being ‘everywhere’ and how much I watch Friends is also influenced by how much it is shown on the tele. These things have influenced my life and made me more curious than ever to help me open my mind due to how narrow I am because of the media.

1966 - England's World Cup Triumph. Made bigger by colour TV and the press that it has been given?

Friends - Would you be watching it if it didn't have such a high acclaim and being on constantly on tv?

These are just a selection of my cabinet of curiosities and I hope to add to my cabinet and stretch my mind over the years to come.