RAPAL TBH (RAPAL TV) is a 12-part music series, hosted by Emma MacInnes and Vic Galloway and featuring up and coming bands and singer-songwriters based in Scotland.
It begins this evening on BBC ALBA, from 2200 hours.
The programme is a spin-off from the long-running radio music show, Rapal, which transmits live on BBC Radio nan Gaidheal.
The TV series was last broadcast five years ago and its return this year was made by the BBC Gàidhlig department for BBC ALBA.
BBC Gàidhlig series producer, Donna L. Murchison, answers the questions…
Who commissioned the series?
This return series was pitched to BBC ALBA commissioners as part of the ‘volume deal agreement’ BBC Gàidhlig has with MG ALBA. We filmed it in November last year.
Explain the thinking behind the production’s ‘look and feel’
Taking an existing and popular brand and revamping it five years down the line – without losing the essence and integrity of the show – was a challenge. I wanted a showcase for new talent and a fairly stripped-down look and feel that concentrates on getting brilliant performances, cracking camera coverage and spot-on sound, with a little behind-the-scene banter to get a sense of what the band or artist is about.
Who are the key personnel? How were they recruited?
Michael Hines was the multi-camera studio director and Sam Pearce was the vision mixer, working with Charmaine Mitchell, the music PA.
Together, they worked with me and the crew, such as Pete Kelly our camera supervisor, and Niall Young, our audio supervisor, to provide great coverage of each of the 15 acts we had performing in the studio.
Gail Hendrie, edit producer, and myself worked with the craft editor, Chris Gillies, to bring together the performances, behind-the-scenes chat, graphics and links into tight 29-minute shows.
What kit and software?
Multi-camera studio coverage recorded on XDCAM discs and self-shot behind-the-scenes material on a Canon XF305. Audio was mixed live in the sound gallery. Shows were cut on Avid.
What have been the main production challenges?
‘Volume deal’ shows have limited budgets. The production management team of Anne Marie MacLeod and Rhiannon Brady had to balance creative aspirations versus what we had ‘in the pot’.
Accounting for every penny means though that everything has to be well thought-out in advance and being decisive so there are no surprises. This makes for a clear brief for everyone involved.
Rushes were ingested at various resolutions and saved on several servers and bringing these different resolutions together was definitely the most challenging. Also, as BBC ALBA is an SD channel, all the material had to be down converted from HD.
What did you most learn and enjoy from the experience?
Creating a showcase for contemporary Scotland-based musicians and getting the chance to work with new talent was a terrific experience.
Seeing people who are not only brilliant at what they do but passionate with it just sweeps you up.
Working on RAPAL TBH confirmed for me how vibrant and diverse the music scene is in Scotland and I learned how difficult it was to whittle the selection of acts down to 15 and how good Vic Galloway’s Gaelic is!
Luckily, I am currently planning the next series and will be in production shortly, so I can invite more talented acts to appear on RAPAL TBH.