Category Archives: Broadcast

Big Chat and How To Win Eurovision

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:

  1. The orchestral saxophone player in the 1991 Greek entry (go to 1.13 in the video below)
  2. 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
  3. Carola’s backing dancers in her 1991 winning song
  4. 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
  5. 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.

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Canon 5D Filming

Weekend #1
The first weekend I used a Zoom H4 box to record the sound.

It was alright although no chance I would have been able to film on my own. Luckily I had the help of Emma. The Zoom H4 box records the sound separately onto an SD card as either a WAVE or mp3 file.

The sound had to sync up as video and audio were recorded onto separate devices…like in the ye olde days of film!


Weekend #2
The second weekend I used a customized Glensound Box that recorded sound straight onto the Canon 5D

The files imported into FCP fine, although I had to obviously change the settings of the project so that I didn’t have to render the timeline every time I put a clip down.

If you have the same problem, don’t forget to create a new sequence once you have changed the FCP project settings otherwise the new settings won’t be applied to the new sequence.

If you haven’t guessed already, that was something I found myself literally tearing my hair out at! Luckily I’m a lady and I have long hair so I can fashion a nice comb over for the time being.

I’m totally hooked on the new Canon 5D MK2! This is the first sequence that I produced having used it:

(Please note, the lovely BBC YouTube peeps seemed to have uploaded a wrong aspect version and it’s been compressed, obviously)

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Next Week: Short Film research… I want to make a short film at the start of this year so I’m starting the pre production for it soon

Twitter for Strictly

If you are wondering where the article about my premiere performance is, basically the shoot has been cancelled until November when we head to Blackpool.

Instead, here is a still of me! At least I have given you something even if it is just a still 😉

Gemma taking a picture of Goldie

This is taken from the first week when Goldie was still in Strictly Come Dancing.

Basically this is what I do on Saturday night while the main show is on.

I take pictures of the acts as they come off stage and publish it straight to Twitter.

I also add in a quote so that the reactio is more instant and exclusive.

The pictures are then used on the strictly blog and the backstage gallery.

I finish the night by recording some reactions to the results with the judges.

Fun-packed and never boring!
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Next Week: Filming with the Canon 5D camera

Teleweb from Gerd Leonhard

Have you seen the video below? Basically it’s everything I have been harping on about (sorry about that) in just 8 minutes!

Gerd Leonhard, Founder and CEO of The Futures Agency, Media Futurist, Author and fellow blogger explains the future of television now that the internet has arrived.

He talks about how in 2 – 3 years television sets will automatically connect to the internet and how social networkers are the next broadcasters. In just 5 years you won’t be able to seperate TV and the internet!

It’s good to see that there are professionals with the same thoughts as I have…perhaps I’m not a loon after all!