Bumbledown – Wogan – Paul Daniels Live at Halloween – The Search For Realism – Computer Shopper Awards 1991 – tape 589

Here’s a mixed bag. Something for everyone?

the tape opens with a short fragment of something – this fellow talking about (I think) a book. No idea who he might be, as he was at the end of a preceding programme.

Man talking about a book

But that recording is very quickly overwritten by another one, and it’s the Spitting Image special edition Bumbledown, celebrating the life and times of Ronald Reagan. The title was a play on Tumbledown, which was a recent film about the Falkland’s conflict.

You can see the whole show here – complete with the copyright notice at the start…

It’s clear that even by the end of Reagan’s tenure, we still hated him.

After this, recording switches to BBC1 and a gruesome Halloween-themed episode of Wogan. I should give a trigger warning: Contains Gary Glitter. The monster of Glam opened the show with a truly awful rendition of Monster Mash. Surely this must be the worst thing he’s ever done in his life?

Did he know any of the words?

After this, a more genteel chat with horror writers James Herbert and Clive Barker. After the interview with the two writers, they are joined by two mediums, Carmen Rogers and Marion Dampugenes (sp? There’s no guest list on the end credits, and I can’t quite make out the last name. I think it’s a scandinavian name. Anyone know? Edit” Thanks to commenter Penny Garlick who found her name – Marion Dampier-Jeans)

It’s quite an awkward interview because both Terry and Clive Barker are fairly sceptical, and the mediums are on the defensive. But interesting.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st October 1988 – 19:00

After this, recording switches to later in the evening, and Paul Daniels Live at Halloween.

Taking place in an old castle near Maidstone, it’s a curiously static mix of magic – perhaps the location and the live nature of the event prevented a more dynamic direction. His guest is Eugene Berger who does some nice close-up magic, and the whole thing climaxes in an escape from being burned at the stake. It’s not quite as spectacular as his escape from a medieval torture chamber (which might have been the previous year) but it’s fun nevertheless.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st October 1988 – 22:10

After this, we have a visit to the Open University for The Search For Realism, an interesting programme looking at the state of the art in computer animation. It features such luminaries as Pixar’s Alvy Ray Smith: “This is the early days of computer graphics, we’re still turning the crank on the Model T”

Alvy Ray Smith

Here’s Industrial Light and Magic’s CGI lab.

ILM CGI lab

Some of this stuff was amazingly cutting-edge, like the ILM digitizing pen, which they demonstrate digitizing a hand.

Digitized hand

“We can also distort the surface just a little by moving the vectors tangent to the parametric directions on the patch.” I love the Open University.

Bill Reeves from Pixar talks about Luxo Jr.

Bill Reeves

Alvy Ray Smith explains why Luxo Jr was a good project for the company – “The most important new technique in Luxo is self-shadowing […] without the expense of so-called ray tracing”

Loren Carpenter talks about his work on The Wrath of Khan.

Loren Carpenter

Professor Eihachiro Nakamae from the Hiroshima University Engineering Facility, talks about his work on what looks like volumetric lighting.

Eihachiro Nakamae

There’s even a glimpse of Steve Jobs at the Pixar first birthday party, talking about Luxo Jr’s recent Oscar nomination.

Steve Jobs

BBC Genome: BBC One – 1st November 1988 – 23:45

After this, just one more thing. In 1991, an application I had worked on, at Computer Concepts, was a finalist in the Computer Shopper Awards. The awards were presented by Jonathan Ross, and I was nominated by our boss to go and pick up the award if we won. The Category was ‘Best Non-PC business Software’ which didn’t mean software that makes racist jokes and shouts abuse at women, but software not designed for the IBM PC compatible – so our competition were mostly Mac apps, like Excel 3, Illustrator 3, WordPerfect and ClarisWorks. I figured we had little chance of winning. But we did.

Me and Jonathan Ross

Here’s the video Computer Shopper sent us after the event.

After this, underneath there’s an older recording. It wasn’t familiar, but here’s Robert Donat and Marlene Dietrich.

Unknown film

And IMDb tells me this must be Knight Without Armor.  There’s a few minutes of this before the tape ends.

Adverts:

  • Guardian Royal Exchange
  • Boursin
  • Heinz Weight Watchers
  • trail: The Match
  • trail: Hale & Pace
  • Ferguson Super Planar – Nigel Planer, Haydn Gwynne

  • Holsten Pils
  • NatWest
  • Renault
  • Cadbury’s Chocolate Milk Drink
  • Knowing – Estee Lauder
  • Mitsubishi
  • British Steel – one of those grotesquely pompous adverts for selling off nationalised industries

  • Pepsi
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