NEW to my exclusive online shop

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See “new shop” for details.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

BBC Chief Tony Hall “OUT of TOUCH”

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Listening to my car radio this afternoon I heard an interview with BBC Director General, Tony Hall talking complete nonsense.

He has this idea that the “underworked” production staff in the BBC should get a level playing field with independent production companies.

Tony Hall ” Today, I want to talk about how we are bringing the spirit of the entrepreneur and the pioneer to the BBC. We are committed to our mission as a public broadcaster, as creative people, as reporters, as broadcasters. We will be the place where creative people come to do the best work of their lives.

But I want the BBC also to be the best at managing itself. When anyone in this country asks, where are the organisations with the most advanced thinking on management and reform, I want them to think of the BBC.

So in this speech I want to talk about our new plans. We are going to go further than we have ever done before in opening the BBC to more competition. A competition revolution and we are going to go further than we have ever done before in using external benchmarks and comparisons to drive up standards and drive down costs.

‘Compete or Compare’. That is our strategy.

Competition is good for the BBC and I want more of it. I want proper competition in programme supply, overturning the current system that no longer works as it should.

I want a less regulated system that ensures that both our own BBC producers and those of the independent sector have creative freedom.

I want a level playing-field between BBC producers and independent ones.

I want both a BBC production powerhouse that is a beacon for creativity, risk-taking and quality; and an amazing, world-beating independent sector. I want a system that supports British content and that keeps the UK competitive in a global market and this competition is going to help make the BBC as efficient as any broadcaster in the country.

But we are not going to sacrifice quality to price. We are going to have both. To use retail terminology, great programmes at great prices.


HDW : What a lot of dribble… the BBC are commissioning plenty of their own media from drama to documentaries, how can it be a level playing field when the commissioning editors work for the BBC, independent producers are constantly being rejected with good production ideas, usually on the excuse of having no budget.

What a farce that BBC producers could make programmes for ITV…where is all this extra work coming from Mr Hall. There is little enough work these days for the true independent producers without overworked BBC crews muscling in on the act.

Independent companies like myself have to buy our own equipment not order 50 Sony PMW-500’s with tax payers money…It’s easy to flaunt yourself as a producer if you have no overheads to worry about…that’s not competition it’s sheer greed…at the tax payers expense.

If I were running the BBC I think I would have more to worry about than trying to make more work for an already undervalued staff and deal with the problems at hand like too many chiefs and not enough indians making very poor decisions and laying off the wrong kind of staff.

Tony you are in cloud cuckoo land…but as we know only to well everything that shines in the BBC emanates from London…or so they think so !




For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Final filming for the Panasonic GH4 User Review

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Final shots to add to the GH4 User Review…taking full advantage of the weather and this silhouette shot which could only be produced when the sun was behind a cloud.


Scott having a look through the Eclair viewfinder, sadly only a prop gleamed from my good pal Norrie, this was his pride and joy back in the 1980s. It’s a 16mm film camera used for many shorts and documentaries back in the 1970-80s.


The lens is an f2.8 Angenieux (French) 12-120 manual zoom (10x) obviously seen a lot of use but a Rolls Royce of a lens in its day.


This prop was for my outro talking about how things used to be filmed in the 80s.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Security staff “TAKE NOTE”

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On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.

All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers. All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police intervention.

Directed and Produced by Hannah White for the London Street Photography Festival, Edited by Stuart York.


Picture by Alister Chapman

Filming at Windsor Castle by Alister Chapman…

“I was in Windsor, Berkshire, close to the Castle, a major tourist attraction, shooting with a Sony AX100, a compact consumer handycam. I was using a small 3 stage tripod and I was standing on the public right of way pavement shooting the castle. I had arrived in Windsor early to avoid the worst of the crowds.

After a few minutes I am approached by a single Police officer and a council warden. After exchanging pleasant “good mornings” The first question I am asked is: “What are you doing, is it for professional or private purposes?”.

To read more visit…

HDW : Once again this public space nonsense raises it’s ugly head with very ill informed security staff telling photographers that they cannot take pictures of a public  building as its “private”. This is a great demonstration of how stupid certain security staff can be and their total lack of knowledge for the law as it stands.

The rules of the UK for filming and photography… If you are on a public space you can film and photograph what you like, the general public do have the right to ask you not to photograph them or their family members but the taking of photographs of children in public spaces is not illegal.

UK Police Guidelines…

  1. 4.37.  There have been a number of instances highlighted in the press where officers have detained photographers and deleted images from their cameras. Andy Trotter has written to all forces to remind them that officers and staff that they should not prevent anyone from taking photographs in public. This applies equally to members of the media and public seeking to record images, who do not need a permit to photograph or film in public places.
  2. 4.38.  ACPO guidance is as follows:● There are no powers prohibiting the taking of photographs, film or digital images in a public place. Therefore, members of the public and press should not be prevented from doing so.

    ● We need to cooperate with the media and amateur photographers. They play a vital role as their images help us identify criminals.

    ● We must acknowledge that citizen journalism is a feature of modern life and police officers are now photographed and filmed more than ever.

    ● Unnecessarily restricting photography, whether for the casual tourist or professional is unacceptable and it undermines public confidence in the police service.

    ● Once an image has been recorded, police can only seize the film or camera at the scene on the strictly limited grounds that it is suspected to contain evidence of a crime. Once the photographer has left the scene, police can only seize images with a court order. In the case of the media, the usual practice is to apply for a court order under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act for production of the photograph or film footage.

Here is the link to the ACPO guidelines for you to photocopy

In general under the law of the United Kingdom one cannot prevent photography of private property from a public place, and in general the right to take photographs on private land upon which permission has been obtained is similarly unrestricted. However, landowners are permitted to impose any conditions they wish upon entry to a property, such as forbidding or restricting photography. Two public locations in the UK, Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, have a specific provision against photography for commercial purposes without the written permission of the Mayor or the Squares’ Management Team and paying a fee, and permission is needed to photograph or film for commercial purposes in the Royal Parks.

This is what happened…

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Filming for the Panasonic GH4 User Review

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Having spent a month on and off filming in Glasgow and Edinburgh the Panasonic GH4 User Review is now in the edit suite.

Me clyde

This was us yesterday down at the Clydeside filming inserts for the GH4 User Review. This is a timeline frame from Stuarts GH4 using the 7-14mm WA lens. If you double click on it you will get a 1920 x 1080 frame.


The weather could not be any better and lack of wind made the sound recording a lot easier.


Stuart had the CAMBO DSLR rig with the Panasonic DMW-MS2 short shotgun to make sound syncing a lot easier. We had the 7-14mm f4 OS Lumix lens on the GH4 with a wide angle matte box keeping the sun off the front element. The 7-14mm lens does not allow the use of any filters so a 4″x4″ ND filter would have been handy.


Scott had the 12-35mm f2.8 OS Lumix lens with a pre production GH4 Cambo loupe to keep the sun off the LCD. I must admit I was wrong to dismiss the use of an optical LCD loupe with the GH4 as it does make a tremendous difference in broad sunlight.

CarToday Stuart and I were filming extra inserts and decided to sit on my car bonnet while I drove down a tree lined one track road using the 96fps to great effect.

Cambo-RigThe main camera was mounted on a CAMBO DSLR rig using the CAMBO loupe and a Sony Radio mic receiver (UWP-D11). The mic that ships with the Sony radio mic is OK but I swapped it for a RODE Lapel subminiture microphone with a RODE MICON-8 Sony adapter.


When will the User Review be ready…as soon as I get time to edit the material… in-between paying clients !

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

NEW for FCPX…snapshots from idustrial revolution

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XEffects Snapshots is a media rich template plugin with a unique onscreen 3D animation control system. Snapshot automatically freezes video, inserts it into a frame and positions it onto a background in 3D space. All with just a couple of clicks.

Applying Snapshots to footage adds an instant level of professional design and class. Display a single image for impact, or string a succession of Snapshots together to make a montage or title sequence.


Snapshots is easy to use. Razor blade where you want the footage to freeze, choose a frame (add text if you wish) choose a background, set the beginning and start points in 3D by using the onscreen controls, then hit play!

Snapshots comes supplied with over a 100 sample templates that you can drag & drop onto your footage. Use these out of the box, adjust to suit, or build your own from a choice of over 60 hand designed frames or 38 backgrounds. That’s over 2,200 different combinations! Select the Dropzone option to use your own backgrounds.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Major BT outage UK wide

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Major UK outage issues from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow to mention but a few, internet users are having various problems from slow to dead stop internet connections.


This was the internet map outage this morning, totally unprecedented in the UK a complete internet outage.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Panasonic upgrade the AG-AC90

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Panasonic is hereby announcing the upgrade of the successful AG-AC90 AVCCAM camcorder, the AG-AC90A.

The new AG-AC90A inherits the high image quality from the original camera, but features enhanced network capability and a range of useful professional functions.
Key features of the AG-AC90A:
  • 29.8 mm Wide-Angle/High-Powered zoom lens
  • 1/4.7 type 3MOS Sensor
  • High-Sensitivity BSI Type 3MOS Sensors
  • Easy Operation with Triple Manual Rings and a High-Definition LCD Monitor
  • High-Quality Recording with AVCHD PS/PH Modes
  • Specifications Supporting Professional Use


Newly improved features:
  • Dual memory card slots with direct copy function between memory cards
  • New REC modes: PM mode (1280 x 720, 8Mbps), CS mode (720 x 576, 3.5Mbps)
  • Date and time superimpose function
  • Eye-Fi card for wireless connection
Panasonic’s new AG-AC90A AVCCAM combines the high image quality, advanced functions and easy operation that professionals demand in a stylish, easy-to-handle design. The 12x optical zoom lens starts from a wide angle 29.8mm (35mm equivalent) to 383.7mm. The camera features a high speed F1.5, BI (back-illuminated sensor) type 3MOS image sensors providing Full-HD resolution. In addition to high-quality professional PS/PH mode (1920 x 1080) recording, the AG-AC90A supports PM mode (1280 x 720) and low-bit-rate CS mode (720 x 576) for delivery over a network.
When combined with an Eye-Fi card, it fits right into production workflows that use networks to transfer data files to PCs and upload to cloud servers. Other professional operating features include Triple Manual Rings (focus, zoom and iris) that approach the versatility and feel of the interchangeable lenses, XLR Microphone/Audio Inputs, and remote terminals to provide the system expandability that professional applications require.


For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Feature Request only on GH4 Crew

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For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

Panasonic GH4s still hard to get

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The first major delivery of Panasonic GH4’s rolled into the UK just over two months ago since then deliveries have almost dried up. Speaking to WEX yesterday the biggest on-line photographic retailer in the UK…”We had 3 GH4’s delivered last week, that was helpful, but only to fulfil backorders”



So why is the GH4 almost non existent…simple…It’s the most popular selling 4K DSLR on the planet and Panasonic can’t keep up with demand.


Even running the factory 24/7 can’t keep up with the world wide demand for the GH4, it’s a major success for a camera thats exceeds all expectations.

HDW : “I am in the process of producing a major user video review using my own GH4’s and its a cracking all rounder, video wise the cinematic picture is hard to beat and for those of you like me having had the GH3 this camera (GH4) produces better quality video footage than the GH3 at 100 Mbps. The YAGH (SDI/XLR adapter) takes this camera to an all new professional video level with SDI  and full size HDMI video monitoring up to 1080 50p.

What you can do with 4K is only limited by your imagination, in my case I am using 4K on an HD timeline giving you multiple framing posabilities so for all those cynics out there you don’t need a 4K monitor or a 4K platform to use 4K professionally in an HD environment”.

The next two weeks should start to address the backorders for those of you who have ordered your GH4 but having free stock is another matter.

While I am here Panasonic had a deal for early birds buying the GH4 which in my opinion should be extended as they have not fulfilled their initial pre orders !



For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Company Ltd

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