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Matt's 2022 Part 1: Work
I thought I’d make a summary of things I enjoyed or was proud of doing in 2022. Both as something to look back on and as an excercise to feel better about a year that had some rather dodgy bits in it for me!
I think the last time I wrote a year summary was 2017, in which I had a ridiculous number of adventures that ended up on YouTube!
This summary ended up being quite long, so I’ve split it up into more than one part. In this first episode I’ll start with some work I did in 2022, and I’ll follow up at a later date with a summary of my YouTube escapades and fun places I’ve visited.
Content Warning: The second part discusses media coverage surrounding the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Work Projects in 2022
As many of you may already know, making YouTube videos is my hobby: I’m a broadcast engineer by trade!
February: Capital FM live from a cruise ship
In the first half of 2022, I was working for Global as their Managing Broadcast Engineer in London.
To celebrate the launch of Virgin Voyages’ new cruise ship, Valiant Lady, Capital threw a party on board. We broadcasted The Capital Weekender live from the on-board nightclub, and also a set from Ella Henderson from the on-board theatre.
Planning any Outside Broadcast (OB) has its complications, with requirements for logistics, connectivity, power, cable runs, and health & safety just from the technical side. Add to this that you’re probably trying to do it all in a venue that you’ve never been before, that isn’t designed for broadcast at all, and has no-one on site that knows anything about the venue’s technical capabilities.
This means that doing an OB from a ship is one hell of a feat, especially considering they have a fixed schedule for where they’re going to be and no reliable connectivity with enough bandwidth to broadcast.
Luckily, Virgin Voyages’ technical installation team were still on board and had a vast amount of knowledge about the ship’s systems we needed to integrate with. Despite this, the event planning still involved a last minute trip to Italy, a working “cruise” from Portsmouth to Tilbury, and a lot of crossed fingers that the weather and tides would allow us to dock on the starboard side to run our cables to the production vans on the shore!
I might do a more comprehensive rundown of how we made it work in the future, but I’m very proud we managed to pull this off despite short notice, fast turnaround times, and restrictions from working on a ship.
I didn’t post much about this elsewhere, but there are a few videos on my Ship broadcast Instagram story highlight
September: TV coverage of Queen Elizabeth II
By September, no longer working at Global, I was available for freelance engineering work.
I was hired by CBS News’ London bureau as a freelance engineer to help them with their TV coverage following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Even though CBS is a TV network in the USA this was a big news story for them, and for many broadcasters across the world.
The Queen’s death was announced on 8th September, at the same time that many engineers across europe were heading to Amsterdam to attend IBC, the big European broadcast trade show and conference. I received a phone call from CBS while I was standing in Luton Airport, about to board a plane to Amsterdam. I couldn’t find any signs for exiting the airport’s departures lounge without getting on a plane, so I went back the way I came and was whisked out through a back corridor after a few brief conversations with border staff.
For the first few days, I was working in the media compound opposite Buckingham Palace. Initially a single-camera setup from an ENG (Electronic News Gathering) satellite van, we expanded this into a multi-camera setup with teleprompters, IFBs (Interruptable Foldback Buses), multiple links to and from their base in New York, and an extra vehicle for vision mixing and other control.
Once this was up and running, I was moved to Westminster Methodist Central Hall where over the next week we built a control room and studio facing the entrance to Westminster Abbey. By the day of the funeral, we had 16 video routes in or out of the venue!
The CBS team were great to work with, and although I’m not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination, I’m glad to have been involved in the coverage of a news event that so many people wanted to watch.
I posted several photos and answered many questions on Instagram while working on this. You can see them all on my Royal Broadcast Instagram story highlight.
I’ll see you out with a few links to some completely unrelated things that I found interesting.
Metrodle, a game
The object of Metrodle is to guess your destination on the London Underground. The map starts with no station names and the lines on the map are not coloured in.
The Art of Japanese Portable Record Players (In Sheep’s Clothing Hi-Fi article)
Beautiful japanese designs from the golden age of record players.
Millennials are shattering the oldest rule in politics (Financial Times article)
Millennial voters in the UK and US are not following the typical pattern of growing more conservative as they age.
And if you’re doing Dry January and giving up alcohol for the month, you might be interested in the alcohol-free beer taste tests I’ve done over the last few years!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this, hopefully my writing makes sense and you found it interesting!
I’ll be back in a few days with the second part of my 2022 roundup (because who likes year reviews more than a week into January‽), but I don’t expect to keep to a schedule as regular as this going forward!
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