Media | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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A day in the life of a television studio and its work 1950's
Sign on wall "BBC Television Film Studios" pointing to the right. A man with dark hair and tanned complexion is having make up applied to his eyelids by an unseen woman, it is John Gregson. He is the lead actor in the production of The Small Back Room which is being filmed for Sunday Night Theatre. He is discussing the workings of a prop with an older man with white hair. They point to various parts of the prop. As the camera moves back one can see the whole set which is similar to scrub or moor land. The actor rises to his knees and starts to place an extra part on the prop. View light coming on to reveal the word "Shooting". Sign on doors "Studio 2 Stand Clear of Doors". A man walks past pushing a large light on a stand. In a courtyard a small tractor type engine is driven by a man in overalls. He is towing a trailer on which is what appears to be a very large fan. At the back of the trailer another man in overalls walks alongside, steadying the fan. Sign on wall points right "Film Cutting Room". Below it are a pile of film cans. In a corridor with lots of doors going of it a young man picks up a pile of film cans and walks down the corridor. A room containing two people. On the right is a girl with dark hair in a ponytail. She wears a white blouse and has a bandage from elbow to wrist on her right arm. To her left a young man in jacket and tie sits at a desk. On the desk is a pair of handles which are attached to spools for film. Going between them is a length of film. In the background is a box on wheels with a hanging rail above it. Lengths of film are hung from that rail. The scene moves to another room with two men. At the back of the room is a man in shirt and tie looking at film on another trolley contraption. In the foreground a man in a patterned jumper is spooling film on a machine similar to a Steenbeck. On the back wall is a sign saying "No Smoking".
Another room and a man in a tank top and short sleeved shirt is holding up film and looking at each frame. In the background a man is using a projector. Yet another room where a man stands checking the film on the trolley whilst another uses another Steenbeck-esque machine. A young man in a suit walks in front of them carrying a can of film. Another room and a man in a tank top with his back to the camera is using a projector whilst an older man in glasses checks film strips in the background. Sign pointing to the right "Mournes" A rural scene with a background of fields. Two men with a camera are filming a woman in a long skirt feed the hens by scattering grain from a bucket. Two men stand on a street conducting an interview. Behind them on the corner of two streets a large crowd has gathered. View of film crew - man in headphones and a sound unit. A man with a camera. A seated man wearing headphones and having a clipboard on his lap. In the background is their van. The producer gestures sharply. View of man filming from top of van. In the background are the chimneys of some sort of industrial building. Scene of a man crouching down next to a man with camera. They are filming a man in a naval costume and are all standing in front of a white boat called "Toronto City". View of stately home. In front of the stately home are three cars, a bus, a BBC outside broadcast van, a large camera. A man in headphones next to the camera; another man looking through the lens of the camera. Two men stand hands in pockets between two of the cars talking. The car furthest from the camera begins to reverse. A bagpiper in full highland regalia stands on the ramparts of an unknown building. In front of him is a microphone. Next to that a man is crouched over a portable sound unit. There is another man on his right, also crouching down. Two men on a riverbank are looking at an unidentifiable model. The man in the lighter coloured jumper who sports a pipe gets up and goes over to the camera man. In front of the camera and camera man is a man in a shirt and jumper writing on a clipboard. View of city street - aerial with lots of parked cars and the odd bus. Sign pointing right - "Gramophone Library". A man in glasses walks away from the shelves with two records in their sleeves. He slips one out and walks away from the camera between two stacks. A woman with dark curly hair and stud earrings stands at a desk. On the wall behind her is a large notice - a mock up of a postcard. Beneath this is a pile of 45rpm records - singles. She puts another record on the pile and turns back to the desk on which there are records and a record player. In her hands are a pile of postcards. She discusses the records with a young woman who is seated at the desk. The woman holding the postcards is Jean Metcalfe. She reads out one of the postcards. The other woman looks through the selection of LPs that she has in front of her. She then hands a single to Jean who put sit on the record player. A woman in a white jumper pulls a trolley full of LPs between the stacks in the Gramophone Library to file them. She also has two in her hands. A young man takes a record from its sleeve and looks at both sides of it. An older woman with dark rimmed glasses and carrying some records adds one to her pile and pulls it out of the sleeve to take a closer look. A nearly bald man in a suit is holding an LP jacket as he takes a record off a record player, he is Roy Plomley, creator of Desert Island Discs. Top his right is a young woman, Beryl Grey ?who smiles at him. She has a pile of records on her lap which she looks through as the man speaks to her. The man puts down the record he had in his hand. The woman hands him another record - Swan Lake which he takes out of its jacket. The woman explains that Swan Lake is one of her Desert Island Discs because she danced in it once. She is obviously a famous ballerina and has a slight accent. Man in library looking for a record. Scene of orchestra playing. They stop and there is a view of the conductor wearing a buttoned up cardigan. He holds a baton and is looking at the score. Man in sound room. He has a panel of dials n front of him and is also looking at a copy of the score. View of orchestra as they begin to play. Two men in a corridor. Both wear glasses. The one on the left has a grey goatee beard and is holding a booklet to which he is referring in their conversation.
Aerial cityscape. A room which appears to be an archive or filing room. A desk piled high with papers. Some are picked up by a woman wearing a wrist watch and wedding ring. The walls are lined with shelves and filing cabinets. A woman on a tall library ladder is filing documents. A woman with glasses, short hair and dangly earrings is looking through a card index. View of various typed index cards. A man with big ears and nose speaks to a man with a moustache and spotted bow tie, it is script writers Denis Nordern and Frank Muir. He sucks on a pipe. They are discussing the content of a program. Bow tie man stirs his tea. Scene of farmyard. Cows. Three men in the foreground discussing plot ideas for the Archers (this is highly amusing given what they are trying to get into the plot so seriously!!) View of cattle. Men continuing their discussions. Cow. Woman in studio in front of a panel with lots of dials. Man in studio with glasses is announcing the presentation of "Jennings at School" by Anthony Buckeridge. Woman in sound booth. In the studio three schoolboys are gathered around microphones acting out Jennings. To their left are the presenter and another man holding scripts and seated along the wall. They walk over to the boys. Another man with a script stands next to a closed door with his hand on the knob. The two men and the boys complete their dialogue. The two men return to their chairs. Scene of about eight boys seated at a long table participating in a quiz. The presenter, Eamonn Andrews at his desk. To his right standing up if the scorekeeper called Tony. View of cameras moving round the studio. View of Piccadilly Circus and the traffic - buses, cars etc. London street. Five men having a meeting. Two are seated and the other three stand behind them. View of tapes spooling. Office - two men and a woman are in the foreground. The man nearest the camera is on he phone. In the middle is the woman and at the back is the other man who is wearing black rimmed glasses. The man on the phone passes a message to the other man who gets up and leaves. View of very large stately home. An elderly man with grey moustache and glasses is on the phone. A man with headphones is on the phone in front of a desk full of switches and dials. View of large room filled with radio monitoring equipment. Close ups of various stations for Moscow, Poland, Germany. A man on the Moscow desk writes out a message, summons a messenger who takes the message to a middle aged woman with glassed seated at a desk. She reads the message and relays it to the man seated opposite her. He stamps a piece of paper and then turns to tap on the window behind him. He then turns back and picks up the phone. Room in which a man and a woman are typing but their work is produced on strips of paper similar to ticker tape. The woman in glasses is now on the phone as is the man sitting opposite. View city street. Office a tallish balding man walks to a desk where a man in glasses sits. They speak and the seated man points to something unseen. An older man speaks to the young man next to him in shirtsleeves. Man in glasses then makes an announcement over a loud speaker system about a second Russian rocket to the moon. Outside a BBC building. London street. In an office. Two men speak. The second who has no jacket gets up a leaves the room. Large building. Meeting led by a man wearing glasses about the stories on the 6.00pm news broadcast. A man enters and gives him a nee story. Aerial view of studio from where the news will be broadcast. The broadcaster is at his desk and a woman passes him some new papers. A woman sits at a desk reading the news in Greek(?) She is also handed a new message. View of room where the 6.00pm news is being counted in from. Broadcaster reads headline. (one of the newsreaders in this sequence is Richard Baker). Broadcaster in studio reads news for radio transmission. Views of this in various languages including Italian. Camera and broadcaster reading news. Control room. View of a Shackleton. View of news being read by a man in glasses. Outside BBC TV Studios. View of door to Control Room One. View of people in the control room. View of local news broadcast for London and the South East. View of various regional news broadcasts. Views of random landscapes.
Woman reading news in Welsh. Two men at microphone performing in Gaelic. Landscape. Sign for Daventry Transmitting Station. View of room inside transmitting station where a man is closing up for the night. He switches a dial from manual to remote control. And walks to the door to switch off the lights.. He then leaves. View of empty and darkened room as various machines begin to work on their own. View of large room with lots of machinery manned by at least five people. View of clock. View of three people in a room - two seated one standing. The one seated to the right pulls off his headphones and gets up. A woman enters the room and hand papers to the man still seated. She places other papers on the desk from where the man just got up and then puts others on a shelf above where the man standing is. Man at microphone is given extra papers to go with those he is already holding. Back to the room with the three people in. Man in studio is smoking and begins his broadcast. Control room. A meeting between two black men and a white man. The older black man is fairly light skinned and has a moustache. The other black man is dark skinned and much younger. This appears to be an interview of sorts and the older black man is interpreting for the other black man. View of a black man in a checked shirt playing the guitar. View of studio where the presenter is wrapping up an edition of the Tonight programme. Behind him are two maps - one of the world and one of the British Isles. He looks at his watch and speaks to the presenter. There are several cameras and crew in the background. The presenter and producer walk off set together as the technicians begin to pack up the equipment. BBC building. Orchestra in large studio. They start playing. View of room with several men on the phone. It appears to be a very large old fashioned switchboard room. Control room. Man with moustache about to present the sports news. Orchestra playing. Horses racing in the Lincolnshire handicap that day. 'Round the Horne' radio play being performed - standing at the microphone are Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams. Man gives lecture over radio. Orchestra. Radio play with two actors - a tallish balding man and a short dark haired man. Rowing practice on the River Thames, London , England, Europe. Presenter of Sports View. Pair of ice figure skaters at the European Championship in Switzerland, Europe. Strings section of orchestra. Man still lecturing. Orchestra. Solo female figure skater. Orchestra. Radio play - this time with the balding actor and a woman with blonde hair and a triple row of pearls. Orchestra and conductor. Switchboard room. Outside of a BBC building in the dark. Woman reading in French. View of outside of building. Woman blackening an actor's tooth with paint. Hairdresser styling older actor's hair. A hand dipping brushes in pots of make up. Costume room. A man selects a costume. A table with women sitting round it sewing either by hand or on machines. A woman cleaning shoes. Woman blacking actor's tooth. View outside BBC TV Studios. Black and White Minstrel Show backstage with girl in sequinned costume. Scenery being put in place on a stage. Men and woman in glittery costumes and the Minstrel go on stage. They are directed to their positions. There are cameras and microphones on stage also. A man sets up a film in a projector. Man in control room with screens in front of him and two walls of switched and dials either side of him. Man in sound room adjusting dials whilst looking at a music score. Orchestra.
Sign - BBC TV Theatre. Scene of dancers - male and female on stage as balloons drop from overhead. Conductor wearing headphones and waving baton. Audience. Dancers. Conductor. Control room. Camera moving forward. Dancers as they finish their routine. Audience. Outside BBC TV Studios. Dark haired woman is on the phone. Another phone rings and she lays down the first to answer it. She then hands the second call to the man standing next to her desk who puts the newspaper he has been reading down. She then picks up the first telephone. View of man speaking on phone. Control room. Young man in shirtsleeves and wearing headphones adjusting the equipment in front of him. Control room. Blonde woman in pigtails wearing leather hat looks startled. She puts her hand to the hat and runs from one side of the stage to the other whilst looking behind her . In the background two soldiers are trying to remove the cannon. The girl sits down and starts to try and remove her boots. Aerial shot of set where the old woman is trying to gather her washing from the line strung between the cannon and the caravan. Two men walk towards her. View of all the cameras and crew. Control room and dials being adjusted. Control room and three people following the script. Set where woman has just finished gathering the washing. The old man is speaking with her. Control room. Camera altering angle. Control room. Old woman standing behind the blonde woman who is still trying to remove her boots. The old woman walks towards her (this 'old woman' is Flora Robson). She pulls off the hat and throws it to the floor. The blonde girl tries to pick it up but is being harangued by the old woman. The old woman then starts to try and remove the girls boots. Cameras. Control room. The old man is crouched down in front of the blonde woman trying to remove her boot. Behind the blonde girl comes the dark haired woman wearing the feathered hat. She speaks to the old man and then moves away pacing agitated behind the blonde before running off. Cameras. Control room. Set in background, In the foreground is a television screen reflecting what is going on on set. A camera moves into view. A Man closes up equipment in a room. A man is seated watching a scene on the monitor. Scene of snow on the ground and wind howling. Heavily cloaked and weary soldiers carrying a standard and arms are walking. View of string quartet playing. They finish and shot moves to the presenter who is seated at a table. The quartet start playing again. View empty corridor. Dark country landscapes. Switchboard room with a woman plugging in and unplugging wires. Night view of a London Street. People leaving the BBC TV Studios. One gets into a car the others walk down the road. As the car pulls away other people walk out of the building. View BBC Television Building as the lights are switched off and the doors locked. A security guard patrols an otherwise empty corridor and the lights go out.
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