This archive footage from the 1970s shows a film crew rehearsing a scene on the beach at Mellieha Bay and the filming of a drama in TVM’s main studio.
The way television programmes are made in Malta has changed beyond recognition since then. Since film required chemical processing before it could be viewed and edited, it generally took an hour or more from the time the film arrived back at the television station until it was ready to be broadcast.
The delay limited the time a news reporter could work on a story. Film editing was done by hand, using a razor blade to cut the film into segments and then splicing them together. Film remained important in daily news operations until the 1980s, when TVM adopted portable professional video cameras, portable recorders and wireless microphones .
Videotape did not have to undergo the cumbersome processing of film. Although at first, editing videotape was just as difficult as editing film, this too was solved by advances in tape decks throughout the 1980s, which allowed simpler electronic editing. And, as opposed to film, videotape was cheap and reusable.
Videotape also resulted in more thorough news reporting because it meant crews needed less time to process and edit, giving reporters more time to cover a story.
Video was gradually abandoned in favour of digital recordings in 2000, which made editing even easier and even allowed TVM journalists to edit the footage on a laptop.