Children In Need 1996

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The Survivor's Photo

Children in Need (CIN) 96 was much more than just a 4 hour live show featuring bands, rip-offs of Friends and custard pies it encapsualted everything that YSTV is about.

The Build Up

Often seen as a poor relation to its often more complex cousin Election Night (EN), CIN is actually a great proving ground for those people who go on to produce the epic beast that is EN and the first opportunity for all those new members to experience the often organised chaos that goes hand in hand with YSTV's large braodcasting events.

And so it came to pass that Volunteers were asked to step up and take responsibility for the 1996 CIN production. When the call went out two people answered; Clare Mace would handle the production side of the evening and Chris Parker (making his second appearance as a first year) would handle the XLR and BNC side of the event.

The Plan

Now as we all know trying to fill even a 30 minutes news show is difficult enough so coming up with 4 hours of content based soley on CIN is a tricky affair. However the genius of the plan for CIN 96 came when we linked up with RAG and YUSU Ents and organised a charity campus band night. This meant that the amount of YSTV produced content could be significantly reduced as the directors could cut to the events unfolding in the dining room.

However with a live event now needing to be filmed a 2nd production unit was required, up stepped Owain Davies to take care of the filming and integration with the feed from YUSU Ents obscenely large sound desk.

Expectations of the live event were low as campus music events traditionally had a very low turnout but whatever happened in the main hall this would be the biggest CIN to date.

T minus 4 Weeks ish

The live music event was taking shape with Clare working wonders in managing to book a wide selection of campus bands who all agreed to play for free (well it was for charity), getting YUSU's doorsafe reps to manage the security and having RAG work the door and look after the takings.

Now organising a major campus music event is a difficult enough task but along with a 4 hour live show could be said to be stretching even the most experienced BBC Producer. So to help take the pressure off Clare Sophie Dennis started to direct the stations attention to the YSTV produced content.

The first couple of hours would prove the most difficult as the bands were'nt due to start till around 9 so until then it was all down to us. Graham Quince took repsonsibility for the first hours content with a pastiche of Friends entitled Buddies (Note: look at the date Graham came up with this in 1996 way before his Geordie mates, Ant & Dec, did it on their saturday morning show with the vastly inferior Chums) starring Debbie Rule, Clare Bowley and John Barratt. So with the MS4 being used to film the title sequence to Buddies and Graham applying his Clement and LeFrenais writing skills to the script people began to breathe a little easier.

T minus 3 Days

The last station meeting before the event revealed a few more holes in the running order but hey there wasn't a lot we could do, besides we had come off the back of Election Night 1996 a show which contained an additional 5 hours of unplanned and unscripted content. But the good news was that the live event promised to be the only music gig in the last 3 years that had a crowd greater than that of 10 overseas students, 3 YUSU ents techs and Alan the porter. The rest of the meeting was taken up with the usual 45 minutes slanging match over where to get the pre-show pizzas from.

After retiring to Goodricke Bar for Port and Cigars comment was passed to the bar maid Maureen on how busy it would be on Friday. This was met by a blank and vacant expression that was more pronounced than usual. After explaining how Goodricke Bar was about to become the most popular bar on campus and that she might need more staff and plastic glasses, Maureen pottered off asked Alan the prorter and the Goodricke Ents rep what the hell was happening she came back and assured us that the Bar would be ready to serve its usual mixture of warm fosters and University of York Wine.

T Minus 1 Day

Twas the night before CIN and all was quiet, well apart from Chris Parker, Sophie Dennis, Andy Robinson and John Barratt being entrenched is debates over the positioning of camera towers and sound desks and what would happen when the title sequence started to roll (Think of a scene from the West Wing and you'll get the picture). The atmosphere from a few days ago of 'it all be alright on the night' was replaced with genuine concern that despite the best efforts of Clare, Chris, Sophie, Andy and John the programme could come crashing down around our ears. Planning continued through the night or at least until the collective stress levels had decreased to mild panic.

The Programme

Setting Up

With the programme fast approaching the whole station appeared to kick into high gear. Clare Mace went and leafleted the whole of campus in a bid to drum up a crowd for the live music event, a brief production meeting was held at Lunchtime to clear up any last minute questions over the crewing rostas.

Staging blocks were being acquired and stored ready for the construction of the camera tower. F10's came in from the AV unit and fresh rolls of gaffer tape were being primed ready to cover the distance between the station and Goodricke Dining Hall. Things were happening!

At the pre-show get-together a final run through of the slightly lean running order was made, along with the technical plan for the evening which also included a brief for the crew in the hall from Owain Davies as the output from the bands was to be recorded and given to the bands as a return favour for giving their services for free. John Barratt then ran through the task of preparing the dining room for both the band and the technical elements. This was also the first real opportunity for the Old YSTV hands to get a look at the new first years who had joined up just weeks earlier.

Everyone then decamped to the dining room waiting patiently for the catering staff to finish, which they did and then promptly locked where the tabels and chairs were supposed to go.

In what could only be described as fast the dining room was cleared of tables and chairs in about 8 mintues 32 seconds. During the process of this small hurricane the station managed to grab several extra new members (including Tim Hackett) who at one moment were just walking across the dining room minding their own business and the next found themselves stacking chairs, moving cameras and parting with £2.50 in membership.

YUSU events then steamed in with their new set of staging and a sound desk so large we're sure it appears in the Death Star firing sequence. And despite some of our newer members offering advice to the events sound crew on exactly how they should wire everything up the dining room was coming together.

Back in the station things were slowly coming together, as ever there were one or two oversights that had to be resolved on the fly such as where do we plumb in the VHS recorder to record the Bands output! When faced with the question of where he should stick the VHS machine by a newbie, Andy Robinson showed a remarkable degree of control by not bludgeoning the first year to death with the said machine.

And so at 19:20 the call went out to see if everyone was ready, and whilst the reponse wasn't the most resounding the title sequence for CIN 96 began to roll, 20 minutes later than scheduled!

The Broadcast

For Children in Need 1996, YSTV organised a band night in Goodricke dining room, featuring two campus bands - Sevenball and BrubakerUnverified or incomplete information. There were cameras in the dining room filming the bands, plus a live programme from the YSTV studio.

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