October 2012: BAS Members Filmed for ITV IDENT

Posted by Chris Lee (chrislee) on Jan 27 2013
Society News >>

 It was a cold and drizzly October evening – the perfect weather for stargazing. Well, at least pretending to do so for the cameras.

Only a few weeks beforehand BAS secretary Fiona Lambert received an email from a TV scout saying that ITV were considering filming some fresh idents around Bristol. They wanted one themed on astronomy and asked if BAS could help.

Now Idents or “Station Identification” are the micro-films and logos that identify the channel, usually played before and after TV programmes. ITV had decided they wanted their 2013 idents to capture the hobbies of Britain.

Some 10 volunteers met the film crew a couple of hours ahead of the shoot at a pub in Clifton to arrange the evening and agree a plan of action. They then made their way up to the Clifton Observatory where the telescopes were set up around a staged "star party" campsite, with tents, chairs and tea (of course). On cue the BAS team would slew their  telescopes to look at objects with true averted imagination! Some volunteers were asked to sit and drink tea, others were to move in and out of tents while others were using binoculars to peer at the low cloud. Over and over, for around an hour and a half, the scene was filmed, re-filmed, set and re-set. In between takes a popular young man came around with sausage rolls and sliced pie.

Finally when the director was happy with the film he had taken, the BAS team dismantled (by now damp) scopes in the hazy lights from a misty Clifton Suspension Bridge thinking it was over. However, some were asked to stay on so a photographer could take further shots. He was very precise, taking dozens of images of what, to a layman, looked like exactly the same scene! Then, with a final thank you and good-bye to the director, the BAS team set off back home, with dreams of Hollywood just around the corner. What price “BAS - The Nation’s Astronomers” as our tag in 2013?

Many thanks to all the volunteers who came along, both society members and others.


Last changed: Oct 16 2013 at 8:37 PM