Does lack of training produce inaudible sound


John Barlow
by John Barlow
Issue 89 - May 2014

Jamaica Inn just happens to be the latest example of a mainstream TV drama production being broadcast with inaudible dialogue. The reasons vary from production to production but the end result is always an enormous waste of both acting and technical talent along with immense swathes of production budgets. Was it always like this? In terms of skilled production staff we are living off of the trained talent from the past and not training sufficient entrants with appropriate skills.

A similar high prestige flagship programme produced by the BBC 25 years ago would have technical excellence as a given. Think back to the glory days of BBC Television Film and Television services. Every word clear but expressed with appropriate perspective and tone; Music and Sound effects subtle or dominant depending on need. In short well trained professionals with years of experience practising their craft and delivering excellence.

Today, although there are exceptions to the rule, it seems that with the plummeting costs of equipment some Producers will accept matching technical standards. Boom Operators used to ensure that live sound was captured correctly; today Producers will gladly accept, indeed encourage, a Radio Microphone hidden somewhere within an actors costume: saves time, no shadows, no Sound Assistant and no good! Errors, if recognised, are accepted on cost grounds and defended as style. Sound Pros wince as the Piper pays the tune. But it begs the question: Is the Industry training its future operational staff to the highest standard or the lowest acceptable level?

The Institute for Training in Television Production, ITTP, is making representations throughout the Film and TV industry that, with many fully trained operators now retiring, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit staff of an appropriate standard. HRH Prince Charles in his recent lecture to the Royal Television Society warned, There are too few designers, mixers, editors, costume supervisors, camera and boom operators and digital imaging technicians. HRH also spelt out that If we dont plan to meet these future demands now, we will be ill serving our television industry and minimising the employment opportunities for thousands of people.

At an entry level there is no shortage of hopefuls with media degrees to their names; but are they employable? Creative Skillset claims that out of 2,160 graduates who recently entered the TV industry, only 345 are employed in craft and technical roles just 16%. Universities and Colleges may be producing well educated graduates but do they understand how much load a domestic 13 Amp socket can safely deliver?
Freelancers do not generally have the resources to employ junior staff on apprenticeships. The concept of Trainee is disappearing but this is what is needed. Could it be that the advent of Local TV might help? Over the next few years there will be an expanding number of LTV stations. Now is the time to establish employment opportunities in this sector for junior staff working on short term contracts that are, in craft terms, overseen by the medias Professional Bodies. Why not introduce a Licensing system (similar to Accountants, Lawyers etc.) that give status to new entrants reaching required standards?

ITTP has been established as an independent, not for profit organization that works outside of government to provide professional unbiased and authoritative advice to help educational institutions deliver skilled professionals, who are ready to produce high quality TV programmes. It believes that the numerous Professional Bodies, representing all Crafts and Skills, needs to set standards for those wishing to enter the media at a professional level. Already, with the most welcome help from TV-Bay, a conference held at Pinewood Studios and attracting 200+ from across the media, has endorsed the Institutes objective to be the bridge between training and industry.
The Institute is working with Colleges and Universities to ensure that training levels within syllabuses are recognised by Industry Professional Bodies and those modules and/or complete courses are accredited in a meaningful way. ITTP recognises that there exists so much potential talent, not just among graduates but within areas of deprivation, that given the right direction our future BAFTA and OSCAR winners will be nurtured to success.


Tags: iss089 | ITTP | BBC | Television Training | John Barlow
Contributing Author John Barlow

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Training and education within the broadcast industry

    Training and education within the broadcast industry

  • EBS at IBC 2015

    EBS at IBC 2015

  • Bluebell at NAB 2012

    Bluebell at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • ITTP at BVE 2016

    ITTP at BVE 2016


Articles
Responding to Change
James Gilbert The first days of 2020 seem like a good time to reflect on what will happen to our industry in the coming months and years.
Tags: iss141 | pixel power | stem | brexit | rohde schwarz | James Gilbert
Contributing Author James Gilbert Click to read or download PDF
Creating Diverse Show Content For Diversity
Clive Silver Diversity has been a household name in the UK for many years now. Can you tell us about your involvement with them? After winning Britain’s Got Talent (BGT), the group’s entire existence got turned on its head. One of the first things Diversity’s leader, Ashley Banjo, did was to make a list of all the things he thought made a show great.
Tags: iss141 | diversity | bgt | cs media | braw | ursa minipro | blackmagic raw | braw | Clive Silver
Contributing Author Clive Silver Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - The chances of anything coming from Mars
Dick Hobbs - new We were much less worldly-wise in 1938, you may say. But the autumn of 2019 in the UK saw an election campaign which was marked – many would argue dominated – by fake news, by carefully placed stories which were not what they seemed to be. Politicians set the agenda, inventing facts where necessary.
Tags: iss141 | orson welles | cbs | fakeapp | fake news | ai | codec | ibc innovation | gblabs | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
The Value of Trade Shows
KitPlus

When you think of trade shows some might consider the relevance in today's digital world where, with the click of a button, you can research the latest technology and, with another click, someone will deliver said item to your door later that day.

So on that note let's dispel the naysayers!

Tags: iss141 | ibc | kitplusshow | mpts | nab | cabsat | bsc | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
From Industry to Teaching
Charlie Watts

Those that cannot do, teach… I did not enjoy typing those words, and for the most part, I do not believe it to be true.

There again, I’m am now a teacher, so perhaps you would expect me to say that? I am sure many believe it to be true, that if you really cannot cut it in the ‘real world’, there might instead be a career in teaching. The following is for those of you that have ever considered changing careers and going into education to provide teaching and learning, or for those of you that think most teachers teach because they cannot do anything else. I hope it provides a little bit of an insight.

Tags: iss141 | portsmouth university | ccitv | degree | inspire | teach | Charlie Watts
Contributing Author Charlie Watts Click to read or download PDF