BBC(you later, Glasgow)

Reagan Villet 6/15/16

I really feel bad for my friends at home, because I am honestly not an exciting person. A typical day includes staying in bed for as long as possible, only getting up to get some food and announce that I am, in fact, still alive, and then returning to my room to watch some good ole’ Netflix. Because a multitude of my days are spent like this (yikes, I am now reflecting on how boring I was prior to this trip), I have seen many different television shows and movies. One of my absolute favorite shows is the BBC’s Sherlock, a modern update on the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery stories.

Today, we were fortunate enough to get a first-hand look at  branch of the station that has given me countless hours of entertainment ( I also really love Louis Theroux, also by the BBC!). We traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, about an hour from where we are staying in Edinburgh, and toured the BBC Scotland headquarters.

BBC Scotland entrance (6/15/16)
BBC Scotland HQ (6/15/16)

Although I do not watch the BBC station on the daily, I often read their website, and am pretty familiar with some of their shows. We started the tour by receiving some background information on the company, learning about their mission statement, ideologies, and other work that they do besides television. I was really intrigued by their charity work, because I had never heard about it before, and was very surprised to hear that they have raised over £50,000,000 for children in need in the last decade! We were told about how the BBC strives to be different from everyone else, filming series that are “outside of the norm” and focusing on the less “mainstream” music and media that so many other stations tend to hone in on. We were also told a little bit about the history of the building, including the architecture and interior design process. The building is shaped like a huge box, and has a very open style; no one has their own office, so you can feel the creative energy pulsing as you walk through the open-concept floors. The design of the interior is also cool, as the employees designed it to be something they would enjoy working in. It is very modern, with cool neutral tones sprinkled with bursts of color. The whole feel of the building is very bright and bubbly, and I could definitely see myself working somewhere with a similar vibe.

View of the BBC open-concept center of the building (6/15/16)

After our historical session, we were able to go into the news room and see the studio where they film weather and live news stories. It was very similar to our experience at ITV, but felt much more serious, because it was an actual newsroom as compared to a talk show set (see this post to read about ITV!). We were also taken into the back room, where the lighting and sound are done for the show. I had never realized how pivotal lighting was to the set of a newsroom, but we were told that each set has a custom light pattern that is specific to the show, and the light person who comes up with the pattern can make a ton of money off of it because it is so important to the setting!

The BBC News and Weather set (6/15/16)
The light and sound room for BBC news (6/15/16)

For the final leg of the tour, we were able to see an actual studio. It was not in use, so it was very bare, but I could imagine my favorite tv show or a live audience talk show being filmed in the huge room. There were dozens of cameras and other technology hanging from the ceilings and mounted on the walls; it is now easy for me to see how they can shoot from nearly every angle in films and shows. Although the studio was nothing like I expected, it was really cool to see and picture something actually being shot on the location I was standing in!

Studio A at the BBC Scotland (6/15/16)

I have always been intrigued by the entertainment industry, and seeing the BBC has definitely peaked my interest even more. Working for a company that covers everything from news and sports to children’s shows and radio would be an absolute dream come true.

Before leaving, we were given advice for our future, which was surprisingly similar to what Josh Berger of Warner Brothers told us (read about that here!):

  • Make yourself stand out
  • Have passion
  • Be persistent

I definitely am not afraid to bug people about my future if I really have a passion for something, because two people from HUGE companies have told me not to. This trip has taught me so much about myself, opened so many doors for my future, and completely changed my way of thought. I am so excited for my endeavors, whether they be within the entertainment industry or not.


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