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.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Don't Touch Me I'm "On Shot!"

Monday 6th July

I had spent a large portion of Sunday driving way south to the hotel not too far from the location.

We were back visiting Mexborough school where Julia, our pear shaped dieter works.

The last time it was with Deanne. This time we had both Deanne and Mr Motivator doing their thing.

Mr M. Choosing the Music for the Workout.

A Chilly Mr Motivator Gets the Kids Sorted.

Oliver the sound mixer for this broadcast and for the rest of the week had never done any GMTV transmissions before.

The speed at which we have to get things done always takes even the most seasoned of TV pro’s by surprise. He was no exception, but we got it all done.

Well apart from the first little tease.

There were a couple of problems.

The sound problem was one of those annoying strange things that happen just for the sake of proving gremlins do exist somewhere.

Oliver had a sound mixing desk to mix to mis all the incoming and outgoing sound from talkback, microphones, music and the PA system.

When he switched it on all the lights came on to say that it was working but there was no sound coming out of where it should have been. 

He checked that all the input were correct and that they were all being sent to the correct places.

There was not much time lest until we went on air.

Oliver was sweating like George Brown after his third encore.

The desk was teasing with all its lights saying, “we’re working!”

However no matter what he or anyone else did there was just no sound.

The transmission time came and went. We’d missed the first slot.

The minute hand had just ticked past the time we should have been broadcasting to the waking nation when the gremlins suddenly left without warning.

Without any thing being done to the desk it burst in to action.

There were then a few niggles with the two cameras that we were to be using. They weren’t looking exactly the same as each other.

Dave the Technical Director had to fiddle with a few things in London to make them match before we would be off and running.

Oliver, Pete and David Rigging Unaware of the Gremlins About to Pounce.

No Pete, Your not to Gag the Guests!

That's What the Gaffer Tape is for.

I was working with my colleague Geoff from the GMTV office in Manchester, he was doing the other camera.

The time for the first main broadcast was upon us without time to do a proper rehearsal because of having to sort out the technical problems with the cameras.

We knew what the structure was and got in position for the first little bit with Deanne and Julie.

Geoff was on a wide shot including both Deanne an Julia.

I was poised to do a close up of Julia when she spoke.

The next thing to happen was with Mr Motivator and that was to be on my camera.

I knew that Eron the Director would cut back to Geoff’s camera in time for me to move to Mr M.

However, the producer had not realised that there would be time for me to move and thought that I was in the wrong place.

“Coming to Martin’s camera.” said Eron in all our ears.

“Take Martins camera.”

At that point two things happened at the same time.

The vision mixer in the gallery in London put my camera on air.

The producer on the floor decided to attract my attention to tell me I was in the wrong place by gently pulling at my right arm.

That was the hand holding the camera. Obviously the camera jerked quite a bit.

I hope that the vision mixer then cut away from my now very wobbly camera.

I gave the unfortunate producer such a look.

There wasn’t much ambiguity in the meaning. 

I was ready to rip all her limbs off and giver her the soggy ends as suppositories.

She did apologise after the broadcast was over. These things happen in live TV. That's part of the buzz as long as the anger is short lived.

By this time the fiendish little gremlins had gone and we had no problems after that.

Geoff Focuses on Deanna and Julia.

When we came off air it was time to hit the road and head to Swansea.

On the journey my trusty car clocked up the magic 100 000miles.

I know that’s boring but I find it interesting mainly because it is something to think about when you spend hours and hours thrashing up and down motorways.

100000. Wish I got paid in mileage!!

We all arrived at the hotel in Swansea late on in the afternoon.

It had taken Mr M, Deanne and Jack the Runner longer by train than it took me by car and I took my time taking a slightly indirect route.

In the evening Christina the Producer, Oliver the Sound Mixer and I went to have a quick look at the location for tomorrow.

Black Pill Lido was a perfect setting for us to so the workouts at and there was an ideal place for Oliver to set up his kit.

It was raining a little bit when we got there but Christina had it on good authority from our own weather gurus, the BBC forecasts and Google Weather that it would be dry but cloudy in the morning.

We went back to the hotel to go to bed happy with the choice of location and not too worried about the weather.

No comments:

Post a Comment