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.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Ben Shephard's Dancers and an Amazing Parade.


Wednesday 9th June.


An hours drive out from the centre of Johannesburg we arrived at the Lesedi Cultural village.


The people that would be part of our broadcast were already starting to arrive and were huddled around a fire.


It is Really Cold Before the sun Comes up.


Before the sun started to come up Mike and Dave started to set up the satellite dish.


The location for our broadcast was a longer distance than normal and the cable would be going round lots of corners. So instead of the normal video cable it would be a fibre optic with it’s special box attached to the camera that I would be using.


Apart from it being used during ITN’s coverage of the election this was the first time it was being used on deployment.


Mike and Dave had never used it in anger before and I had never even seen it.


Mike Rigs the Camlink box.


Apart from it using up a bit of extra battery power and adding yet more weight to the camera it was fine and worked well


The Camera with the box of Tricks on the Back.


The Camlink box Between the Battery and the Camera.


Nkosana and his dancers were very enthusiastic putting on a great little show for our broadcasts.


We did our broadcasts around an area where there is a fireplace.


The Performers get the Fire Started.....


...now it's going.....


...not sure if the all the Fuel is Environmentally Friendly.....


....Mark and Ben sort out Scripts From London..


Once the fire was up and blazing I used it as foreground in the shots.


Nkosana gets Warm....


...so do the Girls....


...the Ladies.....


.....and Ben.


Warmed up the Dancers do Their Thing.....


...but There has to be Time for Tea!


Ben Hypnotised by the Fire.


The usual sound problems cropped up when the performers started to sing, dance and play music.


The first one is that it is difficult to hear the presenter over the mic because of the level of the music the other is that it is difficult to hear the talkback in our ears because of the music.


It is preferable to have distance between the loud music and the presenter and use a separate microphone to cover the musicians if it is possible.


Neither of these options were possible. We wanted Ben to be in amongst the guys and I only had one microphone available and I needed that to hear Ben.


Obviously the other remedy is to get the music played more quietly.


Nkosana’s group were very professional and fully understood that and gave me a very good workable level.


Ben Gets Tweeting.


During the breaks the guys and girls were really interested in talking to us about what we were doing and the difference between life in the UK and South Africa.


The girls were very keen on hearing about Ben’s family and the British traditions surrounding marriage.


Ben Explains the British Courtship and Marriage Rituals.....


...she Can't Believe the Tradition is for the Brides Family to pay for the Wedding.


They found it funny when they told us that in their tradition we would all be very over the hill and ineligible if we had been single. We were over the age of 35.


Someone Always Wants to Play With the Camera.....


...Smile Ben!


The Satellite Truck at the Entrance to Cultural Village.


The ITN Boys Enter into the Spirit of South Africa.


All the broadcasts worked and once we finished we left straight away to head back into Johannesburg to the big parade planned for Bafana Bafana the South African football team.


We then said good-bye to Samson our driver for the last few days.


Driver Samson.


All three of us were pretty knackered and the thought of having to do some filming at the parade with an emphasis on the noise made by the vuvuzelas did not thrill us.


So, when we heard from the office that the piece was going to be done in the UK by our colleague Matt Arnold were were rather pleased.


However, we thought that it would be good to go to the parade anyway.


It was worthwhile missing a bit more sleep to be part of the amazing atmosphere and share with the people of Johannesburg this once in a life time experience.


I did a few shots of Ben watching the fun so that he we could show them in the morning when he talks about what the day was like.


The Vuvezelas.....


...They're all Over the Place....


....see...


....no Getting Away From Them...


..not Today anyway.....


...or the South African Flag...


...or People Having a Great Time African Style.


We also managed to get some guests for tomorrow’s live broadcast.


It's Amazing who you Meet on the Street in Sandton.


Not a Beer Belly in Sight......


...no not one.....


....Can it Really be About Football?...


....Yes it's all About Them....


..or Could it be the South African.....


...WAGS?


Where There's a WAG there's a Sat' Truck....


...and Hard Working Cameramen.



After all the excitement had died down Ben, Mark and I went for a late lunch, which became a later lunch because we had to wait over an hour for the food to arrive.


When it did come it was a bit cold but we ate it anyway because we were starving.


Ben then went off to the accreditation Centre at Soccer City with Nick to get their accreditation.


Mark and I went to recce the location for tomorrow’s live broadcast, which if the weather is good will certainly be a real highlight of the trip for me.



1 comment: