30 December, 2005

Adventures in Television - part one

Having spent most of my alleged adult life in some role behind the camera doing my part to bring what passes as televised entertainment to the people who want to watch it there have been some moments more memorable than most

– like the time the producer felt that having a live tiger on set was a critical element of a computer product launch(?) of course this was somewhat offset by the marketing director who provided bloody Mary’s on the dark stage at the crew call of 0530 – do you have any idea how long it takes to get the smell of tiger piss out of a seat cushion? (I have no idea, we tossed everything that was in the green room the next day)

Then there was the time that someone had the great idea that we could transmit the entire works of Shakespeare to the UK office, when I noted that was a bit like hauling coal to Newcastle I was greeted by blank stares, when we actually aired the program it was tape delayed, a minimal crew was on hand at 0300 to start, we were on the bird at 0400 PDT with a live host in the studio to kick off the tape from the day before - about 15 min into the tape (of course after everyone else had left back to bed) I looked out side the control room to a wall of smoke, when I got to the tape room there were actual flames shooting out of the motor drive unit on the Ampex VPR 1.5+ - and it was (of course) the ‘on air’ machine that was playing back…

Or the time I attempted to book a PAL DigiBetaCam for use in The Netherlands at the same time Princess Di had her unfortunate accident in France, I was dealing with this character in the UK broadcast for hire office, name of Miles Standish – no one in my office knew who the historical Miles was

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