AS a TV event, it was down there with The Brit Awards in 1989 (you know, the one with Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood) or any episode of Crossroads but it was still..event TV.
And, when all is said and done it was invaluable experience for the students from South Essex College.
The twenty students helped set-up trussing, rigging and staging for the filming of the hit TV docu-drama series, gaining unprecedented experience of technical staging for live television.
The professional production crew, Lime Pictures took over for the live broadcast, although the students were allowed special access to observe the filming in action.
The Backstage Centre, the National Skills Academy’s newly-opened bespoke technical training facility for theatre, music and live events production, was used to its full advantage, with every available space being used to film the special episode, including dressing rooms and lobby areas, which featured in the programme.
The students helped to construct the main set, a proscenium arch stage and auditorium where the fictional charity fundraising event took place. On the day of filming, front-of-house students were also involved in marshalling the film crew and catering, giving them real experience of working with industry professionals.
The filming is the first live TV event to take place at The Backstage Centre, giving the students their first insight into the technical challenges and specific requirements of staging for broadcast. They have previously worked on the hugely successful public performance by the Thurrock Community Choir and The Royal Opera Chorus which was the first public event to be held at The Backstage Centre. In this instance, students worked exclusively with tutors and The Backstage Centre technical staff to develop skills in staging a live musical performance.
Catherine Large, Joint CEO, Creative & Cultural Skills adds: “We are delighted to have been able to give our students this incredible opportunity to learn some of the specific skills and disciplines required in a live TV broadcast situation. It is our aim to give them a broad range of experience in all performance art forms, including filmed and live events, music theatre, television, dance and commercials. This is what will prepare them for their future careers”.