LatestTV – Interview
with Brian Meetens and Howard Johnson
South Downs Film Makers recently appeared on LatestTV.
FACE TO FACE on LATEST TV
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be interviewed on Television facing an audience of several hundreds if not thousands and being lost for words. Well this was the prospect facing Brian Meetens and myself as we ventured into new territory as pawns thrown to the wolves as we volunteered to be interviewed by Latest TV as part of their weekly film review, which was to showcase a number of South Downs films to the wider public. This was too good an opportunity to be passed up and maybe, just maybe, a chance to recruit new members to the Club.
As it happens Latest TV is one of the newly established Regional TV companies that broadcasts along the South Coast with its operational centre and studios situated in Kempton, Brighton. For those receiving Freeview, the signal can be picked up on Channel 8 provided your aerial is pointed to the Brighton Racecourse transmitter. For Virgin Media subscribers, the Channel is 159. Latest TV can also be viewed on-line @ www.thelatest.tv.
After many months of negotiation re-contracts and repeat showings, the arrival of a new station manager deemed this was all unnecessary and after their scrutiny of our films on YouTube they were more than happy to schedule a number of these during prime-time viewing on both Saturday and Sunday Evenings – January 17 & 23. The only criteria were that each film must be longer than 10 minutes and be in widescreen format.
We had chosen to illustrate the club by way of a selection of comedy dramas choosing the five ‘Spirit’ films as the platform to initiate our work. Although these had been completed sometime back in 2010 and earlier (2005 Rough Luck) they had nevertheless received recognition and awards at several of the County Film Festivals. Screened in order of filming they offered a serialisation of the exploits of three inept robbers who eventually wind up in heaven hoping this would be a better place to exploit their craft of safecracking. As most of these films were made pre-digital, we had to change the aspect ratio on each of them to bring them into line with a widescreen audience before uploading to YouTube in Mp4 format.
On the day of the Interviews, Friday 8th January, we were met and pampered by 4 charming young ladies in a Brighton bar, which dubbed as a studio during the daytime. With Green Screen in the background and cameras poised to go we had little time to compose ourselves and were totally unprepared for the questions. Fortunately Brian, being a true professional, rose to the occasion and the interviews proceeded relatively painlessly. There was no room for second takes and any gaffs were there for all to see but hopefully we gave a good account of the club and its activities.
Unfortunately we never got to meet the station controller who I expect was busy mixing our audio microphones levels from his booth somewhere behind the bar at the rear of the building. All additional links from our glamorous interviewer Jessica Kellgren-Hayes were undertaken post-interview, and hospitality was provided in the form of a teacup.
With no expense spared we gave as good as we got …well sort of, although I would have preferred to have been briefed on the questions beforehand, then perhaps Brian and I could have practiced our Dodgy Irish Accents on an unsuspecting audience. Mind you I expect our replies were a mixture of Irish and Yiddish but they appeared happy with the results and we managed to wrap up three separate interviews in the allotted time. These would be used to sequel between the 5 films.
Hopefully this is the first of many encounters with Latest TV and depending on the outcome we may get asked back. Next time however I challenge someone else to rise to the occasion!
See the films here.
Rough Luck That’s the spirit Brotherly Spirit Safe and Secure Heavenly Spirit