Undercover Remote Production


David Bradley TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
Download PDF
Download PDF

It’s only taken 20 years and it seems that Remote Production is finally coming of age, but it now requires far more cameras than anyone envisaged back in the last century!

The move to remote production is one of the unstoppable trends of 2019 and moving into 2020. Our CamBall cameras pioneered remote working as early as 2003 with sport and wildlife programming using remote production for many years with incredible results.

Just recently, Atlantic Productions (www.atlanticproductions.tv) took ten BR Remote CamBall4s into the Ecuador jungle to film Undercover in the Jungle for PBS. The rain forest of Ecuador is one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet, and the crew were there for about a month, working in sweltering heat and damp conditions. Being built for tough environments like this, the CamBall cameras performed perfectly.

“We used a variety of different cameras, and large numbers of them to cover the many locations we needed,” says Ben McGuire, Head of Post Operations at Atlantic, “The BR Remote CamBall cameras were the main ones. They are very rugged and weatherproof and our remote rigs allowed us to work well away from the subjects. We were usually 100m away, and sometimes hundreds of metres away. What was important was that we were able to cover about 50 different locations in the jungle.”

In this instance, the cameras became part of the story, as the crew ran cables through the jungle and climbed trees with ropes on their backs.

This project achieved a great deal in terms of how the content was captured and shown, and all became possible because BR Remote had built the fibre systems, supplied remote battery operating capability, pre-configured the cameras and tested everything with the crew before they left for the jungle – an environment where technical support is also extremely remote.

This example shows how our customers need more than just cameras, they also need engineering and integration expertise and often their technical teams are tackling this for the first time. Broadcast technologies are continually evolving, with IP, 5G, AR, and 12G-SDI all in the mix, but not all in general use. This makes for a confusing background of technological change. While technologies are supposed to be enablers, all people really want is equipment that will work reliably together to support their creative goals – say in upgraded studios or a remote production unit. The solution also needs to be fast and reliable.

AT IBC 2019 we will be highlighting the service aspect of our camera business. We provide everything our customers need to connect their cameras into their existing infrastructure, specialist interfacing and control, electronics, mechanics and software, plus the engineering assistance they need to get their kit operational without delay whether it uses cable, RF, fibre or IP.

Some projects need more than this. Where an off-the-shelf camera cannot provide the solution, we provide systems design and consultancy. We can help you design your own camera and we can build it for you, using our stable of existing PTZ camera designs and connectivity products with changes to hardware and software.

It is the engineering and systems integration that make the difference between a simple camera and a complete remote camera system. At BR Remote we make it our business to be experts in everything this requires – during our 20 years in the business we’ve worked with most of the technologies in the market and we’re continually moving forwards with improved cameras, connectivity and controllers.

In future, we will see remote camera systems being adopted much more widely, in newsrooms, studios, sports and reality TV.

Our tips for a successful remote camera project are:

1. It is the preliminary work, the integration and set-up, which are often overlooked, but which makes the difference between a stressful project and a happy one with a successful outcome. Use our advice, built up over many years, pick our brains. We have supplied cameras for any number of applications and situations.

2. Make sure the cameramen and technicians are familiar with the kit and have rigged it on the bench before you leave for the shoot. We have so many instances from crews on sat phones in remote locations that don’t know how to do something or are missing a small but critical part – often a special cable. We can tell them how to do something but only if they have the kit to do it.

3. Be aware of the limitations of remote cameras. The main limitation is that once rigged it can be difficult to re-locate or access them. Think carefully about camera location, you can’t just move it a few feet like a manned camera. Also, ND and other filters need to be correct right from the start so also think about the whole shooting period, be it hours or days, bright or dark and choose the best filters for the job. It might be that you need two cameras in the same location, one optimised for sunlight and one for night shooting.


Tags: iss139 | ptz | br remote | 5g | remote camera | atlantic productions | camball | camball4 | David Bradley
Contributing Author David Bradley

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Download PDF
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • DigiBox show AJA, AVID and the new BirdDog full NDI PTZ camera at BVE 2019

    DigiBox show AJA, AVID and the new BirdDog full NDI PTZ camera at BVE 2019

  • GY-LS300 Camera from JVC at NAB 2017

    GY-LS300 Camera from JVC at NAB 2017

  • JVC at BVE 2017

    JVC at BVE 2017

  • Holdan on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

    Holdan on BroadcastShow Tour May 2013

  • CamBall 4Ki BR Remote at IBC 2019

    CamBall 4Ki BR Remote at IBC 2019

  • Camera Corps at IBC2011

    Camera Corps at IBC2011

  • Bradley at IBC2011

    Bradley at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • PTZ Cameras at BVE

    PTZ Cameras at BVE


Articles
The University of the Third Age
Bernard Newnham Here's a cliché - "We all get to be old one day - if we're lucky". There comes a point when things like "....mastered in Dolby Vision Domestic and SDR Rec 709....." become just a touch unimportant (and actually I never really understood that stuff in the first place). I retired for the third time last year - BBC producer, and before that cameraman, then freelance producer, trainer, do-your-own camera, sound, editor, blah blah, then 11 years university teaching. I did my bit - never a BAFTA, but certainly the first into a good few things - but it all has to come to an end sometime.
Tags: iss139 | u3a | panasonic | davinci resolve | Bernard Newnham
Contributing Author Bernard Newnham Click to read or download PDF
To Remotely Go - TVFutures
Michael Parsons One of my biggest concerns as an academic responsible for the education of hundreds of students is the ‘appropriateness’ of much of the technology we purchase and implement within the curriculum. The last few years have seen tremendous change in all sorts of technologies, and the broadcast industry is just one sector that has seen some significant leaps in innovation.
Tags: iss139 | university | portsmouth | graduation | guildhall | newtek | streaming | pxw-fs7 | ndi | ip | ndihx ptz camera | Michael Parsons
Contributing Author Michael Parsons Click to read or download PDF
Keeping the Show on the Road
Andy McKenzie There is long-established saying in the media business that, if something goes wrong, at least nobody dies. It is almost true unless you happen to be a TV producer suffering a cardiac arrest because your primary video feed has gone blank during a high-budget programme.
Tags: iss139 | service | support | finepoint | maintenance | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
IP Technology for Broadcast Audio Routing Systems
Tom Knowles As the AoIP debate continues to confuse and delight in equal measure, what is clear is different scenarios require specific solutions. So is there a solution that encompasses open standards and existing proven AoIP technologies to the benefit of all?
Tags: iss139 | aoip | ssl | solid state logic | system T | dante | audinate | aes67 | st2110 | domain manager | Tom Knowles
Contributing Author Tom Knowles Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF