In an earlier post, I described some thought-provoking comments about the Monty Python movie “The Life of Brian” that Michael Palin made to me during my student TV video interview with him, back in 1983.
Recently, I’ve been reformatting an ancient video recording of that interview. The entire interview is over 30 minutes in length, and some of it has become quite outdated. Nonetheless, there are some sections that could still be relevant.
For this post, I decided to edit together some of the clips that did not make it into the interview. These were “out-takes”, in which something went wrong (intentionally or otherwise!) during the shot. I can’t honestly say that these have never before been broadcast, because most of them were actually included in the Student TV’s annual “bloopers” program that was screened just before Christmas. Anyway, they’re still quite funny, after all this time.
The content of the clips probably speaks for itself, but I should perhaps explain why the shots appear the way that they do. The interview was an “outside broadcast” for us, so we took along only one camera (because in those days when camcorders were new technology, we had only one portable camera). Therefore, to shoot the main interview, we locked off the camera pointing at Michael, and recorded the entire session like that. That’s why, in most of the video, you can only see him, and hear me talking to him in the background.
Once the main interview had been recorded, we moved the camera to an over-the-shoulder shot of the two of us, then recorded some video of that for cutaways, which would be edited into the main tape.
Finally, after Michael left, we moved the camera to point at me, and recorded all my questions and reactions again, with me facing an empty chair.
I must apologize again for the poor video quality, due to the number of format conversions that this recording has undergone over the years. It’s worse in this case because some of the video was recorded during setup, so the camera is shaking around and there are even color bars over some of it. Nonetheless, I think it’s still sufficiently funny to be worth viewing.
The photo below is the best-quality shot that I have remaining from that occasion, because it’s a professional publicity shot of Michael Palin.