Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MDIS School of Media and Communications Workshop

Went to MDIS School of Media and Communications the other day for a mini crash-course about TV and Radio, thanks to NuffnangSG! :)

About MDIS

The MDIS School of Media and Communications is a pioneer in the mass communications programme field in Singapore.
It is also the first institution in Singapore to offer an American style Liberal Arts Mass Communications programme from Oklahoma City University (OCU)..
The OCU mass communications degree programme is fully taught by OCU senior faculty in Singapore.
The programmes are industry focused, relevant and of high quality.
MDIS has its very own fully-equipped TV and Radio studios as well as Audio and Video edit suites.
It is the first EPI to have such facilities for practical training.

With the government's intention to turn Singapore into a media hub with its Media 21 blueprint,
the school has plans to build on its success by introducing more industry relevant media programmes and ensure that our students are able to prove their mettle and make their mark in Singapore as well as on the global stage.

Stepped into their amazing TV studio and saw a recording going on!
Their Mass Comm students were filming a song cover, a song for their programme called ‘Raw Diamonds’ which is meant to showcase student talents via the social media platform.
The singer is Kevin Wiyarnanda, also a mass comm degree student at MDIS School of Media and Communications, who does covers on YouTube and I think he did an impressive job :D

With so many opportunities for exposure, this is definitely the perfect course for anyone to showcase their talents and also practice being comfortable in front of so many cameras! :)

Wooo, fancy professional camera angles!

All these footages will be handled by another student behind the glass panel,
who acts like a main control and selects which camera angles will be used at which point, super cool!!
While watching them so serious at work, I kept thinking that I was at an official TV station and forgot that they were all students haha!

Apart from a TV Studio, the school also has a Radio Studio and Audio and Video Edit Suites!

Giving instructions to the cameramen!

I really like how there's a lot of hands-on work involved in mass comm, because too much theory stuff may get slightly boring sometimes :p

Their students have the opportunity to practice what they learn within their academic curriculum
and they are trained to master essential skills such as handling radio and television equipment, content producing, directing, scripting and video editing.
In mastering these techniques, they are exposed to a wide range of roles including television and radio presenting so the job prospects are pretty good! :D

Lots of professional equipments in their TV studio.
Told you it's so easy to forget that this is in a school compound haha!

And apart from all the neat equipments,
this beautifully painted wall was another one of the highlights of the TV studio that caught my attention!
It's a wall of inspirations, with an extremely inspirational story behind it!
More about this below! :D

Here's me, Alvin from NuffnangSG and Mr Vinod :)

Mr Vinod Kumar M, Head of School was in charge of the mass comm workshop for me
and he's a really effective mentor with a great sense of humor!

I wish I had a lecturer just like him when I was studying!
You know, the type of lecturer that makes you enjoy your lessons everyday and because you like the lessons so much you tend to score very well? :D

Mr Vinod told us that if the students would like to gain more experience,
they could also join the Media and Communications Club.
By doing so, they get to run their own e-magazine, campus radio and TV station where they get to polish their journalistic skills! :)

Then the workshop officially began!
Accompanying me were 3 students from MDIS Mass Comm :)

Since I'm learning about TV first,
we learnt about camera shot types such as Close-up, Mid Close-up, Mid Shot etc
And also how a news script is written typically!

Before we start on a news script, we need to know WHY we're even reporting this piece of news.
Is it of human-interest? Is it going to benefit others? Is it of national importance?

And we were also introduced to the 5 W's & 1H - why, who, what, when, where and how
to help ensure that the news report is tightly knit and there are no loopholes to it.

Jewel, Farikah, Harshini and me! :D

Then at the end of the short lecture,
we were given a task by Mr Vinod to choose a story, write a news script and PRESENT it at the end of 15 minutes!! Omg :O
Sounded quite impossible when I first heard about it!
But I think it's challenges like this given to students that help them prepare for the real world,
because there will definitely be a lot of important last minute assignments that leave you no room for excuses.

And being panicky as I was, I turned to the 3 girls for help hahah!

The 3 of them seemed pretty chill though!
They're probably quite used to difficult tasks like this and they did an excellent job guiding me! :D
And they were very patient too.
They gave me prompts and reminded me again what Mr Vinod had said earlier about how we should write our news script
and instead of spoon-feeding me, they let me try writing the script on my own!! :) :)
We all chipped in our ideas and gave suggestions on which to edit, how it would sound better etc!
Like a real group work for a school assignment :')
Super nostalgic for me cause I haven't been to school in 2 years, I kind of miss it!

We had a few roles to take on - the news presenter, an interviewer, an interviewee, someone to be in charge of the visuals, camera man etc.
And I got to be the news presenter! :D

The topic we were going to report was about the gorgeous mural wall earlier mentioned in this post.

The story behind it was about an 18 year old student called Noni from School of Media and Comm who was caught vandalizing a table at her school because she posted a picture of her "vandal" on Facebook.
But instead of being punished, she was sent to the head of her school, who then asked her to decorate an entire wall at the school's TV studio as "punishment"! :D

It's such a chicken soup for the soul kind of story that makes you respect the school for being so exceptional and sincerely putting their students first,
allowing them to showcase their talents and encouraging them to not be afraid to be themselves.

Mr Vinod asking us for our progress during our discussion and giving us some tips on how to improve it :)

My "I like what you're saying" face lol!

Busy preparing our script, practising it and making sure that it flows well!
The person in charge of visuals (camera angles, transitions etc) needed to make sure she knew at which precise timing she had to transit between frames to make the whole news report looks smooth as well!

And apart from hands-on assignments like these, their mass comm students are also very active in the area of internship attachments,
and are well received by media and communications companies! :D
In addition, their students also assist in the Institute's marketing activities.
Practical aspects as such will help ensure that their graduates are well-prepared for the 'real world' environment.

Jewel stood out the most to me because she was extremely knowledgeable and confident in what she was doing,
She would let us know if we were missing something here and here, told us "good point!" and encouraged us when we did something well.
She was a natural leader in our discussion and I really liked how she took everyone else's opinions seriously :)
In all, their students were simply a great team to work with, despite me being there for the first time!

Then comes the moment of truth - making all our discussions and planning materialize!

It was so mind-blowing to feel like a real news presenter with a cool backdrop behind me!!! :D
I was in a TV studio with lots of bright lights and huge cameras!! *star struck*
The only thing was that I wasn't appropriately dressed for the occasion!
Hahah wish I'd worn a blazer or something! :p

Here's our news report in ONE TAKE!
Please do forgive us for any mistakes we made and if we stumbled or looked awkward okay hahah!
It was an unforgettable experience though! :D

All the courses I took when I was studying were mainly theory-based, and I wish I'd known about MDIS School of Media and Communications earlier!
This sneak peek of what their students do in school was so much fun!

Although the time I spent there was short, I felt like I took home a lot from them,
and there's definitely a lot more to be learned! :)
One of the schools I'd love to study in! :D

The second part of the workshop was learning about Radio!
Be it learning to be a radio DJ or working in a radio station, th eMDIS School of Media and Communications prepares their students well for the real world :)

The lecturer-in-charge was Mr Md Fuadi Rahmat, who's worked in Mediacorp before!
He has such a radio voice, I could listen to him talk all day and won't get bored :D

At this point, Peishi and Ben (typicalben) joined me for the workshop too :)

Being on the radio really isn't as easy as it seems!
Because there are no visuals, every single emotion and expression is interpreted from your voice.
So while you may say that you're overjoyed, if the tone of your voice sounds otherwise, your listeners might think you're bored or uninterested!

Also, Mr Fuadi told us that our pronunciation and enunciation of words are vital as well.
Too much stress on the "sssss" or the lack of emphasis on "d" or "t" sounds super obvious on air and it may be quite tough to listen to :S
To be honest, I kind of struggled really badly at this part because of my braces hahaha!

Here's an audition script we were given to practice how smoothly we can say difficult words in a long sentence!
Extremely challenging!!!
All of us pronounced "Macedonians" as "meh-ker-doh-nians" (like macadamia nuts),
when in actuality it's pronounced as "meh-sir-doh-nians"
Oops!! :P

Those of you reading this, give it a try!!
If you can do it well and think you're up to the challenge, you can consider joining MDIS School of Media and Communications hehe!

And just as television programs, radio programs also has its own post-production, editing and the likes.
And these involve some serious skills!

You must be very discerning with your hearing, know when you need to increase the "highs", "mids" and "lows" in someone's voice,
know how to soften the annoying "sssss" in their speech without making it too fake or muffled etc.
It will take years of practice to be able to strike that perfect balance,
but I guess that's what the School of Media and Communications is here for!

Each of us got a turn to enter the sound proof room to try recording our voices in the radio station,
just to hear how our "true" voice sounded like.
And I found my voice too high and kept wanting to increase the "lows", but it ended up sounding very fake and muffled haha!
Mr Fuadi told me that instead, I should increase the "highs" slightly cause I sounded better that way.
There goes my dream of having a low sexy radio voice hahaha!!
But I was also told that some listeners will appreciate females with higher voice so I shouldn't feel too sad haha!
*pats self on back*

Here are some of the recordings we did!
We also tried news reporting over the radio and I think we all sounded quite nervous, like we were having English oral examinations! :X

Although we weren't live on radio, it's really not that easy!
Again, please forgive our amateurishness :X

Here's one of the professional editing programs in their Radio studio that allows you to edit the recordings.

The trainer, Mr Hafidz was trying to tune my vocal to the correct audio range.
When he made those little tweaks, it made a world of difference to the voice!
And again, you needed to hit that balance, no more and no less, otherwise the voice would sound nasty.
I am in awe!!

And that marked the end of the workshop! :)
I had an extremely fulfilling day at MDIS School of Media and Communications learning about TV and Radio,
and got an insight of how much skills and effort are needed behind even a short news report or radio program that I never knew before!

My favourite part of the day was without a doubt getting opportunities to try out news presenting and recording my own voice with all the impressive equipments! :D

And if you guys are interested to try them out too,
MDIS is having an Open House on 2nd March, where you'll get a sneak peek of what their students do in the courses! :)
Remember to be very spontaneous and volunteer to try new things so that you can get a clearer idea of which are your areas of interest, and what you prefer to do for your a degree! :D

MDIS Open House
Venue: MDIS Campus, Stirling Road (near Queenstown MRT)
Date: 2nd March
Time: 10:00am to 5:30pm

Mass Communications Programmes Offered at MDIS:

Bachelor of Arts (in Liberal Studies with concentration in Mass Communications)
- Awarded by Oklahoma City University, USA

Professional Certificate in Marketing and Communications Management
Diploma in Mass Communications
Advanced Diploma in Mass Communications
- Awarded by MDIS and Validated by Oklahoma City University, USA

Some Unique Features about them: 

Singapore’s FIRST American style Liberal Arts Mass Communications programme established since 1992.

More than 20 years of successful track record partnering with Oklahoma City University, USA.

Covers all main areas of mass communications studies ie advertising, public relations, journalism and broadcasting, hence giving our graduates a wider career options.

The Bachelor’s Degree programme is fully taught by the OCU senior full-time faculty.

Pre-degree programmes awarded by MDIS & validated by OCU.

Fully equipped Media Hub with newly upgraded studio facilities to help students learn in and out of the classroom with practical hands-on experience.

For more information, please visit

And guess what? :D
I'll be going to the MDIS Open House on the 2nd of March too!
Hopefully I'll get to see you all there!!

Thank you for reading, love you all!

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