PID_Stop wrote:I didn't know that about the TCR... some of our carts must have played thousands of times before we respooled them with new tape (I'm thinking particularly about cart 6007, the generic legal ID. Funny how some details get etched into one's memory, even 30 years later!). As it was, we kept reasonably busy dubbing new spots as they came in... I can't imagine having to redub existing spots that frequently.
Okay, I was confused as well when I thought about it. Might have been a misunderstanding. But I see how certain carts must have been used several times during the day. Especially those station IDs. It would have been totally evil if someone would change the cart number to a different one. Especially when you were in a hurry and had to play the ID... Suddenly there is a commercial for some strange thing on the screen instead of the ID
PID_Stop wrote:Every spot that came in on a quad reel got dubbed to an ACR cart; we also dubbed most 16mm films.
I assume they didn't come in on a big and heavy reel when there was only about 30 seconds of program on it - plus the leader and so on... ? Were there tiny quad reels as well? I have a 30 min Tape reel at home for my 1" machine, but even this one would be a waste of tape for one spot only.
PID_Stop wrote:We also used to air a fair number of commercials that consisted of several slides and an audio cart (for some reason, these were mainly shoe stores), and those aired live. Our traffic department must have really hated me, because they always scheduled these slide-cart spots toward the end of breaks leading up to a show that was playing from a quad VTR; our Ampex VR-2000 quad machines needed an eight-second pre-roll. So every afternoon I had to switch a break that looked something like this:
I remember slides ads from my local cinema before they upgraded to a small digital projector solely used for commercials (off a DTS-XD10 unit) next to the 35mm projector. A friend of mine has a large format slide projector and when I first saw those images, I was shocked how clear they were. Sure, on television it was a different thing, but I never imagined that ads on slides with a separate audio cart were used on tv as well. Especially that you had to run the "slideshow" manually. Wasn't there a possibility to record the slides ad to video tape?
PID_Stop wrote:This would be a fairly simple instance... we also used to live-tag some commercials (movie spots, Ronco stuff) with slides and audio carts. And if the ACR was down, things got really busy. The whole day was pretty much like that... things would quiet down a bit during network programming, but that's when we would do dubs and commercial production, so there was never really a calm time. For years I worked the sign-off shift, and would get home around 2am; it would take several hours for me to wind down enough to be able to sleep!
Unlike quad machines, there's no way to "unwind" the tape in one's head...
PID_Stop wrote:The other stations in town had two ACRs, which gave them better backup; my station had one. When the ACR went down, we would immediately revert to airing spots directly from master reels. We had three reel-to-reel machines, and the worst case would be if we were ending a local show from one of them, had to play several spots from open reel masters, and the next show was also on VTR. It wasn't pretty, but it could be done. Murphy's law being what it was, this would happen while you had a tour group coming through the control room, or some salesperson was underfoot. Cigarette smoke wasn't the only thing turning the air blue back then.
At least those visitors had the best possible demonstration of hard working people who give everything they can to deliver the best possible television experience for the viewer at home
Sure, it isn't something one would like to have every day of the year.
PID_Stop wrote:If we knew the ACR was going to be down for a while, we would put together a work reel, editing spots together. If we were in network programming, we'd slap together as many breaks as we could, then spin the reel back to play the next break we needed for air, then go back to building up later breaks. We would stick slips of paper in the reels to mark where to rewind for the next break, and where to spin forward to pick up where we left off. (Unlike the BVHs, the quad machines had only a single mechanical timer that you would reset at the head of each break so you could spin the tape back eight seconds for the preroll. Time code was just an abstract fantasy you'd read about in the trade magazines!)
Those paper slips remind me of a trick I heard from an old projectionist. While he was checking reels in the rear of the booth and if he had a show running, he would insert a coin into the reel just a few minutes before he had to change over to the other projector. If he heard the coin falling into the fire-guard enclosure the reels were in on the projector, he interrupted his task and went to the projectors to do the changeover. You simply had to be inventive back then
PID_Stop wrote:The ACR seemed to know when we had just hired a new operator, and would behave itself for a couple of days, waiting until the newbie was soloing before crashing. In my own case, someone doing maintenance on the digital time base corrector slipped with a scope probe, shorting the +12 volt supply to the +5 volt supply and taking out dozens of ICs on multiple boards. We were down for over a week, and I got pressed into some of the troubleshooting. We hired one fellow who lasted about a week until the ACR crapped out. He walked out at the end of the shift and never came back.
It's always the same with tech. It all goes well. A bit too well for too long and then it all crashes, goes out of control, explodes... you name it. As soon as the expert walks away, nothing works anymore
PID_Stop wrote:That sounds good! I haven't made that yet this winter...
A good idea to make one this winter! I recommend moitié-moitié
in english, which does not refer to the coffee (?) half-n-half
It's a mixture of 50% Gruyère and 50% Vacherin Fribourgeois, both swiss cheeses from the western (french speaking) part of Switzerland