Pam Glover, Resources Manager at All Souls Church, takes a look at the making of the latest in the Book by Book series.
What’s it like ‘behind the scenes’ of a Book by Book filming for a series like 2 Timothy, recorded in front of a live audience in the middle of the National Christian Resources Exhibition on a beautiful May day? It’s action-packed! For the CTA crew, the action starts on Monday morning as they arrive, meet up with the rest of the crew, park the van and wisely go for a hearty meal to set them up for the week ahead. Tuesday is when all the ‘serious’ set-up begins involving black-out drapes, cables, cameras, staging, chairs and lots of masking tape. Then there’s the placing of the ‘famous’ Book by Book coffee table with 3 mugs, plate of biscuits and freshly-bought flowers. Keep-fit is the order of the day for Crawford as he leaps between the production van (parked some 2 floors below) and the ‘studio’ as it is built from scratch in one of the hospitality suites overlooking the Sandown Park racecourse.
Sound and lighting checks blend in with coffee breaks and the positioning of what seems like miles of cabling… Bibles (kindly provided by the International Bible Society) are placed on seats in readiness for the audiences arriving over the next 2 days. Posters go up publicising the Book by Book filming in the Imperial Suite. Then it’s time for lights out and rest for a few hours before returning for Day One of filming on the Wednesday.
Day Two’s filming on the Thursday is the appointed day for the recording of the Bible study series on 2 Timothy. Paul and Richard arrive early to rendezvous with Vaughan. Immediately they sit down over coffee to chat through the questions for the forthcoming studies. In the adjoining room, the audience begin to trickle in, carrying their ‘timed’ free tickets which are given out to those attending the CRE. There is a real sense of anticipation as the audience take their seats. Cameramen carefully framing shots to be beamed out eventually on to TV screens in many home groups around the world, as people use the Book by Book programmes.
Before long Richard, Paul and Vaughan walk into the ‘studio’ to welcome everyone and get attached to their radio mics ready for the filming. Different lighting effects are tried out and Crawford’s keep fit continues as he makes ever-more frequent visits between the control van from where he directs the filming and the ‘studio’. Richard has his ear-piece connected enabling Crawford to direct any cues throughout the recordings. Richard leads in prayer, and as he finishes he hears Crawford’s voice in his ear saying, “Just when you’re ready Richard… Filming of another Book by Book series begins…
“Collywobbles?” says Richard… Not really. You can’t get too nervous when in such company as Vaughan Roberts, Paul Blackham and the ever cheerful cameramen and lighting experts from the Christian Television Association. Before a single camera starts rolling, we all like to pray together. Such is the sheer power and attraction of God’s word – by the time we’ve finished a full day’s filming, we’re reluctant to close the Bibles!”