Saturday, 7 May 2016

Anticipated Highlights of Saltstraumen Slow TV

It's here! To view NRK's Saltstraumen live go  >HERE<; if you have problems with that, go via the frontpage After broadcast, the 12 hour programme will available in segments here. Home of the world's strongest tidal maelstrom. Look for #nrksaltstraumen on social media.

The broadcast begins May 7th midday Norwegian time (11am BST, 6am eastern US, 3am western US) and continues live for 12 hours on NRK2.

Slow TV is just another way of telling a story on TV. A journey, theme or activity. The big story for Saltstraumen is the tide, from high tide, to low tide back to high tide. There will be lots of small stories which will be woven into that tapestry. Natural events, the wildlife (surface and sub-aquatic) and human interactions with the broadcast. Which stories will you observe or take away with you?

The show starts literally just before high tide at 12:12, at the midway point the low tide is at 18:32. By the next tide it will be dark, at 01:10 the next morning, so the transmission ends at midnight. If it's clear, there will be light until late as the sunsets at 22:20 local time - you can usually squeeze up to another hour after sunset for light for the naked eye when it's clear, so it should fit the broadcast just nicely. It's practically right on new moon, so there will be no moonlight rippling on the water.


Expect to see nature in the spectacular - the spectacle of the sea, its motion, the dramatic backdrop of mountains.

Saltstraumen has a large bridge as a centrepiece, one assumes the public has access to this 'platform' as has been the case in previous broadcasts, if that's so expect waving, flags, banners and placards. It's a Saturday, so no one should be late for school, but you never know, there could be marriage proposals, water skiing borat or gorilla - random things which could never have been thought of in previous broadcasts. Expect the unexpected! One Norwegian paper refers to a beach where people run naked across it - jokingly one of the presenters has said he'll do it in his underwear!

Subject to the tide's health and safety, expect boats - again with flags and waving.

Expect immersive long takes - shots with might bore or shock those used to quick paced image change of regular TV but end up giving other stories courtesy of the delayed gratification to take away and savour.

Expect immersive photography - quite literally. Mini submersibles to observe aquatic life and movements have been mentioned by producers in the run up to the broadcast.

Expect mini-stories - the forming and spinning of vortices in the water, behaviour of wildlife going undirected about their own activity, the movement of the sun and its interplay with landscape and landmarks.

If we're blessed with a clear day, we can expect the golden hour approaching sunset. From 9pm local time we could have the deepening colour tones of the sun's light quality, changing colour hues on the water and in the water.

After sunset (if it's clear) the deepening of twilight with crepuscular magic in the natural ambience. If someone could bring a few goats on to Saltstraumen Bridge, perhaps we could even get a troll to come out of its daytime den (cue Otto Jespersen to put in a cameo 'TROLL!';)  ).

Expect a high quality broadcast with high definition images from a variety of cameras, onland, in the water, on the water and in the air, and expect to keep the TV on for longer than you'd planned if you haven't watched Slow TV live before.

Keep an eye on NRK Nordland's Instagram account, I'm sure they'll be putting up their own photos and re-posting others' related pictures. [Nearly two hours into the broadcast - there's been far more activity on Twitter].

MORE NORWEGIAN SLOW TV on the way for 2016!

There are another two Norwegian Slow TV projects around other themes through the summer months. Way way up north there will be birdwatching at Hornøya, very close to the Russian border, around midsummer. If you can't wait until then for a little Norwegian birdwatching, take a look at this project with a live camera on an Eagle's nest.

At the other end of the country, in July over a week there will be daily transmissions from a paddle steamer, Skibladner, from Lake Mjøsa (not far from Oslo Gardermoen airport).

More details to follow on those.

Have a look around The Slow TV Blog.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

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