• Sunday, November 23, 2014

TELEVISION OF A LIFETIME

A CAMERA AND A DOVE

By Faridur Reza Sagor

Continued from vol 01, issue 48

There was only one studio in DIT Bhaban TV office. It was only 20 x 40 feet in size. I have doubts whether any other TV station started with such small space. Among equipment, there were two four-and-half-inches image Orthicon camera. Such camera was also the first to be used in a studio. One of the camera had a zoom lens and the other had a torrent lens. Torrent lens had to be manually rotated for taking different shots. Since the studio was a large renovated hall-room, lights were not installed properly. There was only one audio tape recorder, a turn table, a Vidicon chain to air cinema and four 16mm cameras to take news footages. Those days, there was no technology in Bangladesh to develop 16mm films. But genius Bengali engineers discovered their own system to develop the films. In this locally-invented system, the very first news footage telecasted was a scene of a police parade.

 

For title, the technology used those days could be a laughing matter for today's computer users.  Artists used to paint names on a black paper board. Those boards were kept in sequence in the control room. One board on-screen was pulled aside to reveal the next board – more like a slideshow, it was called Telop system. Later, Vidicon camera arrived. It made title display much better, but it was still not an easy task. Hard work, a whole lot of dedication made television such popular medium to its audience.

 

Khan Ataur Rahman did a song-learning programme for children for a long time. He used to teach around 25 children in that small studio of DIT. Its rehearsal was done on the balcony. One day, Ataur was teaching a song about a dove. At the same time, coincidentally a pair of real doves flew down on a railing of the building. Seeing the birds, Khan Ataur Rahman said, “Aha! How great it would've been if we could show those birds during our show”. Two TV officers, Kalim Sharafi and Mustafa Monowar were walking past the rehearsal and overheard Khan Ataur's regret. Later, when Khan Ataur sat in the studio in front of the camera, he was surprised to see Mustafa Monowar standing aside with a blackboard. On screen, the audience saw Khan Ataur Rahman singing a song of doves and Mustafa Monowar drawing two white doves with his brush on an easel. Yes! There were no outdoor cameras, but everyone on the TV station was close to each other. That is why it was possible to make the programmes lively with limited facilities.

 To be continued…
The writer is Managing Director, Channel i
Translated by Zia Nazmul Islam

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, August 09, 2014

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