Blog

Updates from Maritime Film UK’s Rob White, TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years’ experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN

TONY MINE HOST

03 September 2018

This (picture) is Tony Mack, Catering Manager, THV ’Galatea’. If you have a comfortable, and well-fed time aboard the Trinity House flagship (and you will) it’ll be thanks to Tony and his team. There is another watch with an equivalent team for when Tony & Co are on leave, but we didn’t meet up with them. Actually, ‘Catering Manager’ is a real understatement, as Tony manages all the home comforts side of life on board, from cabin allocation to laundry and supplies – all that’s needed to keep a happy ship, happy. Tony also has to look after guests many a top hotel would be very proud indeed to welcome – from the distinguished ‘Elder Brethren’ of Trinity House, right up to royalty, when Princess Anne the Princess Royal, Master of ‘The House’, comes aboard for an inspection voyage. No pressure, then…

CADET APPROVAL

03 September 2018

More sea time with Trinity House Vessel Galatea, to capture more cadets at sea undergoing training. Deck Cadet Abbie Sanders (picture) among those on board this time, and on departure from Lowestoft she worked with the line handling team on the foredeck. One of the key aspects of the sea training that we’ve seen with Trinity House cadets is the way they have been seamlessly woven into the life of the ship’s company, with the highly professional crews and their officers making them welcome and helping them understand their work. The feedback we’ve got has been absolutely consistent, as we’ve been able to talk freely with the many cadets we’ve filmed: they all say the ‘T.H.’ scheme provides great opportunities, not least in the widely different types of ship that can be experienced during training. A benchmark hard to beat.

TIGHT FIT

17 June 2018

Can we really get through this? This being the lock leading out of Swansea which Trinity House Vessel ‘Galatea’ must go through to get to the open sea. We’re leaving at night – no pilot available till then – which gives opportunities for some dramatic night shots (cameras just lurve lights shining across a night-time dockside, dark sea beyond…) They’ll go well in our film about Trinity House cadet training, ‘Not Just the Day Job’. It was certainly a good call to wait on for the pilot as it doesn’t look like much more than a strictly limited number of feet (inches…?) between dockside and ship. A certain mount of gulping from yours truly, but on the bridge, calm reigns, as Captain Darren Peterson drives his ship out into the Bristol Channel from the starboard control panel. Without a hitch – or scrape.

DARREN’S YER MAN

17 June 2018

THV ‘Galatea’ has a highly professional crew – and a welcoming one too. As always with happy ships, that has a lot to do with the quality of the command team, and of course the Captain. This (picture) is Captain Darren Peterson, leader of one of the two alternating crews who keep THV ‘Galatea working’ (and working hard) to make sure our shores are safe for mariners by checking, servicing and replacing buoys, maintaining lighthouses, marking wrecks, and operating with the Trinity House helicopter. And much more. The atmosphere on the bridge is relaxed and friendly – but underneath the instinctive hospitality, there’s a steely determination to get the job done and done right. All the cadets we’ve talked to for our film react well to this – to a woman and man, they love their sea time in ‘Galatea’. So do we.

TAKE 2… AND 3… AND…

17 June 2018

So… here we are working on another opening piece to camera for our Trinity House training film ‘Not Just the Day Job’. THV ‘Galatea’ is alongside in Swansea, prior to her departure on a sortie out to the Scilly Isles. After this opener, what our cadet presenter Lotty Astbury had to do is a challenge: a “walkie-talkie”, where the talent (as US film crews call their presenters) has to deliver a script, from memory, while walking along and arriving at exactly the right spot at exactly the right moment. Sounds simple? Nope. (The number of retakes I’ve had to do over the years, even with the best reporters…) On camera, I have to follow her and zoom out to show the ship (always a pleasure, that.) Lotty cracks it in one – and then all the safety retakes too. Get in!

I SEE NO SHIP

17 June 2018

So… the next phase for our film about the training Trinity House offers needed to feature our presenter, Cadet Deck Officer Lotty Astbury. This is the first ship she filmed with for us – THV ‘Alert’, the highly up-to-date and efficient Trinity House buoy and lighthouse tender. Only… it was meant to be her THV sister ‘Galatea’… but when we arrived at Harwich to join up with her, we indeed saw no ship – as she’d been called out on a last-minute emergency task, to wreck-mark, for a fishing vessel that had gone down in the Channel (thankfully, the two-man crew were OK.) This location was important as the opening “piece to camera” of our film, which has to be right in one take – you can’t put right any mistakes in the edit. Lotty came through with flying colours.

About Rob

Rob WhiteRob is a TV producer, reporter and camera operator with 30 years’ experience at the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN, in news, factual and documentary production. He is a four times award winner, whose awards include a coveted Royal Television Society award for his work on Channel 4 News. His association with The Maritime Foundation goes back to 1995, when he won the first Desmond Wettern Maritime Media Award for a series of reports that led to a major documentary on the loss of the bulk carrier Derbyshire.

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