Sunday, 26 October 2014

Production Diary - 2nd London Visit - Part 1

This blog would not exist were it not for my doing a Masters Degree in Documentary Production at Salford University and choosing Slow TV as my major project. For this major project I am not just researching Slow TV, but doing some filming experiments to understand production methods and techniques, but also to make a documentary about Slow TV.

My production took me on a second filming trip to London last week for two interviews. Cue preparing paperwork, schedule, locations ahead of Thursday. Not to mention ensuring cameras are booked from university, correct frame rate set, resolution, region etc.

Arriving in London from Manchester around 12:30, I had to quickly recce a spot to interview at 1pm. I was to interview Ola GrÃ¥berg from Norway's main commercial channel, TV2. TV2 had undertaken a Slow TV project earlier in the year and were in town for an industry awards ceremony later that night. I'll write more about that project and the award another time soon. Ola was the project manager for that project.

An important question about Slow TV: could such an endeavour work on commercial television? Think about how TV is funded and how commercial channels rely on adverts a few times an hour to finance their existence and broadcasts. TV2's 'Fly med Oss' (Fly with Us) was the first Slow TV engagement by a commercial station.

The show had escaped notice by English speaking media - so even with carefully arranged research methods, Fly med Oss was entrenched deeply in only Norwegian speaking media; however I am quite a thorough chap when it comes to information gathering. It did not escape forever, Just a few weeks ago I discovered this commercial project and was able to arrange this interview in time. I need to explore the commercial broadcast question for my film about Slow TV.

I found a suitable cafe where I could set up equipment and film, mindful of health and safety and look out for the security of the equipment too. I met Ola at a hotel just around a corner and then had an interview over a good latte. What you see in the picture is the canon 7D mounted on a dolly trolly - which worked at the perfect height with the table. I recorded the interview on a zoom device, recorded with a dead kitten.

After a good half hour of conversation, I bid Ola good luck and farewell and headed off for my next interview in the Covent Garden / Trafalgar Square. Unaware to me, a camera error message en route at Trafalgar Square heralded a problem. The next morning I found that everything on the memory card before Trafalgar Square had been deleted. Mercifully the entire audio had recorded well, so the interview information remains and the necessary soundbites for the documentary can be used.

Next interview: the international distributor for the Slow TV.

Slow Television -The Slow TV Blog

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