Craft, Design And Technology (ITV, 1982)
A while ago, I looked back at the history of schools programming on British TV over the years. I thought that it could also be a good idea to review some shows on various subjects. When having a look on YouTube recently, I decided to review this one because I was rather surprised by what it featured, as it was a somewhat unlikely source for being about something that I have become rather interested in lately.
This is an edition of Craft, Design And Technology called “Design And Vision”. I don’t know how long this series ran for exactly, but this edition was shown on ITV on 15 October 1982. The show was hosted by Roy North and Vilma Laryea. You might remember a while ago when I reviewed an edition of In At The Deep End, well this had a similar idea, as it went behind the scenes of a pop music video, and the process of how it is directed and edited all together.
Now if you’re a regular you’ll know that I have been trying to find out more about early-80s pop music, a supposedly golden era when people were spoilt with terrific songs by charismatic groups. I was amused that a rather high amount of videos from this era that I have enjoyed seem to have featured women with big sparkly red hair who seem to think that they are robots. Will the video featured in this show contain anything like this??
The featured song is “I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy” by Marcel, who must’ve been grateful for the exposure that he was going to receive. He’ll be the star of 1982, you mark my words. The show was an explanation of how an idea is created and then transfers to the screen. The director was Mike Mansfield, who has worked in the music and TV industry for a long time, including about a decade after this hosting the late-night cult show Cue The Music, much to the delight of Tony Slattery (it’s a long story).
A lot of preparation goes into every scene, and it’s a time-consuming process, including a lot of hanging around. Don’t forget that the video couldn’t be done without employing the skills of a large group of people beyond the director, from carpenters to choreographers. Thanks to improving technology, this process is becoming easier to achieve, so Mike really can let his imagination run wild. And to think it all started with a scribble on a piece of paper when the idea was determined.
Marcel is the star, and it’s important that he looks and sounds good. And after about seven hours in make-up, he’s almost ready for his big moment. The video is now beginning to fall into place. And well would you look at that, there are the big red-haired robot women, maybe there really were a lot of them around the in the early-80s, how fantastic. One of them looked like the woman who was in Shock who I was going on about in another piece recently, but I don’t know if it is her (what a fascinating observation).
Once the shoot is over, the editing process begins. Lots of buttons are pressed to put it all together, and some fancy visual effects are added too. Let’s hope that they have enough videotape. All of this work is to create just three minutes of TV. It’s not the most glamorous part of the process, but it’s possibly the most important. Who knows, you might even end up seeing the completed video on Top Of The Pops. Yeah, right…
So how did “I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy” do, with all this exposure and an “as seen on TV!” sticker on the record? Well it was reviewed in Smash Hits in November 1982 (by Neil Tennant no less) who simply said “I know you have”. It wasn’t a hit single, coming nowhere near the Top 40 despite all this effort, how disappointing. And Marcel was never heard of again.