Issue 105 - September 2015
Earlier in 2015 SIS LIVE was central to the London section of an ambitious 24-hour global entertainment campaign by McDonalds, involving a surprise open-top bus gig by Jessie J.
Fans worldwide shared the excitement of the 24 continuous gifts of joy in synchronised public events, across 24 cities around the world over a 24 hour period, all available to watch live via social media.
Surprise events began in Sydney and continued through major cities, including Manila, Ho Chi Min City, Vienna, Stockholm and London before a final concert in Los Angeles. Local members of the public were invited to join in the fun, with viewers around the world able to follow each consecutive event on laptops and mobile devices.
Jessie J who was the star of the London segment of the marathon campaign, performed her greatest hits in an hour-long concert on an open-topped double decker Boom Bus, weaving its way through the citys landmarks.
Weeks of meticulous planning by SIS LIVE took place, to work out the logistics of meeting the exacting demands of such an ambitious project.
Six pairs of cameramen with RF cameras leapfrogged each other to provide continuous footage along the eight-mile journey, taking in landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and The Ritz.
With the complications of multi-camera filming, mixing the live footage on the bus itself, and streaming continuous pictures as it moved along, there was no room for error.
Live footage and video inserts recorded the reactions of people on the street, and captured pre-planned events using actors to add colour to the excitement. Footage containing the surprised reaction of diners at McDonalds restaurants along the route was also included.
A helicopter flying directly above the bus provided overhead shots and acted as a mid-point for RF signals to be downlinked at BT Tower. These signals were then passed to SIS LIVEs network operations centre (NOC) in Salford, Manchester, to be decoded and then delivered to the Milton Keynes master control room (MCR), where they were encoded for streaming.
Aerial shots, along with the central footage of Jessie J and her fans on the bus, were also thrown into the mix.
Technically the event was similar to our Red Bull Revolutions in Sound live streams from the London Eye. Working within a compact moving space, as well as mixing live camera feeds from the remote vision gallery on the bus and those on the street.
RF network limitations meant the roving cameras could only work within 300 metres of the moving bus, which in crowded streets could be problematic. Establishing how many cameras were needed and checking signal strength along the narrow, built-up streets of Central London was essential. Working live in a very public environment and working through the Central London traffic presented a lot of unknowns so the SIS LIVE broadcast team on-site and in Milton Keynes needed to remain cool and professional throughout.
On the bus an event director worked with a mixing desk to cut the live music from Jessie J and her band, and a 16-way vision mixer to cut live pictures from all sources. Meanwhile, 100 production staff on London wide talkback helped to orchestrate the event.
McDonalds wanted the entire gig to be streamed live through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, so that online viewers across the globe could share the excitement.
The whole event appeared live on social media and was subsequently edited into a three-minute highlights package, which can be seen at imlovinit24.com/London.