We are in London this week to run another session of The Guardian Media Academy
in partnership with The Guardian.
Still not too late to sign up!
In any event, we checked into Claridges and the TV in the room was on.
It was set to BBC1, which is their primary network, but it was playing a show called The Deadly 60
This apparently is supposed to be a CBBC series (or Children's BBC), but I have to admit I was immediatley taken by the host Steve Backshaw has he searched in Brazil for the deadliest animals in the world. In this first series, he came across a giant spider that eats birds!
CBBC or not, this was pretty compelling stuff.
I also liked the idea that he opened the show by introducing the team - a cameraman, a soundman, a producer, a local guide and himself.
Of course, you get the idea. They wander around the jungles of the Brazilian rainforest seraching for creepy things - and they find them.
What made it particularly intersesting to me (besides the ants which can apparently 'strip a man's body to the skeleton in a matter of hours'. or the vampire bats) was that in many of the shots you saw the cameraman schlepping (as we say at The BBC) a gigantic betacam on his shoulder with a massive lens, batteries, and God only know what kind of other stuff. And this is through the rainforest of Brazil.
Those shots were made by the soundman (I think) who was carrying a small hand-held digital video camera. (I think it was a SONY 9).
Now, the more I watched, the more I could see that maybe half the footage came from the SONY handicam. Particuarly in the bat caves and low light situations - also the ECUs on the spiders. It's just easier
What was most interesting was that I could not tell the difference between the 'quality' of the shots.
Yes, I understand the theory, but in point of fact, watching it on the screen, I just could not tell.
All of which makes me think that as they continue this series, they would better served to send the cameraman and the sound guy into the next adventure with a couple of SONY 9s. Think of how much less junk they would have to drag around with them. I mean, what is the point?