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Robin R Probyn

Sound recordist BBC 1954

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Posted (edited)

I have found a very rare picture in the BBC vaults .. now semi retired, I often spend afternoons at Ealing with a nice cup of tea down in the  vaults.. Ronnie is an old mate and has given me a key.. in 1954 the the head of outside broadcast .. Sir Norman Moncrief - Sackville..  decided upon the radical plan, that sound recordists should be able to stand up.. and these early rigs were made in the BBc,s own workshops in Wolverhampton ..  the idea was quickly given the Spanish Archer under strong protest from the Imperial Sound Recordists Guild ..  intriguing non the less Im sure you will agree..

59674817_2738194699529628_9125881828333322240_o.jpg

Edited by Robin R Probyn
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I was about to write "please enlighten us", but curiosity took over and I did a reverse google image search.... 

https://www.hearinglossjournal.com/radar-great-big-hearing-aids/

..and the one above isn't even the most preposterous-looking device!

There was an article on BBC recently about this massive parabola-shaped wall somewhere in Southern England that was supposed to achieve the same thing .. found it. Fascinating stuff, especially for someone acoustically inclined/curious as I am.. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-46348917

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I have found a very rare picture in the BBC vaults .. now semi retired, I often spend afternoons at Ealing with a nice cup of tea down in the  vaults.. Ronnie is an old mate and has given me a key.. in 1954 the the head of outside broadcast .. Sir Norman Moncrief - Sackville..  decided upon the radical plan, that sound recordists should be able to stand up.. and these early rigs were made in the BBc,s own workshops in Wolverhampton ..  the idea was quickly given the Spanish Archer under strong protest from the Imperial Sound Recordists Guild ..  intriguing non the less Im sure you will agree..

59674817_2738194699529628_9125881828333322240_o.jpg

Is it perchance a sound recordist's wallet counterbalance?

Edited by Mark Dunn
addition of picturesque language to make me look clever

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22 hours ago, Mark Dunn said:

Is it perchance a sound recordist's wallet counterbalance?

Ok, I had to come back to this. I'm far from being a practising professional in this field (one can hope) - I have more of an audio/music background - but I'm really curious about where this stereotype (justified or otherwise) comes from? At least from the perspective of the music production industry, it would seem the film industry weathered the economic downturn, not to mention the digital revolution, a lot better, and while it probably has little in common with film production sound (something I'm being made increasingly aware of), I'm still baffled by this generalisation. I realise it's something of a running joke, but is it based in any truth at all?

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1 minute ago, Daniel Lo Presti said:

Ok, I had to come back to this. I'm far from being a practising professional in this field (one can hope) - I have more of an audio/music background - but I'm really curious about where this stereotype (justified or otherwise) comes from? At least from the perspective of the music production industry, it would seem the film industry weathered the economic downturn, not to mention the digital revolution, a lot better, and while it probably has little in common with film production sound (something I'm being made increasingly aware of), I'm still baffled by this generalisation. I realise it's something of a running joke, but is it based in any truth at all?

I'll have to pass on that, not having been in the business. It is, as you say, a running joke between Robin and me and maybe Phil as well. It probably belongs to a more closed-shop era. More practically, I presume sound recording is less glamorous and therefore attracts less competition, so keeping the fees high.

Anyway it tickles me at least, so it will probably stagger on for a while.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Daniel Lo Presti said:

Less glamorous? "How very dare you!"

Ah ok, I might've just picked it up from this forum then... fair enough.

Sorry, I didn't pick up that you were a Master of the Fluffy Sausage, you may not have exuded enough of that aura of well- upholstered superiority for it to show on the Internet. You'll need to work on that. And buy a bigger wallet- its gravitational influence should at least be noticeable in London from Brussels. In 500€ notes.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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Dan.. it is an empirical fact that sound recordists are all loaded..  and this is easy to confirm.. observe  any studio or location car park..   the most expensive cars will always belong to sound dept... their gear is relatively in expensive .. they have a huge amount of time each working day to hone their financial skills.. and each and everyone is at least at professional accountant standard, in all forms of tax evasion.. Ive yet to meet one that doesn't have a yacht or cruiser of some dimension .. and you will often hear them talking about pool maintenance .. 

Its the life of Riley.. ones only concern being access to donuts .. and having to actually walk to afore mentioned .. BMW/ Mercedes / Audio / Bentley / Roller.. from nicely upholstered "sound chair"

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Pretty sure this was the run 'n' gun camera crew that sound recordist was working with:

1908069675_bigcamera.jpg.f23cad45ec1b2b2afae1f6fd7f1bf1b3.jpg

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yes I believe is correct sir.. and notice the director supervising the camera move.. small chap with the hat centre frame.. 

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Well it has certainly been made crystal clear in this thread which career path I should pursue without any further trepidation.

I'll dust off my rusty Fluffy Sausage quick smart.

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Its money from home Dan... your only problem will be spending it all..  you will have to learn everything about tax evasion .. cladding water pipes .growing Roses.and have an encyclopaedian  knowledge of all expensive restaurants in any given area..

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Sounds like I should throw all this sound gear I have in a backpack and start charging more.

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