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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 6 - Semi-final 1 - 'Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fables'

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9 hours ago, stivesnick said:

My concern over some of these layouts, is how they might be seen at exhibitions over the coming year. What is being produced is based around a 2-3 minute presentation to the judges. But how does this translate into an appearance for perhaps 6-7 hours at a show as many of the actions are not easily repeatable (the earthquake scenes come to mind)?

 

The actual presentations to the judges took 10-15mins usually and the TV editor has the final say.

There was quite a bit the operation of our Mars layout on the cutting room floor - various shunting moves etc. I'm sure this is true of all the layouts in one way or another. And lets be honest, shunting moves do not make great TV, but does prove the set functions operationally to the judges at the time.

 

Are they repeatable animations? I suppose that depends on what it was. The door on our rocket shed should be but, it worked on the judging first time, however I understand it hadn't been approached about the numerous retakes that were required later. It was particularly obstinate about this, but did work again eventually before throwing a complete strop and storming off to its trailer to ring its agent. 

 

And of course those animations were the items we had time to cobble together in the 24 hrs we were allowed. I would expect a few other ideas and animations, etc to be added to our layouts that we didnt have time for or might dream up now, extending the dwell times at an exhibition. Steve Flint was disappointed that we didnt launch our rocket, 'a step too far for them', but I have thought of a few ways this could be done, however most of them are not repeatable as the rockets re-entry to the earths atmosphere may produce its own problems.

 

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10 hours ago, stivesnick said:

My concern over some of these layouts, is how they might be seen at exhibitions over the coming year. What is being produced is based around a 2-3 minute presentation to the judges. But how does this translate into an appearance for perhaps 6-7 hours at a show as many of the actions are not easily repeatable (the earthquake scenes come to mind)?

 

Surely that's the layout owners problem? If they want to take the model on the road then the layout will need to be modified as required. If they can't make it work then don't accept the invite. No one's forcing them to go. 

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10 hours ago, stivesnick said:

Congratulations to Team Grantham for their win last night.

 

 

My concern over some of these layouts, is how they might be seen at exhibitions over the coming year. What is being produced is based around a 2-3 minute presentation to the judges. But how does this translate into an appearance for perhaps 6-7 hours at a show as many of the actions are not easily repeatable (the earthquake scenes come to mind)?

 

 

Nick 

That is why some of the layouts that have been produced for the show have been broken up. Yet the builders have been criticised for doing so.

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On 12/10/2019 at 23:03, phil gollin said:

What then amused/irritated me is that AFTER criticising the teams for lacking "imagination" and "creativity", when the teams explained their layouts the judges gave all sorts of grimaces and explained how these were meant to be model railway layouts.  

 

 

 

Ever considered those grimaces from the judges were simply there to make for good TV?

 

We have had plenty of feedback from those participating so far which indicates that a lot of what makes it into the final edit is done more with an eye to making interesting to the non railway modelling home audience.

 

Neither Steve or Kathy are TV presenters by training and I have no doubt they are being given advice from the producers as to what they want in terms of reaction shots.

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And who's to say that the shot of them grimacing (or whatever) is actually the shot of them looking at what we've been shown? People need to realise that the editing of such a program will be designed to heighten such things, not necessarily to portray it accurately. A show where everything goes smoothly and the judges think everything is well done wont produce an entertaining TV show.

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I am enjoying the series and thought heat 5 has been the best show to date, I also understand the target audience is not just for railway modellers and must attract viewers of all types.

 

I cannot fault the craftsmanship that went into the models (the builders had to work to the brief) but for me this has been the least interesting of the 6 shows todate.  The title is the Great Model Railway Challenge. this episode for me forgot its roots as gimmicks overtook the purpose of the subject matter

 

But as I said, I could not fault the model making craftsmanship of all 3 teams

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15 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

The production company liked it as a design so it was 'job done' and back to the work on the Heat layout.

 

Yes, not a conventional model railway at all, rather a challenge involving the use of model railway equipment. Happily - for us - the judges ultimately went along with that.

 

I can see that it is a way out of the tight corner that KBG had painted you into. There was a mix up early on in the planning and for a short while it seemed we would have that theme if we made the semi-final. We sketched out a sort of Jason and the Argonauts thing where Jason went by train through things like clashing rocks, past whirlpools, dodging skeleton warriors coming out of the ground etc to fetch the Golden Fleece and bring it back. Thankfully we never had to do it.

 

I was disappointed with KBG though regarding our actual design for the Blockbusters semi. We envisaged an inner city clearance site, with a "proper" model railway, probably with blue diesels, going round while old factory chimneys toppled and the walls of terraced houses were stove in by a crane's wrecking ball. I couldn't persuade them that blocks were actually being busted here and had to redesign a layout round a movie theme.

 

The reason I was disappointed was vindicated really here. The scope for teams to design layouts are too limited and therefore the results are too similar. That doesn't make great telly and if there is a series three I hope the producers loosen up a bit and encourage variety of approach. And discourage the volcanoes and dinosaurs which are to me at least, a lazy cop out way of fulfilling a theme.

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39 minutes ago, hayfield said:

 

I cannot fault the craftsmanship that went into the models (the builders had to work to the brief) but for me this has been the least interesting of the 6 shows todate.

Agreed, the layouts as presented on TV just left me and SWMBO cold, whilst she was actively rooting for Team Grantham in Heat 5 despite originally dismissing them (sorry LNER4479!) as another bunch of purist rivet-counters.

 

She's perhaps an example of the target market for the show. She wants to see something interesting happening, rather than a branch-line terminus or TMD that looks pretty much identical to every other one except to the cognoscenti. Whether that's steam, modern image, or sci-fi she doesn't much care, but it needs to be modelled well and work properly for her to take any interest.

 

She also loved the crochet trees in Heat 3 and has offered to make me some for my layout!

 

Interestingly, given the above, she also thinks the scratchbuild challenge is a bit ludicrous, but is suitably impressed when the random articles are turned into something appropriate for the layout. There is value in showing that household objects can be turned into scenic items, and some sort of challenge task is a good way to do that whilst putting in some artificial tension. That's probably necessary for a TV show.

 

So far as setting up layouts like some of the GMRC ones at exhibitions goes - I'm sure there are 'traditional' layouts which run a sequence of moves, then reset the fiddle yard to repeat the same sequence again, with demonstrations at fixed times. I can't see why GMRC-style layouts with 'one-shot' animations couldn't work similarly.

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41 minutes ago, whart57 said:

 

I can see that it is a way out of the tight corner that KBG had painted you into. There was a mix up early on in the planning and for a short while it seemed we would have that theme if we made the semi-final. We sketched out a sort of Jason and the Argonauts thing where Jason went by train through things like clashing rocks, past whirlpools, dodging skeleton warriors coming out of the ground etc to fetch the Golden Fleece and bring it back. Thankfully we never had to do it.

 

I was disappointed with KBG though regarding our actual design for the Blockbusters semi. We envisaged an inner city clearance site, with a "proper" model railway, probably with blue diesels, going round while old factory chimneys toppled and the walls of terraced houses were stove in by a crane's wrecking ball. I couldn't persuade them that blocks were actually being busted here and had to redesign a layout round a movie theme.

 

The reason I was disappointed was vindicated really here. The scope for teams to design layouts are too limited and therefore the results are too similar. That doesn't make great telly and if there is a series three I hope the producers loosen up a bit and encourage variety of approach. And discourage the volcanoes and dinosaurs which are to me at least, a lazy cop out way of fulfilling a theme.

I agree with you here.

 

We wanted to do a wartime scene - the Blockbuster bomb, with things exploding - maybe a large factory, with the trains running around it and being involved in the cleanup. As with yourselves, we were clearly told that it was "Feature Films only" and as so many teams had had to submit their ideas for that semi, a lot of the ones we would have liked to have done had already gone. We were quite pleased with how our Bond inspired layout worked out however. A little taster has featured on the credits (Similar photo below) but you will have to wait until Saturday to see how we did though!

Class 20 LH.jpg

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16 hours ago, LNER4479 said:

we were all required to submit our designs some weeks prior to semi-final filming (for them to be OK'd and then the stuff to be ordered).

Do all the teams participating in the ordinary heats also have to order items from the catalogues for their semi-final and final layouts, on the assumption that they are fortunate enough to get through beyond the ordinary heats?

 

If so, what happens to all the stuff that's ordered for teams that don't make it beyond the ordinary heats?

 

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You had to submit your orders before the heat but only with heat 5 was the turn around so ridiculously short that the stuff had actually needed to be ordered before it was known whether it would be needed.

 

As an aside, why wasn't the obvious thing done - winners from Heats 1-3 into SF1 and Heat winners 4 & 5 and the wild card into SF2? Heat 5 would have had a week's gap rather than a day's.

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amazing work this episode and congratulations to Grantham. though my favourite bit was the Corby lads telling Tim to go away

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1 hour ago, sir douglas said:

amazing work this episode and congratulations to Grantham. though my favourite bit was the Corby lads telling Tim to go away

 

That was Craig and I lol

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On 13/10/2019 at 09:29, stivesnick said:

My concern over some of these layouts, is how they might be seen at exhibitions over the coming year. What is being produced is based around a 2-3 minute presentation to the judges. But how does this translate into an appearance for perhaps 6-7 hours at a show as many of the actions are not easily repeatable (the earthquake scenes come to mind)?

 

Our series 1 "Santa" layout ran through a story for the TV, and when we were invited to Warley, we planned to try repeating it. We recorded Robin's commentry to play through the layout's sound system, to save his voice, but once the doors opened, were were all 100% busy just talking to the punters, and there was no way of concentrating on running the sequence. We just let a couple of trains run round continuously, and let the children press the button for the bubbles and smoke every couple of minutes.

 

Since then, I have restored the original sound effects (camels snorting, cricket match, etc) and added push buttons to the front of the layout for the kiddies (and grown-ups) to play them.

 

Anyway, loving the current series, and so glad I am not taking part. The standard is so much higher this year.

 

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On 12/10/2019 at 23:45, melmerby said:

No recorder?

 

Well I just check the PVR and it actually recorded in series link so just watched it. Unforunately it cut the last 15 mins off for some reason or other.Second time its done that.

 

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6 hours ago, noiseboy72 said:

I agree with you here.

 

We wanted to do a wartime scene - the Blockbuster bomb, with things exploding - maybe a large factory, with the trains running around it and being involved in the cleanup. As with yourselves, we were clearly told that it was "Feature Films only" and as so many teams had had to submit their ideas for that semi, a lot of the ones we would have liked to have done had already gone. We were quite pleased with how our Bond inspired layout worked out however. A little taster has featured on the credits (Similar photo below) but you will have to wait until Saturday to see how we did though!

Class 20 LH.jpg

 

Hopefully the gradient across the bridge is an optical illusion - either in the photo or on my PC? 

The stone embankment and the ground cover (in the foreground) looks good - better than I could do without a time constraint.  Looking forwards to seeing more next weekend.

Edited by Keith Addenbrooke
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Just now, Keith Addenbrooke said:

 

Hopefully the gradient across the bridge is an optical illusion - either in the photo or on my PC? 

The stone embankment and the ground cover (in the foreground) looks good - better than could do without a time constraint.  Looking forwards to seeing more next weekend.

Lol yeah, I grabbed the shot while the layout was in the back of a van! The bridge is flat!

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7 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

Do all the teams participating in the ordinary heats also have to order items from the catalogues for their semi-final and final layouts, on the assumption that they are fortunate enough to get through beyond the ordinary heats?

 

If so, what happens to all the stuff that's ordered for teams that don't make it beyond the ordinary heats?

 

 

Though it was our team captain who took charge of the ordering, like round one we all pitched for the stuff we wanted for the semis and the final. We had to submit layout plans too. I can't remember what was on our shopping list for the finals but if we'd not been such a dismal failure in round one we'd have lots of end of steam era locos and stock to fit in with our Hard Days Night blockbuster film choice. Guess who had an eye a flying pig for his trainset?

 

Goodness knows what happened to our order, perhaps because we would have had a week or two between our heat and the semi final it was never placed. I presume that those with closer potential filming dates may just have had their orders returned unopened.

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2 hours ago, Georgeconna said:

 

Well I just check the PVR and it actually recorded in series link so just watched it. Unforunately it cut the last 15 mins off for some reason or other.Second time its done that.

 

As I mentioned before, I record everything I want to watch and have two PVRs (satellite & Freeview).

C5 used to be masters of messing up the time data but for some reason (on Freeview at least) now seem to be more or less spot on, with no missed bits of GMRC.

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9 hours ago, RLBH said:

She's perhaps an example of the target market for the show. She wants to see something interesting happening, rather than a branch-line terminus or TMD that looks pretty much identical to every other one except to the cognoscenti. Whether that's steam, modern image, or sci-fi she doesn't much care, but it needs to be modelled well and work properly for her to take any interest.

 

She also loved the crochet trees in Heat 3 and has offered to make me some for my layout!

Just catching up on all the comments this evening and saw this about the crochet trees. I don’t have a pattern but have been asked if I could do a Video on YouTube...... yet another new challenge in my life! I keep  having a quiet giggle to myself, as I really didn’t expect the crochet trees to attract so much positive attention, especially after what Kathy said about them. 

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18 hours ago, Neil said:

 

 Guess who had an eye a flying pig for his trainset?

 

 

 

 

Would sir be after one of these:

 

32-585_1.jpg.99c18b0e984555a25bf8354bdc309bbf.jpg

 

Or possibly one of these?

 

p052b0q9.jpg.b4baac26153045f14a14d52e4bd743c4.jpg

 

 

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On 13/10/2019 at 00:03, phil gollin said:

When I first saw the pre-laid tracks I had high hopes of layouts concentrating on scenic modelling, but then they went on about "imagination" and "creativity".  A shame, the scenic side is being given quite short shrift in these programmes.

 

What then amused/irritated me is that AFTER criticising the teams for lacking "imagination" and "creativity", when the teams explained their layouts the judges gave all sorts of grimaces and explained how these were meant to be model railway layouts.   .....

 

On 13/10/2019 at 02:03, jools1959 said:

Not wishing to detract from the other teams extremely hard work, it’s hard to figure out what the actual judges were looking for.  After the results were announced, a large number of the audience and several other team members came to us and said they were so surprised we lost as everyone thought we had it “in the bag”.  Even though it was a retake, it was fun for both Craig and I to tell Tim to “leave us alone” as he was bugging us with testing things lol.

 

I definitely get the impression that in this series of GMRC the modelling is getting better and better and the layout builders' imaginations and ingenuity getting sharper, whilst the judging and (especially) the production is getting poorer.  I perceive a lack of "joined up TV making" with the producers pulling in one direction, the judges in another and the presenters in another (and am I the only one that feels that the editing and selection of shots of Kathy Millat and Steve Flint is creating a "good cop, bad cop" personae/dynamic for the judges?)

 

To be very cynical I often get the impression that the directors and producers of this type of series (reality TV) have a very low opinion of the audience - leading to dumbing down of content and contrived "drama" (one of the most egregious examples of contrived drama is when one of the presenters says "and the winner is..." cue appalling long interval for reaction shots [which I wouldn't be surprised to learn had been filmed later and spliced in]) as the production company, consciously or not, doesn't believe the audience capable of watching anything more challenging. OK, I am being rather cynical here, but I do remember a time when entertaining and informativeTV shows didn't "talk down" to the audience. The very enjoyable Model World with Bob Symes or Connections with James Burke being two good examples of programmes treating the audience with respect.

 

I seriously wonder what the viewing figures would be like for the show if the production team challenged the audience a little bit more. Or am I crediting the viewing audience with too much and the so called/apparently "dumbed down" approach is indeed the only approach guaranteed to get the all important viewing figures?

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Quote

one of the most egregious examples of contrived drama is when one of the presenters says "and the winner is..." cue appalling long interval for reaction shots

 

We were at the filming of Heat 5 and they did at least four, possibly as many as 6, takes of that moment.  I did note at broadcast that they didn't use the first one where a number of Team Grantham members had their heads in their hands.

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I was also disappointed that they cut that shot.  Before the result was announced, there  was some banter amongst the team along the lines of having thoroughly enjoyed 3 days of modelling but another 3 days straight after in the semi would be too much. So when we were declared the winners our reaction was genuine.

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