Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Someone Start a Tumblr: TV News Live Shot Backgrounds

A report from the London studios. The camera points outward, from Victoria towards the heart of Westminster: Parliament at the center of the background. Unmistakeable Big Ben at left, the Palace's other tower, Victoria, still widely-recognized if far less iconic, at right. The shot excludes the white Abbey, keeping the atmosphere solely political. The correspondent's frame blots out a glassy, mid-century mid rise; and post-industrial Portcullis House's chimneyline is safely tucked in among the roofs. This is the London of tradition, ancientness.

Reporting from Athens, the backdrop seems positioned to invoke the opposite: rather than the famous vista of the ancient Parthenon, the uniformly low-rise, Mediterranean metroscape of Athens is punctuated, Montparnasse-style, by a drab, towering office block in the left mid-background. Despite its fiscal ineptness, Athens is a modern business center.

Chuck Todd, the goateed American cable-news talking-head pundit, travels with President Obama to Warsaw. Without the aide of slick newsroom graphics, there is little to announce the Polish capital. Burgeoning to be a European regional business hub, Warsaw is shown as a collage of curtain-walls. But a notable feature, over the left shoulder: the "signature" cutout at the base of the Intercontinental Hotel tower, a view out to the blurry horizon of the Masovian plains.

A professional baseball player is interviewed for a feel-good feature: pitcher turned climber, as the American sports star chose to ascend Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in the off-season, to raise awareness for South Asian child sex slavery. The remainder of his rest period takes place in Tennessee, as the skyline of Nashville, busy and bland, flanks the athlete's shoulders as he recounts his adventure. His epaulet: a Jetsonian revolving restaurant of a Portman-designed Sheraton Hotel.

Nowadays, this is the sort of material to start a Tumblr with...


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your geo tv blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.A fantastic presentation. Very open and informative.You have beautifully presented your thought in this blog post

  3. The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman has been the best show on TV the last half decade. ptv sports Of course I'll give this a look and am hoping for the best but of all the programming that has been produced over the last few decades, Cosmos was among the ones least in need of a gritty reboot.

  4. We are all so accustomed to the modern point of view that many fail to realize the rich geo news history of the native peoples. I'm from Canada and our school curriculum does not focus enough on the role native people played. I enjoyed reading your blog.