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BBC S&PP and CTV join forces on EastEnders Live Week

BBC S&PP and CTV join forces on EastEnders Live Week
David Wood
17 February 2015

BBC Studios and Post Production and OB company CTV have joined forces to provide technical support and crew for EastEnders Live Week, the week-long celebration of the soap’s 30th Anniversary, which starts today.

The soap, produced at BBC Elstree’s EastEnders set, will include daily live elements throughout the week, culminating in a full live half-hour episode on Friday.

CTV has provided 28 camera HD truck OB10 which will work with BBC Studios and Post Production’s infrastructure on the BBC Elstree to provide services including playout.

Live elements are intercut with pre-recorded material played out from an EVS server.

The vision mixer then cuts to the live material and back to the pre-recorded material at the appropriate time.

A crucial element of the production is the complex camera set-up required to handle the different scenes taking place in the studios and on the outside lot.

Up to 30 cameras and 45 radio mics will be used in each of the live episodes cutting in with the pre-recorded material, scaling up to 41 cameras for the 30-minute live episode.

Well-rehearsed technical set-ups mean that some cameras will be tracked to bring movement to the live scenes.

To manage the additional production crew and technical staff deployed to work on Live Week, a special comms system has been installed.

A Motorola radio system will enable the production team to have complete coverage of the Elstree site.

The live dub will be managed from the OB truck and the dedicated sound facility pre-recorded foley, including background noise from the market and pub, will be inserted into the mix.

To ensure a consistent picture between the pre-recorded and live material, cameras will be wrapped in the same way they are for normal recording and balanced to colour match the grade to the pre-recorded footage.

John O’Callaghan, head of studios and post production Services at BBC Studios and Post Production, said: “Delivering live drama comes with its own unique set of challenges, not least the need to balance being responsive and flexible with thorough planning and rehearsal of the technical set-up.”

BBC Studios and Post Production delivered a full half hour live episode for the soap’s 25th anniversary in 2010 and a live segment in 2012 featuring the character of Billy Mitchell carrying the real Olympic Torch through Albert Square.

The week’s events can be followed live using Twitter hashtags #EELive and #WhoKilledLucy.

All comments
CJ  | February 18, 2015
Just think, in the good old days of live television when people knew what they were doing, a show like this would have gone out live (or \"as-live\" to tape) quite routinely using four cameras and two booms. What a joke this is!!!!!

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