Thursday, April 30, 2009

Animated Is Best

Yesterday Daffy and I went to Bradford, a city connected to Leeds in the way St. Paul is connected to Minneapolis.  But there the similarity ends as Leeds is no Minneapolis and Bradford is no St. Paul.  More like St. Dump-In-A-Valley.

Not very catchy but it IS a dump.

However it does have the most popular National Museum outside London and that was what took me there yesterday. Daffy was going to a roleplay thingy at St. Lukes Hospital and so I went a few hundred yards down the street to The National Media Museum, previously known as the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.  Quite a mouthful and probably why they changed it.

Although the museum houses an IMAX theatre, I think the first one in the UK when it opened many years ago, I found the overall museum a bit of a letdown. I'd been there a long time ago and had only seen a fraction of it back then and was really looking forward to spending many hours there catching up. I'm not sure what has gone on since then but yesterday I was done after 2 hrs.  I think it has lost it's way somehow but anyway, down in the Kodak area on the lowest floor, the exhibition displayed the history of photography with many hundreds of cameras to look at, admittedly behind thick glass in mostly very dark display cases lit by 20 watt light bulbs.  It wasn't a good omen.

One exhibit did catch my eye though, given that I've posted a couple of times about taking photographs of kids in this modern suspicious climate. At least I never feel 'bad' taking photos at the beach like my counterparts a century ago.........

Ohhhh those saucy Victorians. Made me blush just thinking about it all.

On the whole, I only really enjoyed the UK 'animated' section which had wonderful displays of everything from the puppets from Thunderbirds to the claymation models from Wallace & Gromit. Throw in examples from Spitting Image, The Wombles, Andy Pandy, Rainbow (Zippy and George anyway) and most of my time was spent happily recalling those great series from yesteryear.

Here are a few examples to bring back memories for you......

Being midweek and during school time, the museum was eerily empty yesterday.  With several floors and so many exhibits, it was easy to think I was the only one there at times. 

So on the television floor, I did try my hand at being a local news reporter for a few minutes.

Private minutes I thought.  

I sat behind a news desk in a simulated, but realistic tv studio, while the voice over told me I had 20 seconds from the start of the news till the main London studio would cut to me for a report from this Leeds studio. 

Well I just wanted to see myself on tv so I ignored the teleprompt and just waited for my 15 seconds of fame - private fame I thought as no one was around and I assumed no one would see me.  The news music started and we were off.  Up came the familiar face of BBC newsreader Huw Edwards who gave the main headlines and then concentrated on one particular item for about 10 seconds before saying something like "and now over to our Leeds studio for an update" or something as I wasn't really listening.  

Lets face it I was just trying to get a photo of me on the big tv monitor in front of me without getting my camera in the photo !!

Then I was on !  Silverback 'live' on tv at last.  I smiled, pulled a face, picked my nose and then tried to take a few photos before my time was up.  Thankfully after about 30 seconds it was up as I first heard, and then spotted, a large group of bored teenagers entering the area.  It was the usual school group I'd think with half of them on cell phones and the rest looking at their ipods or equivalent.  Certainly very few were looking at the exhibits, until they came to 'my' studio.

With horror I heard the voice over informing us all that the latest studio news broadcast would be beamed to all the monitors in the area and I looked up with mounting embarassment at the huge overhead plasma screens which suddenly filled with yours truly picking his nose with a lopsided grin like someone recently released into the community.  Suddenly the teenagers looked at the screens, looked at me, looked back at the screens and starting giggling.

Me ?  I raised my hoody hood and slid out of there faster than you could say "rest home escapee".

The moral of all this is: it really doesn't pay to think you are the only one in a museum !!  

Not my best portrait but remember I was concentrating on holding my camera off to one side to try and get a photo of me without it appearing in shot. Try it sometime with a mirror and see how you get on. I'd like to think I don't always look so serious - or so stupid.

And you can shut up (and yes, you know who you are).

I just hope one or more of those teens did the news thing after me and so overwrote the video or whatever was used.  I'd really hate to think of those images being shown anymore.

At least the footage wasn't on the tv news last night but I did watch it from behind my settee just in case.


Jennyta said...

Trevor Macdonald, eat your heart out! (Hee, hee, hee!)

Daphne said...

Never mind the Very Very Serious Photo, interesting though it was. I got stuck in hysterics on your description of Bradford as St-Dump-in-a-Valley and it will always be that to me now. And for those of you who haven't been to Bradford - - that's all you need to know.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I totally agree about Bradford LOL, but this may be it's best redeeming feature! Thanks for the memory of Morph and the Wombles, I loved them both.

You are one very serious newscaster!

jay said...

Hahaha!! I want that recording on DVD. Can you get me a copy? My pension needs a boost. LOL!

I loved Morph! And Wallace and Gromit, of course. I am, of course, far too young to remember Andy Pandy.

Milo said...

LOL at you ending up being beamed around the museum, hahaha! Would like to have seen that!

Thanks for the Morph memories (<3 Morph) and also the Wombles which I also loved.

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