James Miller


Thursday, October 18, 2007

BBC Cuts


Over a period of a year, I spent some time with a very successful and award winning producer trying to put together a program. We did some filming, which involved four from the BBC and me. It could have been done with just a cameraman and an interviewer.

In the end nothing happened.

From this it seems to me that the whole planning structure for programs is far too bureaucratic and a lot of staff spend time trying to put ideas together which are then dumped.

I know from talking to independent producers and others involved in making feature films, that production costs, without the actors/staff costs, are dropping. This surely means that more innovative programs could be made much cheaper outside of a large corporate structure.

We also have lots of independent news teams, with I believe each news program having separate production teams. Surely, when we talk about cuts in news personnel, a bit more joined up production would keep the money where it is used best, on such things as in-depth reports on real issues.

Incidentally, I’ve appeared on BBC East twice. The first time, there was a team of three and the second it was just the producer and a camera. The quality of both news snippets was exactly the same.

So, I think the BBC cuts are essential. But they will make the program making process more efficient and a whole lot better.

It may be hard for those made redundant, but I suspect that in a few years times, most will feel that they are doing better than they are now. It’s nearly always the way when a large monolithic organisation is made more efficient.


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