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RE: BBC Trex

Ken's comments are right on the money, from my experience at least.

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Ken Carpenter
> A film crew was here recently on behalf of the BBC to do a
> program about T rex to be aired next year. It will feature the
> usual cast of talking heads: Horner, Bakker, Farlow, Brochu, me,
> but not, surprisingly, Holtz (they did talk with him on the
> phone, though).

Yeah, they wanted to film me, but I had not time during the shooting
schedule to get out to Chicago or Denver, and they didn't have the money to
come out east.  A shame, because the project sounds quite good!!

Some things to add to Ken's comments:
* A lot of time in documentaries you'll see the talking head with the
specimen, and then they'll cut to their hands pointing to features on the
specimen while the voice continues.  As might be obvious to those who've
worked in film, TV, etc., but not so obvious to the rest of us, the close
ups are not done while the talking head is talking.  Instead, you do the
whole sequence (multiple times) in full frame, and then a number of takes of
running your hands over the specimen (faster, slower, etc.).

* Acoustics are great fun, too...  The Smithsonian Dinosaur Hall has
notoriously bad acoustics, as anyone whose been in there when a school group
comes by can attest!  For my ~35 seconds of fame in the U.S. broadcast
version of Walking With Dinosaurs (the product of a 6 hour shoot,
incidentally!!!), they kept on having me lower my voice's volume, then lower
it again, then lower it again (because of echo problems).  The broadcast
version is actually me practically in a whisper.

Hope this helps for future talking heads,

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796