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'Racing Legends' - BBC2 - starting 27th December


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#201 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 22:52

Yes but the BBC would never have commissioned them.
A BBC person talked to me at the Festival of Greed about what could well have become these programmes and he said the only way to get anything commissioned these days is to include a celebrity who the (female) person responsible for commissioning programmes had heard of!


As I understand the situation this is absolutely true.

DCN




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#202 ryan86

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 23:15

I had a very enjoyable evening watching BBC2, starting with Top Gear, followed by the science documentary, the McRae programme and then another documentary on Fleetwood Mac. At that point my TV, went into energy saving mode and switched itself, having went 4 hours without any input.

#203 LotusElise

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 23:34

Yes but the BBC would never have commissioned them.
A BBC person talked to me at the Festival of Greed about what could well have become these programmes and he said the only way to get anything commissioned these days is to include a celebrity who the (female) person responsible for commissioning programmes had heard of!


Is there any reason to drag the commissioning editor's gender into it?

The suggestions of Roger Clark, Jim Clark, John Surtees or Richard Burns as worthy subjects are all good ones - I do wonder if more programmes might be on the cards. Burns and McRae as a pair could have worked quite well, although there would be a loss of detail that may have disappointed.

#204 ryan86

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 23:46

Does anyone know what the viewing figures were like for the 3 documentaries? I did read that a recent repeat of 50 year old documentary about the Great Freeze of 63 (which I myself watched) on BBC2 managed to pull more viewers than Richard Hammond's hidden camera show which was airing at the same time on BBC1. I guess the fact it was airing during the mediocre freeze of 13 may have helped.

Edited by ryan86, 28 January 2013 - 23:49.


#205 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:52

Is there any reason to drag the commissioning editor's gender into it?


The person I was talking to felt that it was relevant (if you guess the motoring programme he works on you might not be surprised to find that he could be considered to be sexist, not to mention several other ...ists!), I was in two minds about mentioning it but the gist was that the people who needed convincing have very little interest in motoring (living in major cities many of them don't even own cars) and an alternative subject had to be included to raise their interest.


#206 RTH

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:06

Yes but the BBC would never have commissioned them.
A BBC person talked to me at the Festival of Greed about what could well have become these programmes and he said the only way to get anything commissioned these days is to include a celebrity who the (female) person responsible for commissioning programmes had heard of!



We can only imagine what Lord Reith's reaction to that thought process would have been.

#207 sterling49

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:17

Does anyone know what the viewing figures were like for the 3 documentaries? I did read that a recent repeat of 50 year old documentary about the Great Freeze of 63 (which I myself watched) on BBC2 managed to pull more viewers than Richard Hammond's hidden camera show which was airing at the same time on BBC1. I guess the fact it was airing during the mediocre freeze of 13 may have helped.


What channel was the Freeze of '63 shown, I missed it !

#208 ryan86

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:47

It was BBC2, about half five on Saturday 19th.

#209 sterling49

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:49

Thanks for the info, it has just slipped off the i-Player schedule, drat !

#210 john winfield

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:35

Thanks for the info, it has just slipped off the i-Player schedule, drat !


Sterling, it's on Youtube! It was a fascinating programme. I was five and thought all winters were like that, village lanes lined with snow banks eight feet high, huge drifts etc., but I hadn't realised how hard they had it in the West Country. I think the Brands Boxing Day meeting just escaped before the snow came down that evening!

The 'Tonight' documentary begins at around 3m40s.



Edited by john winfield, 29 January 2013 - 12:39.


#211 sterling49

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:41

Thank you John, I was 10 John, living near Brands, and it indeed started snowing on Boxing Day and never stopped...........I think it thawed ( The Big Thaw ! ) at the end of March................I am just going onto you tube, cheers !

#212 mfd

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:42

Thanks for the info, it has just slipped off the i-Player schedule, drat !

Worry not :D There's always You Tube



#213 Suzy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:43

Slightly off-topic but thanks for the heads-up about finding the Great Freeze of 63 programme on YouTube; I was so annoyed with myself for forgetting to record it. :)

#214 Gary C

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 13:40

'A BBC person talked to me at the Festival of Greed about what could well have become these programmes and he said the only way to get anything commissioned these days is to include a celebrity who the (female) person responsible for commissioning programmes had heard of!'

Witness my efforts to get my Lotus 72 documentary on air! Now I know why............no celebrity involvement. Of course, we only had a double F1 World Champion and Indy 500 Winner in it, not good enough, it seems.............

#215 kayemod

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 13:44

Witness my efforts to get my Lotus 72 documentary on air! Now I know why............no celebrity involvement. Of course, we only had a double F1 World Champion and Indy 500 Winner in it, not good enough, it seems.............


Did you include much cake in there? If so, you could have got the lovely Mary Berry to present it, that would have swung it for the BBC without any doubt at all.


#216 Gary C

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 13:45

D'oh!! Thanks for that, Rob. I really need to get with with my celebrities, don't I??

#217 ensign14

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 13:56

If you have it presented by a Scandinavian pet detective, job done.

#218 Stephen W

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 13:58

'A BBC person talked to me at the Festival of Greed about what could well have become these programmes and he said the only way to get anything commissioned these days is to include a celebrity who the (female) person responsible for commissioning programmes had heard of!'

Witness my efforts to get my Lotus 72 documentary on air! Now I know why............no celebrity involvement. Of course, we only had a double F1 World Champion and Indy 500 Winner in it, not good enough, it seems.............


You need to think laterally - next time get someone faintly famous to do the introduction and the final summation - possibly Stephen Fry picking up on the Norfolk connection.

:well:

#219 kayemod

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 14:16

You need to think laterally - next time get someone faintly famous to do the introduction and the final summation - possibly Stephen Fry picking up on the Norfolk connection.

:well:


Yes, or continuing with my cake theme, Norfolk resident Delia Smith, she'd probably have baked something for the crew as well.


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#220 David Lawson

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 14:51

I watched the 1963 documentary, it was superb and reminded me just how bad that winter was.

I was 11 at the time and remember two months of sledging down the middle of the main road where I lived, never missing a day's school throughout the freeze and my father commuting to work in London by train without any delays or cancellations. Somewhat different from today when we get a couple of inches of snow and the country grinds to a halt.

Having celebrities presenting scientific programmes can obviously also work against the BBC. There was a programme recently about the orbit of the Earth which would have very much interested me but for it being hosted by Kate Humble who always infuriates me with her intrusive and irritating style.

David

#221 Glengavel

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 14:52

Yes, or continuing with my cake theme, Norfolk resident Delia Smith, she'd probably have baked something for the crew as well.


Give her a couple of shandies and she'll terrorise the BBC top brass into making it.


#222 Phil Rainford

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 15:12

Give her a couple of shandies and she'll terrorise the BBC top brass into making it.



:rotfl: :rotfl:

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#223 kayemod

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 15:28

Having celebrities presenting scientific programmes can obviously also work against the BBC. There was a programme recently about the orbit of the Earth which would have very much interested me but for it being hosted by Kate Humble who always infuriates me with her intrusive and irritating style.

David


Very true, in fact the choice of presenter often decides whether or not I watch 'serious' programmes. I've been unable to watch the current series on railways because I find the presenting style of Dan (bloody) Snow so intensely irritating, and his dad wasn't much better. In fairness though, sometimes presenters are surprisingly good. I've never been a fan of 'Pub Landlord' comedian Al Murray, but he did a travel series on lesser-known parts of Germany a year or two ago, and he was quite excellent, they should use him more often.


#224 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 15:35

Very true, in fact the choice of presenter often decides whether or not I watch 'serious' programmes. I've been unable to watch the current series on railways because I find the presenting style of Dan (bloody) Snow so intensely irritating, and his dad wasn't much better. In fairness though, sometimes presenters are surprisingly good. I've never been a fan of 'Pub Landlord' comedian Al Murray, but he did a travel series on lesser-known parts of Germany a year or two ago, and he was quite excellent, they should use him more often.


Al Murray is a very clever guy, Oxford history grad, and in real life couldn't be further away from the Pub Landlord character. His 'Road to Berlin' series on WWII is also very much worth watching (he's a WWII military history nut).


#225 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 15:47

Yes, or continuing with my cake theme, Norfolk resident Delia Smith, she'd probably have baked something for the crew as well.


If Delia was presenting and baking a cake of a Lotus 72, that would probably merit a primetime BBC1 slot... especially if they could throw in a trip to an antique shop to look for models of the 72!

Know what you mean about Dan Snow's train series, I found it unwatchable whereas the BBC programme on Train Sets (the Joy of Sets) was good, proper chronological history and interviews with people who know what they are talking about, no sudden jumps between shots and no action man presenter jumping & running around.

Have seen Al Murray live a few times, he certainly knows his history (has a degree in Modern History from Oxford) and is good on geography and related stereotypes - which is handy when he's working with a European audience over here!

#226 mfd

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 15:57

...whereas the BBC programme on Train Sets (the Joy of Sets) was good, proper chronological history and interviews with people who know what they are talking about, no sudden jumps between shots and no action man presenter jumping & running around.

Sometimes they get it right & the voice over still works. Too often a subject has to be dressed with a presenter & not one necessarily with a connection. Sadly it seems preferable to choose such as Julia Bradbury who likes walking, so we'll have her prancing along through Germany doing a bit of history...Unlike the Al Murray programmes where he had prior knowledge & interest to add. Ouch ;)

#227 Tony Matthews

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 16:13

There was a programme recently about the orbit of the Earth which would have very much interested me but for it being hosted by Kate Humble who always infuriates me with her intrusive and irritating style.

David



I've been unable to watch the current series on railways because I find the presenting style of Dan (bloody) Snow so intensely irritating, and his dad wasn't much better.



Know what you mean about Dan Snow's train series, I found it unwatchable whereas the BBC programme on Train Sets (the Joy of Sets) was good, proper chronological history and interviews with people who know what they are talking about, no sudden jumps between shots and no action man presenter jumping & running around.

Well, I agree with all that, and more. For instance, no mention (apart from by me, earlier) of bloody Dara O'Braiaiean, who may have a briain the size of a planet (a small planet) but not only can he not present, he turns Dr Brian Cox into a mumbling, fumbling amateur. I've lost count of the programmes I have really wanted to watch, only to switch off in disgust after 10 minutes. New series on civilizationsof South America? Ten minutes, and the remote thwone to the floor. Dan Cruickshank, anybody? Where's my service revolver - calm down Tone, there is an off switch.

However, and apart from niggles already mentioned by others, I thought it was a reasonable series, the remote not being thwone once.

#228 Glengavel

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 17:27

Having celebrities presenting scientific programmes can obviously also work against the BBC. There was a programme recently about the orbit of the Earth which would have very much interested me but for it being hosted by Kate Humble who always infuriates me with her intrusive and irritating style.

David


I thought that one was actually quite good, it didn't dumb down too much, although I had to laugh at the amount of hopping around the world the presenters were doing, and then Humble straight-facedly tells us that we're to blame for global warming!


#229 Peter Morley

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 17:46

Well, I agree with all that, and more. For instance, no mention (apart from by me, earlier) of bloody Dara O'Braiaiean, who may have a briain the size of a planet (a small planet) but not only can he not present, he turns Dr Brian Cox into a mumbling, fumbling amateur. I've lost count of the programmes I have really wanted to watch, only to switch off in disgust after 10 minutes. New series on civilizationsof South America? Ten minutes, and the remote thwone to the floor. Dan Cruickshank, anybody? Where's my service revolver - calm down Tone, there is an off switch.

However, and apart from niggles already mentioned by others, I thought it was a reasonable series, the remote not being thwone once.


I'm finding that more and more with new programmes - I get really frustrated when I can't follow a programme about a subject I am familiar with and I don't think that is simply a sign of getting old.

I think Dara's a good comedian and presenter but his new Top Gear style science programme is really hard to follow and the new BBC programme about inventors seems to come from the same 'creative minds'.

There really is very little worthwhile on these days (I'm sure Dad's Army fans will disagree) and it is really frustrating when programmes you are interested in turn out to be rubbish.

I suppose I should now apologise for turning a thread into Points of View - but, the relevant point is that this series was one of the best of the recent output, it's a shame they didn't cover as wide a range of drivers as they'd have liked but looking at the costs involved (travel, circuit rental etc.) I'm amazed they got to make these 3.

#230 sterling49

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 17:56

I watched the 1963 documentary, it was superb and reminded me just how bad that winter was.

I was 11 at the time and remember two months of sledging down the middle of the main road where I lived, never missing a day's school throughout the freeze and my father commuting to work in London by train without any delays or cancellations. Somewhat different from today when we get a couple of inches of snow and the country grinds to a halt.

Having celebrities presenting scientific programmes can obviously also work against the BBC. There was a programme recently about the orbit of the Earth which would have very much interested me but for it being hosted by Kate Humble who always infuriates me with her intrusive and irritating style.

David


As I never David, Bravo ! Dad drove into London daily too, he had to make wheel tracks down the avenue with the help of neighbours bouncing in the bot of the Anglia, so that they could all drive out in the morning. We had a single decker bus ( Indian? London Country) blocking a local road under a drift for the duration too......
On presenters, I loved Ewan McGregors travelogues, as much as I hated his sidekick and riding companion, I really wanted to watch the programes on Sef Efrika (Charlie Boring Boorman), but after ten minutes, hit the off button, where do they find these people? They could all learn a lot from Michael Palin methinks.

Edited by sterling49, 29 January 2013 - 17:57.


#231 kayemod

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 18:06

...and the new BBC programme about inventors seems to come from the same 'creative minds'.


In our house we call this distressing trend "Bluepeterisation", treating all viewers as if they were children. "Let's go and see what Dan has been up to..." and there's never an elephant in sight to wee on the floor when you need one.


#232 IanG

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 18:38

Dan Cruickshank.......I quite enjoy his presentations, but why does he always speak as though there was somebody within earshot who hasn't got a TV licence and therefore shouldn't be allowed to share his knowledge?

#233 chdphd

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 19:39

Dan Cruickshank.......I quite enjoy his presentations, but why does he always speak as though there was somebody within earshot who hasn't got a TV licence and therefore shouldn't be allowed to share his knowledge?

I like his programmes a lot but often have to rewind because I have drifted off thinking about something else :D

#234 Paul Hurdsfield

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 19:48

I've just watched the 63' program on you tube, thanks for the head up :up:
I was 13 in 63' I remember it well, Mam died on 20th Jan :cry:
A couple of memories of mine.
The crates of school milk with the foil tops all popped up by the frozen milk, just like the shot in the program.
And lines of kids in the playground (inner city school, no playing fields) polishing the ice with our shoes to make long slides,
the playground was sloping down towards the back of the church, probably about the length of a football pitch,
and we would have about three parralel slides all the way from top to bottom, you had to get as much speed as you could running up to the start and away you went,
if you were unlucky one of the older lads who could get more speed up than you would flatten you one the way down :lol:

#235 David Lawson

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 19:59

I thought that one was actually quite good, it didn't dumb down too much, although I had to laugh at the amount of hopping around the world the presenters were doing, and then Humble straight-facedly tells us that we're to blame for global warming!


The new six part series with Howard Goodall, "Story of Music" on BBC2 is studio based with Goodall talking at a keyboard and it is one of the most interesting programmes I've seen for years. When discussing Gregorian chanting he didn't need to visit a monastry in a glamorous location he just described how it played its part in the evolution of music.

David

#236 sterling49

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 20:07

I've just watched the 63' program on you tube, thanks for the head up :up:
I was 13 in 63' I remember it well, Mam died on 20th Jan :cry:
A couple of memories of mine.
The crates of school milk with the foil tops all popped up by the frozen milk, just like the shot in the program.
And lines of kids in the playground (inner city school, no playing fields) polishing the ice with our shoes to make long slides,
the playground was sloping down towards the back of the church, probably about the length of a football pitch,
and we would have about three parralel slides all the way from top to bottom, you had to get as much speed as you could running up to the start and away you went,
if you were unlucky one of the older lads who could get more speed up than you would flatten you one the way down :lol:


.....and the odd slide with frozen blood within for por unfortunates, I do wonder if the kids are allowed such fun today?

#237 h4887

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 20:29

Well, I agree with all that, and more. For instance, no mention (apart from by me, earlier) of bloody Dara O'Braiaiean, who may have a briain the size of a planet (a small planet) but not only can he not present, he turns Dr Brian Cox into a mumbling, fumbling amateur. I've lost count of the programmes I have really wanted to watch, only to switch off in disgust after 10 minutes. New series on civilizationsof South America? Ten minutes, and the remote thwone to the floor. Dan Cruickshank, anybody? Where's my service revolver - calm down Tone, there is an off switch.

However, and apart from niggles already mentioned by others, I thought it was a reasonable series, the remote not being thwone once.


Oh dear, 200 over 120 and rising! Calm down Tony! :cool:


#238 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 20:40

Perhaps there's need for a 'Blood Pressure' thread here...? :cat:

DCN


#239 Tony Matthews

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 23:12

My blood pressure is back to normal, having watched BBC2 "The Welsh Highland Railway", then BBC4 "Survivors - Nature's Indestructable Creatures", a repeat but worth it, and joy of joys, Jonathan Meades at 9, a whole hour of perfect TV, with terrific photography in which the subjects moved (often imperceptibly) and not the camera. Just to redress the balance and prove that I'm not spitting black acid 24/7...

Edited by Tony Matthews, 29 January 2013 - 23:13.


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#240 LotusElise

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 23:15

I've just watched the 63' program on you tube, thanks for the head up :up:
I was 13 in 63' I remember it well, Mam died on 20th Jan :cry:
A couple of memories of mine.
The crates of school milk with the foil tops all popped up by the frozen milk, just like the shot in the program.
And lines of kids in the playground (inner city school, no playing fields) polishing the ice with our shoes to make long slides,
the playground was sloping down towards the back of the church, probably about the length of a football pitch,
and we would have about three parralel slides all the way from top to bottom, you had to get as much speed as you could running up to the start and away you went,
if you were unlucky one of the older lads who could get more speed up than you would flatten you one the way down :lol:


My dad has a brilliant story about playing ice hockey on a frozen canal, which a scientist had been and measured or something, and found it to be completely frozen. They also tried to race their bikes on the ice.

Back to doumentaries - I've had a go at writing an outline for a historic motorsport film of my own, and one of the reasons we would need "talent" is that there aren't that many usable films of the person I was writing about, so we'd need to create some dynamic sections with a driver, which would then need someone explaining various facts and other things to make it even vaguely appealing to anyone other than a motorsport historian (or a feminist historian, in the case of my subject).

I could do some of the turns in front of the camera - I have training in public speaking, and stage experience - but then there would need to be some explanation of who I was and why I was relevant, hence getting a known face in. It is a smaller risk. (Plus I don't want my hairstyle choices, writing or views being the subject of the horrific vitriol that the likes of Mary Beard have received.)

With a known face comes a certain set of expectations, and the formula of "known face learning to do something they aren't known for" is very, very sellable at the moment.

#241 Gary C

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 23:29

'With a known face comes a certain set of expectations'
and expense !!

#242 ryan86

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 00:38

I offer my servies for £15 per hour and diet coke on tap!

#243 LotusElise

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 22:06

I offer my servies for £15 per hour and diet coke on tap!


I'll keep it in mind. :wink:

I already know a couple of camera operators and a director, but it's the expense that's holding me back. I'd need some funding to even carry out all the research I need to do this properly, and get permission to use film. That's before any expenses and other difficulties incurred through speaking to some people who knew the subject, or could discuss her activities in an expert capacity. I know where her car is, but it's changed hands and I no longer know its owner personally - I would have to find more money to have a session of that running, the bulk of that being track hire. That's even before I got permission to do that. The few people still living who knew her in her glory days might not want to co-operate, or be unable, so I'd need a plan B.

That's a reasonably big sum of money already, without any tried-and-tested hooks. I can understand why the celebrity angle, costly as it is, is a popular one, if it means your film actually gets commissioned

#244 Tony Matthews

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 23:08

I can understand why the celebrity angle, costly as it is, is a popular one, if it means your film actually gets commissioned

I understand that. I may be the first in line to winge about the way programme-making is going/has gone, but mine are the opinions of a critical viewer. I'm a pragmatist, and if I was in your shoes, I would not be so precious. Good luck!

#245 cpbell

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 17:44

Just for the sake of balance, as a bit of a railway nut as well as motorsport, I enjoyed the Dan Snow programmes on the history of Britain's railways and don't find him annoying at all. I'd rather watch someone with obvious enthusiasm than a better-qualified "stuffed shirt" who speaks with a drab monotonous voice.

#246 BRG

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 22:07

Just for the sake of balance, as a bit of a railway nut as well as motorsport, I enjoyed the Dan Snow programmes on the history of Britain's railways and don't find him annoying at all. I'd rather watch someone with obvious enthusiasm than a better-qualified "stuffed shirt" who speaks with a drab monotonous voice.

Agreed. But I did wonder how the Elf'n'Safety people allowed him to do a piece to camera on the roof of a moving train, or to stand close to the track without the mandatory orange hi-vis. They are probably on his trail even as we speak....

#247 Vitesse2

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 22:10

Agreed. But I did wonder how the Elf'n'Safety people allowed him to do a piece to camera on the roof of a moving train, or to stand close to the track without the mandatory orange hi-vis. They are probably on his trail even as we speak....

I think you'll find the roof of a train stuff was a combination of green screen and CGI. :wave:

#248 Odseybod

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:41

Just for the sake of balance, as a bit of a railway nut as well as motorsport, I enjoyed the Dan Snow programmes on the history of Britain's railways and don't find him annoying at all. I'd rather watch someone with obvious enthusiasm than a better-qualified "stuffed shirt" who speaks with a drab monotonous voice.


Mostly agree, though I found the repeated graphic device of a rocketing Rocket in the first episode a bit tedious - and he did suggest Gresley's A4 was shaped by the Italian Bugatti sports car ...


#249 kayemod

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:47

Dan Snow takes me back to my childhood, he reminds me of Tigger.

#250 mfd

mfd
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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:52

and he did suggest Gresley's A4 was shaped by the Italian Bugatti sports car ...

Same colour, that's about it, as far as I could see :D As for Italian ??

Edited by mfd, 01 February 2013 - 10:53.