So, after several tweets from the Sky Sports F1 team informing us about tonight’s edition of Weekend in Stills, including Martin Brundle and Natalie Pinkham, I decided to give the show a go. Now in its third race, after it began in China, the programme is essentially half an hour of images from the Sutton Images collection.
When I first began this blog, in my ‘The Verdict so Far’ series, I described the Weekend in Stills show as “not my cup of tea”. Which, after watching tonight, is probably a sentiment that I would stick to. As a channel that is short of original content however, it is worth keeping.
Beginning on the imagery as a whole, there were some fantastic images in the programme, such as Sebastian Vettel in discussion with Bernie Ecclestone as well as Fernando Alonso embracing on the podium after Maldonaldo’s debut win. The latter of those two is best caught as an image as the camera was close up on both of them and caught the shot perfectly (I won’t at this point claim to know a lot about camera angles and taking pictures, it’s not my expertise area!).
Beyond the imagery however, it’s just that. The musical choice leaves a left to be desired and needs a lot more thought. The music used was actually that used in Sky’s very own Formula 1 trailers, such as this one. It needs a bit of imagination, instead of an instrumental in the background. Which brings us onto the next point and that’s the fading in and out of images. The ‘talking heads’ images would work much better with a fade in and out – fading out of one conversation and into another instead of snapping from one image straight to another.
I think one other thing that could do is bring some video into it. You may argue that defeats the entire purpose of the programme, but I think personally that it would enhance it. Say for instance with the start. You would show the start in video and then just as the cars are turning in cut to this image for instance, but stay on the image for a good 15 seconds. Or to give another example, when Maldonaldo goes around the final corner you have it all moving until the chequered flag when you cut to this shot. I think cutting between video and image would work better, in my opinion than a full half an hour show with just stills. At least with Weekend in Stills it has a purpose, unlike Weekend in Words which appears to regurgitate information we have already heard over the weekend and add nothing new.
As a show, it doesn’t really appeal to me with just half an hour of images, but I think interspersing moving clips with still photos may be worth experimenting with. It’s an okay show for what it is, but not something I can imagine watching on a regular basis.