Monday, 21 November 2016

Go slowly...

Like it says. Life's too short to rush to the grave.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Sunday, 20 November 2016

More BBC Slow TV for Christmas 2016

The Beeb are once again treating us with some Slow TV for Christmas as The Flying Scotsman gives us an hour of The Severn Valley Railway:

"BBC Four viewers can sit back and enjoy a sixty minute trip from the driving seat of the Flying Scotsman, with a signal-by-signal guide to life on the footplate of the nation's favourite steam engine. In a special one-off slow tv treat for Christmas, the crew take locomotive 60103 down the Severn Valley Railway, cutting through stunning landscapes on a journey from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster, in the midlands of England.

Commissioned by Clare Paterson, Commissioning Editor, Documentaries. It is being made by Roger Keech Productions Ltd."

Some footage from 2009 of The Flying Scotsman by Roger Keech Productions Ltd at this link here.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Monday, 14 November 2016

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Minecraft Slow TV - Slow TV for Kids

Henrietta Myrland on Twitter #HeleNorgeBygger
Obvious things for Slow TV and gaming are the walk-throughs and livestreamed game-plays which dominate YouTube, expecially for a younger demographic. It's likely that you have walked in on children immersed in the how-tos or entertainment of watching others play.

Well, trust Norway to take the idea of live computer play and take it to the next level. In June, a 12 hour live Slow TV of an interactive Norway world was shown on YouTube with a further transmission on NRK3.

Slow TV typically attracts an older demographic. Grabbing (and keeping) the attention of younger viewers is imperative, too. This is where an earlier 2016 broadcast from NRK hits the nail perfectly on the head, combining the marathan long-take dynamics of Slow TV and combining them with computer gameplay to do something dedicated for the 10-14 year old viewers. 

If you've ever played Minecraft, you'll know how easy it is to have "I'll just play for 20 minutes" turn into 3 hours later... It's an abosrbing world, where you can look at what you want, do what you want, play safe, play risky. Your own choice as to what you do. Think of the very long times in Slow TV where you're enabled to search the screen for what you're finding interesting and then amplify that manifold.

You don't need to understand Norwegian to understand the appeal, interaction and enjoyment of the broadcast - a few minutes of the high points beneath, lots more highlights on NRK Super.



6 2-hour episodes of Hele Norge Bygger, "Building All Norway" are available HERE. If you want some beautiful ambient music which often features on Minecraft (which is where we could go off another important tangent related to Slow TV), have a spin of this track, "Taswell" on Spotify. If it's your thing, there are hours of Minecraft music available by C418.


Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Monday, 7 November 2016

When less is more: Slow TV

One way to think about Slow TV, is that less is more. In a very meaningful way.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Friday, 4 November 2016

Country Bus Slow TV Scorecard

This scorecard from the BBC Four screening of the Country Bus in August struck me as a good way of engaging more viewer interaction. Note for future reference.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Slow TV: Train journeys, Mental Health and Mindfulness

Virgin Trains have launched a Slow-TV-style service. Instead of Slow TV being just about a train, you can watch it ON a train. Furthermore, you can even watch a train journey ON a train journey. Even during the 2011 5-day-broadcast of the Norwegian ferry service 'Hurtigruten' passengers found themselves watching the broadcast of the vessel they were onboard.

Potential for an application of the effects of Slow TV has been evident since it started, in that it can bring the viewer to the very focussed here-and-now; if you've ever done meditation, counselling or therapy, you'll likely know this as 'midnfulness'. 


The Norwegian Slow TV original isn't designed to evoke mindfulness - it's designed to be a story shown on TV, a broadcast-event - but mindfulness happens as a very organic by-product of a long broadcast with a relaxed editing pace.

Of course British Airways purchased the rights to the film of the Bergen to Oslo Norwegian train journey for use on selected long-haul flights, back in the summer of 2014, as way of calming passengers who opt to view the film into their journey after the rigmarole of checking-in, security or even just flight-nerves. This, though, is the first deliberate production to evoke calmness on a journey.


Their press release reads:


"

  • First travel company in the world to launch dedicated mindfulness channel to mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2016
  • The channel features exclusive meditative videos and ‘real time’ footage of the West Coast and East Coast routes
  • The content is available exclusively on Virgin Trains on-board entertainment system, BEAM
To mark World Mental Health Day, Virgin Trains has worked alongside the Mental Health Foundation to become the world’s first travel company to launch a dedicated channel promoting positive mental health.
The new ‘Be Mindful’ channel showcases the UK’s first real-time video of a train journey, taking a cue from the Scandinavian trend for ‘slow television’. It also features six specially shot videos of calming locations from across the UK including St Margaret’s Loch, Lake Windermere, the Yorkshire Dales and Loch Lomond.
The mindfulness channel has been curated to inspire a more relaxed and positive state of mind for travellers across its entire routes, and has launched exclusively on BEAM, Virgin Trains’ complimentary on-board content platform.
The real-time, slow films have been filmed from the driver’s cab, running at over four hours in each direction. The West Coast route films run between London Euston and Glasgow Central, whilst the East Coast route runs between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley.
The six meditative films focus on areas of outstanding natural beauty as chosen by Virgin Trains staff, and will aid passengers to relax and unwind, whether they’re on a short journey or travelling the whole route. The six locations are St Margaret’s Loch, the Yorkshire Dales and Berwick-Upon-Tweed on its East Coast route, and Alderley Edge, Lake Windermere and Loch Lomond across the West Coast.
Patrick McCall, Co-Chairman for Virgin Trains, said, “We know a lot of our customers lead busy and stressful lives, so we wanted to launch an exclusive channel to make their journeys an even more positive and relaxed experience. Here at Virgin Trains we pride ourselves on continuously improving our customers’ on-board experience and that includes their positive mental health. Teaming up with the Mental Health Foundation, we’ve worked hard to curate a fantastic range of mindful content for our customers to enjoy.”
Mark Rowland, Director of Fundraising and Communications for Mental Health Foundation, said, “We’re delighted to be working with Virgin Trains to launch the world’s first mindfulness channel on-board. A train journey can be a great time for reflection – a perfect excuse to dedicate some time to yourself, disconnecting from the pressures of modern life and taking a step towards becoming more mindful. We want this to be the first step in equipping Virgin Trains’ customers with the tools to manage their mental health and wellbeing successfully.”
The ‘Be Mindful’ channel is available exclusively on BEAM across both the east coast and west coast routes.  "
The Mental Health Foundation is the official charity partner for Virgin Trains West Coast in 2016 and 2017.
New to The Slow TV Blog? Have a look around...
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Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Slow TV Blog - Join me for a #SlowBeer - TONIGHT

Join me for a #SlowBeer tonight at 19:00 GMT on Facebook Live for a beer and bonfire in the garden as we've passed Halloween and head towards Bonfire Night in the UK. Help me choose with two or three of these selected beverages I'll drink, too. Besides that, who knows what else could happen.

You will need to go to this link or copy and paste www.facebook.com/ManInTheRain.

Use the hashtag #SlowBeer to join the conversation on Twitter. If I catch who's joining me on Facebook Live, I'll be liable to give you a shout out.

Starting at 19:00 GMT concluding by 20:30.

All featured drinks are my own purchases and are not in any way sponsored.

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Presidential Slow TV

While waiting for the American Dream* / American Nightmare* to begin* / end* (*delete according to your preferences), if you can't get enough of American politics in the run up to the 2016 Election, Norway has given us another Slow TV offering themed upon the US Presidency.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK once again called upon the services of  Professor Frank Aarebrot guiding us on another time-travelling Slow TV lecture (with a previous lecture on Norwegian history in 2014 with 200 years in 200 minutes).

"USA-valget: 227 år på 227 minutter - 227 Years in 227 Minutes"

The show's blurb reads, "The Student Society in Bergen and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation invites us to a new live lecture tonight. While Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump fight the last lap in the race to become the world's most powerful person, Professor Frank Aarebrot will be on stage with a lecture on the American presidential history. From George Washington in 1789 to today. 43 presidents in 227 years, told in 227 minutes."

The show starts with Professor Frank (search #NRKFrank ) having a customary smoke outside the lecture theatre and then giving his talk through the subject with graphics and humour. No death-by-powerpoint, the audience in the theatre and online seem to hold Professor Frank with in good esteem and affection. Being put against the clock adds a little tension of will-he-won't-he pull off the comprehensive review in the time allocated.


A photo posted by Thomas Hellum (@thomashellum) on

This broadcast reminds us that Slow TV can be chameleon-like and not just consist of creative activities or sweeping majestic landscapes. A much more manufactured-for-TV feeling going on here but nevertheless engaging for it. "Slow TV is more than one thing" remarked the controller of NRK2, Fredrik Faerden, when I interviewed him for my documentary about Slow TV in 2014.

When it comes to the Election count, we can also think of that as a form of Slow TV. It unfolds in real time, with perhaps the greatest dramas of all as key results come in. This has been evidenced very much in the UK in the past couple years with a surprising General Election result and the Brexit Referendum. Though instead of the broadcaster making a show for TV, they are broadcasting an important event which happens externally of any commissioner's decision.

Professor Frank is now in the USA to help with NRK's coverage of the Election.

The recording of the broadcast can be seen HERE in Norwegian.

New to The Slow TV Blog? Have a look around...

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Sinking of The Titanic - Slow TV style

You can now watch the sinking of the Titanic Slow TV style courtesy of a computer graphic rendering over 2 hours and 40 minutes. Showing just the boat with profile shots, fly-throughs, fly-overs, the gradual process of the boat's demise can be watched in real-time. Small nuances of change become accelerated as the inevitable approaches. Thankfully the depiction of human suffering and death is absent, so it can be watched without fear of feeling depressed for days afterwards.

Related to the Titanic: Honor and Glory video game development, you can keep an eye on their YouTube channel right HERE.


Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Game of Thrones Slow TV?


Could 10 hours of Tyrion slapping Joffrey be Slow TV? A little exploration around Game of Thrones Slow TV concepts...

Is Slow TV the Prog Rock of TV Genres?

Ever heard an album or track title something like "The Pigeon on the aerial during the Dawn of Fire"? Chances are it was from a Prog Rock concept album. Progressive Rock is one of three genres of music which sits very well with Slow TV, there are many shared characteristics. In this little clip from my Radio Show I cover a few ways in which they are similar.



Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Slow Road Live - postponed US Slow TV Project?

Some thoughts on the currently postponed (hopefully not cancelled) US Slow TV project from LMNO Productions, scheduled to be aired on the Travel Channel last Black Friday; grabbed from the Facebook Live stream on my radio show.


Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog

Slow Down Radio Show - 22nd September 2016


Tune in at 8pm UK time on Thursday via the TuneIn app or via www.redshiftradio.co.uk. For the 20th October show it will be an Ambient Music themed show

Covered in this 22nd September show:
- Could 10 hours of Tyrion slapping Joffrey be Slow TV?
- A themed musical tour through Slow TV

Full playlist below:

Monday, 3 October 2016

What might Gandalf say about Slow TV?

Struggling to understand why Slow TV can take so long? Imbibe a little wisdom from Gandalf on the matter...

Slow Television - The Slow TV Blog