This week we had quite a lot to do. The delays with arranging Mark Sexton’s interview slipped it till Wednesday, which gave us just that afternoon to get at least a rough edit together in time for the mandatory rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, we needed to produce our photography and music showcase insert – which meant also receiving clearance for the music from the artist – and edit the footage from the Preview Day shoot.
On top of that, a misinterpretation of a rule meant we had to change one of our presenters. Our interpretation of the criteria we had been given was that the reference to not presenting a show you are “crewing” was to be taken at face value, meaning it referred not to the shows we were producing the content for, but instead only to the other shows we were involved in, where we put were crewing the live show with content created by another group. As it turned out, the “crewing” term in the criteria was actually meant more broadly, so I was ineligible to present the show.
I decided to replace me with Tom Cross, another of the show’s more experienced presenters (Alongside Natalie, who remained our news presenter), since I believed his experience with the show would mean the relatively late call up would not harm his performance. Incidentally, that faith seems to have been well placed, as Tom did a great job for us on Friday.
This change also meant I had to make some alterations to the script. For instance, the original introduction featured some scripted banter between Jo & myself about my birthday being the day after the show. Since this wasn’t the case with Tom, some new discussion was needed. In the end, the entire introductory segment wound up being partially re-written. This was also to avoid unintended similarities to the previous two episodes’ introductions.
Editing the Preview Day insert was a pretty hefty task, as some of the footage had failed to record or had come back too dark to use, which we attributed to the crew’s inexperience with the camera and decided was a problem we needed to make sure we handled before our next show. After reviewing the rushes, I mostly left the editing to our main editor (Alex Hull) and Jodie Redwood, our de facto director, while I handled other things – such as putting together the music & photography insert and dealing with scriptwriting and paperwork.
The photography and music insert was, once we had the content together and signed off, relatively painless to put together. Alex and I opted to display the images static, with transitions, rather than applying any kind of “Ken Burns Effect”, mainly because we wanted to ensure that all the pictures were seen in full but also because we believed that the relatively sedate music track the pictures were paired with suited this style more.
On Wednesday, Jodie and I finally managed to shoot the interview with Mark Sexton. Time constraints meant we were forced to make the insert ultimately very basic, since the two of us filmed it alone and had to edit it, alongside Alex, that afternoon. With that completed, I spent most of Thursday getting production documentation ready for the mandatory rehearsal on Thursday afternoon. I realised that day that cuts to the inserts were going to reduce our running time, so I booked Charlie Jackson as a live interview guest, talking about his time spent working at Wimbledon, to make up the shortfall. After all that, I stayed to watch the rehearsal to make notes on any changes which needed to be made to the show prior to airing.
With that list as a guide, I came in early on Friday and finalised the autocue script, the studio script and the running order before collating those and the other production paperwork with the Programme as Completed Form to submit shortly before the show went on the air.
Generally, I think the show went fairly well, considering some of the difficulties we had with putting it together in the week before it was due to air. I was a little disappointed that we were not able to make the Computing and Digital Sound insert as interesting as we originally hoped, but time constraints were so extreme that there was’t much more we could do with the limited manpower available during the week. Similarly, the Preview Day insert had some disappointing video quality in sections. We did what we could to mitigate these issues in the edit, but it was clear that in future we would need to make sure we had much better, more usable footage (And more of it – one of the biggest problems we encountered in the edit was a lack of options to replace things we decided we didn’t want to make use of).
We treated this as a learning experience. These quality issues were things to aim at improving in the future.
You can watch the show itself below