The Long, The Short and The Tall – Andy Woodhouse
As part of my training in 1979, I was attached to the technical team of a couple of productions including a drama, a BBC Schools’ production of The Long, the Short and the Tall recorded over 3 days at Pebble Mill. The producer/director was Ron Smedley. Key acting cast is listed at https://www2.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b73aef97d. The episodes were subsequently transmitted as a single play. More details at IMDB https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13411812/?ref_=adv_li_tt. I can recall the lighting director was Barry Hill, the technical manger was Ron Irvine, the sound supervisor was Alastair Askham, and the vision mixer was Mark Kershaw.
The production was divided into 3 half-hour transmissions, each episode was allocated one studio day and recorded “live to tape” multiple times. Ron Smedley wanted the uninterrupted action from the stage play to be available in this TV production, enabling the actors to react better to the rapid dialogue segments. The production used a single set that occupied most of the floor area in Studio A, including a jungle setting at the rear of the hut. One shot in the programme needed a wide shot of that jungle and the entrance to the hut, but the camera shot would have included a lot of the lighting rig, so a glass shot was created to hide this unwanted area.
by Andy Woodhouse
Lesley Weaver left the following comment on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Countryfile Shoot – photo from Mel Stevens
Director Mick Murphy, in blue shirt, with Countryfile presenter, Roger Tabor. Possibly Keith Schofield on camera. PA on the ground is Carolyn Smith. The woman in yellow shirt is the researcher.
Top Gear safety item – photos from Andy Woodhouse
The photos are from a Top Gear shoot about potential damage to a person’s head if involved in a high speed accident when not wearing a seat belt. The melon seen on some of the pictures was, medical specialists said, a good representation of the human skull. This segment used a high-speed film camera, with the principal photographer being John Williams, and Nigel Davey operating the camera. The item was recorded in the grounds of Pebble Mill.
Photos by Andy Woodhouse, no reproduction without permission.
Picture shows a rehearsal for capturing the moving head/melon. John Williams is second from left, Nigel Davey on camera.
Picture shows the fall of the melon from a two storey roof being recorded. Note the use of the coat to ensure the same melon could be used throughout until allowed to hit the ground.
Picture shows a discussion about the shoot process. John Williams is second from left, Keith Ackrill is fourth from left
Picture illustrates the impact of the melon on a hard object!
A Sort of Innocence photographs – James French
A Sort of Innocence was recorded in October 1986. James French was cameraman, and has shared and captioned these photos taken on location in Hereford.
Don’t know who the extra is leaning against the wall. Guy with cigarette is Production Manager, Peter Rose; not sure about stripey, guy with white fleck in hair is Director, John Gorrie; lady is Producer, Ruth Boswell; on right is Sound Supervisor, Ray Bailey.
Grip is Ron Fleet, then Director, John Gorrie and me (2nd Camera) on Elemack dolly.
Me and John Gorrie again
Ron and me again in the foreground. Tim Everett holding the sound boom. I think the actor standing is Linus Roache and sitting in the Jaguar XJS is Kenneth Cranham.
Leaning on tripod is Rigger Supervisor, George Stevenson; Grip, Ron Fleet; cable-bashing is Rigger, Barry Clarke; on dolly is Camera Supervisor, Keith Salmon, with back to camera is Tim Everett (sound) and holding the boom pole is Tony Wass.
No caption necessary as all folk are named elsewhere.
Lighting Director, Barry Chatfield with Lastolite.
Grip, Ron Fleet; Rigger, Barry Clarke; Camera Supervisor, Keith Salmon
Lighting technicians (Sparks!): Roger Hynes and Dave Walter, with Rigger Supervisor, George Stevenson.
Dresser, Paul Higton; Designers, Martin Boddison and John Lindlar; Dresser, Shaun Lowe.
Me again (one of my favourite pics – I actually look like I know what I am doing!)
The only additional people on here are the boy, Actor, Neil Jeffery and with his back to us (next to Neil), Actor, Michael Byrne.
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