In pursuit of perfect imperfection on TV

David Hepworth recounts the incredible amount of effort (faff) that goes into creating a small piece of television in a post on his blog.

The last paragraph tickled me in particular;

The time spent filming was maybe a fifth of the time spent faffing. This delay wasn’t because the people were in any way incompetent. It’s just that TV is one long faff. It has to be. One of the most curious aspects was that later in the interview the cameraman kept jerking the lens away from me, as if he was having trouble with the tripod. I wasn’t sure whether to keep talking or not. It turns out he was just providing some of that jerky quality that they now put into interviews to give the impression of looseness.

All that hi-fidelity effort to look a little bit lo-fi. I’ve huge respect for the craft of television production, but it looks funny to the outsider, doesn’t it?

I was reading one my favourite children’s books to my son, recently: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. David’s hi-fi-looks-lo-fi experience reminds me of a scene where an experimental broadcast of a bar of chocolate is attempted. To get the bar of chocolate across the room from studio set the oompa-loompah’s manoeuvre a giant bar of chocolate in to be filmed which appears as a normal one that can be plucked from the TV set (“because things look smaller on TV”).


By Antony Mayfield

I'm Antony Mayfield - to find out more about me take a look at my LinkedIn profile (see the button on the home page). You can contact me by email at antony [dot] mayfield [at] gmail [dot] com. Google