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[personal profile] gervase_fen
Thanks to some prompt booking by [ profile] parrot_knight and some considerate holiday booking by management I've now clocked up three MBWs in a row, although as my companion pointed out some of the items shown have never been M or been B W'ed, existing safely on playout servers. The first session was an epic tour through the BBC's Christmas continuity idents from 1977 to 2015, compiled with skill by Ed Stradling. Bang up to date (the last link shown aired on BBC2 last Wednesday) some recurring trends could be discerned :

*The BBC2 presentation design department (if there was such a thing) in the late 70s / early 80s had a lot of spiky, shiney perspex to use in constructing its model

*Mark Curry had a devotee (or perhaps not) who made sure a clip of his gungy demise from Bugsy Malone would get aired whenever the film needed trailing

*Christmas films in the late 70s / early 80s would not be complete without a heartwarming, uplifting Meryl Streep flick such as Sophie's Choice or Kramer vs. Kramer

*The BBC 2 Christmas promotional campaigns from 1987 to the mid 90s seem designed to put people off watching the channel.  Bluesy and discordant jazz, art direction via i-D and The Face, generally a cold and forbidding look all round.

It was fascinating to see the changing importance of movies to the Christmas campaigns. "First showing on British television" becomes "Network premiere" ; the Radio Times can promise an essential guide to over 90 of the most important films when satellite was in its infancy ; the release window narrows considerably ;  and rather than dropping a complete thirty second scene into the trailer (e.g. Save the Tiger, Broadway Danny Rose) we get something not too dissimilar to the actual trailers the movies themselves used (speaking as someone who worked in a multiplex throughout the 90s and saw the trailers for "Sommersby", "Air Force One" and "Titanic" many, many times.)

Other random observations:

*The early BBC 1 wide screen campaigns of 1998 and 1999 look jaw droppingly gorgeous on a big screen

*It's easier to clear the rights to show lengthy extracts of "Local Hero" than it is to show fifteen seconds of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"

* BBC4 in 2005 had "The Signalman", "The Green Man", "The Thick of It", a Sherlock Holmes and an M R James Season, and back to back repeats of "Bleak House". In fact, looking through the genome listings now, I could easily fill up our sky plus with that channel's festive output alone.

*Has it really been nine years since I went to see this?  And why did they not make any more?

Date: 2015-12-14 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Christmas trailer in which Sophie's Choice first appeared was I suspect the first BBC2 Christmas under Alan Yentob, with the channel repositioned as an extension of Arena, all significant arts personalities and themes.


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