OB in the back of a van











Photo by John Burkill, no reproduction without permission.

The photo takes from October 1980.  It looks like part of an outside broadcast set up.

The portable 2″ quad recorder, in the briefcase on the side is an Ampex VR 3000. It was a specialist piece of kit designed for field recording, when it wasn’t possible to take a full 2″ machine.  Even so, it was pretty heavy to carry around – weighing 55 pounds!  It was capable of high or low band recordings, used 20 minute reels, and could be powered by battery or on AC.  Visit this link for more information: http://www.oldradio.com/archives/hardware/TV/Ampex/VR3000.htm

The men in the photo are John Smith (multi camera director), Peter Hodges (sitting down) and Derek Price (engineering manager).

The shoot was almost certainly for a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ programme, since John Smith was one of the principal directors on the show.

Paul Vanezis added on the Facebook page that the ‘Pebble Mill at One’ titles, with the fisheye look, were in fact recorded on an Ampex VR 3000, as were some of the opening titles of ‘Look! Hear!’.

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