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, 15 March 2010

Weather and Fashion at Chatsworth House

Friday 12th March

The fashion live broadcasts were to be done on two cameras.

The signals from both cameras would be fed separately into the satellite truck and sent to GMTV to be cut by Erron the director in the gallery in London.

As well as doing one of the cameras on the fashion Simon would do the weather broadcasts with Kirsty.

When the satellite was in position he rigged up his camera and lights for the first broadcast.

The house looked beautiful as the light came up.

Simon and Jason set up with Kirsty as the blue sky Appears.

The weather was looking not too bad so it was looking good for the outside location for fashion.

Although I had managed to organise some extra lighting from the contractors that were working on the renovations in the house.

It would be far from perfect but if we had to use the hall it might work.

When the light came up enough for Simon not to need his lights he, Kirsty and sound recordist Jason went to do the rest of the weather broadcasts around the gardens.

They were using the Digi Link to allow them free roam over a large area over the large area.

The weather had taken a turn for the worse so we had to make a decision about chancing the outside or going for the safe and much warmer option inside.

We went for the interior location.

So I rigged what lights I could, started putting in camera cables and going through the choreography of the fashion broadcast with Chantal the producer and Mark Hayes GMTV’s fashion expert.

The satellite truck had parked so that if we used the outside location the noise from its generator would not encroach on the natural sound coming from the estate.

There was a slight problem in that if we used the interior location there would not be enough camera cable to reach the truck. It would need to move.

The Truck In Position Outside the House.

"Cue the Weather!"

Simon Focuses on Kirsty.

Betsy's Happy Keeping him and the Camera Dry.

The final weather broadcasts were done from the area we had planned for the fashion.

To give us time to finish rigging inside the house the last weather was recorded straight after the one at 8 o’clock and played out at around 8:30.

Once that was done the truck was move a little so that the cables would reach.

Simon and Jason came in from the cold and rain. We talked through the the fashion item and did a rehearsal.

Mark and the Models on the Grand Staircase.

One of the aspects that we needed to be aware of were a selection of graphic captions that would be on the screen.

They would show the price and from which shop the items that Mark talked about came from.

The information that we had when I set up the lights, positioned Mark and the models was that these graphic captions would be on the right of the frame on the wide shot.

So on that basis we managed to get a couple of run throughs.

All we needed to do now was a rehearsal with Erron the director.

It would not be a full rehearsal because the item was to run around five minutes and the only time we could rehears with Erron was the commercial break just before the item.

It was only going to run around three minutes.

It was fairly simple as there was just a wide shot, that Simon would do and close ups of the clothes that I would do.

As we went into the break it started to get complicated because we had received the wrong information about the position of the captions.

They would be on the left of frame.

Very quickly Simon and I barked instructions at Mark, the models and shifted the carefully place lights.

This was because we had to reverse everything.

We did a part rehearsal and if seemed to go alright.

Next it was time for the real thing.

We got into our opening positions and Chantal made sure that some of the noisy renovation and cleaning work still going on was stopped.

The timing, the positions and the choreography of the transmitted item all seemed to work and Erron said he ws happy.

We trooped out to Simon in the satellite truck to watch the off air recording he had made of the item.

It did look not too bad. However we were a bit surprised that the captions were not on the wide shots but on my close up shots.

Even although it did look acceptable both Simon and I were a little upset at the wrong information about the captions coming through to us because if we had the correct information we would have adjusted our framing accordingly and it would have been much better.

I spent the rest of the showery day trekking back up the M6.

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