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.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Fleeced by Flybe.

Tuesday 4th August

Joy on two counts, I got a little longer in bed because I just had to trundle downstairs to the location and it was not raining.

The auditionees started to turn up. There were not as many as yesterday.

The Belfast Contenders.

Autograph Time for Jeff.

We did another three broadcasts and heard a few more singers doing their stuff. Again they were all pretty good. Where were the classic nutters that turn up to these things despite having no earthly chance?

Jeff had a good time with the crowd when we were not on air, chatting to them and getting little snippets of info’ that he used on the broadcasts.

Jeff Gets a Briefing from Producer Sarah.

The morning went well with no mishaps and no real dramas.

We had time for a decent breakfast before the auditions and my next little editing job.

Yesterday’s luck with editing carried on through today.

More Autographs!

Firstly I needed to get a new firewire cable to connect my camera to my mac.

I asked at the hotel reception where the nearest place was that I would be able to buy one.

The girl on reception was not sure so directed me to one of the porters.

He told me it would be Currys in town, a ten to fifteen minute walk away.

Off I went on a pleasant wander in to town. 

When I got to Currys I asked one of the assistants for the cable. He scuttled off to the stock room to have a look as there were none on display.

He came back and told me that there were none.

Without being asked the question he said, “You’ll get one at the Electronic Centre.”

Not knowing Belfast very well I asked, “Where abouts is that?”

“You know the Europa hotel?”, he inquired.

“Yes.” I replied. 

“It’s just along the same road on the opposite side about 200 meters away.”

So, in a less leisurely way I hiked back towards the hotel and sure enough there it was, a fifteen second walk past the road I had been directed to go down.

Armed with my shiny new cable I walked the two minutes back to the hotel to prepare to edit, some of the auditions would be finished.

To save on excess baggage I had not lugged my VT machine across to Belfast. I was going to download the footage from the audition camera using my big camera and dump it back on to tape using my little camera.

Well that was plan A. It turned out that although the large tapes would play no problem on my camera the small tapes that were being used would not play.

Joe the local cameraman who was shooting the auditions organised to get a VT machine brought over.

At least that would solve the problem. 

You’ve guessed it. No chance.

When the tape was played through the mac it all looked fine. That was until the time came to put the footage into the memory.

Final Cut the editing software would accept 3 seconds of material no more.

I went through a variety of checks using other formats, other tapes, cameras and machines. They all worked fine. 

In the end we just had to feed from the unedited rushes tape.

At least in the end yesterday I did manage to get the stuff edited.

It is so annoying when there is a lot of hassle and no positive outcome.

Caroline From The GMTV Web Team Does Her Stuff.

Late in the afternoon I headed for George Best Belfast City airport to get back to Glasgow to collect my car and get home to Edinburgh.

This time I was travelling on my own on the daylight robbery airline Flybe.

So now travelling companions to take any of my other two bags.

My excess baggage of 21kg cost £375 which included a £3 supplement for paying with a credit card!

When I got to Glasgow I went home via the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to collect one of the No 1 Family banners.

We had not taken it to Belfast to save on yet more excess baggage.

Given the sheer profiteering of Flybe it was the best decision of the day.

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