Highlights

Despite popular demand, here is more of the Unravelling the Universe show I posted a little bit from a few days ago. My total screen time on this programme only amounted to a couple of minutes, so I asked if it was possible to do an appropriate edit of the hour-long footage. Unfortunately, Ed got the wrong idea, so removed most of the highlights and left practically only the few minutes with me in them. You just can’t get the help these days.

The film  was shot in a studio in Greenford and I had to hang around there a long time before they even started shooting. I think that was because of the lights. I need a special form of  illumination if I am to present the illusion of having three dimensions. The director had insisted I wear my leather jacket for the sequence and under the very powerful lights I was sweating so much I had to wear make-up to stop me shining.

They reckon that there is a ratio of about 100:1 of film shot to film broadcast on programmes like this, and this is probably even higher when the subject is as inarticulate as me. In my memory it certainly took several hours just for my little bits.

If nothing else this tape gives you the chance to see Rocky Kolb in a splendid jumper that puts that of the new Lucasian professor well and truly in the shade. What was that about chromodynamics?

5 Responses to “Highlights”

  1. Chris North Says:

    I reckon that what we tend to find is that it’s more like 10:1 or 20:1 for a normal interview in terms of recording time to final broadcast time, but then there are multiple cameras so the tape-to-broadcast ratio is a few times higher. But if you add in all the scene-setting shots (shots of people setting up telescopes, or walking around, or similar editorial devices), then the ratio is considerably higher.

    The high ratio is nothing to do with the individual interviewees, apart from the odd time when it takes a few minutes for people to relax – understandable as it’s a fairly daunting experience. Having multiple takes means that we get the same thing explained a number of times in slightly different ways, so can select the one which is best. It is rare (but not unknown) that anyone is completely unedited for short stints – there are normally a few “ums” and “ers” to take out (and every cut has to be “disguised” by an overlaid image) – though . This all adds to the editing time, though, which is about a factor of 100 greater than the final broadcast time!

  2. “They reckon that there is a ratio of about 100:1 of film shot to film broadcast on programmes like this, and this is probably even higher when the subject is as inarticulate as me. In my memory it certainly took several hours just for my little bits.”

    Just be happy it wasn’t a porn film you were involved in. 🙂

    A rather well known news magazine did a many-page interview with a rather well known astronomer. Took about 30 minutes. A few days later, he rang and said he was sending a team to shoot a photograph. A small, passport-style black-and-white photograph of the astronomer appeared with the article. He said the team was there for several hours.

  3. Mr Physicist Says:

    Wow – what a jumper! Colour charge overload from Mr Rocky.

  4. telescoper Says:

    The funniest thing I remember was that the first segment I’m in – talking about Kepler – was actually done right at the end of my turn in front of the camera. I was probably more relaxed then than I was at the start and that bit emerged from a bit of chat with the director rather than a prepared question.

  5. Hey, thats not fair. You must have stolen those clips from the cutting room floor….

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