One of my photos

Blink and you will miss it

July 5th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Technology/Work · No Comments · Technology, Work

My workplace was on the BBC London news on Monday evening.

Last Thursday some cameras turned up and spent an amount of time filming. Not sure how long as I made sure I was out to lunch at the time, but they were shown around, had everything explained to them and they filmed people at work.

I'm sure the management knew what it was about, but us plebs only found out on Monday that the film was to be used on the news.

It turned out to be a segment about how London Underground have reacted to the 7/7 bombs and are speeding up the introduction of the new radio system to improve communications.  My company's involvement is not too great in this yet as our main responsibility is to manage the network once it is installed. Someone else is doing the installation, and that has been delayed by 30 months, as the LU chap pointed out. In the meantime we just have to try and keep the old stuff running.

After all that, the segment on the news was between 5 and 10 minutes long, and film from our building occupied just a few seconds of that.

It was a bit of an eye-opener though. I had never really thought much about the stories on the local news, and had not known they were planned so far in advance. This bit was filmed 4 days before transmission, and arrangements for access to our secure site were made before that. You sort of expect the news to be more instant than that, even with the pieces which are more features than current events.

Seeing the other bits of film from station locations and tunnels, I realised that there must have been several hours of footage shot, on top of the planning and organising. Then there would have been editing.  And all for a few minutes of footage to be shown twice in a day and then never again. It seems like an expensive way to do it all.

Biggest laugh was that the station footage was to show the nasty, old, creaky existing radio system which really should have been replaced a long time ago. Although it acheived its purpose, the stuff they showed was actually some of the newest radio equipment on the network – the really antiquated gear is obviously not photogenic enough. 

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