2013 has certainly been an interesting year so far. I have had three Assistant Producer broadcast credits; Comic Relief’s Big Chat with Graham Norton, How To Win Eurovision and Eurovision 2013 The Semi Finals.
Things that I have learnt whilst being a linear AP (that means an AP that works on the TV show and not just on the website):
- Always have a pen (or about 10)
- Never underestimate the power of a smile
- Coffee can be your best friend and worst enemy at the same time
- Taking a Tupperware to a foreign location might seem stupid at first, but actually with some clever hotel breakfast material you can make a scrummy sandwich for lunch AND save money!
- Headaches are a way of your body telling you, you’ve had too much coffee
Comic Relief’s Big Chat with Graham Norton
This production was generally about me working as a cross platform Assistant Producer again. In the build up to the show I would work with the Edit Producer to make the hilarious VTs (which were dropped in the end for timing reasons). I filmed using a Canon 305 at various locations, from the glamorous red carpet in the ice cold rain (always bring a coat!), to the super hot basement dressing rooms of Television Centre (R.I.P.). A few of the locations also allowed me to use a bit of lighting which was just to basic 3-light interview setup.
On the night of the live show I was located in the gallery pulling in comments from the audience and posting them on Graham’s big wall. It was the first time I had used Chyron to actually control the graphics. In layman’s terms, when Graham needed a new question, it was my finger that pushed the button to make it appear on TV. Funny how a button can shrink to the size of a pinhead when you’re nervous! Still, my finger may have been quivering like a reed in the wind but to everyone out there, it went seamlessly.
How To Win Eurovision
Turns out, there are a LOT of Eurovision performances!At this moment in time, you need a fact or stat about Eurovision then you just ask me and if I can’t recall it from the lists we wrote, then I will dam well know where to find the information at lightening speed.For example, did you know that if you perform a love song, in the UK, and you’re a solo female artist dressed in ‘other colours’ then you’re totally going to win the Song Contest! It’s that scientifically easy!As you’ve probably guessed I was part of the archive team who found clips and came up with great lists of examples. My personal top 5 favourite finds from this production were:
- The orchestral saxophone player in the 1991 Greek entry (go to 1.13 in the video below)
- Latvia from 2000 with his great dancing left leg with a mind of its own. Then the dancing towards the middle of the song is priceless
- Carola’s backing dancers in her 1991 winning song
- Watch the backing singer from the 1997 Bosnia and Herz entry. She doesn’t play her saxophone or keyboard throughout the whole song! Now that’s some mind powered skills
- And finally, another Saxophone example just because they’re so funny. Here’s a multi-sounding saxophone – you know, those great instruments that start to sound like a guitar after a while. Miming skills to rival Cheryl Cole’s ‘Call My Name’ performance.
So that’s what I have been up to. I’m currently clipping up the moments from Eurovision 2013 so check out those super soon.
Also on the 18th June I shall be presenting at the BECTU Freelance Fair so pop along to that if you can. It’s the ‘Marketing Yourself’ session from 10am. See here for more information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of my own and not my employer.