The BBC

I’m sure that I’ll regret this and get a lot of grief but I think it’s time that someone stood up and said that the outpouring of support that the BBC appears to be getting in the run up to potential change is strangely enough totally from parties with vested interests. Mostly tired old labour luvvies who couldn’t get hired in the real world.

Once upon a time there was only one TV channel in the UK and it was the BBC, then there was a commercial station and in 1964, if you lived in the south, or 1967 for the whole country there was BBC2 and colour!

Much later, the early 80’s saw Ch4, which I shot the launch for, and then Ch5.

There still wasn’t much choice and the reasons for the existence of the BBC were very clear.

Sky, which started in 1984 after a few years of tests, changed everything, we now have hundreds of TV channels producing material for all interests.

Where groundbreaking original drama was the preserve of the BBC in the past we now look to HBO, Amazon and Netflix.

And of course there is the real growth and change, channels that function via the internet and don’t use “normal” transmission methods.

So, does the BBC have any reason for existence in the present conditions?

Well yes and no, there is absolutely no need for the huge amount of material it produces that can be got on many commercials channels to at least as high a standard or in many case much better. The days of the BBC as a bastion of quality are long gone, both technically and artistically.

I’m not going to list the programmes that are transmitted all day that should be on commercial stations because I will confuse those that are on the commercials channels and those that are on the BBC, Location Location Location, House in the Country, and so on.

We could close Radio 1, Radio 2 and BBC1 without any loss of quality programmes, OK there are a few BBC1 shows that I’d like to see survive but they could easily be moved to fill the holes made in the BBC2 schedule when you remove the stuff that shouldn’t be there.

The BBC should only be making programmes that nobody else would/will, they are not commercial, they don’t have to justify their existence to shareholders. Sometimes something like Strictly Ballroom will appear, it’s hugely popular but it’s also something that would not have been made elsewhere neither would Bake Off.

Do we need such a huge BBC web presence or is that strangling commercial startups at birth?

The BBC should certainly not be in the magazine publishing business.

Should people that make mind bogglingly stupid decisions like killing off the programme that is their most successful international sales platform be allowed to keep their jobs? And yes, Top Gear is a programme that the BBC should make, it’s safe from the pressures of the car companies and therefore should be able to make open and objective tests of cars.

It should have the freedom to offend a few people, that’s what allowed Monty Python to succeed.

And when it comes to offending people does the BBC have to be so absolutely PC? are a significant proportion of deaf people illiterate? if not why are repeats ruined for the majority of people with an overlay of a gurning madman waving their arms around, isn’t this what subtitles are for?

Also on the theme of PC, they are the BBC, that is the British BC, the presenters should reflect this and not the islington/Hampstead luvvies vision of equality. Lets look at percentages, in terms of presenters, aah what’s the point, I’ll just be called racist. Look at the 2011 census results for the country as a whole, not just London or other large cities, the people shown on the BBC are totally out of proportion to those figures. The BBC tries so hard to be PC that they screw over the majority of the population.

As for the people they employ and the money they are paid…

You could remove half of the staff and not notice the slightest difference, cull to a third of the present numbers and they may start to get more efficient.

Why on earth were they allowed to spend the billions on an ego project like the new broadcasting house in the heart of the most expensive area in London, what’s wrong with an industrial estate out near Heathrow. Ah no, that’ll be where a commercial enterprise that is knocking them out in terms of quality and originality is based.

I’m stopping now, I could compare shooting station idents for BBC2 and Sky but I’d start crying.

Autofocus for an entire movie?

Another movie with Dominic Brunt and he agreed to me using the Canon C300-2 with stills lenses for the entire film.

Although I had an AC he spent a lot of his time watching me try to focus pull using a Samsung Tablet!

I wanted to do it myself just to see how difficult it was and what the major pitfalls were.

It was a hell of a learning experience but I’d do it again, maybe with a few small changes like taking my own router just for the camera WiFi, using frequency scanners more often and killing anyone who decided to use any form of wireless transmission without clearing it with the camera crew first!

The main lesson is that the newer a lens is the better it copes, well that’s a shock!

Seriously, in a lot of situations the lens just couldn’t focus fast enough, actors running at camera in very low light was a serious issue.

Anyway, lots more here…Digitally Assisted Focus on a Movie

Lots of lens tests!

I’ve finally got around to finishing all the lens tests, I was kinda delayed by events last year! So here they all are…

Angeniuex Optimo 15 to 40

Arri Alura 15.5 to 45

Arri Master Primes

Arri Ultra Primes

Canon 15.5 to 47

Canon 17 to 120

TLS Cooke S3

Cooke S4 Mini

Cooke S4

Cooke 5i

Fuji Cabrio ZK

Hawk Vlite

Hawk Flare

Hawk 1.3 ana

Illumina Coated

Illumia Uncoated

Leica Summilux

Leica Summicron

Panavision Primo

Schneider Xenar

Zeiss CP2

Zeiss CZ2 15 to 30

If you want them all on the same page the go here

Lots of new camera tests in a month or so.

Welcome

Welcome to the new CineRant site, it’s a place for me to vent about cinematography issues that annoy me.

I’ll be starting off by re-posting some of my personal blog messages from the recent past.