The nodding correspondents

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MrThunder
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The nodding correspondents

Post by MrThunder »

Are there any broadcasters out there who can comment on this bizarre observation I've made ? OK - the scene in the newsroom is set with our presenter leading up to a report from a correspondent anywhere in the world. You can see said correspondent on a monitor in the background. Standard head and shoulders shot. As our studio-bound presenter begins their verbal build-up to the link, the correspondent slowly begins nodding their head until they have to speak. It seems to happen on most shows, regardless of broadcaster. Is this an "industry standard" visual code to let everyone know they have heard the audio feed from the studio and are rarin' to go !!???

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Ian Wegg
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by Ian Wegg »

My assumption is that it is to fill the satellite link delay, it looks better than the correspondent just standing blankly.

Brian F
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by Brian F »

I think that all reporters are used to doing "Noddy" shots to accompany interviews where they cut away from the speaker to the interviewer. He was probably doing it out of habit in case they cut to him during the introduction.

Brock
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by Brock »

Brian F wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:37 am
He was probably doing it out of habit in case they cut to him during the introduction.
The original observation was about reporters in general, not an individual one. I've noticed it too.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by Ian Wegg »

I found this on Google Books Here

Delay and latency

The interaction in a 'live' two-way interview requires that both the questions and answers are delivered as smoothly as possible, but the delay of the compression process which is then added to the fixed satellite delay means that these interviews often have an awkward hesitancy about them.
...
Changing production techniques is by far the best way to try to overcome these awkward pauses. Often you will see reporters in the field looking thoughtful or slowly nodding after they have replied to a question, so that it makes their eventual answer to the next question look as if it is a very carefully considered reply!


I've noticed recently, at least on the BBC lunchtime news, that when the studio newsreader introduces the live reporter, he/she (unexpectedly) responds straight away. However, occasionally at the end of their piece when we cut back to the studio the newsreader seems to have already begun. I wonder if the studio feed is artificially delayed to fill in the gap.

Hopefully someone close to the technology can fill us in.

brigham
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by brigham »

Someone making a satirical comedy could speed-up the 'nodding'...

yellowtriumph
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Re: The nodding correspondents

Post by yellowtriumph »

MrThunder wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:18 pm
Are there any broadcasters out there who can comment on this bizarre observation I've made ? OK - the scene in the newsroom is set with our presenter leading up to a report from a correspondent anywhere in the world. You can see said correspondent on a monitor in the background. Standard head and shoulders shot. As our studio-bound presenter begins their verbal build-up to the link, the correspondent slowly begins nodding their head until they have to speak. It seems to happen on most shows, regardless of broadcaster. Is this an "industry standard" visual code to let everyone know they have heard the audio feed from the studio and are rarin' to go !!???
It's not always to do with a satellite delay, although sometimes it is. If the correspondent is at the far end of a satellite link then it's not unusual in the run up to the piece to camera (PTC) for the director in the gallery to say a few words to the reporter to establish that he or she can actually hear you but also to get a feel for the delay between the reporter being asked a question and their reply. In this way the director and vision mixer can get a feel for how they are going to cut to the reporter at the start of the PTC or throughout it. On the other hand often these reports do indeed lead up with some sort of 'over the shoulder' box or in vision monitor or screen whilst the local news person is introducing the remote report. More often than not, and it really is more often than not, the remote reporter does not know/remember that they will be in shot to the viewers at home for quite a few seconds before they start their PTC. In which case they are often seen twirling with their hair if they are outside and it's windy or as you say they are visually acknowledging to the director that they have heard his/her cue that they are about to be 'cut to' and that they are ready.

To summarise, they are often just visually acknowledging to the director that they can hear them, and that they realise they are about to be cut up on air - but they don't realise or have simply forgotten, that they are likely to be on air already through an in-vision monitor. My wife will often tell them to stop messing with their hair in the run up!

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