Cameraman based in Edinburgh, employed by ITN, working for ITV's Good Morning Britain covering stories all over the UK and the world. War Zones, World Cups, Royal Tours and many other less exciting assignments, like interviewing current and ex Prime Ministers have kept me busy over the years working in Breakfast Television since GMTV came on the scene back in '93 and regional TV before that. In 2009 I began to record what it is like to work, the often strange and long hours needed to bring the hard news, human interest and fluffy fun to the UK's TV screens in the morning, mostly broadcasting live.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

All at sea......well two of us at least!

Wednesday 17th June

Never enough sleep even although both Simon and I went to the location half an hour after the rest of the crew.

It was a morning of very high energy and some fun things to do.

It was ABBA day because this was one of the locations used in the film “Mama Mia”.

Michelle talks to Mr M and Deanne Before the "Transformation"

Blonde on Blonde Action!!!!

Sadly Rachel could not be on the programme. She was still under the weather with sore ears and a sore throat.

Of course there had to be a moment or two of stress and distress.

To try and give some idea of the size of the ship Mr Motivator did a run from the port side showing the sea, to the starboard side showing the land.

Then he ran down through the crowd that was going to workout with him to meet Deanne.

That meant me running backwards quite fast.

Dave the Production Manager was on old hand at dragging cables and Simon would drag me back perfectly. There were no doors to run into and the lamp post things on deck were surrounded on foam.

In theory it should have been fine.

Thankfully after only one half rehearsal it did work.

Pete, the Director in London said that it looked good with lots of real energy.

Phew! Got Away with it again!

Chantel and Sharon Check out Julia's Hair.

The rest of what we had to do had to be pre recorded rather than live for various technical and logistical reasons.

That would have been fine if there had not been a problem with Deanne’s radio mic. 

We tried to a little fifteen second tease about five times. Each time we did it Nigel said that there was a problem.

In the end after much tweaking of the mic we ended up doing it live.

The distress was that the Olive Oil piece that we worked on for most of the day and was responsible for me not getting food until late of any sort of break until bedtime did not run.

In the excitement given off by the crowd and all the energy they put into the broadcast Mr Motivator and Deanne forgot to link to the VT.

Ah well, these things happen. At least it will be on the GMTV web site.

Is Nigel a Fan?

There was a quick break for lunch before we disembarked and boarded another large coach for ten of us.

It drove us all of 600 yards and then dropped us off to walk the other few hundred yards into Rhodes town

Rachel was much better after some rest and pills from the ship’s doctor. So she was able to come with us.

We were going to do a piece about how the Mediterranean kebab is much healthier than the good old after fifteen pints on the way home kebab popular in the UK.

I did some shots of the girls, Mr M. and Deanne having a browse around the shops.

There was a nice kebab type restaurant that the lady from the tourist office thought would be good for filming.

It did look good and would have been ideal.

Except, that we could film the premises but not any of the people, staff or customers.

So we walked around the corner a little and found another place that was not quite so good visually but the owner was very happy for us to film.

There was a little bit of a break then as I turned to Simon and asked a question to which I already knew the answer.

“Is there a spare disk in the bag?”

He gave me the reply I was expecting.

I made my excuses and then thanked my luck that I was using disk rather than tape.

I spent a short time going through looking for the unusable out takes and deleting them to make more space for what still needed to be shot.

Back in buisness.

I shot the guy making a kebab or gyro as they are called here.

The girls then bought one each, but they couldn’t eat it because we still had some other bits to film.

It did not take too long to get the rest done. Long enough for the Gyro’s to get cold.

The last shot was to be of the girls tucking into their nice fresh kebabs. 

Needless to say that when it came to the cue for them to eat they all took nice ladylike nibbles rather than huge bites.

Sharon with Simon's Electric Handbag AKA Sound Mixer.

The very helpful Peter, PR for Princess Cruises was not only kept busy with our requests but had other things to juggle back in the UK

A PR's Job Can Be a Lonely One.

There was just time to stop for an ice cream before we needed to get back to the ship.

Simon Likes his Cone!

Director Simon and I were going to go out on the Pilot boat to get some exterior shots of the ship from the sea.

There were lots of Health and Safety issues and forms to be read and e-mails sent before we were given the all clear to do it.

This was because getting on and off the pilot boat involves two boats manoeuvring  together as they plough through the sea.

The Ruby Princess' Bow Towering out of the Sea.

Even for the crew on the ship getting a ride on the pilot boat is considered a real privilege. Marisa one of the Purser Officers had pulled quite a few strings and called in a few favours to come with us.

The sea was quite calm and there was a little bit of a breeze.

It was not a difficult job climbing down the small rope ladder from the gargantuan hull of the ship to the scruffy deck of the small boat.

In any sort of heavy weather it would be another story.

It was great to get shots of the massive thing from the sea with the huge wall of hull above and above that several stories of balconies.

Costas the driver of the boat took us up and down it and I got some nice shots with the sun shining over the ship.

I had envisaged being able to get spectacular shots as the little boat went round the ship.

The sort of shot of the imposing bow I got with Deanne in it from the quayside yesterday, but from the sea, as we tracked around the ship was what I had in mind.

However, Costas started heading back to the Pilot door which was starting to open when the Ship was still going backwards out of the port.

Marisa and Simon On Board the Boat.

Slightly disappointed Simon and I clambered back on to our mother ship.

When we went back to the Production office to tell Chantel about our mini adventure she gave us more disappointing news.

The stuff that I had shot in the town was not going to be used in the programme tomorrow because the Editor had decided to change the content that he wanted.

That’s the second piece that is not going to make it to air.

Sometimes it is a frustrating job when a fair bit of time and effort had been put into something and it doesn’t go out.

It was going to go on to the web site so I still had to edit it. 

However it did no take me too long and I was finished work at a more reasonable time. 

That meant I would be able to get a shower before getting something to eat.


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