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Pre-recorded Legs ???

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Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
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This is something ive been thinking about for ages now, well ever since we had a discussion about whether or not `Going In With My Eyes Only` was from a rehearsal or not. I prepared to be shot down in flames on this, but i just wonder how many times Legs & Co routines were pre-recorded before the actual shows recording.

Like i explained during our discussion then, a visible studio audience can only be seen on 93 out of 307 occasions Legs & Co danced on the show (this includes with artists). Thats just 30% in total. So i began thinking about the remaining 70%.

Lets just take for example, the start of the year 1978. Legs cannot be seen dancing infront of an audience that year until the 13th of April. I then began to look at the presenter links during that spell on on every occasion that the presenter introduced the song/routine it then cut to the routine. On no occasion did the camera keep rolling around to capture the dancers during the same shot, it just went from host to routine with a cut.

Quite often during that period, the presenters can be seen with audience members next to them. The thought then struck me that quite often presenters say to audience members "if you care to look over there we can see Legs & Co" or words to that affect. Could that simply be artistic or deceptive license designed to fool the television audience that the studio audience were watching Legs & Co live ? Could they simply be looking at a monitor.

In other years this happened a lot also. But on some occasions the opposite to this happened. The intros to routines such as `Shake Your Body Down`, `Dont Leave Me This Way`,`Working My Way Back To You ` leave you in no doubt that they were recorded during the show as the camera rolls to the routine after the presenter intro.

But some routines do leave me wondering. Take `Sunny` for example. DLT introduces it with the dancers in view, but no studio audience can be seen. At the end of the routine, the camera cuts to DLT standing right next to the Sunny scenery (why not just roll the camera onto him with the dancers in shot). Also lots of audience members are now in view. To me this is a classic example of a routine that may have been recorded pre-show.

Another weird one was from the 1978 period i mentioned above, `Is This Love`. Peter Powell can be seen introducing it with audience members in tow, it then cuts straight to the routine, but at the end he seen all alone right next to the dancers who are finishing their routine. No studio audience around him then. Could the routine and the ending have been pre-recorded. Powell then introduces Dan Hill and points at the direction he supposed to be, the camera then cuts to DH and a studio audience are visible during his performance. The whole Legs thing in my mind was `cut-in` because i believe it was recorded earlier.

I could im sure produce other examples, and im sure a lot of you could produce examples to rebuff my theories. Indeed these may be seen as the ramblings of some mad fool with nothing better to do on a Bank holiday Monday, but the numbers do stack up. We all like to think Legs were in the studio, but for 70% of the time no audience is seen.

On some routines i accept that having a studio audience in view would not be possible or desirable, and some routines are obviously recorded earlier due to special effects and needing 2 or more VTs to make the routine work. I fully accept that in some of the 70%, Legs would be in the studio at the time of recording the show, but it does make me wonder. Imagine turning up for the recording and they wernt there !

But what do you think guys, have i got a point. Watch some of the intros and outros and ask yourself why doesn't the camera roll onto the routine at the start more and to the presenter more at the end than it does. It seems to do this much more with artists who are in the studio than it does with the dancers. There is really only one reliable source who will know for sure. Hopefully that person may be able to explain more.
RYAN
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

PattiForPM
Well I think this is a really interesting issue Ryan.  It has always puzzled me a bit that there was no audience visible in a lot of Dances whereas they were almost intrusive in a few others, especially the notorious "audience of statues" dances like Sir Duke V1 and Saturday Nite.  I can understand that some complex dances needed more than one shoot but other than this I'm a bit flummoxed.  More thought is needed and it would indeed be great to have Sue's input about this..
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Legsfan
This is something I have thought about in the past.
The presenter links is an interesting one, but what I thought happened was that when Legs were being introduced they would get a crowd with the DJ, then when Legs were performing they would go back with the rest of the audience and move to the next performer, leaving the DJ on his own.
From what I can gather the Top of the Pops studio wasn't very big, so there was a small crowd of people that were herded to the next stage when there was a camera cut, or on live editions when a video, or DJ link was shown.
Legsfan
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Old Grey Whistler
In reply to this post by RYAN
I think we established previously that Ma Baker was pre-recorded so that the girls could do Ruby Flipper in Germany. I have to admit though that there are quite a few routines where there is no audience visible. I think I preferred it that way. Sometimes the audience used to get in the way a bit, especially in the Hurll era when promoting a party atmosphere seemed to become the priority.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Legsfan
The 5th April 1979 when Legs danced to Sultans of Swing looks to me like it was recorded off the show, but after Squeeze Tony says "...look just over there". I found these technical scripts, but they just have the rehearsal timings which do definitely show the routine was rehearsed on the same show, so quite possibly was also recorded on the same show.
Legsfan
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Mikey
In reply to this post by RYAN
RYAN wrote
a visible studio audience can only be seen on 93 out of 307 occasions Legs & Co danced on the show (this includes with artists).
Thats quite a stat there, i guess its just easier to film without the audience being 'in the way' so to speak.
♥♥♥♥ Cherry, Louise, Patti and Ruth Alliance ♥♥♥♥. If there's a cure for this I don't want it.

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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Legsfan
Legsfan wrote
The 5th April 1979 when Legs danced to Sultans of Swing looks to me like it was recorded off the show, but after Squeeze Tony says "...look just over there".
Well thats quite remarkable Legsfan, as i was going to use Sultans Of Swing in my intro piece. The reason why was the unconvincing look on the audience girls face on the right of the screen, left of Tony. Its almost as if she knows its a bit of a fabrication to say Legs are over there.
RYAN
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Mikey
Mikey wrote
 i guess its just easier to film without the audience being 'in the way' so to speak.
Yes i do accept that, but not all of the time. I just think the production crew and presenters engineered it such a way as to make it look like a lot of the 70% were filmed during the actual show.
RYAN
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
Administrator
Its also worth remembering that all these routines had full dress rehearsals. I wonder if any of the routines we see fall into this category and the producers thought "well the heck, that was so good we may as well use that".

A case in point was `Who Loves You` from Pans in 75. I mean, who would have thought that to be a dress rehearsal, but apparently it was.

Another good example of a dress rehearsal being under taken to the max was `Mighty Power Of Love` which a few of us have privately. Although this was not broadcast on the actual show, it does underline that Legs did put everything into their final rehearsal, as apart from no audience, it was as good as the broadcast version.
RYAN
Doc
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Doc
In reply to this post by Legsfan
Legsfan wrote
From what I can gather the Top of the Pops studio wasn't very big, so there was a small crowd of people that were herded to the next stage when there was a camera cut, or on live editions when a video, or DJ link was shown.
A friend gave me a tour of the BBC centre many years ago and they were filming TOTP that night (Pet Shop Boys were on to give it a rough date). We looked through a window that looked down into the studio and I was shocked just how few people were in there and you are quite correct they were herded from one stage to another. I wouldn't have minded watching more but some beers were calling!
And if you're asking me when, I'll say it starts at the end.
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Legsfan
I think another way to tell would be to look at the set, for example in the Sultans of Swing and Forever in Blue Jeans routines, the same sets are used again by other performers, but routines that were definately recorded off the show like Ai No Corrida and Bermuda Triangle have sets that weren't used in any other performance on the show.
Legsfan
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Sue Menhenick
In reply to this post by Doc
True, the studios were not really that big, but the best one by far was the Blue Peter studio ,  it was one of the largest. Sometimes we used it for pre taping the Xmas shows .More room for bigger sets and if the studio floor would be needed for a number ....e.g. the lovely Patti Hammond on roller skates whizzing around a  silver spiral staircase , with Lulu, Gill, Rosie, Pauline and Sue draped around it, to ..."I Will Survive !"

Audiences sadly were herded from set to set , often to suggest there was a bit of a crowd .
Then occasionally, Flick would ask to have no audience in vision if the it would detract from the routine .....  
"Tragedy", Bee Gees, for example.,..."Annie's Song", James Gallway , "I Want You Love " Chic , and more.
If routines were comprised of more than one VT, then they would either be filmed in the afternoon in an arranged slot ..... or one VT in the afternoon and then one in the show ...... ( that sometimes must have looked a little odd to the audiences!)  ...... anyway ...e.g."Supernature, Theme from Jaws",  "Mcarthurs Park" .......and more.

They sometimes looked really uncomfortable in vision with us , and that often accounted for that frozen, awkward look they often had.
"Sir Duke" with DJ seated behind us , certainly looks a little strange ...(perhaps because we had our backs to them virtually throughout, that they didn't look very happy !)
"Off The Wall" had a bit of a 'bear pit'  feel to it .... still seated audience, but this time, surrounding the dancers .... they could see more, closer to the dancer...allowing for more audience exuberance ! GEnt in the red sweater and 'the likely lads' attempting to grab Rosie's hand !

Then the sometimes 'unwilling audience partner versus the 'really keen' partner ...... need say no more really !!

On the whole, the audiences were just a little confused, in the earlier years, perhaps even a little shy, unless it was in the swinging 60s, and there  were the best audience girl dancers !! In the latter years, I think the audiences were a lot harder to impress ....and they showed  it often by looking very bored !

The  show were desperate sometimes to get the audiences to look more  motivated , enjoying themselves and those  dreaded words later on ..."Give it some party atmosphere......."  🙁
I do believe in being genuine about details,  and sadly sometimes, that party atmosphere just didn't work out ......  there is a big difference in actually being in and at the party, or just pretending to be .....

Very rarely were rehearsal ' takes ' used in the final show ..... unless there were technical issues, and most of the afternoon rehearsals and early evening dress run, was still about everyone involved on the show fro cameras, lighting, effects. Costume, artists and DJs getting their parts right ....and unless pre arranged, there was very little taped in advance that wasn't already on video VT.
On the whole, the routines that were filmed and taped in the evening, and not the pre show rehearsal ones that were used.

Hope you are all enjoying your bank holiday ......  

                                                    Sue. 🤗





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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

The Rubberband Man
Sue Menhenick wrote
Hope you are all enjoying your bank holiday ......  

                                                    Sue. 🤗
Having a great Bank Holiday Sue, and thanks for your thoughts   🙆
I remember you saying in "The Story Of 1981" that the Ai No Corida routine was shot in a closed studio which meant that only those who needed to be there should have been there. However, word got out, and about half of the BBC's engineering and vt teams somehow found an excuse to be in the studio to see what was going on. If I remember right, you said it was almost as busy, if not busier than it was for a normal recording, lol  😄
All bound for Lulu Land
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

Everything'sRosie
In reply to this post by Sue Menhenick
Hi Sue, that was an interesting read. I should imagine it was quite reassuring for you and the girls to know there was a recording already in the can should something go wrong in the evening performance. I know TOTPs occasionally went out live so you didn't have that safety net then, but then I suppose you were used to live performances through your cabaret work.

My bank holiday has flown by sat at the word processor working on a manuscript. It's been mostly wet here anyway, but thanks for asking.
Queens of My Soul
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Sue Menhenick
Thanks for the reply Sue. So thats my theory shot to pieces then !

Interesting what you say about the `I Will Survive` routine and the bigger studio. Surprised because i didn't realize the large metallic stairs that was so prevalent around that period could be carted from studio to studio, though the Christmas show was the first time they were used and maybe they found a permanent home in the TOTPs studio in the new year, until they were scrapped around April time.

As for no studio audiences, well yeah, i fully understand that Flick didn't want them cluttering up the set on every routine. Im more curious though about the presenter links and how seldom the camera followed them onto the dancers. So many dance routines had a the obvious cut between the introduction and the routine and the same for the endings.

RYAN
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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

SuPaLu
I wonder about Calling Occupants from the unedited 20.10.77 show.There is no audience members with DLT before or after the routine.Then we have DLT's spooky overlay.Is this only something we would see in the post-production of a pre-recorded piece or would you see it in an unedited show like this one doing the rounds?Plus i think we can sometimes see the edge of the stage with nobody in sight.
Glenn
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PattiForPM
This may be a totally goofy general question but if there was a Video of a Band or much more importantly a rare partially or fully pre-recorded Troupe Dance I presume would the Audience see this on a screen or would they miss some or all of these and only witness all the live acts?
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Sue Menhenick
Not a goofy question at all ! Once the audience were in for the actual taping of the show .... it ran pretty much as you would see the show on the next day ,Thursday, when it was broadcast.
If the bands or artists were not in the studio at the time, the video that was used could be seen on the monitors overhead when  taping the show ..... so the content was  be seen by everyone.
If our routines were in more than one VT, and as I explained yesterday, part would be taped earlier and the rest, either in the show or after when extra time after had to be booked in.
For example. The entire 'Ai No Corrida ' routine was taped after the main show and the audience had been cleared ..... but, as you know from a previous interview ..... the once empty studio, slowly but surely started to fill up ....again !
Depending upon the producer and also if the routine was virtually complete ...then they would show that part .....occasionally,it was decided to do the intro from the DJ to the routine ...... then film the DJ at the end and then cut to the next act. There would be a temporary pause whilst they set up cameras and audience for the next song/ item  on a different set.

Taping any shows usually had to be done by 9.00 pm, and if there was any cause to overrun in filming time, permission had to be given .... all to do with taping and transmission times.  Normally, we used to make the deadline with the filming time we were given, and it was only on rare occasions that the taping would overrun.


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Re: Pre-recorded Legs ???

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by SuPaLu
SuPaLu, your post regarding `Calling Occupants` highlights exactly what i mean about the presenter links and how they can be manipulated to make it look like they flow effortlessly. Click on numerous Legs & Co presenter intros and outros and i reckon lots would have been made this way, its just that they were edited to crop out the over-spill bits, though for some reason the `Calling Occupants` outro survives.

The point i was making in my first post was that in say this routine, from the second DLT introduces the routine, to the ending, the whole thing could have been recorded pre-show and simply inserted onto the tape later. Obviously the DLT part in the routine was recorded separately and the VT boys added that in.

RYAN
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SuPaLu
This post was updated on .
Yes fascinating stuff trying to see how things are done in the magic world of TV.
Glenn
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