Thanks Thanks:  8
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Geocaching on TV - programme your recorders!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Warfield, Berkshire
    Posts
    436

    Exclamation Geocaching on TV - programme your recorders!

    There's going to be a 7 to 8 minute feature on geocaching, forming part of Countryfile to be broadcast on BBC1 at 11am on Sunday 1st March. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00j06n0

    I realise that 11am on a Sunday is prime caching time, but you can record it or else watch it on iPlayer afterwards!

    The BBC approached GAGB at the beginning of last week and as I have more time on my hands than I should have, I assisted. I can honestly say I've done my best and now it's down to the producers and editors choices and of course I'm on tenterhooks wondering what the result will be like.

    I did not want to compromise any existing caches with or without their owners' consent and did not want to place any caches for TV that would be in any way contentious with respect to permission. So, I proposed the venue to be the Chilterns, where there would be lovely landscape views.

    They wanted to weave geocaching into a story-line that brought out local features, so I suggested The Goring Gap and the Red Kite re-introduction. They got the go-ahead for the idea and asked me to set three caches - one as an introduction to show how it is done, then one for Goring Gap and one for Red Kites that were puzzles (ie. presenter would have to interview experts to get the answers). I set the first as an offset multi-cache, to give them the option of filming in Goring as well as in the woods.

    I decided to set the caches as Terracaches and put GAGB branding on them so that we can get noticed. I laminated the stash notes with prominent GAGB branding and put these on the insides of the cache lids so they would show when the caches were opened. I also put a FTF prize of GAGB calendar in one of the caches!

    The caches are:

    Mansfield to Oxford
    The Goring Gap
    Red Kite

    The first was straightforward enough - walk from Goring to the top of the Chiltern escarpment with a huge view over vale of Oxford.

    Goring Gap was a nightmare as it's best viewed from the Streatley side, which is SSSI and National Trust, so I set it on the lower Chiltern side, explaining that there was not time to get permission from NT.

    Red Kite could have been a nightmare as the kite expert the BBC found asked to go to Watlington, however Waltington Hill is also National Trust, so I chose Swyncombe Downs where I know there are many kites and no NT or SSSI.

    On Friday I was told that the presenter I'd be working with would be Michaela Strachan. The offers of assistance from local cachers then came - I guess I'd struck gold however as I'm a few years older than her and had been courting / getting married at the time she started presenting TV programmes I had not had a crush on her....unlike those cachers offering assistance!

    So, Tuesday was the day for filming. It was a real eye opener. They literally shoot each scene several times over, from different viewpoints, sometimes with sound recording, other times without, then film close ups, wide angles, panoramas, walk-ins, walk-outs.

    There were several fiascos on the intro/first cache - I'd brought laptop and wireless broadband to show how you can load up caches directly into your GPSr, only to learn that the 3G broadband modem signal interferes with the recording equipment in the same way as it does with radios, so had to preload all the web pages to be used and then leave them static whilst disconnected from the Internet. We'd literally just got this sorted when a burglar alarm went off about 50 feet away and we had to pack up and move to a spot out of earshot. Then we were half-way through shooting that scene when workmen nearby started up a noisy excavator. They had to be asked to stop work to allow us to finish, which they did, but then wanted to watch the shoot and have photo opportunity with Michaela etc! Then there were people recognising Michaela and calling out to her in the middle of a shoot, aeroplanes, helicopters, trains and buses causing havoc with the sound recording which made the whole thing take so long that they had to abandon any notion of filming parts of the walk to the cache. I'd chosen a spot close to a byway to give the option of driving there - at least in my Land Rover. The film crew's van got stuck in the mud so they had to reverse out and decamp into my car. By the time the first cache had been completed it was 12:30pm and they were very late for the 11am interview with the 'geologist' on Lardon Chase. The real irony was that the current weather is so cloudy and hazy that the 30+ mile view from the cache site was probably constrained to no more than a mile or two, largely defeating the point of having the cache there.

    It was almost fortunate that the real geologist had let them down and the BBC had arranged a cast "extra" to play the part. Though clearly a more slick performance than you'd have expected from a "real" geologist, the interview was quickly wrapped up by about 1pm. However, with the kite expert interview at 3:30pm and the subsequent cache search constrained by daylight, the second cache had to be abandoned and a prop cache placed adjacent to the interview location on Lardon Chase used instead. I winced knowing full well that it's both a SSSI and National Trust property, however it was clear that they'd either have to tear up their script or run with it. If someone from NT realises the cache hunt was shot at Lardon Chase it's important that we should reassure them it was only a prop for the occasion and has not been left there without permission!

    Anyway, on to Swyncombe Downs and things were back on schedule. However, the kites were roosting. The kite expert told us it was because of the poor visibility - it makes it difficult for the the kites to hunt, so they just roost instead. Fortunately, a couple of kites did appear and the cameraman grabbed every chance to film them - even if it meant breaking off from other bits of the filming. However, the light was fading fast, so once again the walk to the actual cache I'd planted was abandoned and I set up another cache as a prop. I had originally taken along these extra containers to be able to show a representative sample of the types of container used for caches, but in the end they saved the day and I was very relieved that I'd given them the same GAGB labelling treatment as the others!

    As a final bit - nothing to do with the BBC's shoot, I got Michaela Strachan to hide a cache - it's going to be a bonus for the other three - and got the opportunity to take several photos of her. The photos were variable in the low light conditions but I've put the best ones on Flickr:



    So, basically, 9 hours of filming / 2 hours on tape is going to be condensed into a 7 to 8 minute feature. We'll have to see how well GAGB comes across from the finished footage.

    The only thing I am really confident of is that Michaela did a really good job and I know she actually enjoyed it and it will come across very positively. The cameraman enjoyed it too and said he's going to take his family caching, so we have a recruit even before the broadcast!

    Enjoy, regards, Roderick h34r:

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Have set the timer, looking forward to it.
    A cache a day ..

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,142

    Default

    Roderick, well done and thanks. Recorder set.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Sky+ is now set. Sounds like a fascinating day, thanks for the write up.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    here of course
    Posts
    640

    Default

    Well done that man :cheers:

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Warfield, Berkshire
    Posts
    436

    Default

    Goodness! They did warn me that only about 1/30th of the footage would be used and they were not kidding hmy:

    Key points that got the chop included that it's the GPS element that is new, not hiding things in the countryside, which has been done for over 100 years. More significantly, that caching is open to everyone and for people without a GPS receiver, Google Earth provides a pretty satisfactory alternative in many cases.

    The piece about how you get caches into your GPSr was reduced to screen shots of GSAK and GC.com map, yet it was this part that had caused all the problems with the filming that had taken all the time to get right.

    I'll ask BBC to update the website link - it should be linked to GAGB, not to Terracaching.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Is this the first? I just received this log on one of my caches:

    "Saw Geocache on 'Country File' prog on BBC1. Used a Tomtom 720T satnav as my GPS. Surprisingly it worked fine. The clues were great. The plaque at the museum for Thursdays now shows 'H' to 5pm and not 6pm. Did not take anything from the cache but left a candle."

    Apart from me having to do a bit of maintenance, it seems the program has had the desired effect!!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    5,520

    Default

    I've just watched it on iPlayer and I thought it was really good. I understand your frustration at putting so much into it for such a relatively short showing, but I think it presented caching in a very positive, non-geeky and countryside-friendly way. Well done! :cheers:
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sandvika View Post

    I'll ask BBC to update the website link - it should be linked to GAGB, not to Terracaching.
    I saw it and thought it was a good piece that showed Geocaching in a good light, and Michaela seemed to really enjoy it. My only criticism would have been that the BBC link should be to the GAGB and not one of the cache listing sites, and you seem to be onto that already so 10/10 from me.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D (wwh) View Post
    I've just watched it on iPlayer and I thought it was really good. I understand your frustration at putting so much into it for such a relatively short showing, but I think it presented caching in a very positive, non-geeky and countryside-friendly way. Well done! :cheers:
    Exactly my thoughts, well balanced.


  11. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Land of the Bear and Ragged Staff!
    Posts
    843

    Default

    Excellent bit of promotion.
    I know how tv work, and can imagine the amount of work that went in to prepperation before filming.
    Well done!
    From over on the US side of Groundspeaks forum linky
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Longformacus
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Nice one, Roderick. I liked the way it was tied in with geology and wildlife conservation, which worked for me!
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

    www.jacobitecaching.co.uk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •