Sunday, 26 October 2008

Harry Redknapp goes to Spurs

And so did I. For Five News. Doing a package based around a football match without the rights to use any of it is hardly a new challenge, but usually under the Sports News Access agreement, it's possible to use limited amounts of material, and if it's a Sky Sports game, we can often negotiate more (because Five News is a Sky News production).

However, the Spurs/Bolton game wasn't going out live, so we had no rights to use any on-pitch material until it had been screened for the first time by the rights holders, which I think I'm right in saying was the BBC's MOTD2. Hmm.

As Sky News were all over the story, it was our job to get some nice stuff in the Five style and put me in the shot, so that we had ownership of the report. When time is tight, this boils down to voxes, GVs and a piece to camera. We had 90 minutes. And we were stuck outside.

Getting some nice external shots of the White Hart Lane stadium is a tricky job at the best of times. On a cold, grey, autumnal day it's almost impossible. The (even uglier) buildings around it block any wide shots and close by there's nothing really to latch onto other than some very prosaic signs. With apologies to Spurs fans who may love it like no other structure on earth, I think it has all the architechtural merit of a landfill pit.

So we had to focus on the intiinsic natural beauty of the Spurs fans themselves. Our opening shot was a speeded up, locked off shot of hundreds of supporters walking up Paxton Road. We then got some lovely voxes from the various people milling around the merchandise stalls and burger vans before kick off, and I risked a piece to camera in the middle of the Spurs supporters in the same spot we did the locked off shot. To be honest, I wish they'd been more rowdy. Most were quietly happy about Harry's appointment, but no one was singing from the rafters and not many people were in the mood to play up to the camera. That kind of day.

The rest of the package was Sky News and Sky Sports News material. They had someone covering Harry getting off the Spurs coach and arriving at the ground and they also had someone at Portsmouth. They also stuck around until after the match to get post-victory reaction, all of it a bit subdued.

But we got Harry, we got the Pompey fans reacting to his departure and we got some nice pre-match colour from our voxes and the post-result update voxes to complete the piece.

We left Tottenham before we got a ticket from the nice man in the Sainsbury's car park and sat listening to the match stuck in traffic on the North Circular.

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