Early editing of drama on videotape

Early drama editing on videotape from pebblemill on Vimeo.

Copyright, Colin Fearnley, no reproduction without permission.

The video above was recorded by Colin Fearnley on 23rd November 2004, which was the last night of editing at Pebble Mill before the building closed. In this video, Steve Critchlow talks about the early editing of drama on videotape. Thanks to Colin for having the foresight to record the editors reminiscing amongst the emptying of champagne flutes.

All Creatures 1989 JR

 

 

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘It’s Steve Critchlow. He saved my glittering career a few times. He moved into management in the early 80s and was my boss after I went back to cameras.’

Ray Lee: ‘Sadly now deceased. He and John Lannin pretty much were VT at Pebble Mill in the early 70’s. John amazingly is still alive and I was at a lunch gathering with him yesterday, reminiscing about old times.’

Herbie Donnelly: ‘A gent of the first order and a pleasure to deal with.’

Pebble Mill Auction Viewing

Photos by Tim Savage, no reproduction without permission.

Tim (VT Editor and Colourist), took these photos in the last days of Pebble Mill, during the viewing days for the auction selling off equipment not being taken to the Mailbox.  It was held in autumn 2004.  The photos feature many members of Pebble Mill post production including Chris Rowlands, John Burkill and Colin Fearnley, as well as production staff like Tony Rayner.  The number of bald heads fascinated by various items in the auction is notable!

Please add a comment if you can identify others.

Colin Fearnley – editing with an axe!

Colin Fearnley 1986

Photo by Paul Scholes, no reproduction without permission.

Colin Fearnley worked at Pebble Mill in VT.

There is a story about why he has an axe in the head!  Colin had been working on a youth programme with Janet Street Porter, circa 1986.  Apparently it was a very quick turnaround, and a review of the programme said that it looked as if it had been edited by a mad axeman. This spawned a whole host of axe jokes! Colin was probably VT play in man. [See comment below from Colin Fearnley correcting this detail!]

Thanks to Tim Savage for remembering the story of the axes.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook Group:

Paul Colbert: ‘Could have been Reportage or Rough Guides, both of which I worked on as series Director in Manchester with most of the production team commuting on trains and planes to Manchester. Editor J S Porter, with Rachael Purnell and Sharon Ali. Tough times for the production team, even harder than working with Roger Castles on The Clothes Show! London Luvvies!’

Jane Mclean: ‘Was it Behind the Beat? God I HATED working on that programme.’

Dawn Trotman: ‘Behind the Beat. I remember editing that. Crazy hours and Janet Street Porter constantly screaming down the phone. I think we edited it in mechanical workshop? Lovely directors though but stressed.’

Jane Mclean: ‘The stuff of nightmares Dawn – every single aspect – and I mean every! JSP never once came to Brum (thank god) and in the end I refused to answer the phone!’

Dawn Trotman: ‘It was actually a creative time. I worked with some very adventurous directors who did try to re invent the wheel and suceed. Tough going but good times. Not that JSP was of any value but she did surround herself with the best in the business no fool in that respect just very shouty!’

Ian Collins: ‘The Mad Axman nickname was actually given to Jim Hiscox who was the editor working on “Behind The Beat”. I think Colin was the assistant and the axe was added well after the picture was taken.’

Dawn Trotman: ‘I beg to differ Ian. The Mad axeman was originally given to John Bland for a film he cut in about 1983 or 4 . It was set in a military defence barracks very strange ! Can’t remember the name, I think the producer was a Gareth ? And John ended up with a review which said cut by the mad axeman on acid ! We keep the cutting in his room at the end of the film corridor. But I didnt remember Jim being on Behind the Beat I remember Colin working on it . He used to tut over our inserts.’

Ian Collins: ‘Dare I suggest that there were two mad axe men :-)’

Paul Colbert: ‘Surely John Birt was the Mad Axe Man?’