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, 7 June 2010

Soweto live and England v Platinum Stars

Monday 7th June

Dave and Mike along with a couple of security guys were already setting up the ITN satellite dish outside the hospital wall when we arrived.

The Guys Set up the Dish.

Everything was up and running very quickly apart from the programme sound talkback.

Producer Mark Checks in with GMTV.

Richard Talks to GMTV in London.....

...So Does Mark.

Over the road in the Bara Transport Interchange the day was starting to get busy and combis full of working Sowetans were setting off.

The Sowetan Dawn.

The Main Road to Jo'burg From Soweto.

Dave and Mike were beavering away to get the talkback sorted. For some reason it kept dropping out.

We were getting very near to transmission time.

Richard had a little tease to so right at the top of the programme so we needed it to work.

Signs of Football Everywhere.

I had dialled into the gallery talkback and told them that if the programme talkback did not come up I would give Richard his cue.

With only a few seconds to go Mike and Dave had worked their technical magic and suddenly Richard had the Technical Director’s voice in his ear.

We are all always very keen to get things to work as perfectly as possible but this morning there was a little bit more pressure to get it right.

Recently there have been a few changes an the bosses at GMTV and two new bosses who will be in charge of the actual content and structure of the programme were starting work.

They were in the gallery to see fro the first time at first hand how ITV’s breakfast programme is put together.

So there was a bit more pressure to make sure it went well on this one.

Erron the director in the GMTV gallery cued Richard and off he went

Richard was standing on a rough grass area next to a pile of rubble in contrast to the smooth trimmed areas in the middle and upper class areas within Johannesburg.

Richard Ponders Over his Script.

It is a constant relief when the first broadcast, however short, has gone out.

We turned our minds to the main broadcasts when Richard would have more to say linking into the piece we shot and edited yesterday.

We decided on a shot, on the long end of the lens with Richard standing on a little traffic island had the backdrop of Soweto and the combis pouring out of the interchange.

Richard and Mark Chat Under the Watchful eye of our Security.

We felt that it really conveyed the energy of the bustling place as the sun blasted over the horizon.

The Background to the Shot of Richard.

Richard Strides to the Live Position.

Richard and Mark do Battle with the Phone.

The only problem that I had was that on the last broadcast of the morning which was thankfully a short one the radio mic that Richard was wearing started to break up a little bit.

I was very annoyed and frustrated because up until that point it had worked perfectly well, but there was nothing that I could do to sort it.

When we were finished in general we were happy with our morning’s work.

Hospital Equipment Arrives as we Leave.

Incubators for the Maternity Ward.

There was just time for a very quick breakfast before heading off with Samson our driver up to a stadium outside of Rustenburg to see some orphan children watching the England team play a warm-up game against a local Rustenburg team, The Platinum Stars.

The new bosses being in the gallery this morning was not the only news within GMTV. The Head of News Malcolm Douglas announced that he we would be leaving in August after 18 years with the company.

On the long road to the Moruleng Stadium, that turned out to be a lot longer than we anticipated we stopped off to grab a burger from a Wimpy at a petrol station in Rustenburg.

The road to Maruleng.....

...the Very Long Road.

The staff told us that yesterday the England players had been in and bought a shipping order of burgers, chips and coke.

None of them could show us any evidence, like mobile phone pictures that they had actually been there but they were very insistent.

We thought that after the petrol station there was only around twenty minutes to go but it was almost an hours journey until we reached the stadium where the game had already started.

The vuvuzellas were blaring.

However, they were not blaring as much as thought they would be.

When we got inside the small stadium I realised why. The place was only about half full.

Inside the Stadium....

.....our side was busy....

...but not the far side.....

...the Game Goes on.

Richard and I met up with Mareza from the My Home charity and the children from the orphanage.

I busied myself getting shots that would convey the undoubted atmosphere that the less than capacity crowd had generated, shots of the kids watching and a few shots of the game.

Our brief was somewhat different from most of the other media outlets that were there.

They were covering the sport aspect of the game. We were more interested in the effect the players being there was having on the community and more specifically the orphans that we had come to see.

Sean From BBC Sport Shoots the Action....

....what action there was.....

....What do the Guys on the Bench Think?

ITN's Tony Gets Shots of the Crowd.

After the game the kids were all brought down on to the pitch and after the England players had showered they came out to chat to them, have their photographs taken and get autographs signed.

All us media were corralled behind a piece of tape to film and photograph the event.

A lot of the media, in fact most were more interested in the football.

The Platinum Stars Coach is Interviewed.

John Terry is There Somewhere.

There were a few photographers and cameramen that were allowed to go forward, including a crew from Sky who were doing it on a pool basis.

It became a bit of a huddle with the footballers disappearing amongst the group of small and not so small kids.

The shots from our view point were not very good at all.

Richard called the FA PR lady over and told her that the shots were not working for us and that we would be live at the orphanage in the morning.

Was there anything she could do to help?

She said that there would be a riot if we were allowed to come forward to film. The other crews and reporters would be very annoyed.

At that point I was getting shots of a couple of tiny kids looking rather bewildered and lost on the outside of the mass thronging around the players.

I mentioned that the story was the confusion that was going on.

She left after she had rather countered my comment by saying that Fabio was insistent that the children got what they wanted.

A few moments later she came back to say we could film. Richard went in with his little camera to do the filming because if I had gone then there might have been a bit of a fuss.

Also we could inter cut the different angles.

Wayne Rooney and Happy Kids.

By the time we had finished the filming and organised with Mareza that we would do the live broadcast from the orphanage in the morning we had been on the road for nearly fifteen hours and were starting to feel a tad tired and there was still work to be done.

When Mareza told us that she would guide us to our B&B back near Rustenburg we were quite happy, but a little less happy when she told us that it would take us an hour or so to get there.

On that drive we set to work getting the material into Richard’s mac and editing a few bit that would be shown in the morning.

I did a little bit of editing and so did Richard.

Richard Editing in the Bus.

When we got to our B&B Richard managed to get the 3G dongle that he had bought up and running because there was no wireless internet and he sent the material to GMTV in London.

Whist he was doing that I put the food that the lady from the B&B had left out for us in the microwave and we had a hearty meal before crashing out nearly eighteen hours after we had started.

The remains of our Microwaved Meals.

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