By Trevor Klaus
The BBC, or British Broadcasting Corporation, is the only chartered public service broadcaster in Britain, and today I got to visit their Scotland headquarters. Visiting such a high profile broadcaster (considering my desired career path involves television production), was always going to be high on my list when the itinerary of activities for the trip were first revealed to me. Despite the high expectations I set for the BBC, the presentation shattered my expectations.
I knew vaguely what to expect when we were shown around the television sector, having taken a multi-camera production course at Michigan State. However, the technology available here simply blew what the University has to offer out of the water. The shear amount of positions for people in the control room sent the message that layers upon layers of people work on every little detail of the broadcast. An example of this would be the three step white balancing process for the studio cameras. The cameraman white balances, then another person adjusts the colors of the camera further, and subsequently someone is putting those adjustments onto the broadcast. While I knew some of the production stuff could get complex, I never imagined it getting quite this complex.
The control room that was shown was the one controlling live tapings in one of the studios in the BBC. Again, comparatively to Michigan State, the BBC’s studio is far superior. The amount of different things they could do with the lights, and studio layout were far more diverse than anything I had experienced.
Also on the tour, the group got to experience the BBC News studio. This was a really cool experience for me, as this was my first time on a professional news set. Luckily for me, considering this is the career I want (behind the camera ideally), I felt right at home on set. So much so, that I decided to have a crack at being an on air reporter! While my voice is certainly useful for drug adverts and law firm commercials such as 855 Mike Wins, only time will tell if I could successfully report the news.
We also got to tour some of the common work areas around the BBC building. There were many diverse areas, such as the social media bay. However, my favorite of all of these would be the post-production area. Post-production has always been an area that has interested me, whether it be for film or television. Maybe one day I’ll find myself working in a comparable area!