Points of View Summary
BBC Points of View has been on our screens for over 50 years, and next year being the 55th year since it’s first transmission. The programme gives the public the chance to give auntie beeb their thoughts on the BBC’s television output, good or bad. Since 2008 we’ve been filming the presenter links for the programme and have helped with its transition from various BBC regional offices, new producers, new formats and the switch into HD.
Being part of a programme with as much history and respect as Points of View has been a great pleasure and we’ve loved being a part of the team for the last 8 years and look forward to the next 10! We’ve been able to suggest equipment and shooting changes to not only improve the look and feel of the show, but also streamline the filming process making the links days quicker and easier then ever. Allowing us to support new ideas and formats such as viewer panels, interview specials and more.
When we were first asked to work on the programme it was being filmed at the BBC’s TV channel playout areas of Red Bee Media, in White City just up the road from Television Centre. We returned occasionally to Television Centre for programme specials; visiting the Strictly Set, Election Sets etc. However never in a dedicated studio, always squeezed in amongst the racking equipment in playout.
Filmed in standard definition on a Sony DSR-450 DVCam with full autocue, complex lighting setup and a slow rig time the links were the format of our predecessors and didn’t allow for much flexibility. Making a dark gallery and playout area look inviting and visually interesting was one of the first changes we suggested by making some simple changes to the lighting setup and opting for a simple pair of open faced soft lights.
This simple change suddenly brightened up the room and the resulting footage. With the programme being broadcast on a Sunday teatime it suddenly felt far less dark and far more appealing visually, allowing the links and viewers comments to shine.
Move forward a few years and with the closure of Television Centre and the opening of “New” Broadcasting House the programme moved to the heart of Regent Street and the BBCs new corporate HQ. During this transition we were also asked to help make the switch from SD to HD, which was now becoming the norm for all acquisition for the BBC. In order to meet the tight budgets and to keep costs down the humble Canon XF305 was chosen. This little camera had become the BBC’s go-to thanks to its ease of use and its 50mbps full HD format.
However we were faced with some other unexpected issues, the new newsroom at New Broadcasting House had a rule forbidding the use of large open faced lights as they would be seen and provide distraction for the BBC News Channel broadcasting live 24 hours a day below us. Well we wouldn’t be Mad Dogs if we didn’t have the perfect solution on hand, the small and mighty dedolight kit allows for perfect control of the lighting we needed, without being distracting for those working around us and the studio just below.
Fast forward a few more years to today and you’ll find we’re filming in HD with the Canon Cinema, C300 with a set of primes, lightweight 1×1 LED litepanels and a very quick rig time which allows us to change locations within the links and add increasing visual interest to the shots.
But it’s not just the links themselves; during the previous series in talking to Jeremy he mentioned that the iPlayer photo preview for the show was rather out-dated having the wrong location and colours. So we of course offered to bring a stills camera long to the next shoot and take a few snaps, we’re very proud to say that one of those pictures now sits proudly as the programmes preview on the BBC iPlayer on TV, mobile and online. Best of all, we didn’t charge a penny for this; we used the same lenses as we use on the C300 for the links, for the stills, to the look matches the programme.