Making A Huge Broadcast Shoot Happen: Part 1

The Atlantic crew worked on a television show that recently started broadcasting on National Geographic. It was one of the most technically complicated shoots we worked on just last year alone. And since all of us at Atlantic are all secretly (or perhaps not-so-secretly) video production nerds we’re going to officially document the nitty gritty elements that went into this massive shoot. In fact it’s so massive, it may end up being 425 parts of a single series. Or just 5. We’ll see!

Let’s start on a granular level–literally.

The TV series observes people in extraordinary or unexpected circumstances in order to prove a general point. In the clip we linked you to above, we captured video footage of some folks in a flight simulator that wouldn’t listen to a flight attendant during a simulated crash landing. The point: people don’t listen.

Toshiba Ice Cube: No relation to the American actor.

Toshiba Ice Cube: No relation to the American actor.

In order to get footage from a variety of angles, you couldn’t just throw a bunch of Canon C300’s into a cramped and crashing flight simulator. This is where we made a new friend: the Toshiba Ice Cube camera.

Our crew rigged 4 of these up in the simulator: one to get a head-on center shot of the aisle, and three others off to the side to get shots of specific rows of especially frightened passengers (for maximum entertainment value). Each camera comes with a suction cup which will allow you to attach it almost anywhere.

You would think a GoPro could handle the job in this case. But the Ice Cube camera itself is, you guessed it, extremely small but it’s built with a powerful 3CCD sensor that can captured up to 1080i footage. Since it’s so much smaller, we were able to rig it much more easily than we would a GoPro. However, the Ice Cube doesn’t do progressive just yet or 4K like a GoPro. But there are up to 3 different optional lenses you can attach to achieve different effects/focal lengths–a 2.8mm, 4mm, and 8mm. These lenses give the image a more rectalinear look, and not the distorted/fish-eye look of a GoPro.

Each Ice Cub camera has its own separate controller deck which you can wire the camera right into, and then the deck can output via DVI or HD/SDI. In this case, we had two feeds coming out of each deck–one was going to a video village, and another to an external recording device known as a KiPro.

But, more on that wonderful little device next time!