I haven’t visited this forum for a while, and I am surprised there’s no debate going on over the Jackson trial reconstruction.
As far as I’m concerned, it is – or should be – a very useful adjunct to news coverage of the trial. It’s much better than having verbatim quotations read – often inaccurately – by the reporter or presenter. It’s better than having the computer simulated courtrooms that have been used quite often lately. But it is disconcerting when they cut extracts into film of the arrival at the courthouse of the “real” protagnoists! I can see that Sky wanted to improve on the reconstruction of the Hutton inquiry (it’s a shame they didn’t get Rory Bremner or Jon Calshaw to play Blair…), but the problem is that they are over-egging it. For one thing, although the lookalike Jacko is OK, other bits of casting in the future may be less convincing – Liz Taylor? Stevie Wonder? The guy playing Bashir was dreadful: I assume he is an American lookalike trying to play in a British accent. Another thing is that there are way too many extras at the lawyers’ tables and in the gallery. If you have a Cecil B. de Mille to direct the extras it’s great, but just having a lot of people “looking on” rather than making it look more authentic just has me wondering how much money they’re planning to pay out to these people over the next 5 or 6 months.
The dreadful Bashir actor apart, though, I am very impressed by the way the actors are playing their parts. Does anyone know what method they are using? Do the actors sit in at the trial for part of the day to get the flavour of their character’s reactions? Are they reading of autocues? Who edits the transcript and how long do they have to rehearse and record each day?
I have seen Stuart Ramsey do an occasional report from outside the court – is he involved in the editing? Ian Dovaston seems a bit out of his depth when he does live pieces to camera on this one (a strange choice of reporter), but Jayne Secker is the real star of the show (perhaps Rachel Amatt would have got the gig if she hadn’t left).