CT Screenco at the Edinburgh Festival
Thursday, 14 August 2003
CT Screenco at the Edinburgh Festival
UK - CT Screenco returned to the Ross Theatre bandstand at Edinburgh's Princes Street Gardens to fulfil a vast array of technical requirements at this year's Edinburgh Festival - billed as 'The UK's biggest free arts event of the year'. Their contract with Sean Rourke's Arts For Life is one of Screenco's most unusual, since a lot of their work is done 'on the fly' as they come into contact with a vast array of cultural content. Screenco also integrates broadcast students and volunteers into the team, who are sent out with ENG equipment to gather news, which is then edited in real time and relayed live to the 4 x 415mm LED daylight display.

The three weeks of he Festival Fringe are enough to keep Screenco's representative Jon Baverstock on his toes around the clock. The highlight of this year was undoubtedly the scheduled appearance of Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Bragg and Steve Earle in the Ninth Landmines Charity Concert. But for many of the support shows Jon Baverstock was made to think on his feet. "We have also been wandering round with a team doing bits for the Film Festival and the Book Festival," he said. "We have set up a non-linear edit suite which we are running with a four-camera PPU - so we can take footage for screen commercials or VTs and play them in, enabling them to be edited while they're being transmitted. We are also streaming footage onto the Arts for Life website and sending edited packages down to Sky TV."

Working with so many casual crew Baverstock quickly got into a routine of garnering the newsreels and show content during the day and editing by night. "Both the facilities and the requirement have increased radically since we last did Edinburgh," he said. And where the Screenco inventory has been unable to fulfil some of the more unusual requests, the chances are that Jon would have devised a solution in the form of an accessory from his 'spares' bag.

An instance of this was when the cast for an Alice In Wonderland production turned up with a projector and wanted to project doors onto the 15mm screen (making them appear to get bigger as Alice got smaller). Fortunately Jon was able to produce a scan converter, which allowed him to place their 'doors' onto the screen - and achieve the desired effect.

(Lee Baldock)

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