Blueprint at Blackstaff
For the past couple of days, the Blueprint team has been meeting the public in a special event at BBC Blackstaff Studios. The Ulster Museum have partnered with the BBC in creating The Blueprint Experience, an exhibition exploring many of the themes we cover in the Blueprint series. They've constructed a dinosaur at the centre of the exhibition, with fossils and other artefacts on display. The Time Travel motif is everywhere to be seen, and the public are queueing up to have their picture taken beside Dr Who's famous police call box. The Blueprint production team have built a TV studio inside a TV studio and we're making our own show during the exhibition, entirely staffed by the public. Carole O'Kane is out in the scanner (the outside production van) with our future TV directors and vision-mixers; Natalie Maynes and Paul McGuigan are on the set briefing future TV presenters on how to interview guests; and Ophelia Byrne is turning the young and old(er) into weather presenters in front of our CGI blue screen. Actually, the weather man/woman job is proving very popular with the parents. We've fully-grown adults pushing forward to present an ice age weather report complete with computer-generated snow. Next to that job, I'd say operating our three studio cameras is the next most popular job of the day. Everyone taking part (about a dozen volunteers each show) will be sent a DVD of their moment on TV.
While that's going on, we also have a radio drama studio, where John Simpson, David Shepherd and their colleagues are have developed a Dr Who drama, complete with sound effects and theme music, with the public playing all the parts. It's only at the end of the recording, when the voices and effects are joined with the music, that participants actually work out what the drama is about. I popped in yesterday and recorded my own drama, playing all the parts -- which meant dashing from one microphone to the next throughout.
Darryl Grimason and his Off the Beaten Track series producer Louis Edmondson have joined forces with the Mountain Leader Training group from Tollymore to put together a terrific orienteering game which is proving very popular. Andrew Davison is working with Liquid TV to show off some of the CGI effects -- and they've managed to put a tetrapod on top of Broadcasting House.
The response so far from the public has been terrific -- and that's a real compliment to Geraldine McCourt and her team, who have brought together so many people to make this event a success.
You have a final opportunity to see the exhibition for yourself -- and make your own TV or radio programme -- this afternoon, from 2pm until 6pm.