The Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli recently gave a concert in the small Italian town of Portofino.
PBS, the light classical American television channel, asked United - through production company Sugar Productions – to record the concert. Preparation for our planning provided a challenge, as many people and a lot of equipment were not yet back from London. Our planning office got straight to work to get the necessary paperwork organised.
This meant that the OB12, an equipment truck and a full crew to travel to Italy - on time and with the right paperwork.
Bocelli's show took place in the square at Portofino, which had to be reached via a maze of narrow streets. Due to limited space, after unloading the equipment the OB12 and the equipment truck were set up 200 metres uphill, then the distance was bridged with cables. The dress rehearsal and the show were then recorded with 12 cameras, including four long lenses, three Jimmy jibs, a steady cam, two hand helds and an ENG on a wireless connection.
The recordings were taken in 59.94 drop frame, a format that is suitable to readily convert to 24P for Blu Ray in the timeframe.
PBS had voiced a specific preference for Sony cameras and fibre.
The OB12 needed to be converted in order to fulfil the request.
In addition, it was requested that the recording was taken on tape and not on EVS.
As a result, it was not possible to stream to two drives via EVS in order back-up in the usual way.
An extra tape operator was flown in to make overnight back-ups of all recordings. Partly thanks to the enormous efforts of the entire crew – but also, as already mentioned, to all of the office team - United were able to credit another wonderful, successful job to their list.