Ally Vs BBC : An Editor’s Point Of View

This has been written by Philip Johnston (My father) who has his own Production Company and has done so for over twenty years. He has done pretty much everything in the media industry from filming, script writing, directing and is well known for his editing. He has worked football press conferences, so is speaking from experience.

Mr Ally McCoist has jumped in with two feet over a BBC Scotland report last Friday.

Anyone who edits like myself would appreciate the problem the BBC editor had with this press conference, Ally McCoist who has spent more than enough time on television does not seem to appreciate the problems with “JUMP CUTS”. In my opinion the editor simply saw the closer cutaway shot as a good match as his mouth position was very similar coming out of the shot. The editor was unaware of the slight smirk on McCoists face pertaining to the question being asked.

I am no fan of the BBC but for once I can see a genuine edit to save a jump cut (two similar shots) that has been taken out of context. I really think Mr McCoist should have asked one of his media friends about this before attacking the BBC and a simple explanation would has averted him looking a tad stupid.

From TheFootyBlog’s view McCoist has acted rashly, was there any need to ban a BBC journalist for this? Or seek an on-air apology? I don’t believe it was the best editing, had it been me I would have cut from first question to a shot of Old Firm fans with the question being asked as a voice over cutting back to Ally answering. The same editing process was used during the Neil Lennon press conference bit the editor was fortunate to have better shots. We have to remember we do not know how much time the editor had or what shots they had at their disposal.

I am also slightly worried by the reaction from Rangers and McCoist, as Philip suggest a wee word and asking for an explanation would have been enough to sort this out. I would also like to point out that the questions in my opinion were poor and McCoist’s second answer was hardly worthy of a news item anyway.

You can view the BBC piece here BBC Scotland

And more technical filming issues and views from Philip here HD Warrior

5 Responses to “Ally Vs BBC : An Editor’s Point Of View”

  1. It’s interesting to read the technical reason for the inclusion of the “smirk” and definitely puts the whole incident into perspective.

    However, I still think that McCoist has every right to feel aggrieved, especially when a casual football fan will not appreciate that it was done for a non malicious reason.

    Whether he was right to make his feelings public, in the manner he did, is another question.

  2. Thing is Craig until McCoist made an issue of this had you heard or seen any of this?

    I didn’t, not through friends, the media or twitter. Has he not seemed foolish for making more of it than there was to make.

  3. Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, the BBC knows enough about the power of editing to influence the “meaning” of a clip that they should be a lot more stringent about reviewing footage before they air it. Watching it back, it’s a ludicrously misleading shot, regarding a deeply volatile situation. I don’t blame McCoist for being angry.

    To Scott, I can’t say that I had heard reference to the clip before the news spread that Rangers had banned the BBC from filming, but I did see the clip as it aired on TV and my reaction, as a Rangers fan, was “this isn’t a laughing matter Ally, that doesn’t reflect well on you”. If that was my reaction, I’d imagine people outwith the club and it’s support might have had an even stronger one.

  4. I would suggest time played a big part and possibly an editor not clued up in football. I have said it was a bad choice of shot in my opinion.

    Fair enough if you seen that & it was your reaction, I can see why McCoist feels miffed but I think he has handled it badly.

  5. I watched it on the news and thought McCoist came across extremely arrogantly as if Rangers didn’t believe the question was worthy of an answer. Lennon tried to answer the same question, and didn’t sound convincing (can’t guarantee there won’t be problems) but at least acknowledged the reasons for the question. If it’s down to bad (or malicious) editing, I’m glad McCoist took a stand.

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