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As part of my second year as an undergraduate student, my classmates and I are organising a television show. For the project we will be working alongside university students from Chicago. The show will include some prerecorded inserts within a studio format. The studio set up will be filmed at Bath Road Studios in Bristol and it is up to our class to organise and film the inserts.

To start the whole project rolling we got into groups to think of some ideas for our prerecorded inserts within the show. We decided that a good starting point would be to focus on the differences between English and American culture.
Some ideas which we decided had potential centred around sport and language. For example “pants” instead of “trousers” could be potentially funny, or the difference between what the English know as football and what the Americans do. It’s a simple concept but we felt that it could be work well as a short sketch.
Our group is made up of 7 members;
Alex P, Gabriella, Geoffrey, George, Greg, Matt and myself.

To help develop our idea further we did some research into our theme.
Some sites we found interesting were:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19929249
http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/stereotypes.htm
http://abagond.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/stereotypes-about-americans/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football

We also did some research into programmes filmed in a studio with prerecorded inserts, which are the same format as the Bath Road Show.
For example, the One Show, T4 as well as charity events like Children in Need and Red Nose Day

So we had the ideas, we just needed a narrative which would incorporate all of them. We decided on 3 main scenes, each only 30 seconds or so long. The first of which would be an American student arriving in Bath, to play on the English “obsession” with weather the American will be inappropriately dressed (either shorts and flip-flops in rain or thick coat in sun). The English student the American character is staying with will meet him from the station and there will be a “pants” gag, something along the lines of
American “Hey nice pants”
English person (thinking he means trousers) “Well thanks”
American “No, I can see your pants”
and it turns out the English guy has a whole in his trousers, through which you can see his boxers.

The second scene will be set in a sports field, where the pair have met to play football. This will be a simple scene where the English guy and some friends are warming up for a football match and the American arrives in full American football gear. The English character will be embarrassed by the American’s misunderstanding, but the American won’t seem to be phased.

The third scene will feature a trip to the Roman Baths. The scene will open with a slow shot of the American in a towel, shower cap and slippers with a rubber duck and a loofah, walking up the road to the Baths. When he reaches the Baths, he meets the English character and some of his friends who are in regular clothes and looking a little shocked. The only dialogue of this scene will be the American saying “Where are your towels?”

So, within the first week we have a fairly good concept for our insert. Over the next few days I have organised various meetings with my group to further discuss and finalise the idea before the formative pitch to our tutor.

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