Thursday, March 4, 2010

ITV News revamp by BDA

 I saw that ITV had re-branded their news service at the end of last year – and prompted by the press release which said that the iconic "bongs" had disappeared in the title sequence I decided to find out more.

To do this I met with creative director Mark Hobbins and iconic set designer Simon Jago (News sets for BBC, C4, and Sky) at Bruce Dunlop Associates (BDA).
Here is a compilation of all the new stuff - intros/outros etc see what you think...

Mark told me that the rebrand came from the desire to align the ITV News to that of ITV1.  As anyone who has ever watched ITV1 knows it is very much a family entertainment channel.  The brief was to give the news a more "entertainment" feel – a bit more theatre.  The other thing that differentiates the ITV service is that it has a more emotional connection with the audience and the way it reports the news.

Finally I found out that the lack of "bongs" was to take it away from being so London centric and to take it away from its previous heady arrival at Big Ben – as it was at the end of the old sequence. As far as I can tell there are still plenty of 'bongs' as they read out the headlines - so I'm not sure what all this talk about them disappearing is about.

Simon's job as set designer was to give it the right feel when you see the news readers in the studio.  What you may not realise is that it is all the backgrounds are virtual and that it is entirely shot against green screen.

The idea of the sequence is that the viewer is taken seamless from exterior to interior and from talking to both of them there was a lot of experimentation to banish reflections on surfaces.  Something that didn't occur to me – any reflections will be that of the green screen – which will then start to key in as part of the virtual background.  I have to say they have done a great job of the transition from graphic environment to the studio.  The panels with the pictures from the days breaking stories reminds me of taking a trip through an art gallery at high speed - Nan Goldin style!

I'm also going to post the old version here so you can compare and contrast - I have to say the set seems very old fashioned next to the new one - anyone care to comment? I think they've done a great job of updating the music as well - having pitched on ITN news rebrands in the past, I know it is a very tricky brief.

They were also keen to stress the input of Kojo Boateng and Ian White at ITN who collaborated with some clever software that allows them to insert pictures of breaking news stories live into the title sequence minutes before they go on air – which is an innovation that no one else has apparently.

The result of this 3 months of development? ITV news viewing figures have increased already and are almost matching those of the BBC.

BDA have also revamped the "Tonight" program, which you can watch here


James Spiring said...

You need to repost the Youtube video, the account got terminated.

Tim Rabjohns said...

thanks James - I will look into it.