16mm vs. 35mm inserts

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Bob Richardson
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bob Richardson »

Bernie wrote:I made an ad for Radio Times on 35mm, during the very short time that someone thought it was ok to show blatant commercials for BBC products on BBC1.
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I wonder if that's the one I have among the cans I rescued from the skips outside of LGS film despatch when the building was closing down? It's labelled "Radio Times Trail" and is on 35mm colour stock. (My old office is marked with a red outline).
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bernie »

IndigoTucker wrote:Could the OB units used for inserts not be 'written off' financially in a way, as they were made in the downtime for the vans in between weekend sport and religious broadcasts.

I don't think accountants think that way! And if it was the LPU, it didn't do much sport - http://www.bbctv-lpu.co.uk/

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bernie »

Bob Richardson wrote:
Bernie wrote:I made an ad for Radio Times on 35mm, during the very short time that someone thought it was ok to show blatant commercials for BBC products on BBC1.
B
Image
I wonder if that's the one I have among the cans I rescued from the skips outside of LGS film despatch when the building was closing down? It's labelled "Radio Times Trail" and is on 35mm colour stock. (My old office is marked with a red outline).
Quick Bob - open the can and have a look!

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Simon Mclean »

Roll ACR wrote:
Simon Coward wrote:In the earliest days of location VT inserts, how would these have been combined with the studio parts of the programme?

In as-live productions, any film sequences would be cued to run at the appropriate point in the action, but what of VT location sequences or, I suppose, VT inserts of any kind?

Would these have been handled in the same way, or would VT inserts have been a no-no until VT editing was possible?
Handled exactly the same way. On "as-live" recordings they'd be rolled in just like a film insert. Watch an ep of "Public Eye" and look out for the left-hand cue dot. Right-hand side for commercial breaks, left-hand side for VTR. Disappears -15secs before a cut to VTR insert. IIRC there are also such cue dots on Xrds eps with VTR inserts.
The best place to see this in action is Whodunnit - it strikes me that it must actually have been a pretty difficult show to do.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bob Richardson »

Bernie wrote: Quick Bob - open the can and have a look!

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As requested Bernie. It appears to be a 1977 Cup Final trail. There's rather more film than I might expect to see if it were just top-and-tail animations.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bernie »

Ah, thank you.

Not mine - I was training as a network director. I can't remember who was producing at that point...Martin Everard? Chris Bellinger? Albert Barber? Someone would love to see their stuff again.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by GarethR »

ian b wrote: The point I was making was that it wasn't unusual for an ITV drama or comedy production to feature OB vt even in the 60s, where an equivalent BBC series would have used a film crew.
As Bernie suggests, ITV had a lot more money to throw around.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Ian's mention of "Upstairs Downstairs" was an interesting one, LWT did mix the two, on other occasions.

In "On The Buses", all the Cemetery Gates scenes were on OB (presumably all done for the whole series), one episode springs to mind, "First Aid", after an OB scene at the Cemetery Gates, a little later on, a scene on a country lane, on film.

Thames comedies, "Father Dear Father" (exteriors done on film, although the 72 "Comedy Carnival segment was OB) but "Bless This House" had exteriors on OB, and "Get Some In" had one episode entirely on location on OB, and the very last one entirely on location on film!.

One of the earliest uses I can think of , of OB exteriors at the BBC is "Paul Temple" , "The Quick And The Dead" in 71, for example.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Bernie »

I think it's probably called experimenting - what can we achieve with this gear as opposed to that gear? What you start with has ramifications all along the chain.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Absolutely, there must have been a lot of that as the rules were still being written.

Although I suspect other lesser factors were involved as well, such as availability of Film/OB units, and logistics of locations.

In the 69 series of "Doctor In The House", OB was used only on the first few episodes, from then on it was film, throughout the entire run, they did have a good budget on that series, when series writer John Cleese saw the multi-tier studio sets, he was quoted as saying "If I knew they were going to spend this much on it, I would have asked for more money myself".

When OB was used on the first serial of the ATV series "Timeslip" in 1970, apparently the pictures were TX'd via a relay on a church roof to Elstree and recorded there.

I was also reminded of the filming work done on the "Who" serial "The Daemons" in 1971, Director Christopher Barry elected to do the location work on three crystal-locked film-cameras mounted on wheeled tripods on chipboard with the cameramen linked via cans to the director, effectively creating a multi-cam set-up, and therefore saving a lot of time with dialogue-heavy location scenes, expensive though apparently.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by GarethR »

Mark wrote:expensive though apparently.
Three film cameras running simultaneously? Absolutely. You've tripled your stock and processing costs. Obviously common in America (apart from a period in the 70s and early 80s, studio sitcoms were routinely shot with three Panavision 35mm film cameras right up until HD took over), but extremely unusual in the UK.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Not to mention all the unused footage in post-production.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

If anyone can receive the Drama channel, if you get a chance, check out tomorrow's (9th Oct) episode of "A Fine Romance" at 6pm, the film inserts look pretty grotty and washed out, as if there was a processing problem, other film inserts in the previous series looked okay ( the 80's LWT series did use both Film and OB).
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

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Mark wrote:Not to mention all the unused footage in post-production.
Apparently actor Fred McMurray would film every scene he could by himself in the hit show 'My Three Sons' days before the cast had arrived. As a seasoned old pro he probably did not need anything off the other actors to 'act' and could get his role in the season over and done with to spend more time on the golf course?

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Although I have them on DVD, I managed to catch one of my favourite episodes of "Upstairs Downstairs" on Encore tonight.

It's from the 73 series ( the best series, IMO) "The Bolter", and was reminded that during the scene in which Hazel's Horse bolts, there are a couple of shots done on film, while the rest of that scene and indeed all the other location shots were OB.

The two shots were filmed travelling alongside the horse ( whilst all the others were static VT cameras as the horse went by.

So a film camera (not prone to vibration) was used. mounted on a car, two units...must have been expensive, ( although another episode in the same location was done at the same time).

There are a number of photos from "Doctor Who" ( such as "The Massacre" and "The War Games") which show one of the vehicles the BBC used for camera mounted travelling shots, a Citroen 2CV minus it's doors!
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Paul Hayes »

Anglia did the exteriors for their short-lived 1966 soap opera "Weavers Green" on OB.

You can watch an episode on ITV Anglia's official Vimeo account, here:
https://vimeo.com/69693027

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

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Mark wrote:There are a number of photos from "Doctor Who" ( such as "The Massacre" and "The War Games") which show one of the vehicles the BBC used for camera mounted travelling shots, a Citroen 2CV minus it's doors!
Oh, so not a different type of Citroen with the special suspension?
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Paul Hayes wrote:Anglia did the exteriors for their short-lived 1966 soap opera "Weavers Green" on OB.

You can watch an episode on ITV Anglia's official Vimeo account, here:
https://vimeo.com/69693027
There's also an episode on Network's Soap Box set.

That one on vimeo isn't a film recording ( just looks like it) they are all on D2 from original 405 VT.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

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Spiny Norman wrote:
Mark wrote:There are a number of photos from "Doctor Who" ( such as "The Massacre" and "The War Games") which show one of the vehicles the BBC used for camera mounted travelling shots, a Citroen 2CV minus it's doors!
Oh, so not a different type of Citroen with the special suspension?
Not sure...long time since I was into cars that well...it could be.!

Any more info?
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Paul Hayes »

Mark wrote:
Paul Hayes wrote:Anglia did the exteriors for their short-lived 1966 soap opera "Weavers Green" on OB.

You can watch an episode on ITV Anglia's official Vimeo account, here:
https://vimeo.com/69693027
There's also an episode on Network's Soap Box set.

That one on vimeo isn't a film recording ( just looks like it) they are all on D2 from original 405 VT.
Yes, I edited my post to remove the suggestion of it being a film recording after I realised the film artefacts I saw were just on the titles.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Good series ( don't recall it in detail, though) good cast too, a DVD release would be nice.

The reg number on the BBC's Citroen was 654 GYE, on both those "Who" serials ( three years apart), and countless other productions no doubt.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Spiny Norman »

Mark wrote:The reg number on the BBC's Citroen was 654 GYE, on both those "Who" serials ( three years apart), and countless other productions no doubt.
The only thing I know is that the more upmarket Citroens had that hydraulic suspension and the ultimate budget car, the 2CV, didn't.
It was mentioned somewhere (Was it Top Gear, or somewhere completely different?) that that made the former cars popular for film crews.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

Had another look, and compared to various models...definitely a 2CV.

Last time I watched "The War Games", the shots of the Romans charging along, looked pretty stable to me.!
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Ian Wegg »

The suspension on the 2CV is connected front and back by horizontal springs inside cylinders. Not as sophisticated as the full hydraulic system found in the larger models but still a very stable car.

I remember as a child the main attraction of watching horse racing on the BBC was spotting the Citroen DS with roof mounted camera gliding round the track. They continued in use decades after the model was out of production,

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by brigham »

The 'doorless' Citroens appeared in one of the Dr. Who stories, on a Naval Base. The one with the over-the-top synthesizer effects.
They were 'Dyane' models, the slightly up-market ones with faired-in headlamps. (For 'Gentlemen' pig-farmers)

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Mark »

I quite like the suoerb Avant Garde incidentals from the excellent Malcolm Clarke, myself...but yes, "The Sea Devils" the Dyanes looked great, the Beeb certainly liked Citroens.
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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by brigham »

Mark wrote:I quite like the suoerb Avant Garde incidentals from the excellent Malcolm Clarke, myself...but yes, "The Sea Devils" the Dyanes looked great, the Beeb certainly liked Citroens.
My favourite comment:
"(It) presented uncomfortable sounds to a substantial early evening audience on Saturdays in a way not duplicated in Britain before or since"
...Which is a bit harsh. The new generation of synthesizers was still young at this point. It was bound to be over-the-top.
It gave the game away though. When you heard the trademark 'Way-yoww way-yoww' synthesizer sound, you knew a bloke was going to come round the corner with a fish on his head!

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by fatcat »

Kaleidoscope has discovered a load of film inserts from the wiped episodes of the soap Crossroads.
These probably pre date 1969 as Crossroads from then only used OB location work.

The budget for Crossroads appeared to be higher pre 69 and so these inserts maybe some of the 'exciting' action sequences which fans vaguely recall.

Sounds interesting anyway.. especially if it contains stuff like the chef Carlos meeting his dastardly double on the Eifel Tower and the like .

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Clive »

I used to enjoy watching the mammoth India series Mahabharat on C4 on Saturday lunchtimes in the 80's.

They had massive use of eye-watering CSO effects, but this often meant that in the same scene with the same characters they would switch from film to VT and back again, or in some cases overlap the film inserts with CSO. Added to this the over-modulated audio and it all became a bizarre experience.

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Re: 16mm vs. 35mm inserts

Post by Brian F »

fatcat wrote:
The budget for Crossroads appeared to be higher pre 69 and so these inserts maybe some of the 'exciting' action sequences which fans vaguely recall..
I do remember reading in the newspaper that at one time the IBA criticized Crossroad for being too studio bound and that they had to do more location work. That was before they insisted on less episodes a week "to improve quality". I don't think most of us wanted that we were just amused at what they were doing to keep up with 5 episodes a week.

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