The production process


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The production process

  1. 1. Task 4: The Production Process
  2. 2. Pre-Production 1: Planning•Top Gear producers don’t usually have a rest in between episodes. Accordingto an article by the Daily Telegraph Top Gear often go over their budgetconsiderably. The 9 producers and 3 presenters all come up with differentideas with the younger ones going for stunts and the older ones makingsensible decisions with regards to cost.•They will make the “mini-films” (VT) of the show such as a race from onedestination to another or showcasing a car before they film inside the studio.•The script has to be funny so they test out the script with a guest before airingand if the script isn’t funny they have to edit it quickly.
  3. 3. Pre-Production 2: On LocationWhen filming on location for a “mini-film” the BBC send the presenters and crew to thelocation with special cars fitted with crane cameras. These cameras are often protectedwith a special sheet to protect them from sand if they were filming on the beach. There areoften repair crews on standby in case the vehicles break down whilst filming. If requiredthey will use a helicopter to get Aerial shots of the presenters driving on the road.The preparation for each location will be different. For a domestic location visit, the processis simple and requires the transport of vehicles and crew. For a international visit, it is muchmore complex. Top Gear will need permission to film abroad and visas for all the cast andcrew if filming outside the EU.When the crew went to Vietnam, they would have required vaccinations to ensure they didnot catch any diseases like malaria. A local guide would have also been on hand to offergeneral advice.
  4. 4. Production 1: OnLocation•Top Gear films on location with a car fitted with a special camera attached to a crane. The crew willusually follow the cars creating a tracking shot. If they are shooting on a road the camera car willusually drive with them for long parts of the journey only pulling over for fuel.• When the three are racing to a destination the outcome is not fake. There is a camera crew witheach of the presenters to present a live race.•Top Gear edit these together slow paced at first by switching from one presenter to another but notaltering their position in the race. When they are getting closer to their location the editing is morefast paced with non-diegetic music to create a tense finish.•Usually these “mini film” races are in between the usual segments of Top Gear. The camera fadesback to the studio and fades back to the “mini film” later on.•The Top Gear presenters will then receive a script to narrate the mini film which is then editedtogether.
  5. 5. Pre-Production 2: Studio•At Dunsfold, Surrey the crew already have a script which was written up byscript writers several days before. The script is then rehearsed and changed ifnecessary.•The script is then put on a running VT which the presenters will directly readwhilst looking into the cameras.•The presenters go for hair and make up about 11 o’clock with the Celebrityguest arriving approximately 1 o’clock. The Celebrity guest will do his/her lapwith the Stig before joining the presenters in the studio.•The studio will be prepared for about 12 o’clock with the audience coming inand being positioned by the assistant directors to get a nice range of: colouredclothes, age, and genders mixed in the audience. Instead of all girls at the frontand boys at the back.
  6. 6. Production 2: Studio•After a countdown presenter Jeremy Clarkson will welcome the viewing audience to the showand give a brief explanation of what is coming up on the show. This will be edited together withclips of “mini films”, races and whatever else is coming up on the show.•When he is finished speaking he will either go straight to a “mini film” by giving the audience ahint, or the camera will whip to another presenter to start the topic.•In the studio, a video of the ‘mini film’ will come on and when it is finished the audience willapplaud leaving the presenters to make fun of what happened and making fun of each other.•This will be edited later so that the ‘mini film’ fades in and out at the correct moments. A lot ofthe banter the presenters have will be cut down to keep to the allocated time slot of 1 hour.•The editing will take place after the filming in a studio gallery and the editors will edit the ‘minifilms’ and studio footage together with the narration.