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How to newscast

Charlie Brooker shows it all

Ever wondered how to approach the creation of a newscast? Here is some professional expert advice. Charlie Brooker: How to report the news.

I especially like the boring dowdy man in his kitchen.



0:00 - Before long a standard 'news report' visual language established itself; one that's immediately recognizable to anyone. Me, has this report.

0:10 - It starts here, with a lackluster establishing shot of a significant location. Next, a walkie-talkie preamble from the auteur, pacing steadily towards the lens, punctuating every other sentence with a hand gesture, and ignoring all the prigs milling around him like he's gliding through the fucking Matrix, before coming to a halt and posing a question: "What..comes next?"

0:32 - Often, something like this, a filler shot designed to give your eyes something to look at while my voice babbles on about facts. Sometimes, it'll slow down to a halt, turn monochrome, and some of those facts will appear one by one on the screen.

0:44 - This is followed by the obligatory shots of overweight people with their faces subtly framed out, after which the report is padded out with a selection of lazy and pointless vox-pops.

0:53 - "Um, usually get some inane chatter from people."

0:56 - "I think they do have too much. I think what we want to hear is actually what's happening and not what other people think of it."

1:02 - "I hate these sou..sound bytes...that..uh..I don't want some punter's opinion, usually. No."

1:10 - Another bit of dull visual abstraction to plug another gap now before the report segways gracefully into a bit of human interest courtesy of some dowdy man opening letters in a kitchen, and explaining how he's been affected by the issue.

1:20 - "When I'm watching the news...I don't really..y'know there's a person talking to me, telling me what's going on, and I don't really listen to what they're saying. It's just news. It's just news."

1:30 - He, unfortunately, was boring so to wake you up this is an animated chart, this is a silhouette representing the average family, and this is a lighthouse-keeper being beheaded by a laserbeam.

1:40 - As we near of the report, illustrative shots of pedestrians, and signs and a pipe out a window..

1:45 - ..And then the final summary, ending on a whimsical shot of something nearby, accompanied by a wry sign-off. If you're lucky a bit of wordplay fit for a king, or, in other words, a 'Regent Street'.

1:56 - Charlie Brooker, Newswipe, London.