Merrick Simmonds, Film Editor – photo by Peter Poole

Photo by Peter Poole, no reproduction without permission.

This photo shows Merrick editing in one of the film editing rooms. Before PSC (portable single camera) most location programmes were shot on film. Pebble Mill had several film editing rooms. Editors often worked late into the night to meet transmission times.

News was shot on reversal film and processed in Pebble Mill’s film processing unit. I think it took about an hour to process the film. Then it was edited and sometimes a voice over added. This made getting a story to air very slow.

Merrick latter became a director for Midlands Today. After that he directed ‘Pebble Mill At One’ and many other network programmes, including ‘Good Morning with Anne and Nick’.

Peter Poole

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1 Comment

  • Good to see some of the old 16mm stock…….I had my first work experience job as a film joiner in 1959 and remember the Hell and Bowell foot joiner……only catch you fingers in it the first time! Actually the processing was a lot quicker than one hour for a 100 feet (2 and a half minute)spool and we used to rip the required pieces off the processing machine as they came out and rush them to the editors,,,,,our fastest time from start process to on air was about 35 minutes! From an historical point of view the trouble with transmitting from the raw negative was that there was no way of making a clean copy for the archives as all the dust and scratching of the neg damaged it for good and that’s why the library film from the 60s and 70s is so awful.

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