Hi! Just thought I’d introduce myself before I make a start about my trip to Media City. I’m Rachel, 19, and currently studying my first year of Media at Sheffield Hallam University. I love cats and psychological thriller films. In the future, I’d love to work within advertising – particularly mise en scene, I love seeing different costumes and makeup used within major Hollywood blockbusters and how this may convey a character’s status, emotions or the entire tone of the film.
Last Tuesday, a group of course-mates and I ventured to Media City (Salford). After walking to the meeting point a zombie-like fashion to hop on the coach for 8 in the morning, the 2-hour coach journey consisted of lethargic laughter and excitement. After getting stuck in traffic on rural country roads for what seemed like hours, we finally arrived. Travelling by coach was not seen to be the easiest form of transportation to and from Media City – although we made it back to the coach after the tour on time there was no sign of designated coach park, which was unusual for a large public attraction. Personally, I presume that the local (and often) tram and bus services are regular visitors most popular choices for commuting to and from Salford Quays.
Upon arrival, it was amazing to see the outside of the set for one of my favourite television shows. As a huge fan of Corrie – this was like a dream! If only we were allowed to wander down the streets and have a pint in The Rovers Return. To start off – the day consisted of pancakes (to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in a true fashion) via a swift trip to Harvester, in the small shopping center located on site. This could be classed as beneficial for Salford Quays – it suits a wide range of audiences with different interests such as shopping, film and art. However, finding a place to eat was not easy. Being poor university students, my group of friends and I found that many of the local cafés were quite a way out of our price range – leading my thrifty Yorkshire mindset to internally question “How much?!” while looking at the price of a simple, plain cheese sandwich. After we were well and truly full of pancakes – we joined our uni group for the BBC Studios tour.
The tour was comprised of different studios and sets – including the Blue Peter set and the studio and the ‘Green Room’ of The Voice! Although the tour lasted over an hour and a half, the tour guides kept us interested by telling us facts and anecdotes about the studios – did you know Chris Moyles once stood up while presenting BBC radio 1 for 54 HOURS STRAIGHT in aid of charity?! However, the best part of the day was to see contestants of the Jeremy Kyle show – having their bags checked by security in an airport like fashion! But in all seriousness, seeing the sheer size and hard work that goes into the set up of the various different television studios and radio shows is phenomenal.
Although Media City is not actually exclusively owned by the BBC, they get priority over the studios within the buildings. This allows for the company to hire to other brands – for instance, during the tour we saw outside of a studio filming for a Porsche car advertisement! This may be useful for the BBC, to allow for a bigger profit for themselves. As the Media City is open to the public, I was surprised to find that the City did not have a car park, meaning that this may impact on the amount of people who choose to come to Media City for the BBC tours or to wander round their small shopping center.
During the trip, my friends and I also visited ‘The Lowry’ Museum, and discovered his amazing paintings, drawings, sculptures and sketches. However, as a total newbie to minimalist art, personally his work was unappreciated. Although – it was highly interesting to see the difference between his earlier work such as his ‘Self Portrait’ (1925) to his later paintings such as ‘Going to Work’ (1943) and how his various styles developed.
In conclusion, I would love to visit Media City again in the future, if only to go round the BBC tour again! It was an interesting day out and gave both my friends and I a thorough insight into the BBC and the enormous effort they put in to produce the television and radio shows we love today.
To find out about Media City for yourself, visit here.