Tag Archives: somerset

Filming with the BBC in Bath

I spent all day on Tuesday filming in Bath with Dan Simmons for the BBC ‘Click’ programme. It’s the biggest technology show on the BBC, being broadcast on BBC World, BBC1, and online. Even the Twitter stream for the programme has nearly two million followers.

Filming 'Click' in Bath

This was following up on my recent experience with Google and their decision to delete my entire Youtube account. I have got my videos back now, but only by appealing to everyone who had ever complained about me and getting them to withdraw the complaints.

I haven’t been out doing TV work in a public place before. I’ve done lots of talking heads work in TV studios, getting wheeled in to speak on the news as an expert in this or that, but shooting all over Bath over an entire day with Dan was great fun. We had kids desperate to get on TV without even knowing what the show was about. We had someone in a Manchester Utd shirt who insisted we should cover the story of his work with children’s football teams in Bath. We had people asking if it was ‘candid camera’. We had people laughing as I was getting my make-up done in the street.

It was certainly an experience to see how people react to a BBC camera out in the street. We certainly do live within a celebrity-obsessed culture. One woman outside Bath sports centre insisted that she already knew me because I am ‘famous and off the telly…’ even after I protested that there was no way she could know who I was, she just insisted!

I had assumed the hardest thing about doing pieces to camera in the street would be to remember my lines, but Dan had all kinds of ideas about how to take different shots, meaning I had to not only remember my lines, but also look in the right direction, walk in the right way, hit my spot on the pavement… then assuming I got all my stuff right we could still foul up a take if a bus had just gone past or some kids were screaming nearby. And even if there was no noise and I got my lines right, there were times when the camera-work could have been better. So you really do need to repeat the lines over and over until everything falls into place.

We spent the entire day filming in Bath, plus I still need to go to TV Centre in London to record some pieces in front of TVC and some voiceovers. Then there is a lot of editing to be done. It’s a lot of work for 4 or 5 minutes of television, but I hope you like it when it comes out.

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Google, Down’s Syndrome, and Jimmy Carr

Yesterday an Italian court convicted three Google executives of a privacy violation. Their crime? To not take action for several months after a video was uploaded to YouTube featuring a boy with Down’s syndrome being bullied.

Many technology commentators are outraged. The question is, how can Google be expected to possibly monitor every piece of content they publish?

Quite. So what’s my own experience of Google and Youtube this week? My Youtube account has been entirely deleted. Why? Because I uploaded a video I shot in Bath last Saturday and Youtube received a copyright violation notice from Chambers Management. My crime? To attend a gig by Jimmy Carr and to shoot some video of his happy fans expectantly waiting for him to appear on stage. No film of Jimmy. No jokes. No stealing his material. Just a short film under a minute of the fans all waiting expectantly in the packed-out Bath pavilion.

Youtube did not even send me a message to say that Chambers were filing a copyright violation claim. They just deleted my account – so all my videos are gone. That’s around 900 videos shot over the past five years.

And were my videos typical of someone who is supposed to indulge in the theft of jokes from comedians? The last few videos I had uploaded were all about helping kids to understand globalisation. The ones before that were from a business conference I recently attended in India. Not a stolen joke in sight.

Chambers has been in touch with me. They are very apologetic. They just wanted the Jimmy Carr video removed, even if it did not actually contain any footage of Jimmy – their policy is that any film from the venue on the day of a gig also is in breach of copyright rules.

I don’t agree. It seems stupid. Some video from inside the Bath pavilion of a happy audience waiting to see a comedian is not going to ruin Jimmy Carr’s career, but then I’m not going to fight an impossible battle against their policy. I would be happy to remove that video if my other 900 videos and my account are reinstated.

Please Youtube/Google – can I have my video back?