Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Miked up

I sat in on a recording for a DVD commentary yesterday: can't tell you what the DVD is yet, not because I deliberately try to be awkward to you but I just promised. I'll tell you when the DVD comes out and actually you'll hear some of it, partly because I'm sure I'll nick a few choice moments from the commentary track at that time, but also because the cast and crew answered my questions.

After I'd gone.

I went to this recording for a good dozen reasons, starting with how I wanted to meet the producer after we'd talked a lot, and because I really like the piece he's working on. But there was also that the session was in the BBC's Broadcasting House and I haven't been there for work in a decade. Television Centre and BH, I don't know what it is about them but they're special: they've got that simultaneous feel of being alive now, of working to the future and of being steeped in the past. Er, so maybe I do know what's special about them.

I know I'm an anorak here but I also know I'm not alone. However they did it, the BBC has made BH terribly important and just getting lost in the corridors again was fun.

So that was me, that was all I was after, but this 'ere producer, ably demonstrating why he's a producer, was determined to get me an interview with the writer of the DVD title. I wanted it too, I admire the guy's writing, but there was a lot of work going on there yesterday: if I ended up being just a lemon earwigging the commentary from the control room, I'd be happy.

And in the end things did, inevitably, take longer than expected and typically for the best of reasons: it was a group commentary track and it sounds fantastic. I can't wait to hear the ones for segments that I didn't hear.

But I also can't wait to hear my answers. I left in the afternoon but this producer suggested I leave a couple of questions for the writer and he'd get the answers recorded if there was time. I left there thinking this was a nice bloke who had no chance of getting them recorded: obviously his DVD comes first, there was also a limit on the studio time, and nobody in this world can read my handwriting.

Only, I just got an email from him. He did get the writer to answer my questions and what's more, the whole group chimed in with the answers. Hopefully I'll have the recordings soon and while parts relate solely to the project that was recorded this week, I might be able to steal some of it and get it to you in one of the next couple of UK DVD Review podcasts.

It's just, well, eerie. The way it went, I said hello and goodbye practically simultaneously to most of the group who cannot have had any clue who was looming over them like that. And then while I was forlornly and, for a while, fruitlessly looking for the BBC Shuttle Bus outside BH, they were effectively talking to me.

I wonder if I'm being rash saying I'll play you the bits of the tape I can. I haven't heard it, I wasn't there, maybe I'm going to get some beautifully recorded dialogue full of whispers saying "Who was that guy anyway?","Does his wife let him out looking like that?" "He has a wife?"


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