Please Sir, There's Been a Murder

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Please Sir, There's Been a Murder!
Genre: Live, Interactive, Drama, Comedy, Murder Mystery
Broadcast: 11/12/2019
Producer(s): Thomas Schubert Stephanie Shires

Credits

History

Inception of the idea

Editors note I'm not entirely sure about the exact point in time that the idea was thought of, nor how it exactly progressed. This is, as far as i can remember, correct. To how i remember the planning and execution of the event. (Andrew Waddle)

Somewhere around late January / early February 2019 Thomas Schubert and Stephanie Shires had an idea, a daft idea. Some would even say, a tremendously mad idea inspired by the viewing of The Sound of Music Live. That idea would become Please Sir There's Been a Murder.

The concept was simple; an approximately 30 minute short film, all shot totally live. The idea was thought a good challenge, but was put on hiatus for further planning while the mountainous tasks of Elections 2019, Roses 2019 and TFTV second year films were planned and executed. The next known mention of the idea was around may 2019, just post AGM / YSTV elections, where the idea was floated again by new Station Directors Thomas Schubert and Stephanie Shires, with the idea that members interested in writing the short could pitch ideas. Most present thought it a great idea, while also being totally mad. Edwin Barnes remarked at the time, "Oh for fucks sake". While this process was ongoing, the technical team (newly elected Technical Director Andrew Waddle and Computing Directors Adam Birtles) put their heads in their hands and tried to figure out how to make the shoot work.

Several weeks later, or it could have been less nobody is quite sure, the pitch session was done during the weekly production meeting. Three people pitched. Tom Maynard. Jacob Boyle. And Steph on behalf of Steph, Tom, Olivia and Andrew. With all three ideas using unique themes, eventually the winner was decided and Jacob would write it, but with a catch- it was to have on the fly viewer interaction.

The idea progressed mainly behind closed doors in the wonderfully creative mind of Jacob for the next few months. A draft was completed by September 2019 when the idea was again put on hiatus for the sake of shooting Jacob's short film B.U.M.F.A.C.E which took place directly before Freshers 2019. The project was again revived some time during October 2019, with the locked script to be written imminently and production work to begin alongside. The catch. Only 7 weeks until the agreed upon filming day, December the 11th 2019.

Pre Production

During a visit to V bar in mid October 2019, Steph, Jacob, Tom and Andrew attempted to plan out how YSTV could pull off such an idea in 2 months. The V bar plan, several pints later, came down to 3 factors; finding a place to shoot in, finishing the final locked script, and working out how to cover an entire house with only a handful of cameras.

Initially, with Jacob working on the script the next most practical area to work on, was the location. With a house setting needed for the entire shoot, and a whole week being required between, rehearsal, setup, shooting and pack down; the hunt was on to find somewhere suitable. Several people pitched in ideas for a house setting including Steph's parents' house and several student homes around York. After several weeks of negotiation and work by Steph, her student house was agreed upon to use as the location. With now only 5 weeks left until the live day, the technical and operational planning hurdles began to make their presence felt.

The first issue that appeared, was that the house selected is fairly small inside with compact rooms and common space. As per the script, 6 spaces were needing (5 internal and 1 ext) which was every usable room in the house and the garage / front lawn. Covering all 6 spaces with multiple cameras simultaneously was impossible with the equipment that we had and the script called for the actors to be moving around from room to room without being seen, all without any stoppage and full live. Oh and there were multiple possible paths and endings for both the cast and the crew to memorise.

After several late nights, pints and about 10 spreadsheets; the plan was finished. Steph would take charge of the directing of the camera's and the show running during the production week, Tom would take charge of directing the actors and Andrew would take charge of the technical running of the show, along with Ben Allen, and the rigging of the location. With the location now nailed down and the roles agreed upon, technical and producing could now take place.

The show plan was as follows;

  • The script was divided into the locations around the house used per scene (having been written to minimise location jumping mid scene), so that the current live location and the next location coming up to be live were all known and tabled.
  • No location was found to need more than 3 camera to obtain adequate coverage and so, the camera team would consist of 6 operators with only 3 live at any one time. The 6 would be separated into 2 teams who would piggyback over each-other around the house following routes either through or around the building in order to avoid cast and crew in the live locations.
  • Each location would have a floor manager who would direct the camera operators as to the scene, coverage, framing and their live status. (Editors Note: We effectively had no comms for the camera operators at certain points due to the wireless system we had being fairly crap. The only people really able to communicate to the gallery were the floor managers).
  • The cast and crew would be fed the viewer decisions at the interactive points via the floor managers with the decision made by the audience during a live scene but affecting the next scene. In the final show some scenes required the decisions to be fed by the floor managers to cast and crew during a live scene via a sign with the character to be investigated written on.

On the technical side, the process in each room was to have a number of 'jacking in' points where the camera operators would connect and disconnect their cameras from the gallery as needed for the current live room. This meant a total of 14 individual feeds entering the gallery, plus another 2 from the graphics system within the gallery. Because of the ATEM used on the show (ATEM production studio 4K) only having 10 inputs, some feed management was required. Of those 10 inputs, 2 were blocked off for the graphics feed. The 14 incoming feeds were passed through YSTV's Micro-videohub, (gen-locked to the ATEM) which allows for a 14 x 14 matrix of inputs / outputs to be managed. Thus allowing the gallery to change between the 14 inputs and feed only the current live camera feeds and those for the next scene. (Editors note: The corresponding excel document took a solid 4 or 5 hours for Steph, Tom and Andrew to make during the course of a very long evening). With 11 routing changes to be made on the fly, live during the show, another layer of complexity was added to the process.

The running of the video cables around the house actually cause a rather unforeseen (and for the 2 electronic engineers present; embarrassing) problem; the rigging of cables around the perimeter, and especially above the gate of the back garden, effectively formed a Faraday cage around the house. This didn't exactly help with the gipping comms.

As for sound, each location had a setup of roomtone microphones for the sake of general pickup and filling of sound, with all the actors being miced with wireless lav sets borrowed from Pick Me Up Theatre in York. The sound cables around the house and the receivers from the wireless packs were all terminated under the stairs at an X32 operating as a stagebox, then the output of that box went to the gallery sound desk for final mixing and transmission.

As for the rest of the rigging and lighting, it was mainly made up during the production week by Andrew Waddle and Emma Sahall after seeing the rehearsals.

Production Week

With all the planning now in place, the technical decisions made and the cast learning their lines, soon the end of term was upon us and with it: the shooting week.

We got access to the house on the 7th of December for the first technical recce in the space with the actors doing the scenes. This also acted as the first on blocking and walk through of the space for the actors. We had run practice run through sessions in the TFTV Large Rehearsal Room ahead of this week, but never on location. With these rehearsals, a lot of the final decisions and changes made to the points and procedures above were made.

The same was done on the following 2 days, with incrementally more and more runs done by cast, and several runs with the camera operators and cast allowing for the full 'dance' to be practised without any tech in the way.

End of show transcript

What follows is a transcription of an audio recording taken shortly after the stream wrapped.

Stephanie – One day there were two idiots called Tom and Steph. And one day they went to university and they actually went to a lecture. Ooh! And this lecture, it was a studio production lecture. And it was led by Mr Patrick Titley. And they were sat and they were watching the lecture and he showed a clip from the sound of music – the live one. 
Matt – Oh. Hello. Why are you recording? Podcast. I’m worried about your neighbour because he’s turned his light back on. I want to get going. There is some stuff still here.
Stephanie – That’s fine, that’s fine.
Matt – So, I’ll turn up Tomorrow and yeah we’ll make sure everything is gone Tomorrow in my car, erm, yeah, I’ll go and let Andrew know now.
Stephanie – Okay, thank you Matt. That’s going to be on the wiki page now.
Matt – Oh good. Hi wiki page.
Stephanie and Jacob laugh
Stephanie – Can we transcribe it and just like put the transcript on.
Jacob – Absolutely.
Stephanie – Oh this is such a good idea. Hi wiki page.
Jacob – Hi wiki page.
Stephanie – Alright where was I? Oh yes, erm, so after this marvellous screening, Tom and Steph went downstairs and they sat in the foyer of TFTI, formerly tuftuv.
Jacob – Tuftuv.
Stephanie – Tuftuv. Which is much better name. And, erm, they sat down and Steph, Steph looks at Tom. And he looks back. And they both know what they’re thinking with their dynamic duo-like… what’s it called when people? Telekinesis? No.
Jacob – Telepathy?
Stephanie – Telepathy, not telekinesis. Is that where you chuck things off tables with your mind?
Jacob – Yeaaaaaaaaaah.
Stephanie – Okay not that, that’d be cool.
Jacob – That would be cool.
Stephanie – With telepathy, they kinda know what’s going on, erm, and Steph’s like: ‘hey Tom that was cool wannit?’ And Toms was like: ‘yeah, yeah Steph that was cool.’ And she was like: ‘yeah I know I just said that.’ And then he was like: ‘oh! Yeah you did.’ And then Steph was like: ‘you know what? We could do that. We’re much better than ITV. Like we could pull that off.’ And Tom was like: ‘haha ha yeah.’ And then the rest was history. And then they brought it up at a production meeting where Edwin was like: ‘you’re both absolute idiots.’ But then Steph was like: ‘YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IF YOU HAVE A GOOD PRODUCER’ and they were like: ‘we’re gonna make it happen.’ And they were both very stubborn. And they kept doing it. And then second year happened. And it didn’t happen.
Jacob – Mmm.
Stephanie- And they were meant to do it at summer. And it didn’t happen. And they were meant to do it at a different time. And then it also didn’t happen. 
Jacob – But then...
Stephanie – But then they did a pitching session! Three people pitched. Tom Maynard. Jacob Boyle. And Steph on behalf of Steph, Tom, Olivia and Andrew. 
Jacob - Laughter
Stephanie – And obviously the best person got picked and that was Jacob.
Jacob – Disapproving throat noise
Stephanie – Awh.
Jacob - Disapproving throat noise
Stephanie – How are we going to transcribe that? As like a ungggggggggggggg.
Jacob – Oggggggggggggggggggggh.
Stephanie – Eeeerrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.
Jacob – Throat noise, disapproving throat noise.
Stephanie – Disapproving throat noise, there we go. cough cough I’m dying. Erm.
Jacob - Coughing
Stephanie - Coughing
Jacob – Oh dear.
Stephanie - More coughing Ooh, this is... We’re just recording our death. 
Jacob - Nervous laughter
Stephanie - Erm, so, and then they, they pitched it and Jacob eventually, it was meant to happen again and then it didn’t happen and then it did happen! And jacob wrote it! And it happened and then Stephanie and Tom were like we’ll produce this and er they, they kinda did. And then, yeah, on the fateful day of the eleventh of December, two thousand and nineteen… it happened.
Jacob – It happened.
Stephanie – It happened.
Jacob – It happeneeeeeeeed.
Stephanie – And then. Yeah. Maybe we’ll win an Oscar. 
Jacob – BAFTA
Stephanie – RTS
Jacob – All of them?
Stephanie – Mmm.
Jacob – Do you think this is eligible for like… an EGOT?
Stephanie – I don’t know what that is.
Jacob – It’s if you get an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony?
Stephanie – I mean I think we can get more than just that.
Jacob – Yeah.
Stephanie – and we’ve got NaSTA, that’s going to be best.
Jacob – Oh yeah.
Stephanie – We’re on it. NaSTA. 
Jacob – NaSTA? If you’re reading the wiki page.
Both giggle
Stephanie – You know what, imagine if we actually get famous one day, or like, well not famous but like successful. 
Jacob – Mm.
Stephanie – And then someone like googles us and they find this. And they’re just like ‘what the hell. What were they doing. Can we just clarify, we’re sat on my bedroom floor, next to a radiator, in a massive fluffy blanket, whilst everyone else is like, doing work.
Both laugh
Jacob – This is more important, this is documenting history.
Stephanie – This is, we are documenting actual history.
Jacob – People do degrees in history, and we’re just doing it on the cas’.
Stephanie – Yeah. Like we could get a degree for this as well.
Jacob – Yeah.
Stephanie – So not only the Emmys the BAFTAs the Tonys the Oscars the NaSTAs.
Jacob – But also a history degree.
Stephanie – But also a history degree. Oh man, we’re on it today, we’ve done so much stuff.
Jacob – Yeah. Post the audio file to the history department.
Stephanie – Shall we send this to the queen as well?
Jacob – Yeah, why not?
Stephanie – Send it to the queen. Who, who should we send it- you know you were doing your thing with your film.
Jacob – Oh yeah! I’ve not done today’s yet. Today’s Jeremy Corbyn’s. Tomorrow’s Boris Johnson’s. Election themed.
Stephanie – Who should we send this to?
Jacob – No. That’s a lie. Tomorrow’s Jeremy Corbyn, the day after’s Boris Johnson, I don’t know who today is, sorry I’m getting off track, erm. Who do you think would like it? Who’s a good podcaster? Hello Matt.
Matt – Hello. Are you still recording for the wiki?
Stephanie – Yes.
Jacob – We’ve sort of gone off topic now but yeah.
Matt – We’re leaving some people behind to tidy your back garden.
Stephanie – That’s alright.
Matt – That does sound like a euphemism but never mind.
Stephanie – It’s on the wiki page now.
Matt – Erm… oh fuck it I can’t remember what I was going to say. The rest of them are going to cycle to west.
Stephanie – Alright.
Matt – And you can stay obviously because you live on the corner, there’s no point in you going.
Stephanie – Okay. 
Jacob – Love you.
Stephanie - Are you sure you don’t want us to come over?
Matt – No it’s fine stay here.
Stephanie – Alright.
Matt – I’ll tell you what, if you could just direct people to your back garden.
Stephanie – Direct people to my back garden ?
Jacob – Mm mm Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew Matthew mmmmm these SD cards contain footage from the black magic
Stephanie – Oh are you off home?
Bradley – Yep.
Stephanie – Oh bye Brad, thank you for everything. 
Bradley – Oh it’s alright.
Stephanie - Thank you so much.
Bradley – That’s alright thanks for… being the boss.
Stephanie – You’re welcome.
Bradley – See you around.
Matt – See you.
Stephanie – Bye
Jacob – Bye bye.
Matt – Good night.
Stephanie – Right so who should we send this too? The only person, you said podcast, the only person I can think of is Pewdiepie.
Jacob – I don’t want Pewdiepie to have this. I don’t I don’t want any contact with him. Hmm.
Stephanie – Fearne Cotton?
Jacob – Fearne Cotton, yes. Let’s just send it to Fearne Cotton.
Stephanie – She does podcasts.
Jacob – But just her. Then if she chooses to distribute it further. Hello Klára, welcome to the wiki
Klára – Hmm.
Stephanie – We’re recording for the wiki.
pause
Klára – Oh!?
Stephanie and Jacob laughter
Stephanie – We’re recording it and we’re going to transcribe it and that’s the wiki page for the live drama.
Klára – Erm. I was going to ask if you have a vacuum thingy cleaner what’s it called.
Stephanie – Yeah we do. Now why can no one seem to find the vacuum cleaner? It was under the stairs.
Klára – I wasn’t looking for it.
Jacob – The stairs is now empty.
Stephanie – Okay it was under the stairs originally and then it was going to go in the cupboard next to the fridge but then I don’t think all of it ended up in the cupboard next to the fridge I think only the sucky bit ended up in the cupboard next to the fridge.
Klára – Do you think the neighbour would be okay with us doing it now or would you rather…?
Stephanie – I would rather leave it, I am happy to do that tomorrow morning myself like.
Klára – Okay is there something that needs to be done in the house when it comes to-
Stephanie – Back garden.
Klára – Yeah yeah yeah but like other cleaning things.
Stephanie – Is the kitchen fairly…?
Klára – I’ll check.
Stephanie – Okay.
Klára – Erm and-
Jacob - Laughter I’ll Czech.
Klára – It took you so long.
Jacob – Sorry.
Stephanie – Czech ! Oh! I get it.
Klára – Erm, how many people do you think need to stay to do the back garden because Matt seems not really capable of answering the question.
Stephanie – I wouldn’t say many, like two or three?

Klára – ‘Cause I don’t want to go to YSTV.
Stephanie – It’s fine you can just stay here and do the wiki page with us. We’ve got so off topic this is going to like be a ten minute video, I mean audio file.
Klára – I’m sorry.
Jacob – It’s eight minutes at the minute.
Klára – Well it’s cold though on the floor.
Jacob – Mm well we’ve got a blanket.
Stephanie – You can have a blanket.
Klára – I feel bad for not doing anything.
Stephanie – We’re doing important things.
Jacob – We’re getting a history degree, come on.
Stephanie – Yeah, we’ve decided that we can get a history degree for this and we’re also going to win all the awards.
Jacob – Mmhmm. And we’re going to send it to Fearne Cotton. That’s the recap.
Matt – I’m off. Have you seen Zoë anywhere?
Stephanie and Jacob – No?

Stephanie – Is she in the back garden?
Theo – Erm, I’m off to the YSTV studio.
Stephanie – Bye.
Jacob – Bye.
Stephanie – Oh this is going to be such a weird entry.
Theo – Bye bye.
Klára – Bye.
Jacob – Bye.
Stephanie – Byee.
Theo – Bye guys.
Jacob – Bye.
Theo - Well done you two.
Jacob – Well done you.
Theo – And well done Klára. Erm, have a great Christmas.
Klára – Well done you.
Theo – And I’ll see you all in the new year.
Stephanie – Have a lovely Christmas and thank you so much. You’ve been amazing! Bye. Right. Where were we?
Jacob – We’re going to send it to Fearne Cotton.
Stephanie – Yep. Who else could-? Erm… Bruno Tonioli from Strictly.
Jacob – Mm hmm! He’d like it. 
Klára – What are we talking about?
Jacob – This audio recording
Stephanie – Who we’re going to send this audio recording to.
Klára – So who are we going to send it to?
Stephanie – Fearne Cotton. The Queen.
Stephanie and Jacob – Bruno Tonioli.
Klára – Duncan.
Stephanie and Jacob – Duncan.
Stephanie – Duncan.
Jacob – Duncan. Dunkin’! As in the American brand of donuts.
Klára – I would say both.
Stephanie – Both. What about Mariana as well. 
Klára – Oh yeah she tweeted about it.
Stephanie - If we’re doing Duncan, we’ll CC in Mariana. Yeah.
Jacob – It’s sound so that’s good.
Klára – Did it sound good?
Jacob – Eh it was…
Stephanie – Sound.
Jacob – It was sound.
Stephanie – But not sound as in… it was actual physical sound.
Klára – Mm.
Jacob – It was waves. That were listenable.
Stephanie – WoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo. That’s my impersonation of a wave.
Klára – It was beautiful.
Jacob – Hello ?
Zoë – Hi how’re you doing, you’re so cute. I’m going to the studio now so I’m probably, I’m taking, I’m probably going to be staying there. 
Stephanie – Yes you can leave…
Zoë – I’ve left lots of mugs here.
Stephanie – That’s fine that’s fine.
Zoë – I’ll come back for them.
Klára – Wait wait wait. I’m not going to see you for a very long time.
Jacob – So many emotions on this wiki page.
Zoë – I love you.
Klára – I love you.
Zoë – I’ll probably see you again. Because I’ll come to your house to get my stuff. Will I see you again? Or will you die?
Stephanie – For the record, she just booped his nose
Zoë – I love this. Will I see you again?
Stephanie – Jacob you’re amazing.
Jacob – You’re amazing.
Andrew – I’m yeeting, goodbye everyone.
Jacob – Bye Andrew, love you
Stephanie – Do you want to say anything for the wiki?
Andrew – The what?
Stephanie – We’re recording a file and we’re going to transcribe it for the wiki, do you want to say anything?
Andrew – Erm, this was the best terrible idea we had.
Stephanie – Oh I like that, I really like that.
Tom – I think it very much was. It was also the silliest, most genius idea we’ve ever had.
Andrew – Okay.
Klára – Have a merry Christmas.
Andrew – Thank you, you too.
Stephanie – Am I going to see you? I’ll see you.
Andrew – Can I give you all hugs?
Jacob – It’s sort of become sort of a collaborative mega-hug.
Stephanie – You’ve just got to lie across us all.
Andrew – Oh god this is fun.
Stephanie – Ah, love you Andrew.
Andrew – Love you too.
Stephanie – Mm you’re the best.
Andrew – Oh sorry I got my knee in you.
Klára – No it’s fine.
Andrew – Bye everyone.
Jacob – Bye.
Andrew – Have a very happy Christmas! Love you all!
Tom – Have a very merry Christmas.
Jacob – This has been wonderful, I hope everyone’s having a very lovely time, has anyone got any final things for the wiki?
Joe – I love you.
Klára – Jacob, Steph and Tom are amazing.
Jacob – Klára’s amazing.
Stephanie and Klára – Everyone’s amazing.



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