It’s Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve for those of you outside Scotland) and the biggest party of the year is about to take place in Edinburgh. It’s claimed that anything up to half a million people come to this now annual event to watch great bands perform outdoors in the cold, eat loads of food cooked al fresco and watch one of the best fireworks displays in the UK.
If you want to see a little of what’s involved, look at http://www.bitweb.tv/edcham/winter_0809/ and click on the third item down “Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals”.
Sadly, I won’t be able to join in as I’ve been off with a bug that just refuses to go away and a night out in what the weather men say may be a low of -7c is not what I need at all. Tomorrow, the neighbours are holding open house so a short stagger of 50m won’t hurt.
Happy New Year everyone.
When you’re working under pressure, it’s important to remember to double check everything you’ve prepared — captions in particular. With my work at www.bitweb.tv, I’ve been caught out a couple of times, making simple mistakes…a missed-out letter or space, for instance.
The time it happens most frequently is where you’re putting up what the BBC used to call a “tum-tab” (so-called because the name of the person appeared across their tummy). If you’re using quite a small point type, something like this can go unnoticed in the rush. You publish to the web and, if you’re lucky, you yourself notice and change it; if you’re unlucky, then the person him/herself sees it and doesn’t like it.
So check, check and double-double check. On such simple things are jobs lost!
I thought I should explain a little bit about our background.
Back in the days when broadcasting (the real stuff from the BBC & ITV) was still fun as opposed to a treadmill, various people got together and speculated about where they might be in 20 years time. I’d guess no-one thought we’d be where we are today.
When I worked for STV (Scottish Television), it employed about 800 people. Today, I think it has less than 50! BBC Scotland is heading in the same direction. It moved into a HUGE new HQ a relatively short time ago. Today, it echoes like an empty cathedral. I was in there two weeks ago. I was shocked at the number of empty work-stations sound the place.
So the same people who were so happy at the BBC 20 years ago, started thinking about life “outside the Beeb” and came up with an idea that would have been unworkable in (say) 2006 — online TV for business.
The idea of everyone at www.bitweb.tv is to apply “BBC Standards” to the content we produce. So we know how to film properly. We know how to tell stories properly. We know how to edit properly — all told, we know how to make the whole shebang work in ways that make potential clients look good.
So we signed up Edinburgh Chamber and the SFHA.
The trouble is: both assumed that we would be able to persuade companies/organisations to provide decent sponsorship. In the current climate, that’s probably wrong.
But there may be solutions…
Wait to see if they work!
Having just enjoyed an excellent company Christmas Lunch, we agreed that we should start a blog to tell the world what we’re up to.
We’ve had a good 2008. We’ve been making monthly video magazines for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (the first one in the UK to have such a service) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. You can find what we’re doing at:
Basically, we’re bringing over 50 years of broadcasting experience to the online world. We know how to tell a story and what’s needed to make it visually interesting.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to blog about the best ways of making online video and would welcome any suggestions from others in the field.