Telecine: a pre-packed picture source

cover-abcinfocus

An excerpt from ABC TV in Focus, a book given to potential advertisers in February 1963.

Programmes are moving pictures, music, voices-and captions, animated cartoons, still photographs, graphic designs. Studio cameras, gramophone records, magnetic tapes and microphones can take care of the former. But some other form of picture and sound device is necessary for the screening of filmed programmes like The Human Jungle, the animated triangle symbol that introduces every ABC production, complex caption and graphic design effects, and the slotting in of sequences that can be shot more easily and economically with a film camera.

Telecine control; with supervisor monitoring picture and sound output from his suit. The allied equipment can scan 35 and 16 mm film, slides, caption cards, roller captions, and VTR clock; all selected and operated from the point of picture destination, a studio control suite or Master Control.

Telecine control; with supervisor monitoring picture and sound output from his suit. The allied equipment can scan 35 and 16 mm film, slides, caption cards, roller captions, and VTR clock; all selected and operated from the point of picture destination, a studio control suite or Master Control.

The need for such a device led naturally to the development of telecine; in its simplest form a single-lens camera aimed at an image produced by a film projector. In its most highly developed form (a refinement of one of the earliest scanning devices used by Baird) it does away with the projected image and instead directs a spot of light – along a pattern identical to that followed by the electron beam that creates the picture on a television screen – through the film and onto a photo-electric cell. Each of these latest telecine units – there are three at Teddington – consists of a flying-spot projector, two machines for presenting 35 and 16mm film, and a slide carrier. All can be pre-loaded, and selected and operated from the control suite requiring the picture feed. Allied to each telecine unit is a caption scanning unit. This too can be pre-loaded and controlled by a Vision Mixer in any of the production control suites.

In it are two caption holders shaped like paddle wheels and each capable of presenting any one of sixteen captions, still photographs, or pieces of graphic design at the touch of a button; a VTR clock, an ABC-designed-and-built device for identifying video tape recordings and cueing the studio at the start of ‘transmission’ runs; and a roller-caption machine, used mainly for the moving ‘credits’ at the end of a programme. Each has its own light source and is scanned by a single vidicon camera through a multiplicity of prisms as it is selected and illuminated. As with other sources, the feed from each telecine/caption suite must be monitored; skilfully adjusted for perfect picture quality before being passed to the bank of pre-view screens in the Director’s suite. This is the Telecine Operator’s job. Following the studio through monitor and ‘talk-back’, alone in almost permanent twilight, he is alert for the cue ‘roll telecine!’

telecine 6

The Sunday Break

We question the Church of England. Under the guidance of Barry Westwood, a group of young people gathered in the Birmingham studios fire criticisms of the Church at The Rt Rev The Lord Bishop of Woolwich. Something of a novelty when it started in 1958, The Sunday Break continues to draw attention by its refreshing approach to teenage problems. Four controversial programmes on Love, Sex and Marriage brought thousands of letters from all over the country, and a flood of praise from parents and Press.

telecine 7

telecine 8The Silver Wheel

ABC keeping deaths down on the road. Silver Wheel is the title of a fortnightly programme presented by ABC TV and of an association formed recently by ABC and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Aim of both: ‘to raise the standards of riding and driving skill on Britain’s roads and to improve the standard of courtesy among road users.’ In the second edition, Silver Wheel looked at the Lord Mayor of Birmingham’s dipped headlights campaign which, during its first ten weeks, reduced pedestrian deaths at night by 53%.

telecine 9

The Human Jungle

Series on psychiatry. This programme, a tv film series that ABC have in production at the moment, represents an investment of £300,000 for the first thirteen episodes. Designed for British audiences, it stars Herbert Lom as Dr Roger Corder – a London psychiatrist whose case book provides the scenario. It will be screened in the spring on Saturday nights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: