And it was all going so well.
Last year the BAFTA awards had the sound messed up for the BBC1 broadcast. There were apologies all around, and we were told that this wasn’t because the OB was put together by an independent. We were told that the production team had years of experience.
This year, things looked like they were going well. Coverage ran over three channels for no obvious reason with an hour each on BBC Three, BBC Two and BBC One. I watched the latter two covering the awards.
The whole ceremony is broadcast on a significant delay – presumably to allow time to bleep Mickey Rourke’s acceptance speech (and Mick Jagger).
But the real problem came when we saw the Terry Gilliam montage sequence as he was inducted into the academy was just appalling. It looked like an early edit had been used, as we saw repeated clips and sequences of clips. It was clear that nobody had watched the final edit all the way through at the end. Given that the one thing we knew before the evening was that Gilliam would definitely be winning, this particular montage could have been edited weeks ago.
But instead it looked like they’d given it to the work experience kid.
It was an embarrassment.
Gilliam came on and made his acceptance. He got out a long piece of paper and threatened to thank all the “little guys” beginning with those from Time Bandit. Now I don’t know how far down the list he made it, but there was a clunky edit as he suddenly ended his speech with a thanks and left. Again, very poor production.
As is traditional, we then began had a round up of the awards that didn’t make it into the two hour broadcast (BBC Three’s coverage was red carpet stuff). So we had the winners of the Best Short, etc.
As we watched Nick Park accepted for Short Animation, who let’s face it, is much loved by British audiences, the credits rolled right over the top. This was obviously for timing purposes, but it was awful. And given that we were only a minute over the 10pm scheduled finish, nobody would have minded a very short over-run.
After Nick Park, we had the editing award for Slumdog Millionaire and had credits running over credits as the winner accepted his award. Then the same happened for Animated Film (Wall-E). Then we had the transition music and we just cut to an end credit as the broadcast ended.
I think we got to see all the awards, casting an eye over the official winners’ list, but it was complete amateur hour. Absolutely dreadful.
These awards are broadcast internationally and it really did not reflect well on Whizz Kid Entertainment who co-produced the awards with BAFTA for the BBC.
How about next year we get the awards live – or at least on a very short delay for the potty-mouthed likes of messrs. Rourke and Jagger. Run it on one channel, and if it over-runs, then it over-runs. Award ceremonies make a habit of that, although at least unlike the Oscars, the BAFTAs cut to the chase without silly interludes.
(PS Why does the BBC correspondent in Sydney this evening look like he’s talking down the line on Skype? For a major story like that in Australia, surely a satellite feed should be used?)
And it was all going so well.