Saturday, 26 June 2010

George Orwell And Social Media.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

PR Spanners.

This is a rant really, nothing informative or behind the scenes other than to tell you what we, as journalists and cameramen sometimes have to put up with. Today I was filming the new Health Minister, the day after an emergency budget from our new coalition government.

First of all, we were given the wrong times to be there. The real timings were buried deep in the print of the press release given to our producers. Secondly, and this is the bit that irks me, is that when trying to make up for a lack of shots, the PR people who populated the general area decided that I didn't need the particular shots I was taking and stood in front of my camera asking me if these particular shots of the minister were relevant.

Listen to me good PR People, we work in pictures, not paperwork. We need sequences to make a story work, in order to tell our viewers what is going on. One shot doesn't cut it. If I am filming something it is generally because I have been asked to do so by my reporter or I believe that the shot will work in a sequence. Please don't tell me what I need. I already know ... You don't. You never do. And if I say so myself, you never will, unless you have worked in TV or broadcasting, which most of you haven't.

So please PR People, go away and get some training about what it is we do and what it is we need. And don't stand in front of my camera telling me what you want me to film or it will result in the kind of words I gave to the PR person this morning that I won't repeat here.

Thank you in anticipation of meeting a PR Person who knows what they are doing.

Paul Martin.
Media Attention Ltd.

Posted via email from Media Attention Ltd

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Solar Power, The Monkey's Nuts.

I have been looking for quite while now for a solution to my power requirements when out and about on the road. Most of us now carry some form of mobile communications device such as mobile phones, laptops, PDA's and suchlike. Using these constantly takes it's toll on the old battery life and occasionally I find myself with no power and no means to get it via plugs.

So today, I have invested in a solar monkey and power monkey combo, which as you can see from the pictures are capable of powering and recharging my iPad and mobile phone via the solar panel charging unit and power monkey battery unit, which is small and lightweight enough to carry in your pocket or briefcase without too much annoyance. The battery unit is capable of a full charge of a mobile device and will sit quite happily for up to a year waiting for that emergency power charge.

The power monkey battery unit is pre charged either at home via plug or can be linked to the solar panel power monkey unit to charge from the sun. Free power is always a good way to start. So whilst testing the units this afternoon, I sat in the sunshine and enjoyed a cold beer while the solar panel did it's job suppling me with free power to use and charge my tech.

All in all, I think the above units are a good and safe power solution to most mobile devices and are cheap enough and small enough to carry around with you on a day to day basis. Especially if you know you have a busy day ahead on the phone or laptop in the middle of nowhere.

And finally, if that is not enough to tempt you tech and gadget freaks out there then think about this. There is no better feeling than sitting in the sun drinking cold beer and cheating the electricity company out of a few pennies with free power from the sun.
Paul Martin.
Media Attention Ltd.

Posted via email from Media Attention Ltd

Friday, 18 June 2010

Steady As She Goes.

I have had a few enquiries over the past few days about how TV Cameras film the horse racing from the track when following the horses. Not so long ago it was a cameraman sat on top of a Land Rover, hanging on for dear life while trying to keep the camera as steady as possible. Health and Safety would have a heart attack these days, so with the ever increasing speed of technical wizardry, cameras are now controlled by a camera operator sitting inside the 4x4 controlling a camera head on top of the vehicle which in turn is built into a gimbal, keeping the camera rock steady, even at high speeds on lumpy ground.

Here you can see the camera head and gimbal pod built and fixed to the roof of the Land Rover. The pictures and camera head are controlled by the operator inside the vehicle and are sent by digital wireless link to a fixed point within the racing circuit or stadium.

This picture shows the entire set up and vehicle in situ at the media centre behind Ascot race course, just before going out onto the race course to film an afternoons racing. The pictures are used by broadcasters from all over the world covering Royal Ascot. The camera operator and driver told me that the whole set up costs in excess of £300.000. Which is a large amount in anyones book.

So, in a nutshell, that is how it is done, for those of you that didn't know. I hope you liked this sneaky look behind the scenes of another aspect of TV Broadcasting.

Paul Martin.
Media Attention Ltd.

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On The Road 3. Royal Ascot.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Behind The Scenes At Royal Ascot.

This week I am filming for five days at Royal Ascot, possibly one of the biggest horse racing meetings in the UK, not counting the Grand National. This is the fifth time I have filmed here and it is always a good event to be asked to work at, especially when the weather is at it's best and the sun is shining.

Here you can see John McCrirrick, of Sky At The Races talking with a colleague live into the racing programme, and the Soundman trying in vain to turn him down a bit. A very difficult job in any circumstances. Having said that, John is one of the nicest people to work with in live broadcasting because he certainly knows his horse racing, and his unpredictability in front of camera makes for an entertaining days work.

Ascot itself, since the big rebuild years ago, is a pleasure to work at. The grounds and the main stand are a stunning sight to see, and when the sun is out on Ladies day, the champers is flowing the fun starts and a good day is generally had by all. I like working here for obvious reasons and the fact that we, as the press, are very well catered for and well looked after.

Below is a picture of the Media village secreted away from the main stand where all the technical bods, satellite trucks and direction for the whole five days take place. My live camera is attached by digital wireless link to a SISLink truck, where my pictures are relayed via satellite to Melbourne in Australia, as I am working all week for Sky TV Australia.

I hope you liked a brief insight behind the scenes at Royal Ascot. I have taken plenty of pictures which I hope to post at another time, but for now, I have to be back at work in half an hour for day three. Take care, and bye for now.

Paul Martin.
Media Attention Ltd.

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Thursday, 10 June 2010

More Reminders Of Not So Long Ago.

So, there I was, flicking through a few photo compact flash cards, when I came across a few nice pictures from way back when. You remember, the time when we were all pretty much up to our collective arses in snow and ice.

I took these from around the Meon Valley area in Hampshire whilst out and about filming stuff for my library. Luckily, I have a four wheel drive and managed to get about without getting myself stuck, unlike one car I came across. ( see below )

As I remember it, I had a very enjoyable day out, and the scenery was absolutely stunning. I also remember I used my towing rope on more than one occasion to rescue unlucky drivers from a freezing night in the car.

It still surprises me the amount of people willing to risk a drive in the country without being prepared for getting themselves stuck.

As this person found out, spending a night in the car in the freezing snow is a very uncomfortable experience.

So, there you have it. Sorry for the reminders of a winter that most of us would rather forget, but I thought that a few of you would like to see the pictures. I hope you liked them.

Posted via email from Media Attention's posterous

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Reminder Of Winter.

I just thought that now Summer is almost upon us, I would drag you all back to the dark days of only a few months ago.

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Tuesday, 8 June 2010

BBC News Live Shoot.

Whilst filming with the BBC Breakfast news in Chobham, Surrey, I took a few pictures of us at work for your viewing pleasure. I hope you like the sneak preview of the behind the scenes at the BBC News.
BBC and SKY News Outside Broadcast trucks.

Marcus, our intrepid ( and dry) satellite engineer / knob twiddler / tech genius.

My BBC Reporter Phil Lavelle, interviews Marmalade the pony.

And of course, yours truly, filming the whole shebang for the BBC audiences viewing pleasure, whilst they have their breakfast.

The whole morning went extremely well except for the rain, and the fact that every time i switched on the camera the horses and ponies seemed to sense that we were going live, and buggered off. But, we got on air at every request with no blips so that's a bonus.

On The Road 2. BBC Breakfast News.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Throwing Weather Girls From Castle Keeps.

So this week, i get a call from the BBC asking if i can film this weekend at Arundel castle. Of course i reply. Unusually though, this will not be a run of the mill news item, as i am to film a BBC weather presenter abseiling down the main keep tower at the castle for charity. So this is a great opportunity to dust off a little piece of old camera gear that i had made a while ago now.

The helmet camera was made for me a while back to film a specific sports item, but has been of little use since. So as the weather presenter insists on throwing herself off a very large, very tall building i shall film for posterity and hopefully get some great footage from a very unusual angle. I'll let you know how it went.