Secret Tips Every Broadcasting Student Needs to Know

Got what it takes to succeed in your Broadcasting Degree? Continue reading for tips by our broadcasting student!

It's exciting to be able to experience handling a camera, understand how to conduct easy editing for your film, allow your imaginative energy to flow through your work, and lead your team. But have you ever considered starting your line of work to demonstrate your abilities before stepping into the field?

Many of us, myself included, never thought about what’s needed to create films or videos to show what we’re capable of. In fact, we only start thinking of it at the end of the semester when we rush through our final year project. Leaving a project of that magnitude right to the end of the semester seems pretty last minute right? That’s because it is! To be honest, I didn’t realise the importance of getting a headstart in creating and understanding more films and movies until I reached semester 4 of my degree!

So, to prevent this from happening to you too, here are 5 tips about broadcasting to give you a head start and better understand why we’re taught certain things throughout our years.

1. Knowing Your Basics and Trying Something New

Imagine this, you’re sitting in the cinema and your name appears. 

Directed by: Angela Chiew. 

Sounds pretty fun and exciting, right? Not to mention, you’d probably get a lot of money if it’s a hit. But do you really know what it takes to get there?

Before you start daydreaming of being a director of your own film, it’s important to know your basics about broadcasting — including the different people involved in a production, from the bottom up! What’s a director? A scriptwriter? A gaffer and grip? What do each of them do? Directing isn’t just about instructing others’ to make your visions come true. You’ve to be well-acquainted with each role — big or small, in the production team. So remember to pay close attention to the roles taught throughout your years in broadcasting.

Expanding on that, the only way to truly understand the different roles is to try different roles when given the opportunity.

And that was just my issue — I’d always wind up as a scriptwriter for nearly every group project related to film-making. Why? For starters, I'm excellent at it and feel at ease since I know what I'm doing. Two, I enjoy writing. Is that it, though? Should I spend the rest of my life in that one role, oblivious to the others? Obvious answer — No. 

You need to learn more than what you’re comfortable with! Give yourself the chance to experience firsthand how each department operates and the qualifications required to advance to that specific job. Once you give it a go, you’d definitely say, “Oh, so that’s why it’s like this”, “That explains a lot”. That way, you’d understand how the work goes — and who knows, it may even spark a new interest that you weren’t aware of!

Secret Tips Every Broadcasting Student Needs to Know

2. Understanding and Appreciating Movies

This is one of the exciting parts of being a broadcasting student. You get to watch movies! You heard me right — a class just for movies! But, what’s the catch, you wonder?

Well, you need to study the movie by digging deep into the message each film is trying to say or do. Why did they do it? What angle did they use? What colour did they apply to show a certain emotion? Honestly, it’s exhilarating to find these easter eggs when featured in the movie on purpose. Though a word of caution, watching a movie will never be the same again.

My friends and I watch movies together very often and instead of enjoying the movie and ogling over hot guys, we started appreciating the cinematography and being more critical when watching movies. For this, you need to be open-minded and understanding some Film Theories can help. Everyone has a different perspective to interpret movies. 

Whether it’s studying the subliminal messages that the director, producer, and script writers included in the movie or the different tools that make the movie, like the camera angle, music, and so on, you’ll start to equip yourself with the art of interpreting the film for what it’s intended. Frankly, it’s quite exciting and an eye-opener.

Secret Tips Every Broadcasting Student Needs to Know

How would this help you? Simple. You can apply the elements learned through truly observing and understanding the movie into something you create in the end!

Want to know the different subjects you'll be learning as a Mass Comm student specialising in Digital Media Production (or Broadcasting)? Find out more about the programme here!

3. Knowing and Familiarising Yourself With Software Skills

Filmmaking necessitates efforts in a variety of fields such as lighting, timeline editing, voice-over, and so on. But what software can accomplish all of this? Which is more useful? 

Being skilled in these software is important when you’re finding work in the future. Plus point? These software are easy to get. Some require a subscription and could be costly, but, to all Taylorians reading this, you can head into one of our computer labs and practise using them there! Otherwise, there are also free Adobe alternatives which you can find online.

Here’s a short list of the more common software used in the filmmaking industry:

Secret Tips Every Broadcasting Student Needs to Know
Adobe Photoshop

The name itself says it all. Usually used for photo editing and manipulation, like cutting out your picture and pasting it at the beach for a postcard.

Adobe Illustrator
  • Allows you to create everything from single design elements to entire compositions. We mainly use this to create posters. Alternatively, we also use Adobe InDesign.

Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows)/Final Cut Pro (Apple)

A common software used by every broadcasting student. This software allows you to create and edit your video or films — be it trimming and adding music or audio to adjusting the voice, manipulating the light and speed, and so on. This comes in handy once you start working as it’s a common software used by majority production-related companies.

Adobe Lightroom

Everything you need to create, edit, organise, store, and share your photos across any device, anywhere. Easy-to-use tools, like sliders and presets, allow you to create photos that look just the way you want.

Adobe After Effect

The industry standard for motion graphics and visual effects which allows you to amplify the impact of your video and create an explosive effect. The next step in turning an amateur project into a pro!

4. Keeping Your Emotions in Check!

In the field of broadcasting, you’ll encounter situations where your emotions and mental health might spiral downwards. There’ll be times where you’ll face difficulties with your groupmates, lecturers, and even yourself as the doubts and stress kicks in.

Just like any other programmes out there, you’ll definitely encounter these or worse — whether in school or work. But keep in mind, YOU and YOUR mental health come first. Understand that feeling emotions like stress, anger, and frustrations is normal. Remember to take a deep breath and reflect back on your feelings. Sometimes, it could even be useful to ask yourself these questions: “Why am I feeling this way?”, “Is this something that I can fix or improve?”,“Why did he/she suggest this? Would it really help?”

No, I’m not asking you to overthink so much till your head explodes but rather, to take a deep breath and reflect on the situation. More often than not, you’d realise that the suggestion given could actually do more good than harm for your project. In fact, getting opinions from others like your classmates, lecturers, or even friends to watch or read your work would give you new insights on how to make your work better through their feedback, areas for improvement, and new ideas. While it’s daunting to receive criticism, the honesty given really helps you to grow as a broadcasting student.

5. Getting a Head Start On Your Creative Work

All good with tip 1-4? Then you’re ready for the next step.

When you begin looking for internships or employment, many companies would ask for samples of your work to demonstrate your talents. It's one thing to say what you're capable of and a totally different thing when you provide proof of your abilities — and even so before graduating! 

“But how do I show my experience when I have no experience?” 

Here’s a tip for all you broadcasting majors: Be that active person that joins different projects and film productions — whether it’s an acting role or with the production crew (better yet if both! Refer to point 1).

The point is, there are many opportunities given to students throughout their years in university — and not just during their final year project. Remember, with the opportunities given, don’t make that rookie mistake by starting when you’re only in your last semester for your final year project!

Broadcasting is a complex course and is NOT for the faint-hearted.

It goes beyond social media and knowing how to use a camera to make videos — despite the misconception of it being an easier programme to go into. To survive this course, and eventually industry, you’d need a strong heart and voice, good adaptation, endless flow of imagination, and excellent attention to detail to say the least. But at the end of the day, with the right advice (wink wink), you’d be able to not just survive but excel in it while having fun and making memories with your coursemates!

PS: Remember to hit save and keep back ups.

Secret Tips Every Broadcasting Student Needs to Know

Ready to take up your next challenge and become a Mass Comm student? Find our how you can enrol here. Got questions you need to iron out? Schedule an appointment with our counsellor to get them answered!

Angela Chiew is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication (Hons) at Taylor's University. She is also the President of Taylor’s Scuba Diving Club and Secretary of Taylor’s Sports Ambassador.