Finding the right crew support and gear for outside or mobile broadcast productions can be a serious challenge. For some however, it’s a walk in the park, or in this case, the African jungle.
For the last five weeks, Gearhouse Broadcast, has provided production services and tech support to the first Australian version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The reality show, now in its final week is produced by ITV Studios Australia for Network Ten, and broadcasts five live episodes a week from South Africa.
Gearhouse has been providing the same support for the original UK version of the show for the last seven years. So when approached by ITV for the Australian production, the plan was to build a similar set-up, but in the middle of a lush secluded valley within the South African veldt.
Live production support for the reality show began on the 1st of February, the same day Gearhouse finished up work for the German version of the show, Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus! Which ran for two weeks and took place in the familiar setting of an Australian rainforest.
The company had to install a temporary studio completely from-scratch, with enough equipment to capture more than a dozen D-list celebrities as they eat, sleep and live in their outdoor campsite, 24 hours a day for 42 days straight. Shooting also includes daily ‘Tucker Trials’, where the cast compete for food by partaking in gruelling eating challenges and daredevil stunts, and cuts to the elevated studio floor for hosts, comedian Julia Morris and celebrity vet Dr. Chris Brown.
The show employs 380 crew members, with 47 cameras strategically placed throughout the camp.
Including 18 Sony HDC 1500 cameras with Canon lenses and 13 Hitachi DK-H32 cameras with Egripment Mini-Shot pan and tilt heads. There are also 13 Sony HD MiniZooms in IR mode for night coverage.
For audio capture and mixing, Gearhouse have installed a Lawo MC 56 and Yamaha MC7-48 sound console mixers, to support Sennheiser MKH-416 and Sony ECM 88B microphones, along with Lectrosonic UM400 and MM400 waterproof radio mics worn by contestants at all times.
“Running major productions back-to-back is obviously a challenge, but we have lots of experience in delivering solutions to multiple events in far off locations which run so close to each other,” said Simon Atkinson, technical projects manager at Gearhouse. “The hostility of the environment is a factor we have to consider when planning for I’m A Celebrity, especially the January heat of both jungle locations but we‘ve done it many times before and have full confidence in what we’re delivering.”
Show promo, showing the crew building the set:
Excerpts from Press Release