Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


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 !





Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

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