The Newsroom

BBC News - Venetian Blinds and Chinese Lanterns

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JW
JamesWorldNews
Anyone here work on the BBC News era between 81 and 84?

Are the ‘stripes’ to the right hand side of the image (as we look at it) also fake and dropped-in as part of the image? Those stripes look to be different from those to the left hand side of the image (and immediately behind the newsreader).

And what’s behind the image when there is no drop-in? A continuation of the stripes (Venetian blinds, as some people called them), or just a plain panel?

I recall the launch of this particular look of BBC News and how revolutionary it was at the time. (We had a thread on this years ago. Can’t find it though).

My thanks in advance of any insights into this particular BBC News set.

SP
Steve in Pudsey
I think it was a blue panel on the set and they used CSO. The way the presenter's arm goes in front of it in the corner when he moves his script suggests that, and I've seen other studio pictures of that era using that method.

I have a couple of other questions about that era if I may: there were a few versions of that set, were the different colour schemes a night and day thing like the virtual era had or was it a refresh a few years in?



And secondly, BBC 2 News had a similar but obviously different look. My assumption is it was a CSO job at Lime Grove, probably produced by the Newsnight team?

SW
Steve Williams
Are the ‘stripes’ to the right hand side of the image (as we look at it) also fake and dropped-in as part of the image? Those stripes look to be different from those to the left hand side of the image (and immediately behind the newsreader).

And what’s behind the image when there is no drop-in? A continuation of the stripes (Venetian blinds, as some people called them), or just a plain panel?


You can see an image here (from the Inside BBC Television book) here of the news studio, with a blue panel where the insets were on TV.
http://www.tvstudiohistory.co.uk/tv%20centre%20history.htm#stage%204
That's why when there was a story without an inset, the camera angle changed.
http://www.tvstudiohistory.co.uk/images/tvc%20n1%20450p.jpg

I know the set was changed a little bit after a few months to reduce the number of horizontal lines. It was only the Nine that had the CSO insets, though, at lunchtime and teatime they didn't use those and had a real logo there instead.
DE
deejay
I seem to remember someone explaining the way the titles were rendered being extremely clever - something to do with 1/4” tape music triggering the titles coming from either a solid state device or some other playback source ad it could be set up to render 6 o clock, 9 o’clock or some other clock face ...?

I’ve always had a soft spot for this era of bbc news actually...
JW
JamesWorldNews
Thanks for that image, Steve. Considering that’s the BBC’s flagship news bulletin, the wider set/studio fixtures are akin to someone’s living room, c/w side table. A far cry from today’s Studio E and B marvels.

Having said that, it was still cutting-edge at the time and the viewer would have had no idea of the clutter around John Humphrys.

It’s fascinating to see the wider view.
PA
Parker
They reshot the titles after complaints that they were to obtrusive with all the lines. I remember mutterings on Points of View Very Happy
JW
JamesWorldNews
Second top story: “A man has been charged with stealing wine from Buckingham Palace”.

One of the rather unusual headlines that weren’t all too uncommon in those days.

The BBC2 Newsnight rendition of the backdrop was a horrid version, IMO. Other than the lantern itself, the rest of it smacked of ZX Spectrum graphics. I’m not sure why they even bothered.

Surely they could have at least maintained the same colour marque as the main BBC 1 studio? Or did they desire it to be hideous for distinction?

Joan Bakewell was a great presenter, mind you.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
So how did this work, going from the tighter shot without the overlay to the wide shot with it.

(starts at 10m51s)



I can't quite work out how the angles would work for the blue panel not to be in shot on the tighter shot?
FF
FactorFiles

I can't quite work out how the angles would work for the blue panel not to be in shot on the tighter shot?


The tighter shot has the camera positioned to the right (or her left) and zoomed in. The right side of frame would be aligned so the blue panel is just off-camera. Watch at 11:00 as it changes angles, you can see the change of perspective on her face. At 11:02 you can see her shift her perspective back to the wide camera.

It is confusing because there is likely not that much difference between the two angles, but with the longer lens it's just enough for the close shot to edge out the blue panel.
DE
deejay
So how did this work, going from the tighter shot without the overlay to the wide shot with it.

(starts at 10m51s)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq6zwTHI3g8

I can't quite work out how the angles would work for the blue panel not to be in shot on the tighter shot?


The second camera is to the left of the first camera. Crabbing a camera makes an enormous difference to the background in shot even when there’s actually only a few feet between the two camera positions on the floor. (It depends on how far away the cameras are from the presenter and how far the background is from the presenter as well).

I’ve often wondered about the term “Inset”. It’s still in daily use in the BBC (and elsewhere?) and these days means an image in one of the studio screens. I assume it comes from these days where images were “inset” keyed via CSO into the set?
Last edited by deejay on 10 March 2021 11:01am
JW
JamesWorldNews
Thanks Deejay. Logical explanation. Although, in the behind the scenes image of John Humphrys, above, there doesn’t appear to be much of the set remaining beyond HIS right shoulder to allow that 2nd camera position to drift. The edge of the set appears quite close so the 2nd camera positioning and framing must’ve been a work of art! (With encroachment limitations on both sides).

As for the “lantern” itself, any idea why they changed the colour from burgundy to blue? (Along with the credits).
JW
JamesWorldNews
Can anyone confirm if this logo behind Moira is real or virtual in this case? And, if real, is it purely painted onto canvas or how created? Ta.

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