Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How to Turn Eight Hours into Three Minutes over Nine Months

Last August, as part of their field trip segment, the crew from PBS’s Antiques Roadshow descended on the Hoover Archives to look at a few of the 120,000 posters we have in our Political Poster Collection. We’d spent time prepping the Roadshow’s advance team with descriptions of some of the most vivid and famous posters, their dimensions, and their histories. They narrowed their search to three.

A film crew of a dozen or so, including series host Mark L. Walberg and appraiser Nicholas Lowry, showed up at 8:30 on a Friday morning. The sound techs and camera operators checked out locations throughout the archives, looking for the right combination of lighting, acoustics, and authentic archival aura.

Then the fun began: as Mark and Nico discussed and appraised the three posters, the director repositioned the stars, the posters, and the cameras to achieve just the right camera angle. Simple, right? They shot film until 4:00 in the afternoon! Then we were cautioned not to get our hopes up—that the Hoover portion of the program would be edited down to about three minutes.

Nine months later, on Monday, May 24, 2010, the Antiques Roadshow episode containing the Hoover segment will air on most PBS stations at 8:00 P.M.

Be sure to watch and see this World War I poster (featuring British Lord Kitchener) and more next week on your local PBS station.

Political Poster Collection, UK 473,
Hoover Institution Archives

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