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Live from… the supermarket car park by Kieron Seth W hat’s Cooking? is the new daily daytime TV show beamed from a temporary studio in the car park of a supermarket. As chefs prepare dishes live on air, a roving camera crew relays pictures from the aisles of the shop while Channel 4 viewers interact with the presenters and cooks via social media. Produced by Superhero TV, technical integration and installation was undertaken by One-Ten Productions, with assistance of 3D Broadcast. Featuring large windows, the purpose-built interactive studio suffers from ever- changing lighting conditions, a significant challenge for the technical teams. It is lit with a combination of LED fresnels and soft lights, as well as ambient light from outside. Peter Johnston of One-Ten comments: “The British weather will always spring surprises. Over the course of an hour the contrast between the interior and exterior can change markedly; maintaining a consistent and natural look on screen is vital but is difficult to achieve against quickly changing lighting levels. The typical solution is to add polarizing film to the windows – it’s a good but very expensive option.” Johnston’s experience with the alternative - in-camera electronic compensation techniques - was not positive. “With some systems the effect is unnatural and harsh. But on the advice of 3D Broadcast we trialled the Panasonic’s HPX3100 with its Dynamic Range Stretch function. The producers were very impressed with its ability to compensate for extreme levels of contrast and we quickly agreed to make the camera the main production tool.” Paul Raeburn of Panasonic reseller 3D Broadcast, notes: “The HPX3100 cameras are very good in themselves but the extra stops of latitude offered by the DRS is a godsend. Other camera systems can technically do the same, but usually there’s a price to pay in terms of mediocre looking pictures. We find that the Panasonic controls the levels well but does not compromise on the quality of the video. The result is great pictures in all conditions.” Photo: @glutenfreeandgorgeous.co.uk Indeed, for Johnston the DRS look is so appealing that it is now constantly activated on the cameras, whatever the lighting conditions. The four HPX3100 units are mounted on inexpensive Libec LS-100 pedestals and an EZFX jib for a professional studio feel. The cameras are supplied with a camera control unit which manages video signals and centralized control from the vision desk. Jill Keane from Panasonic’s distributor, Holdan notes: “Dedicated system cameras such as the new HC3800 will have a slight edge in terms of studio ergonomics and signal processing but snapping a studio adaptor onto a Panasonic P2 ENG is not only cost- effective, but it also gives the crew options for shoulder-mounting the devices, either during the series or on subsequent shoots.” The vision mixer at the heart of the production is Blackmagic Design’s Atem 2, supplied by RCB Logic with a Broadcast Panel. This HD switcher has 16 inputs which allows producers 48 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE TV-BAY076APR13.indd 48 26/03/2013 16:48