A video mash-up of BBC staff playing the music used as a signature tune for radio classic "Listen with Mother" was an opportunity too good to miss. There was an orchestral arrangement of the music from Fauré's Dolly Suite scheduled for inclusion in the Proms and wouldn't it be interesting to see how the people who work on the 'world's biggest classical music festival' fair performing as opposed to organising?
What none of the sterling contributors realised when they agreed to the project was that an ability to play the piano wasn't the core requirement. The video was about having fun, with the very deliberate intention of showing that important and vital BBC people weren't averse to having a bit of a giggle and showing themselves to be quite real and normal.
The other main reason for getting these contributors together was personal. I did rather want to meet them.
So, Oliver MacFarlane - Series Editor for the Proms - works in TV and so would I; Sara Mohr-Pietsch - BBC Radio 3 Breakfast presenter - works in radio presentation and so would I; Catherine Cook - from the Proms office - works in marketing and it's always important to have 'marketing' on your side.
I had some aspirational rivalry to sort out with Radio 4 newsreader and casual Proms TV presenter Zeb Soanes (and what better way to deal with that than on camera). John Shea is a pleasure to have around anyway. Roland Taylor is the editor of the Radio 3 website so did rather need to be involved anyway given that the video was going on the website. And Roger Wright is the boss (so avoiding him would have been professional suicide) thus his involvement is crucial in everything.
Two days were set up in studio 80a on the top floor of Broadcasting House in London, utilising the services of sterling assistants Dean Craven and video journalist Louise Walter to set up four fixed cameras (3 on the piano and 1 providing a wide-shot for interviews) for two sessions spanning 7 days.
Editing was a slightly more long and drawn out process. Each contributor's three takes needed to be strung together into one single sequence, with the tasty stereo audio track laid underneath. At the end of this preparatory stage there were seven interviews and seven sequences, each sequence having three takes of the duet.
After that we edited each contributor's performance according to the audio and dropping each editing segment onto a timeline before going back to the beginning and making sure the video shots changed sufficiently for visual interest. Given the chances of different speeds which a variety of different performances might result in, it seemed like a miracle there were hardly any tempo changes in the finished piece, all the more remarkable given we didn't use a metronome or a click-track either.
There was one missing part to the finished video however. Radio 4 newsreader and continuity announce Charlotte Green had originally come into the studio on the first day of shooting to record the immortal line "Are you sitting comfortably, then we'll begin."
Sadly, however, an issue over the record button not being pressed as firmly as it might have been meant Charlotte's contribution was lost. A tube strike the following week prevented her from joining us for the second day of shooting. Still, at least we got some photographic proof of her attendance the first time around.
Jon Jacob is Web Site Manager at the BBC College of Journalism