TVFutures - The Battle of the Flowers


Alex Watson TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

Studying on the BSc Television and Broadcasting course at the University of Portsmouth had given me some experience working as a camera operator, but this summer I had the chance to put what I'd learned over the last two years into practice.

Back home in the sunny island of Jersey, in what newsrooms would usually call the 'silly season', an event takes place every year which epitomises the uniqueness and community spirit of life in the Channel Islands. The Jersey Battle of Flowers is the island's annual carnival where on the second thursday of August, floats created by locals descend on St Helier's Victoria Avenue for the spectacle of islanders and tourists alike. The 2016 event saw over 15,000 spectators attend the parade, so after over 100 years there's no sign of 'Battle Fever' losing it's popularity.

This enduring popularity leads regional broadcasters to pull out all the stops in order to produce the best possible Battle coverage. This year, the BBC's Channel Islands News team produced a special battle highlights programme broadcast during after it's usual nightly news-opt on BBC One. There was also live commentary across regional radio stations, and some great web coverage. I was working as a camera operator during the shoot, and thought the first TV Futures article of the academic year would be a good opportunity to look back at just some of what went into producing their TV coverage.

Months of planning went into the ambitious multi-camera shoot which was vision mixed live on location. We needed to bring extra broadcast kit over from the UK on a ferry, which as anyone who lives in the Channel Islands will tell you can be an interesting experience. The boat due to bring the equipment and the programme's producer to the island was cancelled so some planning of camera positions was done through photos I'd gone out to take of the space to save some time when everyone and everything was ready to go.

Extra cameras, talkback kit and a jib that was probably larger than the main CI News studio was just some of the equipment that had been brought over for the production.

On the day of the parade, the team worked hard to assemble all the equipment into a makeshift studio setup at the side of the main grandstand with a gazebo serving as our "gallery", where the director would relay instructions to the camera operators.

As the "roaming" camera, it was my job to try and offer up as many shots possible to be chosen before moving onto the next one. There was so much going on during the day, it provided so many opportunities for creative camera shots. This was also the first time I'd been tethered by SDI and comms cables to a mixing desk while walking around so this was a new experience for me.

This was the first time I'd combined using the talkback system I'm used to using in a studio environment with the shoulder-mounted camera filming technique associated with working as a video journalist. It was brilliant to be involved with such a unique production. Previously I've taken it for granted how TV studios operate, as they're usually fixed installations; I'd never taken much notice of all the video, audio and data cabling required in a TV studio. It was only having to lay everything out during setup (and especially packing it all up again!) that I learned a lot more about the engineering involved with broadcasting.

Having the opportunity to get involved with the BBC's coverage of the Jersey Battle of Flowers reaffirmed my love for television production. I'd love to return to Jersey when I graduate from university; because, I know it's a bit of clich© but, working in news is a brilliant example of how no two days at work are ever the same.


Tags: iss118 | cci-tv | portsmouth university | tvfutures | student | Alex Watson
Contributing Author Alex Watson

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Shows
  • The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery

    The KITPLUS Show discussing streaming from ingest through to delivery


Articles
Peli Air 1507 Review
Phil Vinter Originally named after a bird that carries its precious cargo through the skies, it was, perhaps, only a matter of time before Peli released its Air range.
Tags: iss133 | peli | peli air 1507 | trekpak | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read or download PDF
IBC in a post Brexit world
Peter Savage 2 Cast your mind forward and we are not in 2018 but next year and, yes, it’s you and me walking to the departure lounge to catch the plane to IBC just as I, and perhaps also you, have done for the last 25 years. (By the way, where is my long service award – and perhaps a new pair of shoes as I must, surely, have walked the equivalent of five Caminos covering the 12 halls in the Rai). We are at the gate and my imagination kicks in as I hypothesize on what the trip might look like next year. I leave it to you to decide which is closest to what might be to come.
Tags: iss133 | azule | brexit | ibc | finance | Peter Savage 2
Contributing Author Peter Savage 2 Click to read or download PDF
Perimeter LED screens management
Nicolas Houel Opened in January 2016, Parc Olympique Lyonnais, also known as Groupama Stadium, is the new home of Olympique Lyonnais football club, one of the most popular clubs in France. Since its inauguration, the stadium was a host of UEFA Euro 2016, and was also chosen to stage, among other important events, the 2018 UEFA Europa League Final and football at the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Tags: iss133 | 3dstorm | graphics | groupama stadium | liveexpert | livecg | deltacast | Nicolas Houel
Contributing Author Nicolas Houel Click to read or download PDF
OB999 Accelerates Hill Climb Broadcast
Nick Collier Over the last century, The Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb has been attempted by some of the world’s most accomplished racing drivers striving to be the fastest up the 1,000 yard, 1 in 6 gradient track.
Tags: iss133 | ob999 | blackmagic | atem | multicam | videohub | cleanswitch | premiere pro | hyperdeck | Nick Collier
Contributing Author Nick Collier Click to read or download PDF
Creating Authentic Content That Counts
Frank le Mair We’re deep into the 2010’s and the way in which we consume content has changed forever. Broadcasters and content owners are fighting for eyeballs in a saturated market where consumers are watching their favourite shows on different devices across a number of platforms. To target millennials and younger generations, who generally consume short bursts of video on YouTube and social media - particularly Snapchat, Instagram and now IGTV - media companies are creating more and more authentic stories and are using platforms that are compelling for this demographic. Unlike generations before them, they have totally new video viewing patterns and ideals.
Tags: iss133 | insight tv | monster energy | amazon | millennial | Frank le Mair
Contributing Author Frank le Mair Click to read or download PDF