|Broadcast:||12 March 2004|
|Producer(s):|| Jonathan Bufton|
After Elections 2003 didn't get on air until 9.45pm due to technical problems, and members were pulling trolleys of equipment across campus until 7am the following morning, it was decided that there had to be changes to the format of the election results programme in 2004. It was anticipated that the sort of problems experienced the year before could be made even worse due to the lack of active members at the start of 2003/4. It was also an ideal time to try something new as so many members had graduated after 2003's programme.
As a result it was decided to try and anchor the night from YSTV's Goodricke headquarters, with only an OB-style setup taken down to Derwent. This would mean there wouldn't be such a race against time to dismantle the set in Goodricke and reassemble it in Derwent (and then dump it back in Goodricke until it was put back together sometime after Easter). It was also decided to re-use the previous year's set and theme tune. This mean more time could be spent on preparing for the content for the night itself.
Over time it was decided that links presenters and graphics would be based back at Goodricke HQ, and Derwent would be home to interviews and obviously coverage of the results themselves. This would be the first time any part of the programme had been held in Goodricke since the last results night held there in 1998. There was also a desire for the "filler" programmes to be more linked to the content of the programme. Finally presenters would be encouraged not to dress overly smartly, as it was felt this was not necessary (and it made URY look silly).
It was also decided to keep the non-specific title "Elections" as opposed to "Election Night", given that YSTV's coverage now ran across the whole of week nine, with 60 Second Manifestos and Bona Dicta specials, as well as Video Server repeats.
Another edition of Have I Got News For YUSU was considered but rejected due to little time on the part of Jonathan to prepare another programme, and also a feeling that all York-related jokes had been used up a year earlier. A documentary provisionally titled "Chris Jones - The Movie", looking at the outgoing President's year in office, was mooted for a while but in the end not produced. James Gallagher suggested an idea called This Is YOUR: Manifesto, where a big red book would be taken around campus asking students to fill in their wishes for campus facilities, with the book presented to the returning officer. This idea was filmed (and ended up being continued for the 2005 and 2006 programmes). Finally Michael Prior-Jones's STV VT from the previous years was to be re-used to explain the voting system. That year's NaSTA Best Broadcaster was also shown on a loop for the hour before the show went on air. So in the end there were not a great number of fillers but thankfully there was plenty on the night to talk about!
It was decided that the programme should at least attempt to be more structured and visual - with re-caps every half hour, the title sequence played out more, and a ticker bar providing updates along the bottom of the screen. Links set presenters would also be used just to "link" and not to waffle endlessly. To this end a Bona Dicta-style panel was to be in place on the interview set in Derwent available to pontificate endlessly.
The previous year's set was re-used (with the logo repainted) in order to continue the "corporate" look used since the previous year. In Derwent the "coffee bar" set was eventually placed in front of the large glass windows in the terrace room after a lack of ideas for a backdrop. Large lights were used to attempt to light the backdrop of the lake and tree with mixed success, although occasionally people walked past and waved.
Titles and theme
The new titles were filmed by walking around campus and speeding up the footage, with important positions scrolling across the screen in the YSTV News colours of purple and cream. The climax of the sequence was as the camera reached Derwent, the SU centre and YSTV HQ. The logo was designed by Tom Hughes. The same theme tune as the previous year was used.
In 2003 Giles Burdett had designed a graphics system which would allow viewers to "fly over" 3D representations of the colleges to be used alongside the usual graphical data. This didn't work on the night due to unforseen problems interfacing with the main graphics system ENformation. These problems were ironed out by 2004 and they were used on the night, and again in 2005. They also made an appearance in the URYVision Song Contest later in 2004.
On the night
The show was opened by Nik Morris and a girl whose name escapes me. Other presenters on the night included Kate Rushworth, James Thorniley, Pete Nichols, James Gallagher, James Flinders and Michelle Donelan. Derwent's panel was hosted by Bona Dicta man Michael Brothwell and featured panellists Simon Drage and Robert Johnson.
A minor scandal was unearthed early in the night, when it was revealed that a James College email had indirectly encouraged students to vote for candidates from that college. This helped us fill the early part of the night quite well with various hacks and candidates lining up to condemn or defend the email.
Considering the huge technical challenge of hosting from two locations half a mile apart for the first time the night went pretty well. There were some communication problems between the two sites, but overall the new format was considered a success, and was used for the next three years. Due to less equipment being taken to Derwent the de-rig was completed by 4am, less than two hours after going off air.
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