This week has been hectic and as weeks go its been a challenge to get to Friday in one piece, something I didn’t quite manage.
It all started on Wednesday when a group of students arrived at the council chambers to rig cameras and equipment to broadcast the local council meeting on the Internet something we have done every month since February.
The only difference this time was that the crew were a group of first year students who had taken the place of our more experienced second years who have now left to start University in September.
We arrived at around one in the afternoon and set about installing cameras, vision mixers, graphics computers and all the associated equipment to carry out our task. So far so good until whilst setting up the cameras I noticed that one of the students had inadvertently failed to lock one of the cameras onto the tripod, and whilst telling him I carried on walking not noticing the two small steps directly in my path and stepped out into fresh air fell over and hurt my arm.
This resulted in my trip to casualty who dutifully prodded and poked my arm and sent me for an X-ray. They confirmed that I had fractured my elbow and that I needed to return two days later for the consultant to see what action would be taken. So armed with a sling and a box of pain killers I dutifully returned to the shoot. By this time it was about five o clock and we were ready for the six start.
What was about to happen took everyone by surprise.
Six o clock arrived be started the transmission bang on time through the titles and got ready for the ceremonial mace to knock on the door before being allowed into the chamber. Unknown to us the Council had installed a sophisticated alarm system to deter thieves from helping themselves to the vast collection of civic treasures. One feature of the system was to pick up any unusual activity through vibration sensors which would trigger the system which would flood the hall with dense smoke and sound a high pitched alarm to confuse the would be robbers.
You can probably guess what happened next. The vibration from the mace knocking on the door triggered this alarm flooded the hall with smoke, which in turn set off the fire alarm which meant everyone had to leave the building until the smoke had dispersed. We started again at Six Thirty with one of the crew asking “is it always this exciting”? to which one of the councillors replied, “unfortunately not”!