My posts to here seem to come far and few between. I don’t think that’s to do with the quality of them but more to do with the amount of free time I get without wanting to just sit on the sofa and stare blankly at the TV, before meandering off to bed.
My job takes a lot of my time up I spend a good two hours travelling a day, then a nice minimum of ten hours working. Before taking as much time with my kids as possible then getting on with personal projects/DIY/research and personal time; in many ways there just is not the time in the day for all of it.
So without being able to post some things here in chronological order my blog it seems is destined to be a mish-mash of the elements that I wished it to be. The original idea is still there and I have projects past and present I wish to share with all who read. But for now I will make a comment on my current work/adventure.
My full time job is based in Manchester at MediaCity UK. I am a Technical Operator/Video Editor for the BBC, employed by The Farm Group (A London based post production facility). Currently I am based with BBC Sport. When not editing for them I am doing what would in all reasons be classed as edit assistant/VT Operator work. Which means I looking after the day to day housekeeping of media and digitize footage for current edits that I am not working on.
My job also contains elements that would have been covered by a transmission controller, as I look after incoming sport feeds of current events (tonight’s is the Champions league game between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich), as well as scheduling them for record onto are XTs. So as jobs go I have a lot of hats to wear.
Currently though in the run up for this weekend there is a lot footage being put together for the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s crash at the Imola Grand Prix circuit in 1994. So literally there are hours and hours of archive Senna footage being fed into the system for the ongoing edit to be broadcast over the weekend in the BBC F1 programming.
As a kid during the 90’s and at the time an avid F1 fan, I remember the fatal accident. After the recent and brilliant documentary on Senna the whole situation of the event, the timing and the footage is really quite distressing. I know the reports were that he died in the hospital, but in reality he died on the circuit, he died in front of the world’s eyes. The whole weekend of motor racing were televised the race itself continued. But for me this was the first time I had witnessed death on television in a way that it impacted on my life. Not long after that I had stopped watching Formula 1.
What I have noticed now though being a father and an adult is how much more de-sensitised we are now to death. The news increasingly shows more and more graphic footage, programmes and films show violence almost in an increasingly glorified way. The horror films have gone from just having blood in them (they were graphic but the shots never really lingered), to now showing full body mutilation with shots that last for as long as possible.
I’m not in so many ways a fan of censorship, I also know what a minefield of a subject it can be. Growing up through the video nasty phase of the late 80s early 90s. Films like Childs Play, I Spit on Your Grave(original), The Exorcist, Clockwork Orange and Cannibal Holocaust. Some of which are classed as classics. I Spit on your Grave, is a truly disturbing film. Childs Play isn’t really scary and Cannibal Holocaust is in many ways overly tame in today’s standards. But also films like The Life of Brian were banned in some places where the idea of censoring what we see is really quite strange. I live on the idea that if you’re going to be offended by something don’t watch it. There is always plenty of information to say what it is and what it’s about. More often than not a warning before it appears on ‘This program contains scenes of violence and of a sexual nature’; this may be a giveaway of the content you are about to watch. So then if you watch it and then complain…who do you really have to blame for the offence you have just suffered to your eyes and your mind?
Bringing this all back around to my job and my feelings over the current coverage of events/news and the realisation of what is shown. A couple of weeks back there was a lot of archive footage from the Hillsborough another fully televised sporting tragedy. Then of course if you look back over the years there have been tragic scenes, where people have died live on Television. Some of which were thought just to be part of the act, such as Tommy Cooper who suffered a heart attack live on ITV. All of this footage is stored somewhere in some archive. Will it all at some point be brought into the light of day to become part of an entertainment or tribute show?
I suppose the question I ask after all this is should it be?
Do we want to see the moment Steve Irwin is killed or when NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt loses control of his car; maybe the moment when Darrell ‘Dimebag’ Abbott is shot during a performance in Ohio. Should archive like this be shown or should it just be left and only the memory of the people remain?