A panorama of Gallipoli shot in the water at Ari Burnu where elements of the covering force first stepped ashore at 4.30am on 25th April 1915. Anzac Cove is to the right, Suvla to the left and the first objective, Plugges Plateau straight ahead and up.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Behind the scenes on QandA

Tony Jones and the team that put together the very successful ABC TV production Questions and Answers invited me and my cameras to shoot and tweet real time pictures from behind the scenes as they prepared to host The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday 14th March.

 I was given complete freedom to shoot whatever grabbed my attention,  uploaded the results in monochrome and colour and they can be seen on Twitter here!/abcqanda

A selected gallery of colour pictures can be seen on the Q & A website here

Here is a small selection of my favorites from the QandA offices at 700 Harris Street, the rehearsals and the show, live from Studio 22.

The day begins in the QandA offices on the 5th floor at The ABC in Ultimo......

Production meeting in the early afternoon with Tony Jones, Senior producer Lindsay Olney and Executive Producer Peter McEvoy (who's elbow is framing Mr Onley)

Tony Jones reads through some of the hundreds of questions submitted by viewers

Sorting through the video questions sent in by viewers in Executive Producer Peter McEvoy's office with Tony Jones and senior producer Amanda Collinge (Peters sense of humor is evident from the Frontline Team photograph on his office wall)

 The known questions are ordered and edited

 The crew check camera angles, lighting and generally sort out the myriad of technical details that all must run faultlessly and reliably when broadcasting live TV

 Audience members start to arrive and wait patiently in the foyer at 700 Harris Street

Tony has a practice run through with the crew in the Studio

The magnificent ABC wardrobe department stand by with a selection of ties all pre-knotted and ready to slip over Tony's neck during rehearsal and camera check.

Tony Jones talks to the crowd in the foyer at The ABC prior to entering the Studio

 The Prime Minister is in the building

The Executive Producer Peter McEvoy talks to the audience after they have taken their seats in Studio 22

 The Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her dressing room with her advisors.

Some last minute instructions to the studio audience.

Julia takes her place on set

It's airtime

All the crew have these very cool T-shirts, the new shirts have a pair of shoes and the phrase "now with added security"on the back

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard watches the Julian Assange video question

 Prime Minister Gillard and Tony leave the set

Executive Producer Peter McEvoy and Tony debrief after the show

As well as the behind the scenes pictures I set a camera about half way up gantry stairs that lead to the roof in an empty Studio 22 on the Friday before the show.

I programmed the automatic timer to take 1 picture every minute and let it do its thing.

I assembled this into a time-lapse video that covered the over 9.6 hours of activity on the set, this included the set up, camera tests and rehearsals, dry runs, lighting adjustments, warm up, the show and finally taking down the set and readjusting the lighting. The video runs for 24 seconds and for those who want to know such things was put together at a frame rate of 24 frames per second.


I had a wonderful and time with the Q and A people and I will be returning for another visit later in the year so stay tuned. Thanks to everyone at QandA especially Tony, Peter, Amanda and my old mate Lindsay.


  1. Hey Mike , Great post, the timelapse was cool , did you play the piano yourself?
    Looking forward to more...

  2. Loved it Mike and the time lapse was great too. Keep it coming!