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Channel 4 tracks Apocalypse with Q-Ball

5 November 2012
Channel 4 tracks Apocalypse with Q-Ball

London-based Neon Broadcast Services chose Camera Corps to provide remote camera facilities for the latest Derren Brown production, Apocalypse, which was broadcast by Channel 4 UK on 26 October and 2 November 2012. Nearly 50 Camera Corps Q-Ball robotic pan/tilt/zoom heads with integral 1080-line high-definition cameras were provided for the programme, which was created by Objective Productions. "Camera Corps worked with us very successfully last year on Derren Brown’s The Guilt Trip which used 22 robotic cameras mounted in various parts of a stately home," commented Neon Broadcast’s managing director Colin Vinten. "The latest production was on a much bigger scale, requiring 47 Q-Ball heads positioned in multiple locations across a former United States Air Force base in East Anglia. "The Q-Ball heads are much more compact than traditional robotic cameras and deliver excellent high-definition images over a wide range of lighting conditions. Their pan, tilt and zoom drives are extremely quiet and allow very precise control so can be used for in-vision tracking shots without risk of distracting the participants. "All of the Q-Ball cameras were operated by a four-strong Camera Corps team, each using a joystick steering unit and a remote control panel to ensure accurate colour matching. This allowed us to follow the subjects over widely dispersed locations without a correspondingly huge production staff. Setup, recording and dismantling were all completed on schedule within an eight-day time frame. The Q-Ball performance, appropriately, was magic!" "Working across a production area of more than 400 hectares presented interesting challenges in terms of cable runs, some of which were well beyond the safe limits for HD-SDI over copper," added Camera Corps’ equipment manager Neil Ashworth. "We installed 11 of our new SIMPLY SMPTE hybrid electro-optical links which can operate over five kilometres or more, allowing us to run feeds from aircraft hangers, bunkers, barracks and other former military buildings into the main control room."

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