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Live film-making on the move

Last January Broadcast RF was tasked with shooting a Hollywood movie with one camera in one take using a single wireless camera system. Lost in London, a semi-autobiographic portrayal of a night out in the city involving director Woody Harrelson, was the first Hollywood movie to be broadcast live to cinemas across the world.

Speaking about the project here at IBC, Broadcast RF is discussing the challenges of this shoot, and how the company overcame them. While a project of this scale should usually take at least a couple of months, Broadcast RF managed to get the whole project planned in just over a fortnight.

Members of the Broadcast RF project management team were to be found strolling the streets of London scouting for suitable receive positions, before spending days studying filming venues and mapping routes through the capital, all while the weather did its best to spoil the show.

The eventual solution to this crazy idea of Harrelson’s was an HD transmitter built into a backpack along with batteries and sound equipment, which were connected to an Arri Alexa Mini using an umbilical cable and carried by a grip. Live video was transmitted and received at a total of 14 locations throughout central London through the use of 54 receive antennas, marking the largest single RF camera job Broadcast RF has ever done. The film was then seamlessly streamed to over 500 live cinemas.

Mark Houghton, technical director at Broadcast RF, said: “What was achieved in London on a cold night in January was historic. It took the passions of Woody and his cast and crew, the drive of the production teams and the determination of a technical crew to turn fantasy into history.

With more receive sites than the Wimbledon Tennis and the Open Golf Championships combined, and an arsenal of RF trickery, we joined 14 locations together to produce a cinematic first.”