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parrot_knight [userpic]

Frustrations and opportunities

March 5th, 2007 (06:54 pm)
morose

current location: Drinking some not very good Chilean Merlot
current mood: morose
current music: Christy Moore: 'Little Musgrave'

A look at the Guardian jobs website shows that there are a reasonable number of jobs I could just about throw myself at with some credibility at the moment; and given that the money is running out. There are a few editing jobs which, while they have nothing to do with history, I could try for; but I'm in the middle of clearing lots of decks at the moment - the biggest obstacle being the paper I'm giving at the colloquium next month - and I'm really loath to add to the burdens I've got by spending ages on more job applications, particularly as there's one I've decided to go for on the basis that I am qualified for it though it would mean moving away nearly 200 miles, and the job is only for 21 months. I really, really do take too much time over job applications (though nowhere near the week it took me to write the successful TGW application in 1999). But I feel confident that I could present myself as the bearer of transferable skills outside the editing of a reference work that is only revised on a grand scale once a century; but I plan to finish the book proposal and earn some pocket money (because that's all I'll be able to manage) this week, and I've got the ball rolling on some more TGW freelancing I'd taken away with me when I left in September.

Meanwhile, in broadcasting, a hurrah. I hope ITV Play never comes back, and others with similar formats go too, though 'interactivity' on shows like Dancing on Ice is fairly harmless, unless there's some deception I've missed.

Edit: I can't have been that morose, despite the icon, as I've cheered up making Doctor Who-related comments to my previous post.

Comments

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)

There doesn't seem to be any evidence that reality TV is getting any less popular with the people who call the premium phone lines though - or does there?

N&V would have you back...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
arthurelaineletr

There doesn't seem to be any evidence that reality TV is getting any less popular with the people who call the premium phone lines though - or does there?

My ideas concerning broadcasting policy are probably considered antediluvian by those making decisions, but I think the spread of so-called interactive television has reached a point where it isn't being carefully monitored and in many cases exists purely to make money. Oh, that Chris Mullin's bill to repeal the 1990 Broadcasting Act had passed.

N&V would have you back...

You know just the method to spur me on to concentrated effort!

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)

Hasn't most 'interactive television' (in the modern sense, rather than the old-fashioned phone-in) always been there purely to make money? Off-hand I can only think of the Restoration series as an example of one that was arguably altruistic.

Yes, and I had to go back to N&V due to Horrible Doom, so don't let me see you back there through apathy or indecision, young fluffy.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
salmon

Hasn't most 'interactive television' (in the modern sense, rather than the old-fashioned phone-in) always been there purely to make money? Off-hand I can only think of the Restoration series as an example of one that was arguably altruistic.

Both the commercial broadcasters and the BBC have always taken a cut of the revenue from latterday phone polls. In recent years, though, there have been more and more programmes simply designed to make money and treat the public as cash cows. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was funded from its phone revenues, which made the shareholders in Celador, its production company, including Jasper Carrott, a great deal of money. Arguably ITV Play and its kindred are watered-down versions of Millionaire, with pretence at skill and knowledge whisked away, and barely hiding that they are preying on the low in spirit insomniacs.

Yes, and I had to go back to N&V due to Horrible Doom, so don't let me see you back there through apathy or indecision, young fluffy.

If I was really struck by apathy and indecision, I wouldn't have the initiative to go back to them!

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
Outsider

In recent years, though, there have been more and more programmes simply designed to make money and treat the public as cash cows. Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was funded from its phone revenues, which made the shareholders in Celador, its production company, including Jasper Carrott, a great deal of money.

Perhaps Brecht's comment about it being better to found a bank than rob one should be up-dated as "What is winning an interactive game show compared to owning one?"

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
KingCharlesI

Unquestionably true, until the regulators can be roused.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 09:42 pm (UTC)

Ah, it doesn't take initiative, just a call from JH saying he's heard you're free...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
parrot

I think that I'm safely out of the loop there - or I hope that I am.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)

Most of the 'red button' stuff on sport coverage counts as interactive and free. A mixture of useful stuff (like showing a choice of games) to the silly (Sky Sports' 'Player Cam' which focuses on only one footballer) and the downright mental (fan commentary during the Super Bowl).

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 11:15 pm (UTC)

The distinction between 'interactivity' which takes the form of allowing the viewer to choose between sub-carriers carrying alternative broadcasts, and the interactivity which involves the viewer phoning in to influence the outcome of an element of the main broadcast is one worth making - thanks.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 08:11 pm (UTC)

My understanding of the premium rate issue is that there have been occasions when viewers have called in (at a premium rate) to enter a competition or register a vote after the competition or the vote has ended. And that sounds like fraud to me.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)

I knew that, but I don't think any allegations have been levelled against Dancing on Ice or any other primetime series. It's the murkier, and less watched (in many senses) daytime programmes, that are under investigation, and the focus so far is on non-ITV programmes like Channel 4's Richard and Judy and BBC 1's Saturday Kitchen. ITV's action looks like a pre-emptive strike, good PR, and possible repositioning further upmarket now that someone with a strong television background is in charge.

Posted by: gervase_fen (gervase_fen)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
fen

There was an apt line in The Bookseller's "William Boot" column this week. "Publishers planning to submit titles for the Richard & Judy Summer Reading promotion have been invited to phone special premium rate phone numbers. The lines close in November."

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 5th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
DavidIcon

I'm just watching Newsnight now and I see that Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is under investigation, so ITV's main channel is now implicated.

Posted by: viala_qilarre (viala_qilarre)
Posted at: March 6th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)

It's a minefield, looking for work that's lucractive and satisfying. Do you sometimes wish you'd become a Doctor Who writer - I mean, in the grand sweep of the extended universe, not actually working on the current show? It occured to me this morning as I was in the car, listening to the promotional disk that came on this month's DWM. There are people who make a living out of writing around the periphery of DW, aren't there? If I'd kept the faith when I was younger (and not allowed myself to be shamed into thinking that it was all silly and I should be a Proper Writer), that could've been me! I mean, I could certainly write for DWM in my sleep, and although I'm not sure about my abilities as a script writer - it's not a skill I've ever developed - I could've learned, and been writing for Big Finish. Instead, I've spent what career I've had writing for industry.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: March 6th, 2007 11:28 am (UTC)

My pace as a creative writer is even slower than my pace as an historical writer, because I have great difficulty working out how to differentiate between characters - the legacy, perhaps, of Who and its plot-led form - and because I spend a long time staring at the page wondering about phraseology, where X would meet Y. Dramatising my own life on LJ is much easier!

I'd prefer writing novels and short stories, though, to anything else, and I know what you mean by allowing oneself "to be shamed into thinking that it was all silly and I should be a Proper Writer". When I was working for the enterprise headed by N&V mentioned above by pennypaperbrain, the senior magazine editor there suggested I pitch ideas for their tie-in magazines, but I just couldn't write the 'fun' prose or get into the mindset that can spin out an idea about a running theme in a TV series to an entertaining thousand words or so, with pictures - I'd want to intellectualise more than these publications would allow me.

Then again, as I keep pointing out, my first academic publication outside TGW, finally, this year, will be a chapter in a critical reader about Doctor Who, and I'm really looking forward to that being published. I sometimes think about a second doctorate in film or television studies.