Inexcess: In search of recovery

Help and support for people and families
dealing with drug and alcohol problems

Production Blog

The making of Inexcess, by Roger Appleton

Roger Appleton

Roger joined Inexcess TV having worked as an independent producer/director for many years making programmes for Granada TV, BBC and Channel Five.

He says, "Now is a very exciting time to be working with Inexcess. There is a changing landscape in attitudes to addiction and recovery and this is mirrored in the changing environment in the media. More and more people are turning to the internet and broadband to consume their media and so I think Inexcess is right at the forefront of content and the technology to deliver that content."

You can contact Roger Appleton at

"Inexcess TV is right at the forefront of content and technology."



A four hundred and thirty seat venue and goal of the season

Posted by Roger Appleton on Friday, February 19th, 2010

A four hundred and thirty seat venue, a set that included back projected moving slides and films, nine presenters, a crew of twenty four and live multi-camera recording. The Road to Recovery event was the biggest thing Inexcess TV have produced but everything went to plan and I think most of the audience had a good experience.

For a number of weeks before the event the design team had been pulling together images and graphics for the back drop. We were all a bit nervous as to how it might look especially as we were taking a leap in the dark with Spider Man… not the Marvel Comic super hero, no better than that. This is the guy who operated Spider – the magical bit of kit that ensured all the films were played in at the right time and melded in with the graphics and stills.

A special mention must go to our MC for the day, Nick Mercer. Not only did he deliver a little bit of physical therapy to the crew on our rehearsal day but he kept the event bouncing along and was never short of a word or a story to introduce an amazing array of presenters. It was a pleasure to work with Nick.

The films are beginning to find their way onto the site and the feedback so far has been very positive. One of the interesting things is what we are calling the “Match of the Day” effect for some of the delegates. You know, you went to the game in the freezing cold, your team only won 1-0 and you missed the goal because you were bent down trying to find the hotdog that had fallen out of your roll. It seemed like no one had a chance to score, the ref was rubbish and you don’t understand why you paid the thirty five quid to get in.

You’ve then waded through all the rubbish that passes for Saturday night TV and Match of the Day arrives. After the usual platitudes from “the experts” you wonder why your match is first on – only one goal and no real excitement. Your eyes are the size of saucers as you watch slow motion replay after slow motion replay of fantastic chances and what must be the goal of the season. Gary Lineker finishes the highlights with the words, “There aren’t many 1-0 wins that have as much incident and excitement at that one.” And you think, “That’s not the match I saw…”


Posted by Roger Appleton on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

It’s been a couple of weeks since UKESAD. It was a fantastic experience for Inexcess Productions both for the people we met and the production challenges that came our way.

A crew of 9 came to London with us and it was three long days of hard work.

We built the Inexcess set in the exhibition hall. Wood, board and sticky tape – that’s all you need to build our state of the art studio. Other delegates looked on in disbelief but eventually it all came together after we had pasted our back drop on the wrong way, ripped it off and started again. I think this is a recurring problem in BBC outside broadcasts.

Greg, Michael, Alicia, Eugene, Danny, Justine and Greg all played their part in creating what in the end worked really well for us as a studio and as a centre point for our activities. Read the rest of this entry »

End of Series Three

Posted by Roger Appleton on Monday, April 6th, 2009

Two weeks, ten hours of live TV and a Raucous Chorus.

The latest two week series has just finished. Ten, one hour live shows every weekday for two weeks takes some doing. Each was recorded live at Toxteth TV between 8.00 and 9.00pm. Apart from the first show we had a live audience at each recording and the facilities at Toxteth TV were perfect for this. We used the reception area for our audience to congregate. This also gave an opportunity for some networking. It was good to see key workers and agency heads mingling with people in recovery and those still in active addiction.

It was Mark Gilman (Head of the NTA – Northwest) who said that one of the best ways to be inspired to find recovery was for those in active addiction to speak to those in recovery. Well, that all happened in the pre-show gathering and was one of the spin offs of the series.

There a big thank you to be done to Nick Timmis of Arch Initiatives who brought along a number of audience members on three nights and also took part in the first Friday with some service users who had produced the creative writing for Reflecting Voices. To see the service users read out their work was one of the highlights of the series. Read the rest of this entry »

Series Three

Posted by Roger Appleton on Monday, March 16th, 2009

Our trip to the 2nd North West Recovering Communities Conference last week was well worth the petrol money.

On entering Stockport Town Hall we were met by a room of about 400 delegates all bent on spreading the word of recovery.

Old friends were there like Jacquie from Sharp, Tom from TTP and Maggie from Community Voice. We had previously met up with Mark Gilman the man at the helm of NTA Northwest and he was happy to talk on camera for five minutes about the conference and the recovery community. It seems that the North West is something of a leader in the country and Mark is certainly driving things forward.

We were really there to catch up with Deirdre Boyd to get some words of wisdom on tape for our next series. Deirdre runs a tight ship down at Addiction Today and has been a champion of recovery for many years. Read the rest of this entry »

The End of Series Two

Posted by Roger Appleton on Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

We’ve come to the end of inexcess series two – and I was wondering how that all adds up:

10 - 1hour live shows
600 minutes of broadband tv
1 presenter,
4 posse members,
8 special guests,
100+ audience members,
11 crew members
1 producer
1 researcher
1 studio manager
3 web team members
And an ever growing audience on the net

It’s been quite a couple of weeks. Our equipment seems to have performed everything we asked of it and the crew have done a great job.

Let’s not forget the part played by Toxteth TV. We need to thank Lee (the studio head over on Windsor Street) and Chantal for their support and cooperation. The studio worked a treat for us. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Down, Five to go!

Posted by Roger Appleton on Monday, December 8th, 2008

Five live programmes last week and, fingers crossed, everything seems to have gone very well. The content has been stunning. From the debate of the Posse to the very moving accounts of life from Maggie White, Cathy Hilton and Sharon Jones, this has been an exceptional week.

Our two production guys Chris and Geoff have been beavering away all week. Editing by day, shooting live by night they are getting into their stride and pulling all the production elements together.

I’ve been asked by a number of people what’s the process and technology behind the productions… well here goes.

Each show is produced live at Toxteth TV. Ironically the studio has been built on the car park of an old pub – The Windsor Castle – and gives us a great space and lighting rig. Although the studio has its own gallery we’ve set up camp with our own kit.

We shoot with the workhorse of many an independent production company – the Sony Z1. I’ve shot with this camera all over Britain and Europe and it’s terrific to work with. We have three in the studio linked back to a Tricaster Vision mixing unit. Chris is the man with his hands on the buttons and the Tricaster allows us to play in video clips and graphics as we go along. Not a man to panic under pressure Chris is able to talk back to our camera operators and produces a very polished result. Read the rest of this entry »