If you know me or have read my previous posts you will know this time last year I volunteered to help out with BBC Children In Need in Keswick, well I did it again this year in Prudhoe! It was a very long and eventful day but I had a great time.
It was an early start, leaving the house at 7:30am to get to a first school in Prudhoe before 9. At 10 o’clock we were set for 4hours to try and beat a world record for the most faces painted in 4 hours, and my job was to take photos of every child before and after they had had their face painted, which was a lot more stressful than I expected it to be, if I didn’t get both a before and after shot with their given number they wouldn’t count towards the record, and we all wanted to beat it for Children In Need. Amazingly, we were only half way through the time when we hit the previous record but with more schools to come and more faces to paint we kept going for the full 4 hours and managed to smash the record with nearly 1000 faces painted! Of course we didn’t know for sure if we had beaten the record because everything had to looked at by the official World record people, and with every face paint needing to be different and documented it was almost certain some of them wouldn’t be excepted but we were miles past the previous record we had a lot of confidence we had done it.
At about 3 O’clock we headed to the castle ready for our briefing for the evening at 4. I was given my role of camera assistant, which was the same as what I did last year but I was assigned to a different camera operator. After all the safety briefings and a nice cup of soup there was a bit of time to spare before we started doing run throughs for the live opts (which for anyone who doesn’t know is when we go live into the main programme on BBC1), so I stocked up on food and got wrapped up ready for the cold night ahead. By working for a different camera op this year I had the chance to ask questions about their career path and the sort of jobs they do, It was so amazing just to hear the type of work I could one day get into.
The first opt was for Look North and the 3 after that were for the Children In Need programme. We did a run though of every opt at least 20 minutes before we were going live so everyone knew what we were doing, what jobs they had to do, how the shots were going to play out and the presenters knew what they were doing too. As a camera assistant I has a help the camera op get the shots he needed which is some cases mean guiding him through the shots. Durning on shot he had to walk backwards up a hill on cobbled ground so I had to hold onto him and lead him to make sure he was safe while during the broadcast. Another job I was given was to look after the equipment when he needed a rest or had to talk to another member of the crew or production team, which basically meant I was in charge of holding a big, very expensive and heavy camera. It was a lot of pressure not to break anything but it gave me an idea of what it would be like to work in live tv having to operate a camera like that.
I was lucky again this year in that I managed to get myself a talk back, which myself and the guy who was a lighting assistant took turns in using. Its a great way to understand whats happening and get and idea of a live production because you can hear everyone else who has one, all the presenters, production team, director, producer etc and it makes the whole experience that little bit more exciting, especially when you can hear them counting down until we go live!
A few hours later and its all over, we are all freezing and very tired from the long day but it didn’t stop there, we had lots of equipment to help pack up, so if I wasn’t tired before I certainly was after. I had an amazing day working with the BBC and getting to talk to industry professionals, it just makes me want to work in the industry even more!
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get many photos of the day and it was pretty dark so the photos I did get aren’t great quality, but heres a few anyway 🙂 If you enjoyed this post please comment and share 🙂