Monday, 13 February 2012

Two Phil Smiths

It’s been an exhausting day, mostly because the funny little air conditioning unit above the door in my hotel room kept waking me up with the weirdest knocking and gushing noises. Fortunately, the lovely Paul has now transferred me to the Holiday Inn next to the BBC’s base at Salford Quays, which I’m told, is a much nicer establishment.

I was at the Beeb today. We sat at a variety of funny little seating areas in various lime green and shiny red atriums. It’s all very modern and "right on" up here. It genuinely feels like a very happy working environment. There are "informal" photos of all the staff pinned up everywhere. The tram pulls up to the brand new Media City stop, and you walk out into a rather impressive square which is always filled with people doing urban sports; tag rugby, that sort of thing. Today, a whole load of people were doing kick boxing. These Mancunian media types have too much time on their hands if you ask me! The only problem is that you're not allowed to pay for anything with a card, and there's not a cash machine in the building, or, in fact, anywhere within a half mile radius. Not very well thought through.
There were six of us in our meeting, two of whom were called Phil Smith, which I thought was hysterical. I had to ask a lot of questions. Our project seems to have slightly slipped under the radar at BBC Manchester. At one point Phil said that he’d never been aware of a programme being made before without a transmission date! At the moment we don’t even know what slot the films are going to have. Will they be broadcast on the local evening news or will someone commandeer an entire episode of Inside Out? I suppose it’s sort of exciting that we don’t know. At least this way we get to make the films we want to make, and then they get to decide how best to present them. I just hope they don’t disappear without trace into a building where a bewildering amount of other stuff is going on at the moment.

Still, everyone at the meeting was more than helpful, and they seem very excited about the project. We played some of the songs on one of the BBC’s huge systems. They sounded fabulous and people said very lovely things. I felt proud. Like a mother hen.
I received the mastered tracks this evening and am listening to them as I write this diary entry. I am so thrilled. PK, the producer, is an actual genius.

February 13th, 1662, and Pepys wrote a rather dull diary entry, mostly about money, and (yet again) his uncle’s will, which still wasn’t entirely sorted. Bet his uncle wished he’d never died! Speaking of death, Pepys also wrote that the Queen of Bohemia (or Winter Queen) had died the night before. Good news travels fast!

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